No. 774,
November 26, 2014

About The Autoextremist

What do you do when when you've been immersed in all things automotive since before you took your first steps? When you're the scion of an automotive family in an automotive town in its very own automotive universe? When you've forgotten more about cars and motorsports and everything and everyone involved in the business than most people will ever know? When cars aren't just in your blood, but also in your bones and your brain and the very air you breathe? If you're Peter M. De Lorenzo, you ramp it up a bit further. National commentator, industry consultant and author (as well as former superstar ad man), De Lorenzo's daily (and nightly) focus for the past 15 years has been Autoextremist.com, a weekly Internet magazine devoted to news, commentary and analysis of the auto industry and the business of motorsports. Translation: De Lorenzo likes to tell the truth about what's really going on behind the scenes in the car business. And sometimes, things get ugly. Real ugly. But he is as passionate with his praise as he is with his critiques, and Autoextremist has become a weekly "must read" for leading professionals in all industries. De Lorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the business today. It's the very definition of a high-octane life. And it's what fuels De Lorenzo to keep the pedal down - hard. He won't stop because he can't stop. A bit tired, perhaps? No way. De Lorenzo is one of the most untired people we know.

De Lorenzo's latest book is Witch Hunt (Octane Press  witchhuntbook.com). It is available on Amazon in both hardcover and Kindle formats, as well as on iBookstore. De Lorenzo is also the author of The United States of Toyota.

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Fumes


Tuesday
Nov252014

The Human Element.

By Peter M. De Lorenzo

Detroit. For Lewis Hamilton, 2014 has proven to be a pivotal year. Bringing home his second F1 World Driving Championship, the 29-year-old British racer now has 33 wins in 148 race starts, with 38 pole positions. A precocious talent from an early age, Hamilton approached McLaren team principle Ron Dennis at the age of ten suggesting he not only wanted to race for McLaren one day, but that he would. Hamilton was signed to McLaren and Mercedes-Benz Young Driver Support Program, and the rest is contemporary racing history.

Readers of this column know I am not a fan of the current state of F1. The constant thrum of money and politics, as orchestrated by Bernie Ecclestone, is almost too tedious for words. F1 has gotten so far removed from what it once was and what it should be, that it's almost incomprehensible to contemplate. But putting all of that aside, Hamilton's accomplishments cannot be ignored, because he simply did a superb job this year.

In this age of computer programs and the fact that these modern F1 cars can be programmed to lap any racing circuit in the world without a driver, it's the human element that remains compelling in racing. Hamilton's season-long duel with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg rescued F1 from becoming totally consumed by the Greed Circus persona that Ecclestone fancies as being somehow attractive. The fact that Hamilton and his mates on the F1 grid still have to actually drive the cars, even though everything is being exhaustively overanalyzed by the millisecond prevents the whole thing from becoming an exercise in futuristic robotics.

As I said it's the human element that rings true here with Hamilton's second F1 World Driving Championship. He pushed and struggled with Rosberg to the end, which made his triumph that much sweeter, and that much more interesting to watch.

I'm afraid that F1 will continue devolving before our eyes, succumbing to its aimless pursuit of profits from countries and fiefdoms willing to be duped to be part of the circus, but as long as there are real drivers pushing real human limits in pursuit of the top rung of the sport, it will remain compelling at least on that level. Congratulations to Lewis and his entire Mercedes F1 team.


 

Publisher's Note: As part of our continuing series celebrating the "Glory Days" of racing, we're proud to present another noteworthy image from the Ford Racing Archives. - PMD
(Courtesy of the Ford Racing Archives)
Silverstone, England, July 14, 1973. Peter Revson (No. 8 McLaren-Ford) on his way to his first F1 win in the John Player British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The race was marred by a massive first lap crash which took out almost half the field. Watch a video here and here.

 

Publisher's Note: Like these Ford racing photos? Check out www.fordimages.com. Be forewarned, however, because you won't be able to go there and not order something. - PMD