Green Notebook from the Stelvio Pass

The problem with having an empire is that you need to have ways to get around it quickly, to enjoy the benefits of the expansionism – and to quell any unrest that may develop.

The Austrian Empire was particularly troublesome in this respect because of all the mountains. Expanding an empire is all very well, if you can march an army across flat land… although in the Netherlands, this was complicated because of all the waterways.

The Austrians were inventive folk and much of their expansion was eastward (which was easier) but at the Congress of Vienna in 1815, to clear up the mess left by Napoleon, they acquired the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, which stretched to the River Po in the south, to the Ticino in the west, and included Milan, or Mailand as they called it.

The only problem was getting there…

So they built a railway from Vienna to Trieste, no mean feat. And they then built a road that climbed to 9,000ft above sea level, including 75 hairpins. The Stelvio Pass is bonkers. It is challenging piece of road, made all the more complex by panting cyclists and thrill-seeking bikers, not to mention the occasional lunatic (usually Dutch) with a camper van. I even encountered a bus, which must have had a very cool and skilled driver as it seemed to be longer than the available turning areas…

Anyway, to begin the story close to the end is not necessarily logical, so let’s rewind a way to the polders of Haarlemmermeer, which – as the name suggests – used to be lake before the empire-builders of Amsterdam, diked and drained it – around the same time as the Austrians were building zigzagging paths up the Stelvio. It took four years of pumping by eventually 800 million tons of water were displaced and land appeared. It’s very flat and as a result of this it is now the home of Schipol Airport, where many of the F1 folk stayed during the Dutch GP weekend, because of the daft prices being asked in and around Zandvoort itself.

There was a beautiful irony in that some protesters reckoned they should disrupt the Grand Prix because it was not green enough for their tastes. It was strange choice because the Dutch GP was the greenest of all F1 races as the crowds came by train or by bicycle and there were very few cars allowed in the town itself. To the amazement of everyone, this worked brilliantly. If there were protesters they were probably run over by orange bikes.

After the massive muddy snarl-up in Spa the previous weekend the Zandvoort race was a joy. OK, there were too many people dressed in orange, a colour that I always associate with ibuprofen, but it was a real pleasure and a wonderful event, filled with energy and emotion. This was what F1 is all about – or at least should be… And there was a happy ending and so the orange people bicycled home, some zigzagging more than others, and they whipped out their dancing clogs.

The day after the race, once the last work was done, I set off on the 1200 km trek to Milan, rather less bright than a button, with no fixed plans except to explore bits of Europe that I did not know, or wanted to visit. And to sleep when the urge took me.

I went first in the direction of Utrecht and then, by accident, passed Maarsbergen, from where Holland’s most famous F1 team – Ecurie Maarsbergen – operated in the 1950s and 1960s. This was led by the charismatic aristocrat Jonkheer Carel Godin de Beaufort, who ran his team from the family castle. He painted his cars orange.

From there it was on eastward to the heathlands of Ede, where I snuck off the motorway to cut a corner and to explore the area where in 1944 the First Airborne Division landed – with the goal of capturing the bridge at Arnhem. My grandfather, about whom I could write an entire column on the subject of having an astonishing wartime record, without ever firing a gun, was a member of 2 Para, the famous battalion that held the bridge – although Grandad was not one of them. Being support staff he was not due to go into Arnhem until after the shooting was over. When it didn’t stop, he stayed in England. Still, he knew many of those who were involved…

It is just coming up to the 77th anniversary of the battle and it was astonishing to see so many of the houses flying flags of the Parachute Regiment in memory of those involved. It was very touching.

I headed on to Venlo and the German border to begin my trek down Bundesautobahn 61.

Germany’s tourism bodies have a liking for linking together places that share a particular feature: there is the famous Romantische Straße (which goes to pretty places), the Weinstraße (that passes by famous vineyards), there are also lesser known routes, such as the Uhrenstraße (the route of cuckoo clocks), the Märchenstraße (the fairy tale road) and, of course, that classic of all famous routes: the Niedersächsische Spargelstraße, which translates as the Lower Saxon Asparagus Road. There is also the Bertha Benz Memorial Road which, inaugurated in 2015, follows the route that Bertha Benz (as in Mercedes Benz) drove in 1888 from Mannheim to Pforzheim, without telling her husband she was borrowing the world’s first car. It was quite an adventure, involving repairs using hatpins and garters – and trips to various pharmacies to buy fuel…

Anyway, I have long believed that the country should have a Rennsportstraße (a motorsport road) and I would argue that it should begin near the border town of Venlo… The first German town one encounters is Mönchengladbach, where Heinz-Harald Frentzen was born and spent much of his childhood.

