Start, Kyalami, 1985

Jones reveals Ecclestone paid him to miss race during 1985 Apartheid row

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: 1980 world champion Alan Jones has revealed Bernie Ecclestone paid him not to race in Formula One’s last race held in South Africa under the racist Apartheid regime.

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Comment of the day

@Ju88sy says Pirelli have done a good job in difficult circumstances in 2017:

Let’s not be too harsh on Pirelli this year! they had a guide from the FIA on car performance for 2017, they didn’t get to actually run rubber on 2017 machinery until winter testing, design to an expected performance level with assumptions, inevitably they erred on the side of caution for this season given the ‘unknown’ car performance.

I think the tyres are o.k. this season, drivers can push again in contrast to 2014-16, the other issues are related to fiddly nature of car setup. If the tyres were lacking grip we wouldn’t be seeing the track records tumbling. I don’t mind the level of discussion around tyres, at least it is a level playing field for the teams, I was never comfortable with the old school tyre wars where manufacturers had preferred teams who got the best batches.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to F1Antics!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories F1 Fanatic round-upTags

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 48 comments on “Jones reveals Ecclestone paid him to miss race during 1985 Apartheid row”

    1. In relation to COTD, I think the main area Pirelli need to improve for next season is the operating windows which are seemingly a bit too small again. I think the tyres should have a larger operating range so we don’t have this issue of teams/drivers struggling to get them to work to begin with & at times struggling to get them to stay in that window which then causes other problems.

      In relation to a tyre war, I’d love to see one again as I loved how the competition between the suppliers was constantly pushing one another forward which prevents some of the complaints seen since 2007 with Bridgestone accused of been too conservative & bringing rock hard tyres & Pirelli been accused of going too far the other way since 2011. With competition each has to bring the best, fastest, most competitive tyre they can come up with so nobody can afford to bring tyres that are too conservative or too fragile.

      I also don’t think you would see the sort of ‘favoritism’ that may have occurred in the past because there is no testing now. The primary reason Ferrari ended up getting preferential treatment from Bridgestone after 2001 was because they were the only top team still running on Bridgestone tyres & the only team on the Bridgestone’s that could afford to go testing regularly. Michelin had several top teams testing weekly, Bridgestone only had Ferrari (Until 2006 when Toyota switched).

      1. But how do you get a larger “operating window” though. I mean the tyres will work in any conditions but the only way to get max performance is always gonna be slim and hard to reach. As an example if you make tyres that have at least 90% performance at 80-120degrees they are still gonna have 100% performance at 94,894degrees. And more so they will perform different in different parts of the track at different temperatures making it insanity to get them to work optimal an whole race for the teams.

        Tyres with large operating windows are for roadcars, nothing else on F1 cars have a large operating window so why should the tyres?

        1. @rethla Didn’t seem to be an issue with F1 tyre suppliers in the past.

          Getting the maximum performance will always be tricky, However getting the tyres into a working range to produce good/consistent levels of grip should not be as difficult as it has been on the Pirelli’s. When you have only a 1-2 degree range of performance (With the range of maximum performance even smaller) where anything above or below will produce significantly lower grip & increased wear (Due to the lower grip causing more tyre slip) that then also makes it harder to get into that operating range, I don’t think thats the correct approach.

          In the time i’ve been an F1 fan i’ve seen 4 tyre suppliers take part including Pirelli & the past few years has been the only time I can remember that featured so much talk & complaints about operating windows been too small. We have seen drivers that drove the Bridgestone’s & Michelin complain about the operating window’s of the Pirelli’s so it has/is clearly an issue that need’s addressing & if other tyre suppliers were able to figure it out I don’t see a reason why Pirelli can’t, Especially after 7 tears experience of producing F1 tyres now (Several years of which have featured issues with these operating windows that Pirelli have several times pledged to fix).

          1. First of all, @stefmeister, I think Pirelli did quite a solid job with the information available. Sure, some of the tyre compounds are on the harder side, but that is more about having a cautious option in case the teams got even more out of the new rules.

            And second, the biggest difference to what you mention, is times where some teams had one or even 2 dedicated testing teams doing more mileage than the whole racing season together, collecting lots of data on tyres as well. Nowadays it is just far more guesswork and simulation.

      2. @stefmeister, I would be more surprised if there wasn’t any favouritism, since every single tyre war that has taken place in F1 has seen pretty much every single tyre manufacturer champion a small number of teams. In that last tyre war, whilst you mention Bridgestone, Michelin was also accused of favouritism – Newey complained that Michelin were biasing their design towards Renault.

        Testing may be more heavily restricted these days, but I can’t see that stopping tyre manufacturer favouritism – it will manifest itself through other avenues, such as choices in the design of the carcass of the tyre which may be more favourable towards a particular team or by restricting the flow of information to other customers.

