The advent of the on-board camera and latterly the high-definition action camera has meant that there is hardly a car or driver you could mention for which there isn’t some (usually) stunning on-board footage, giving us mere mortals a taste of what it’s like to be behind the wheel of almost anything from Senna and Prost’s McLarens to Nico Hulkenberg’s Porsche 919 Hybrid at Le Mans this year.
However, the art of capturing usable footage from within a racing car has only really caught on since the mid-Eighties when Francois Hesnault took part in the German Grand Prix with a camera attached to his Renault (the first ever to do so). Philippe Streiff also had a stint with a camera nailed on to his car before famously handing the mantle over to Murray Walker’s favourite Japanese F1 pilot, Satoru Nakajima. From this point it was only a matter of time until every F1 car wore a camera …
On-board footage though of great drivers from previous epochs is somewhat harder to come by, which is what makes this clip of Juan Manuel Fangio all the more special. Here The Maestro is enjoying a trundle around the Modena testing facility in 1957 with what we can only imagine was a gargantuan camera mounted to his Maserati 250F. Although the sound would appear to be that of a 250F, it doesn’t seem to be taken from this actual drive, not that this really matters.
What does matter is that this is certainly Fangio at the wheel of a 250F in the year of his final championship; the year in which he won what is widely considered the greatest Grand Prix victory of all time at the Nurburgring. The car in which he won that astonishing race was at the Revival last year along with a bumper grid of 250Fs and this year’s event will also afford visitors the awesome spectacle of these cars at full chat in the Richmond and Gordon Trophies.
Spectacular sights and sounds we can guarantee, although whether we can match the drama of Simon Diffey’s novel approach to self-bump-starting a 250F remains to be seen!