After that the road goes a bit odd because it has to go around a vast hole in the ground created by the surface mining of lignite, brown coal that is burned to produce electricity. This is an impressive thing, which currently covers nearly 12,000 acres with a depth of up to 200 metres. One day, so they say, it will become a very big lake, with plans for an innovation hub. But right now, it’s just an impressive hole in the ground… needed to meet the country’s energy needs for many years to come. And electric cars will just add to the demand. This is one reason why the rush to electric vehicles is not necessarily the right choice… and hybrid technology may still be the better option – while alternative sources of electricity are developed.

The next town of note on the A61 is a place called Kerpen, which racing fans will know as being the town where the Schumacher brothers grew up. A lesser-known fact is that there was another F1 driver from there, Wolfgang, Graf Berghe Van Trips, who lived in the Hemmersbach castle in the Kerpen municipality. Today (Friday) will be the 60th anniversary of his death, fighting for the World Championship with Phil Hill at Monza in 1961.

Kerpen is just a few miles from Toyota’s vast motorsport factory – once the F1 team base – in Marsdorf.

The bad news was that the A61 was closed at this point with whole sections of the road having been washed away during the flooding in the region in July.

I didn’t fancy being stuck in a big traffic jam outside the Toyota factory and so I didn’t take the suggested diversion and went in the other direction to find a way around the problem.

I didn’t really know here I was going, except that I was aiming to rejoin the road further south. So I ended up working my way through the Eifel and found myself in the upper reaches of the Ahr Valley. I was aware that the flooding had damaged the valley but it wasn’t until I reached the village of Müsch, where I saw the bridge had gone – and multiple buildings had been destroyed by the water – that it really hit home. Just as it had a few days earlier in Verviers. It was profoundly shocking. Mother Nature isn’t always nice.

I continued on and suddenly recognised a village and realised that I had once stayed there while visiting the Nürburgring. A few minutes later I was driving past the Ring itself and finally found my way back to the A61, not far south of Niederzissen – once the home of the Zakspeed F1 team – and Remagen, Rudi Caracciola’s home town. You see what I mean about the Rennsportstraße?

It was by then getting towards the evening and it was clear that I wasn’t going to get down to Stuttgart and so I decided to take it easy and detoured off to go down the Rhine Gorge and found a suitable room in a fantastic castle overlooking the river, not far from the Lorelei. This is a rock that rises 400 ft above the river and is a famous place for sailors and bargemen to drown. There is, so they say, a quiet murmuring near the cliffs, caused by some acoustic anomaly related to a waterfall, which sounds like the whisperings of wicked women (sailors have great imaginations) and this lures them to the rocks and an untimely death.

I cannot say I heard any seductive noises at all, as they were probably drowned out by passing trains, thumping great barges and coaches from which echoed noises like: “Oh, my god, like totally awesome”.

I rejoined the A61 in the morning down near Bingen and headed towards the land of Bernd Rosemeyer and Nico Rosberg, the latter being born in Wiesbaden – although he moved to Monaco when less than a year old, a sign not of a precocious talent but rather because his dad was earning good money at the time with McLaren.

After that the signs started to indicate that we were approaching Worm. I always smile when I see the name as I am transported back to school days when as scruffy kids we used to snigger in history lessons about the Diet of Worms, which was much more interesting when one considered it as a way to lose weight rather than dull days when the Holy Roman Emperor held an imperial diet – a sort of parliament – in Worms. Anyway, this is also Vettel country, as he hails from Heppenheim, a few miles up the road.

The A61 runs south from there towards Speyer, where it swoops across the Rhine and arrives at the Autobahndreieck Hockenheim, right by the circuit, where it stops dead.

I travelled on to Stuttgart, passing the old Solitude race track and Porsche’s racing headquarters at Weissach. After that racing cars faded, although George Russell had been announced as a Mercedes driver as I was passing Stuttgart. I belted across country to Ulm and then south to the land where the mad king Ludwig II of Bavaria built several eccentric castles, notably Neuschwanstein, in the Fussen area, where one goes into a tunnel that takes you into Austria.

The terrain is much more difficult after the border and the quality of the roads changes and I found myself in a rather strange traffic jam, heading up towards the Fern Pass. On the way, I went under a rather entertaining-looking suspended footbridge, across the valley, which must have been about 300 ft above the road and several hundred metres in length. But I was in a hurry and time was ticking onward and so I went on without stopping, down to the Inn valley.

