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  • Reminds me of a great story I heard, a few years ago, when he was one of the fastest F1 drivers, there was a great magazine interview with JP Montoya.

    In it, he related the anecdote that recently he had been at some sponsor's day at a circuit. He and Jackie Stewart were the featured guests. They were taking the punters out for pax rides in a saloon, but first there was a little contest between the two of them to see who could set the faster benchmark time.
    Each went out with the other as his passenger. Stewart was first. Montoya said that, after a few warm-up laps, it was time for Stewart to go for it. Montoya said that he was taken by surprise that Stewart was driving so slowly. He particularly noticed, he said, how slow Stewart's gear changes were. Montoya said that, as he observed this, he actually felt sorry for Stewart. It was a sad thing, he said, that a former 3-times champion's speed had declined so far.

    After a couple of Stewart's "fast" laps, Stewart came in and they swapped seats. Montoya said that now the bit was between his teeth. Stewart had shown him what he could do, and now the young Turk wanted to demonstrate how the game had moved on in the last thirty years.

    After his warm-up laps, Montoya really went for it. He said that he pushed the car to its absolute limits. That included Montoya's ramming aggressively through the gears, not lazily snicking them in Stewart's chauffeur style. From the passenger seat, Stewart stayed quiet. Montoya completed some laps which he knew were as fast as could have done.

    He then brought the car back into the pit lane, eager to learn what was the difference between his lap times and those of the old man. The gap between Montoya's fastest lap and Stewart's fastest was 0.8 seconds. Not bad - except that the fastest laps had been Stewart's.


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