In an era when Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel brook no challenge from team mates and examples of ‘win at all costs’ dirty driving by, for example, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher suggest the concept of sporting behavior has arguably disappeared from top line racing. But it wasn’t always like this.
Right from the start in 1950 Formula 1 Grand Prix racing was always a team event. Team owners such as Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Maserati were more concerned with victory, no matter who sat behind the wheel. Precious few drivers rose above that core truism and those that did remain the class of their age – Juan Manuel Fangio, Alberto Ascari, Jim Clark, Stirling Moss and Jackie Stewart to name some of the few. However, not every driver can be a super hero and this is a story of just some of those drivers who played a supporting role to their dominant team leader and yet, on their day, they too tasted the champagne on the top step of the podium. I call them super-substitutes. One, in particular, stands out for me, and we will come to him shortly.