        Frankly, if you are a big team in a tyre war, you probably are OK with it because you are more likely to be favoured – if you are a smaller team, you are probably going to be hit much harder by tyre manufacturer favouritism.

      3. @stefmeister Tyre war is a really bad idea, it has always created a 2 tier championship, recently it worked, kind of. Tyre war only worked in 1997,98 and in 2001, kind of. Poor teams for obvious reasons, adopt the new tyre supplier, as teams realise the new tyre supplier is doing the better job, the most powerful teams then sign the new supplier which leaves the poorer teams with the slower tyre supplier. 1997 Arrows was so competitive in Hungary because Bridgestone was delivering much better tyres than goodyear, something that was picked up by McLaren who signed Bridgestone for 1998, which was a key element of their success, that said most of the front runners didn’t run Bridgestone for 1998, which was good for the championship, it helped Prost and other strong backmarker performances. 2001 Michelin came in and the bottom end of the grid improved massively from 2000, one of the teams that took the risk, Williams leapfrog McLaren into becoming Ferrari’s top threat, after that though.

        It’s funny that people are starting to credit Pirelli for the good job they are doing….relative to other seasons. Pirelli’s finally doing a good job in f1, it’s still vulnerable to lobbying but the product this season is the safest most consistent it has ever been. In previous years the performance was bad and the tyres were frankly dangerous.

        1. @peartree a tyre war is a great idea, its this artificially created sole supplier situation that is a bad idea as it has created a situation where the pinnacle of the sport has been forced to suffer with awful tyres since 2007 which at no point have been the best product that could have been produced.

          teams should be allowed to pick whatever suppliers they want to run just like they are allowed to look at different engine manufacturer’s, brake suppliers & stuff for other areas of the car’s performance…. tyre’s should be no different.

          if you want a spec series where nobody is allowed to gain an advantage or anything then go watch indycar or f2 or one of the many other lower categories. f1 is supposed to be the pinnacle, the top class where everything is the best & a tyre war has always been a part of that (apart from years where only 1 supplier has wanted to enter).

          if michelin good year, bridgestone or whoever else wish to test themselves in f1 & teams want to run there product then they should be allowed to.

          there have been a few big fan surveys over recent years and in the most recent one something like 90% of fans voted in favour of a tyre war, those against are in the minority so tyre war should/must happen!!

          1. PeterG, I don’t know where you got that 90% figure from, because that was not what the survey by the motorsport network found – their most recent survey found that 69% of respondents supported a tyre war, and in fact support for a tyre war has been dropping quite noticeably in the past couple of years.

          2. Tire wars are bad. Tires are so integral to the chassis, that you cannot have 2 different tires and say you won the constructors title cause someone with a better chassis will lose if they picked the wrong tire. Tires must be equal, or you will never know who is the best constructor.

      4. If there were to be another tire war, I’d love to see one where the teams could switch tire suppliers during the season. Maybe limit the number of times teams could switch during the season. One of the worst aspects of previous tire wars was when a top team with the best tire was nearly unbeatable. Other teams may have done better by switching tire suppliers, but were locked in for a whole season.

        I do realize the teams and potential tire suppliers would never agree to such a plan.

        1. And I highly doubt they could just switch tire brands mid-season and expect their car to work better than on tires whose data they built the car around.

    2. They are going to revamp the Hungaroring, lets hope the put in more overtaking opportunities, this race is such an anticlimax, Monaco may be a procession but at least the track is spectacular.

      1. According to the article, the layout will stay the same, only the grandstands and pit buildings will be updated.

      2. Michael Brown (@)
        6th August 2017, 17:45

        I think the layout used at around 2000 (can’t remember when it was changed) was better than the current one.

        1. 2002. According to the wiki site (I admit, I wasn’t watching F1 at the time). Looks like they extended the straight between 10 and 11 so that the run from what’s now 12 to 13 (left-hand 180 before the final 180 onto the main straight) is more or less straight, and they extended turn one a bit to make it more of a hairpin and less of a 180.

          Certainly would have led to higher speeds entering the penultimate turn, and would probably lead to less chaos on turn one / lap one.

          Both changes look like they were trying to increase overtaking opportunities.

    3. I agree completely with the cotd, I think Pirelli have done a great job really. Sure they’re a bit hard but again, just like years past that’s what they were asked to deliver. They’ve adjusted appropriately by not offering the hardest compounds again for the remaining races. Certainly a fair bit of faith restored in my book.

      On another note, is it just my opinion or has Perez well and truly established himself as a staple of F1 and a future great? Not a Hamilton, Vettel rather a Button, Massa, Webber level talent? It’s kind of sad I think that there’s even a possibility he won’t have a contract. A team would be smart to snatch him up for as many years as they can, or is he the one trying to keep his options open in case a top drive opens up?