For those who like esoteric facts, this was the valley along which the Paris-Vienna race travelled in 1902, heading east towards Innsbruck. I pondered for a moment whether I might go straight on and go through the Arlberg Pass where the racers 99 years ago suffered some wild adventures.

“Max, a driver of a Darracq car, had gone clean over the precipice,” wrote Charles Jarrott after the event. “As the car leaped over the edge, the mechanician had been thrown out on to the road. Max was also thrown out of the car after it had disappeared over the edge, and landed on a ledge some distance down, while the car was dashed to pieces in the depths below.”

The race, by the way, was Renault’s first major victory and helped turn what had been a cottage industry into a big player in the industry.

In the end, however, I stuck to my plan and turned south and climbed up to the Rechen Pass, where Austria becomes Italy and spent the night in a ski resort at Nauders, before going up the Stelvio the following morning. It’s a funny part of the world, where Italians speak German (hence Gunther Steiner being an Italian). At one point I passed a strange bell tower in the middle of a lake, left behind one supposes when the valley was dammed to create a lake. A funny lot, as I said.

As I was on the road there were further F1 announcements from Williams and Scuderia AlphaTauri, all which went entirely according to the stories already written – and so I didn’t need to worry too much about churning out copy. There is now just one F1 seat left for 2022 and it would be astonishing if this did not go to Guanyu Zhou, as he has considerable funding behind him, has done a good job in Formula 2, and the Alfa Romeo team, despite sounding all rather flash, is lacking money…

I spent some time thinking about the calendar on 2022, trying to put together all. The 2021 calendar is now done, despite some folk still looking for problems. The missing race will be in Qatar and will be confirmed once Monza is out of the way. Qatar will be on the calendar for the next 10 years and will be a night race. The other key thing of note is that Monaco will finally switch to being a three-day race meeting, rather than having an extra day. This means that the weekend before Monaco can host the Spanish GP and everyone can be in Monaco in time, including building the daft motorhomes that are barely being used these days… given the COVID restrictions.

And that is another story… the FIA COVID-19 Code of Conduct has been looking increasing feeble in recent weeks and things came to a head in Zandvoort where Kimi Raikkonen tested positive. The Finn had to give details of contacts and noted that he has had dined the previous evening with Williams team boss Jost Capito and others.

This was by no means the only such breach of the Code  over the weekend in Zandvoort but the high profile nature of it brought the whole process into the spotlight.

The situation is complicated by the fact that the COVID rules differ from country to country and what is sensible in one country is not sensible in another. Everyone involved in F1 is at the events to work and while some think their work more important than the work of others, the reality is that everyone is in the same situation and the sport should either police the rules that exist, or get rid of the restrictions for everyone.

The Code has done a great job of reducing the risks faced by the sport but almost everyone is now vaccinated and people are breaking the rules left, right and centre, although some are forced to still live by them and respect the intention to protect the sport. Others, however, have less respect and some team principals in particular have been behaving as though they are above the Code of Conduct and have been barely hiding visits to rival motorhomes, dinners and other interactions.

As the rules are seen to be broken without any penalties from the FIA, more breaches have occurred and the discipline that F1 has had for the last 14 months is breaking down. Some of those in powerful positions seem to think that they can now do whatever they like, while still expecting everyone else to behave as before. It is very much a case of “do what I say, not what I do”.

Hypocrisy is alive and well in F1… (sadly).

67 thoughts on “Green Notebook from the Stelvio Pass

  1. Please stop pushing for Zhou, it’ll be a joke if he gets a seat over De Vries/ Hulkenberg etc. Has not set world alight in F2 and has a poor career record compared to De Vries for example whos won 6 championships in last 12 seasons

      1. Joe, I challenge you to write and make sense for me of Zhou’s complex story and start with the words “President Trump’s zero handicap” (I’ll bet you a bottle from Marlborough country you can’t :-)) and include: Golf Courses – the ever so European sounding Reignwood Group – Chanchai Ruayrungruang – Yoovidhya family – Kratingdaeng and of course Dietrich. Everyone in China knows that Red Bull belongs to Yan Bin, tangled webs practiced to deceive.
        I can’t help but worry about an element of danger for the little Alfa team if certain personalities clash or get pig headed. And you might keep in mind the fragility of travel permits, so I won’t ask you to include Winnie.

