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What a season this is turning out to be: Seven races and seven different winners in five types of car. The nearest parallel was 1982 when there were five winners in the first seven races, and four different cars - Prost and Watson were the only double winners by race seven. That year, nine drivers won races in seven makes of car. Kejio 'Keke' Rosberg took the title with a single win: the Swiss GP, held in France.
The 1982 season was a time of radical change. Turbocharged engines were coming into their own and Alfa Romeo (not then part of Fiat) Ferrari and Renault all fielded turbos. Brabham began with Cosworth engines and then switched to BMW turbo units.
Reliability was often problematical among the blown cars and turbo lag made them tricky to drive. By contrast, the Cosworth DFV was predictable, reliable and economical.
It was also the case that Cosworth teams found ways to run underweight in qualifying, using ballasted components for the weigh-in. With the ban on sliding skirts, some teams devised ways to lower the cars once they had cleared the pits and had passed the minimum ride-height test.
In addition, Brabham and Williams adopted 'water-cooled' brakes for the second race, Brazil. The cars had 40-litre tanks of water to bring them up to minimum weight, but the water was somehow not there when the cars started. Piquet (Brabham) and Rosberg (Williams) crossed the line first and second and the stewards rejected the plea that their brake coolant should be topped up and so they were disqualified for being underweight.
The team which showed the most imagination in interpreting the rule book was Brabham. Since Brabham was then owned by Bernie Ecclestone, there can be no question about the legality of its cars and absolutely no question of cheating. Nobody currently with the FIA knew what was going on. No sirree.
On the other side of the fence, there can be no question that the FIA, then headed by Jean-Marie Balestre, changed the rules to give some of the less inventive teams an advantage. In particular, Renault, largely owned by the French government.
The Cosworth teams were inventive, but Renault had been imaginative by interpreting the 1500cc supercharged alternative (to 3-litres, normally aspirated) as including turbocharging. The FIA permitted turbocharging though it clearly contravened the rule book.
If you think that I am merely taking the default English position of blaming the French for everything, I beg to point out that it was Balestre who said that the English teams were burning Joan of Arc all over again.
Since Joan was tried by a French court, and executed in France, by the French, that was a walk on the wild side, but it demonstrates the level to which the dispute had sunk.
In retrospect, we can see why 1982 was so varied. It is not so clear in 2012 although in both cases there have been radical changes. This season, as well as aerodynamic changes which have resulted in the ugliest Ferrari ever, tyres have played a major part.
Some have used the word 'lottery', but I think that diminishes some excellent drives. Take Pastor Maldonado in Spain, the guy led from pole, he had Fernando Alonso on his case in the closing stages and he did not put a foot wrong.
Most of us could not get a current F1 car off the line. Driving one is counter-intuitive. Time was when heat in the tyres and brakes was a driver's greatest problem, now it is essential.
Maldonado was handed an advantage when Lewis was demoted to the back of the grid and his team made all the right calls, but he still had to deliver and he must have been aware that an entire country was riding with him.
His season has been uneven, but I do not think that it is fair to downgrade a Grand Prix win by suggesting that he won a lottery. I buy lottery tickets and accept that if I scoop a jackpot, it will be sheer happenchance and no skill will be involved.
Nico Rosberg has opened his score as well and there is a man who has surely deserved a result and do not forget Sergio Perez's superb second place in Malaysia.
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