      A heart-warming message from Hamilton :) Wishing him many great days in return. I’m just marking out to the PR but taking the time out for a small message like that I think is really cool. #Blessed

    4. Thankfully, South Africa is a much better country now. I urge everyone to visit Johannesburg. It’s a beautiful city full of beautiful and vibrant people.
      A street race would do well in the city. Bringing F1 back to Africa should be a priority for the Liberty guys.

      1. Evil Homer (@)
        6th August 2017, 12:12

        I have business clients that are South African (both black & white) and they would disagree with you, they say street violence is still very bad. I have never been but seems like Brazil where things aren’t entirely safe still.

        I laughed at the statement when Bernie paid Jones not to race!! How bad is that!! That’s one thing Alan Jones should have left out of his book- not sure what he was trying to gain with that one!! But typical of the times in F1 LOL

        1. sunny stivala
          7th August 2017, 6:12

          he chose the money instead of racing, he took the money and went home. nothing new were money is concerned, trace and read the agreement reached between Sterling Moss and Masten Gregory in Argentina.

      2. Andrew Purkis
        6th August 2017, 15:05


        it all gone to c r a p there im afraid

        1. I’m not sure about the place having gone to c r a p. I stay in Joburg and it is currently work in progress after the legacy that was left by Apartheid and, contrary to doomsayers, looks like it is changing for the better. Just look at what is happening in our Parliament today the 8th August 2017. The outcome may not be favourable, but shows that our Democracy is still working.

    5. Perez is keen to continue with Force India next season.

      At the moment only Haas and Red Bull Racing have two confirmed drivers for 2018, all the others, including Force India, have at least one spare seat.

    6. Pitty we can’t do the same for Russia and China, they do not deserve to have top line sports in their countries. I believe Malone is in the same mold as Murdoch.

      1. The goverments dont deserve it but the people of those countries deserve an f1 race. Does america deserve an f1 race with the goverment they now have? Id say no, but let their people have a race.

        1. OMG

          but the people of those countries deserve an f1 race

          No they deserve democracy and freedom of speech and the right to interact with the rest of the world with out fear of being Disappeared.
          The sports bans against SA along with business sanctions did the job.
          PS I don’t think the American people are suffering from motor racing deprivation LOL.

        2. Does america deserve an f1 race with the goverment they now have?

          I haven’t seen any death toll number of innocent from current administration. Unlike the previous peaceful Nobel prize winner president.

      2. @johnrkh
        Yeah, you just keep watching that TV. Might as well be brain-dead.

        1. Your ignorance is breathtaking!

    7. the tyre thing is getting boring, answer is simple bring back tyre wars. The very best seasons have a tyre war. 97, 98, 2003,2005 & 06. It throws up a variable that is actually real rather than manufactured.

      Too expensive i hear you say? Only for the tyre manufactures and how is that different to the engines? And if they can’t afford it don’t do it. Testing is less than the last time so it is instantly cheaper anyway.

      1. Tyre wars had both good and bad aspects. The 2005 Indianapolis GP made the US draw back from F1.

        1. People always reference that race as an argument against the trye war but if it happened today, none of the cars would have been able to race!

          Im not for another tyre war but I don’t think that argument fits.

      2. Weren’t the main competitors in ’97 and ’05 on the same tyres though?

        1. matt90, it wasn’t just the main competitors in 1997 – the top five teams that season were all supplied by Goodyear that season. In 2005, only three teams on the grid (Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi) used Bridgestone tyres in a year where Bridgestone was not remotely competitive against Michelin – and in the case of Jordan, I believe that they only used Bridgestones because they couldn’t secure a deal with Michelin.

          Furthermore, we have seen how, in previous seasons, there were tight championship battles even where there was a single supplier, such as 1999-2000 (where only Bridgestone was present).

          1. In 2005, only three teams on the grid (Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi) used Bridgestone tyres in a year where Bridgestone was not remotely competitive against Michelin – and in the case of Jordan, I believe that they only used Bridgestones because they couldn’t secure a deal with Michelin.

            Well, Bridgestone surely were the reason for Jordan to get a podium that year!

        2. Also, I don’t agree with the list stopping in 2006. The 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012 seasons were all pretty awesome.
          Therefore, this list only proves that great championships tend to occur from time to time, and that a tyre war is not a contributing factor, if not downright detrimental (see 2005, where Bridgestone’s lack of competitivity eliminated took Ferrari out of the race).

          1. ross brawn has said before that ferrari’s problems in 2005 were not totally down to bridgestone as they also went the wrong direction in terms of car development which was resulting in inconsistent levels of downforce, especially at the rear which was a big factor in them suffering from increased rear tyre wear (in a year where tyre stops were banned remember).