      2. Is it true that Alpine / Renault will cut ties with him to allow him to drive for a team linked to Ferrari? If so, why would they do that? Breach of a contractual obligation to find him a seat themselves? Agreeing to be bought out of their interest? Or what?

    1. / whos won 6 championships in last 12 seasons/

      This really made me laugh. Why the hell would anyone give notice to titles won 10 years ago?
      One may feel sorry for Nyck as he wasn’t in the right place at the right time and there was no F1 seat available for him, but he isn’t the first champion of the second-tier series that might never make it. And Zhou is still a very serious contender for this year’s title.

      1. says the guy who no doubt wants Kubica in F1 at all costs. Somebody whos won that many championships, no matter how long ago merits an F1 drive. U may as well just trivialise everyones past achievements then and make it only relevant for the current season. What number should it not be relevant anymore Einstein? my point was hes won at all ages, varying disciplines and with fair regularity

  2. The journey along various Straße triggered memories of reading Patrick Leigh Fermor’s journey in 1933 from England to Istanbul (then further to the Mani). His journey, though, was by foot plus some guilty boat trips. Wonderful writing and experiences… I imagine he would have a blog these days?

    Also, during all the recent Dutch excitement, I was thinking back to Ecurie Maarsbergen so much. What a character, and the epitome of a lover of the sport.

  3. Joe, I wondered how you were going to get to Monza from Zandvoort really enjoyable reading, brought back some memories of my travels thorugh Europe over the years. As a more casual observer of F1 nowadays I wonder why some team principals (Wolff and Horner) can take their face mask off when speaking to Sky yet everyone else keeps theirs firmly on

  4. When one least expects it, the delta variant will strike. No one is immune, even when vaccinated.

  5. Hi Joe, it could be that the hypocrisy that you describe as being alive and well in F1 is in fact a deliberate act to ‘blend in’ – as I, and I suspect many others, find plenty of examples of rampant hypocrisy in almost every walk of life…. And just as is the case with F1, it nearly always follows the same pattern from the top: Do as I say, not as I do

  6. An educational trip between GP’s , thank you muchly.
    “Hypocrisy is alive and well in F1… (sadly).” this could come back and bite them, this pandemic is not over by any stretch. Stay safe, look forward to the next post.

  7. I think Rio Ferdinand (of that round ball and two nets game) summed up the issues in sport well this week. “We race as one” is just PR 🐂💩.

    Recently here in 🇿🇦 on the dark continent we had the BBC/ITV streaming service start and I thought of WRAO when watching Extra’s and “is he having a laugh”. Catch phrases stick, even when there is no substance behind it. After the offensive racism shown to English players after the Euro’s it was back to more of the same in 🇭🇺 for the English players, particularly Raheem Sterling. WRAO does not stop some doing as they please, as so well highlighted in this piece. Equality which is what it’s supposed to be geared for is clearly so selective based on who it is

    I think there really is a book in these columns Joe, A map with the zigzags of your journey, some extra info on what you see and pictures,. You could call it “My summer in the Prius”

    1. Perhaps I am the only one but, I have no idea whose flags those are. Nor do I have any interest in looking them up. They developed language so we wouldn’t have to guess what the pictures meant anymore.

  8. Speaking of calendar – do your thoughts include moving Montreal to May? Must say I really hope for this.

  9. My father was an amateur photographer and I have boxes of his photographs stretching between 1930 and 1995. I need a camera for my job and carry one at all times. Between 1980 and 2010 my photography consisted of work images. In 2008 I decided to take “hobby” photos whilst traveling around the country on work assignment. I have now amassed a massive album and my daughter has since done the same. I have taken some video but I find whereas video is watched once and never again, photographic images remain for later generations. It would be so nice to see photography accompanying your beautiful stories, and furthermore, your progeny could view and cherish them for decades to come.

  10. If everyone in the paddock is vaccinated why don’t they just drop the fake mask wearing and the fake social distancing, frankly it’s weird looking considering EU social life has largely returned to normal.

    1. Is everyone in the paddock vaccinated? Plus vacation seams to only reduce your odds of picking up delta Covid and the severity if you do pick it up.
      It’s very much with ing the bounds of possibilities that this year’s champion could be decided by the results of a stick up the nose.

  11. Yet another fascinating Green Notebook from you Joe, thank you. At school I had absolutely no interest in History & Geography but now in my 60’s find your writing both interesting & educational.
    Interesting that (as in politics) the powers that be in F1 are operating the ‘do as I say and not do as I do’ principle. As always those at the top always seem think that they are above the law, whatever it is.
    Regarding the mask wearing, it has struck me as strange that when the drivers are interviewed individually after the race with a socially distanced microphone and an interviewer shouting to them from what appears to be miles away, that they still both have to wear masks.

