Inspired by Moss and Villeneuve
Mike Thackwell, born on 30th of March 1961 in Papakura New Zealand, was one of the most talented and precocious drivers of his generation.
The fifth youngest driver ever to qualify for a Grand Prix, he participated in five of them, making his first start on 28 September 1980 at the Canadian Grand Prix. Having been disillusioned with motorsport, he turned his back on it at the end of 1988.
As a young driver in New-Zealand, Mike Thackwell remembers, his influences included Rudolf Caracciola, Stirling Moss and later Gilles Villeneuve. The Kiwi says there was something noble about the way they conducted themselves.
“Look at the way Moss and Jenkinson won the Mille Miglia”, he explains, “They crossed the finish line and simply raised a hand (picture below). They didn’t jump and do somersaults and beat their chest; I find that really disturbing when there is no humility in victory, but that’s me, I’m from an older generation.”
“Am not vainglorious. I got out of the sport because of the vanity, the greed, self-obsession, the elitism and the lack of humbleness.”
Food for thought, certainly.