The Other Roseberg

Nico Rosberg is fast but was his dad faster? Keke Rosberg was the 1982 F1 World Champion when he took the title with just one GP victory (remarkably there were ten different GP winners that season) and he was known for being super cool, a touch arrogant and a trough racer. No better illustration of this than in the 1985 British GP at Silverstone. Driving a Williams-turbo Renault, the walrus moustachioed Finn had some 1250 bhp in qualifying trim. It was a rain hit weekend but on Saturday in qualifying it was dry and Rosberg sat on provisional pole before the showers began again. Rosberg sat in the pits, feet up, chain smoking Marlboro and relaxed that no-one could beat his time. But, the rain stopped and the track began to dry. Cars left the pits, times began to fall and Rosberg was under threat. Stubbing out another Marlboro, on went the helmet and into the car. With 5 minutes left before the session ended Rosberg left the pits. Halfway round the timed lap the car twitching and fighting for grip the rain began again which with a slow puncture was creating major handling problems. Rosberg never lifted off the throttle – absolutely committed. As he flashed across the line he took pole by over half-a-second and had also set the first ever 160mph lap in Formula One history. A target that had never been achieved in the dry in a perfect car; let alone on a rain wet track in a limping racer. Quite incredible.

Write a comment