The wreckage of Jochen Rindt’s car at Barcelona © Getty Images
An excellent insight into the world of F1 as it used to be can be found on the regularly-interesting Letters of Note website. It publishes a hitherto unseen letter from Jochen Rindt to Lotus boss Colin Chapman written shortly after Rindt?s crash at Barcelona which was a result of the wing system on Lotus 49 collapsing at speed.
?Colin. I have been racing F1 for 5 years and I have made one mistake (I rammed Chris Amon in Clermont Ferrand) and I had one accident in Zandvoort due to gear selection failure otherwise I managed to stay out of trouble. This situation changed rapidly since I joined your team. ?Honestly your cars are so quick that we would still be competitive with a few extra pounds used to make the weakest parts stronger, on top of that I think you ought to spend some time checking what your different employes are doing, I sure the wishbones on the F2 car would have looked different. Please give my suggestions some thought, I can only drive a car in which I have some confidence, and I feel the point of no confidence is quite near.?
A little more than a year later Rindt’s Lotus suffered mechanical breakdown just before braking into one of the corners. He swerved violently to the left and crashed into a poorly-installed barrier, killing him instantly.