Road & Track August 2019

Road & Track includes technical features on automotive subjects, wide-ranging feature stories, spectacular automotive art and standard-setting new-car photography, humor, fiction, travel stories, book reviews and the most comprehensive racing coverage offered by a monthly magazine.Bonus: iPad Interactive

United States

in this issue

4 min
the magic of formula 1 always exciting, even when it seems boring.

I DON’T REMEMBER exactly when Formula 1 became my sole source of weekend-morning entertainment, but I do know Michael Schumacher was my favorite driver. Schumacher was always winning in the mid-1990s, and he seemingly chased it at any cost. His crash with Damon Hill at Adelaide in 1994 was beyond controversial. If you weren’t a fan, you said he purposely crashed into Hill and should be stripped of the world championship. If you were a fan, you said he purposely crashed into Hill and should be recognized for his commitment to winning. Yes, Schumacher is an obvious choice. But I was young, and I gravitated toward the driver I most saw on the top of the podium. When he moved to Ferrari, I assumed that he’d instantly make a difference there. You…

1 min
detroit race city

“It was too dangerous to try.”— PROST ON CATCHING SENNA AT DETROIT…

5 min
chrysler’s doomed foray into formula 1

IN 1986, I left Ford for Chrysler, joining a group that then-Ford CEO Don Petersen called “the band of misfits.” It was a promising time. Chrysler soon absorbed American Motors, and in 1987, Lee Iacocca announced another triumph: the acquisition of Lamborghini for $25 million. “And I didn’t buy it because I want a company that produces 300 cars a year,” he told the executive team. “There’s tremendous value in the brand. I want you guys to figure out what to do with it.” I pretty much knew what the master merchandiser had in mind: Lamborghini would become an uplevel Chrysler trim, the same way that the storied name of Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Ghia came to denote the most luxurious Ford Granadas and Mustang IIs. All it would require was more…

6 min
niki lauda, 1949–2019

NIKI LAUDA, three-time Formula 1 world champion and longtime motorsport safety advocate, died May 20, 2019. He was 70. Lauda was born February 22, 1949, to a wealthy family in Vienna. “I was brought up in a distinctly cold environment,” he wrote in his 1986 autobiography, Meine Story. “This proper but severe upbringing probably accounts for my addiction to excellence, my need to do things better than other people. It certainly helped in one respect: it gave me a lot of self-confidence.” That confidence would prove a central force in Lauda’s life. At age 19, he forged a school diploma and went racing, winning his way up the ranks. His family forbade him from participating in the sport, so he borrowed money to buy a seat on the March Formula 2 team…

4 min
formula 1’s long road to safety

SIR JACKIE STEWART’S crash at the 1966 Belgian Grand Prix was absurd. On the first lap, his Formula 1 BRM hit standing water at 170 mph. “My car had effectively become a missile,” he wrote in his 2007 autobiography, Winning Is Not Enough. “It proceeded to flatten both a woodcutter’s hut and a telegraph pole before careening over an eight-foot drop and finishing on the lower patio of a farmhouse.” At the time, there were no safety marshals. Drivers Graham Hill and Bob Bondurant, who had also crashed, extricated Stewart from the wreck with tools borrowed from a spectator. The rescue took more than 20 minutes. Stewart was drenched in fuel from the crash and became disgusted to find the floor of the track’s medical center littered with cigarette butts. He…

4 min
ebb and flow finding the magic behind the wheel.

THIS MAY, IndyCar champion Simon Pagenaud won the pole at the Indy 500, plus the race itself, plus the road-course race held at the Speedway two weeks before the big event. His last win before that was 20 months prior. If you saw this happen, maybe you wondered what was going on: Did Pagenaud magically become more talented? Was his car some cheaty secret weapon? Not a chance, in either case. But he did perform in a flow state. Drivers will tell you that being in flow is beautiful. It can lead to drinking the milk at Indy. It’s when you perform at your peak—everything you’re capable of on your best day, plus that little something extra. In flow, everything seems to slow down. You feel as though you have all…