Speed and Danger Danced Together

As I am sure you know, I am a fan of modern Formula 1.

I hold the drivers in the highest regard, losing up to 9 lbs in body weight every race and experiencing up to 4 or 5 lateral g whilst braking and cornering.

What is not to respect? However, there was a time when the absence of safety regulations made fatalities and life-changing accidents common.

The Golden Age of F1, the 1960s and 1970s, was a time when drivers relied on adrenaline and a slice of insanity.

For all of that, the Golden Years produced many legends.

Sir Stirling Moss, John Surtees, Sir Jack Brabham, Sir Jackie Stewart, Mario Andretti, Jody Scheckter, James Hunt, Emerson Fittipaldi, Ayrton Senna and Niki Lauda.

The Golden Years witnessed the deaths of Jim Clark, François Cevert and Jochen Rindt.

It was a time of great competition, a battle between horsepower and nerves of steel, more about survival than strategy.

It was also a period of worldwide expansion, with races taking place in far-flung countries and continents; new circuits were built, testing the drivers and cars even more.

The only downforce was the weight of expectation on the drivers.

The Golden Age ended with the introduction of strict safety regulations in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

While the Golden Age will be remembered for its exhilaration and glamour, it also serves as a reminder of the dangers intrinsic to the pursuit of speed and glory.