Remembering one of F1's ugliest oddities

Remembering one of F1's ugliest oddities

How a clip of the 1972 French Grand Prix evoked memories of one of Formula 1's ugliest monstrosities, and the abnormally brave driver at the wheel of it

This being soporific August - with deals being done, but the engines stilled - it seemed like a good idea the other day to listen again to Peter Ustinov's sublime 'Grand Prix of Gibraltar': I may have known it word for word since childhood, but, as with 'Fawlty Towers' or 'Frasier', unfailingly it makes me laugh anew.

Recorded off the cuff - Ustinov had no script, preferring to 'wing it' - in a single afternoon in New York, it is an affectionately satirical take on grand prix racing, and if it were created 60 years ago, trust me, there remain echoes of it in the Formula 1 of today.

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