  12. Regarding Kerpen… I’m sure you’ll correct me if my marbles are letting me down, Joe, but I recall reading, a long time ago, that von Trips had been shown and was impressed with an early form of go-kart during his visit to Florida for the 1959 United States Grand Prix. So the story goes, he acquired several and shipped them home where they were put to work at his new go-kart track at Kerpen. With one Rolf Schumacher running the place at some point.

      1. Joe you caused me to try harder. I know you don’t do links so perhaps this post will not appear or will need to be edited. But go to An Ed Foster piece in August 2010 Motor Sport. That wasn’t where my recollection emanated but it would appear I was fairly close to the truth. Also check It’s open again. Cheers, Gary.

    1. I’m sure I read somewhere Rolf Schumacher ran the local kart track in Kerpen. But cannot remember where I read it.

  13. Joe, Great read, as always. Appropriate too…we have been touring in German speaking Italy all week. I was going to drive the Stelvio pass, but programmed the gps wrong and went on the autostrada instead. From what I hear, may have saved myself much aggravation.


  14. Joe As always a really enjoyable read. Your knowledge of the history of Motorsport and almost everything never ceases to amaze me. Maybe next year before The British GP we could return to The Mole Inn for dinner or maybe it’s older brother The Mole and Chicken near Thame. Best Wishes John

  15. Love these columns Joe. I think in the UK a large portion of the population has just got bored of COVID and seem to do do what they like. Even for the double vaccinated Long COVID is still a risk you can mitigate with sensible precautions. Stay safe and keep true to your values.

    A period of COVID ping induced isolation gave me time to read Grand Prix Saboteurs, an excellent window into a very different world.


  16. “It is just coming up to the 77th anniversary of the battle and it was astonishing to see so many of the houses flying flags of the Parachute Regiment in memory of those involved. It was very touching.”

    This really touched me, what a fantastic gesture by the Dutch. Pure class. Are you aware if anything such I wonder if anything like this happens elsewhere in Europe?

    1. christopher partridge: Yes. The Australian flag is flown in Villers-Bretonneux. The students there know more about the Anzacs in the war than most Aussies.
      cheers, build.

    2. Maybe I can elaborate a little bit more. There still is a strong sense of understanding, gratefulness and remembering, specially in the region Joe mentioned. Here is just one example because it is linked to Market Garden, but there are more. I just picked this one because it appeals to me.

      Joe writes he went from Arnhem to Venlo, which means he passed Nijmegen. There is a bridge called “De Oversteek” (The Crossing) crossing the Waal river. During the same Market Garden campaign allied forced crossed at that location as well. Successfully, but with the loss of 48 lives. The current bridge was opened in 2013. Shortly after an initiative started to do something with it. There are 48 light fixtures installed on the bridge and every sunset they light from south to north one by one at the pace of a soldiers march. Every sunset the lights are accompanied by a veteran. He or she walks with the lights, and therefore walks with the fallen soldiers. For seven years now so they’re on to march 2523 today I read. Every veteran can do the march, just go to the webpage and reserve a date. Note that a lot of dates are taken, up until December already. If you’re not a veteran, you are free to accompany one on one of their marches.

      Maybe Joe will allow links in a post as an exception.
      The website (including reservation page):

      Visuals (because less people read and stuff…)

  17. Just terrific again Joe. For others who have mentioned incorporating photography, your words are doing the job of it just fine. Be well.

  18. “Some of those in powerful positions seem to think that they can now do whatever they like, while still expecting everyone else to behave as before. It is very much a case of “do what I say, not what I do”.”
    No different from other large organisations such as National Governments then?

    Great reading as always, so interesting from a descriptive and historical point of view. Agree with Andrew Macdonald, there must be a book there when you finally put your feet up from F1 reporting – ever, never?

  19. I think Nick Heidfeld was from Monchengladbach. I wonder which city or town has produced the most F1 drivers… London, perhaps?

  20. Might seem like a random question but do you think we’ll get a surprise retirement of a certain 4 time champion soon?

  21. Really surprised that Qatar will stay for ten years. Is this a move purely produced by the circumstances of the pandemic, or was Liberty thinking about Qatar from before? Doubly surprised because the track doesn’t look like it would suit F1 all that well, it is clearly a bike circuit. Then again maybe the new regulations will allow overtaking there too.

