If you just started watching Formula One in the last few years, you might only know the McLaren-Honda partnership as the team that is wasting its world class driver and can’t keep their car on the track. That was not always the case, to put it mildly.
Back in the golden age of F1, the 1980’s, drivers didn’t have the electronic aids of today’s drivers, leading many to believe that the all time greatest drivers came from this era and McLaren-Honda’s stable of stars back up that argument. Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost were two of the very best and Stefan Johansson was teammates with both of them at some point.
In this video, Johansson discusses the Turbo Era in which cars regularly put out 1500 horsepower and had to be rebuilt after every qualifying session. The utter savagery of the cars demanded the very best from the drivers. Johansson laughs when remembering engineers asking about how the car felt and he would respond,
“What are you talking about? It’s just a big blur the entire lap.”
As for the Senna vs Prost rivalry? Johansson admits Senna was insanely quick but says Prost was the more complete racer.
We can only hope that future F1 can find some of the magic from this bygone era.