        3. yes but there was great races where bridgestones different approach provided a great race. There was a few where Panis come out of nowhere with a late race charge as his tyres lasted longer and remember Damon at Hungary. It meant both tyres were pushed to the limit.

          And remember Mich early years where they got faster the longer they went on. Personally i like all of that.

          I think a tyre war with certain guidelines is what is needed.

    8. Im in support of a 2 tyre manufacturer series. If not then f1 needs to look at the super competitive and entertaining series in the world, like racing in america that are drawing more manufacturer interest than f1. Imsa dpi cars and indycar, they (and also formula e) use one chassis for all which brings more competition. It also creates cheaper racing so the best independent non manufacturer teams in motor racing can compete. At the moment f1 lacks independents, manufacturers, and competition… and is still too expensive.

      1. kpcart, and yet, in the 2017 Sportscar season, the Cadillac entry has so far won every single race where the DPi class has been permitted to race – that doesn’t strike me as being especially well balanced in terms of competition.

        1. maybe cadillac advantage would be greater if chassis development was allowed? Cadillacs are using the simplest and cheapest engines(chev v8) and are beating the likes of Mazda etc with more complicated engines, well done to them. at least DPi is better than LMP1 in cost and competition, and hopefully DPi will replace LMP1. anyway, that power advantage in DPi can be curbed, unlike in series like F1.

          1. i certainly hope that the dpi class doesn’t replace lmp1 as the dpi class is boring, uninspired & frankly slow compared to lmp1.

            hardly anybody watches the dull, boring & uninspiring imsa weathertech series primarily because of this. the dp’#s were awful & the dpi’s are just aw awful.

            the fact that series has to reduce the performance of lmp2 cars tell’s you everything you need to know about how bad the supposed top category is. take those cars to le mans or wec and they get eaten alive by the real top class sportscars.

            at austin this year the dpi cars were 10 seconds slower than the wec lmp1 class & only about 1 second faster than a wec lmp2 car…. just awful!

    9. Vandoorne is always very confident. I can’t see how that can be when you have had such a lacklustre f1 debut season. I rated him highly but I guess he’s average, anyway he’s improved, he’s now in line for good results. Vandoorne showed his level in Superformula. I think currently Super Formula and f3 are the best platforms to showcase driver prowess. F2 is too specific, a driver and team need to work flawlessly in f2, you can’t see driver brilliance alone, it’s all about getting the car driver and tyres right, it’s great as a team exercise and as a test of drivers intelligence but driver is not the highlight. In f3, some teams seem to be above and there’s a constantly changing driver pool so to assess quality it’s not easy, in super formula, there’s team supremacy but the driver pool is consistent and the cars are a good step on f3. In my view it’s F3, Super Formula and then f1 for Lando.

    10. Not sure what Horner is talking here. Hungaroring where power matters for the least, they were .5s behind the Ferrari in Qualifying and Vettel put a 11s gap to Max on lap 15 despite having SC for around 4 laps. Didn’t Ricciardo say that this car was like a B-Spec car on Friday?

      It’s a pity that Vettel had to face the steering issue which robbed us of showing how fast the Ferrari could really go on the Sunday. The engine was a convenient excuse for RB in the hybrid era but they haven’t got the chassis this year to challenge the top 2 is the truth at the moment.

      1. Even when power matters the least, it always matters for qualifying. When Ricciardo said his car was B-spec he meant in terms of the upgrade they brought, as in it felt like a second version compared to what they had previously. Not that it is a category behind.

        Until we see Renault in front of Renault powered Red Bull’s it’s impossible to say Red Bull just don’t have the chassis.

        1. I know what he meant by B-Spec. I didn’t mean it in the way that it was inferior to Ferrari but actually an upgrade over the car they had all the while.

          One doesn’t know what the Q3 mode gives for the team that might have it. They could have simply taken the other sessions lightly and went full force for Q3 since no other team generally threaten them enough to make them drop out of the session.

          Renault are already there just behind RB in the last couple of races. When they continue to improve further, it will be clear to everyone that the top two not just have the best engines but also a better chassis than the RB.

          All these still doesn’t explain why they had such a big gap to Ferrari in the race and couldn’t really do much to threaten the Mercs as well.

    11. That was Bernie against draconian FIA. Thank you, sir.

    12. Vandoorne is getting a little ahead of himself. McLaren are still pure rubbish… and at power hungry circuits like Spa they will be battling the Saubers once again. There is no way a team with such a rubbish power unit can consistently fight for 7th and 8th positions. It’s probably just 3 circuits where they can make the most of their car – Monaco, Hungary and Singapore.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
    If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.