    Perhaps the most surprising thing of all: with Miami also coming in next year, does that guarantee we’ll have a 24-race calendar next year? Or is a race going to drop out?

  22. Sad to see Orlen cash keeping Kubica at Alfa for a second weekend. Surely one of several promising young prospects could have used that chance to shine…

  23. Continuing the “Rennsportstrasse” theme, there was once a track in the town of Wegberg near Mönchengladbach. Called the Grenzlanding, this was a whopping 9.0km oval track built originally in 1938 by the Todt Organisation as a supply route for the Westwall (western defensive structure). After the war, the Mayor of Rheydt thought it might be a good idea to turn it into a race track after adding some banked sections to link up the roads, so he turned to the local car club which jumped at the chance. The trck was only in operation for 4 years, 1948-52, in the final year there was a fatal accident which led to it being closed permanently. The track is now a public road which you can drive on.

  24. Joe – if you write a travel book based on the theme of motor racing circuits of Europe and historical towns to do with motor racing, with both your historical information and personal travel anecdotes (basically a compilation of these blogs), I’d be first in the queue to buy it. As a lover of both travel and F1 I find it absolutely fascinating.

    1. Kristian… : Thoroughly agree. I’ve already suggested the same thing to Joe. We should band together and pester him. It would be a great coffee table book, travel guide and motorsport fan guide.
      cheers, build.

  25. I cannot say I heard any seductive noises at all, as they were probably drowned out by passing trains, thumping great barges and coaches from which echoed noises like: “Oh, my god, like totally awesome”. Sooooo, you’ve got California girls there, too????

  26. Amazing, interesting, as always, but I have to start reading it again with a map beside it.
    I wonder if your next book, which you previously hinted was about a family member, is to be concerning your above mentioned grandfather. Though your great great grandfather’s story is hard to beat.

    1. Google earth is a great tool for following along. Gives a great look at the terrain and elevations. And you can often see the features, old track sections, landmarks and such, that he is referring to.
      The Green Notebooks, while Joe has been on the Covid driving tour, have given us (wife) some great ideas of places to visit and things to see.

  27. Hi Joe,

    you mention your trip down the Rhine Gorge and the town of Remagen. Im sure you are aware but some of your readers may not be of the importance of that town and the bridge that once crossed the Rhine here for the outcome of WW2. Google up the Battle for Remagen and it is indeed an interesting read.
    I specifically took this route and it is a beautiful drive and to reflect on what took place.
    Love the travelogues being under lockdown here in the nanny states of Australia…….

  28. It is just coming up to the 77th anniversary of the battle and it was astonishing to see so many of the houses flying flags of the Parachute Regiment in memory of those involved. It was very touching.

    Cool detail! I just finished reading Beevor’s “The Battle of Arnhem” – didn’t realize how badly the Dutch suffered in the aftermath of the failure of Market Garden.

  29. Genuine question from someone that still has a lot to learn about the sport. How should one overtake through a chicane? It seems like if the attacking car gets alongside through the first part of the chicane the defending car just has to close the apex of the second part and force the attacking car off the road to prevent the overtake. If the attacking car bails on the overtake (across the inside of the chicane) they have to give the place back or take a penalty, if they don’t bail and the cars collide then they are judged to be at fault for causing a crash as they could have bailed across the inside of the chicane… if someone could point me to where I can find out -or explain it – it would be much appreciated! Cheers!

    1. I try: chicanes are installed to slow down the speed for either safety reasons or to create a braking zone in which overtaking might happen.
      If you cannot overtake in a chicane, don’t do it. Do it before or after.
      The car who enters a turn first, in front of another, has the right to define his way through it, and the guy behind must accept.
      And the latest piece that I have learned is that only when the guy behind sneakes his car’s nose as far forward as to the front man’s front wheels, the guy in front has to give him some room “to survive”.
      But I guess here are some folks around who know this detail better than me.

  30. Joe,
    Rather belatedly, here are two more locations and surnames to add to your “Motorsport Road”:
    After coming off the Stelvio you will have passed Sondrio – just north of where is the Valmalenco, home of the Fabi family. Nowadays Corrado runs the family business which is a talcum mine.
    Further down the valley is Lake Como (in 1987 the lake rose by over 2.5 metres after extremely heavy rain on the Stelvio). Their local motorsport hero is Arturo Merzario from Civenna, just outside Bellagio.
    As so many will agree, it’s the background stories from your green notebook which make it so much more interesting than just a recounting of facts (as against gossip!)

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