We catch up with Stewart Bell, a Melbourne-based journalist, editor, producer, broadcaster and a true Formula 1 specialist. Let’s see who and what Stewart picked for his fantasy Formula 1 set!
It’s obvious that an Ayrton Senna-Michael Schumacher driver line-up would combine the best of electrifying Latin intensity and Teutonic focus, each pushing the other to the absolute limit. But for my personal Formula 1 team, I would love to see Juan Pablo Montoya teamed up with Niki Lauda, both at their peak. That would make for an incredible, competitive line-up.
The perfect team owner would be Red Bull’s Dietrich Mateschitz, who understands the sport, who would provide a top-team budget and who has the brand to bring fun and style into the Formula 1 paddock. He’d likely send motorsport consultant Dr Helmut Marko to look after our junior team and do more media for lots of attention-grabbing quotes.
Bernie Ecclestone. His experience and influence speaks for itself – across all spheres of the sport – and if we had the right technical team, he wouldn’t be afraid to let them get on with it. It’d be great to see him return as a Team Principal, and would make for a truly fascinating story as we built our competitiveness in the sport.
If we have Mr Ecclestone, then it’d be great to bring back design genius Gordon Murray. One of Formula 1’s greatest-ever technical brains, Murray was the mastermind behind a string of championship-winning cars for Brabham and McLaren. He’d find some fantastic loopholes in the regulations and create a brilliant, innovative title-winning car.
There’s no shortage of gorgeous, competitive Grand Prix cars to choose from. My favourite of all-time is McLaren’s MP4-15 from 2000, which is a sculptured beauty with a stunning engine note. But if we’re going to win the title – I would go for the squad’s 1988 MP4-4. And I’d tell the drivers to look out for Jean-Louis Schlesser at Monza.
If we’re going to run a classic livery, it has to be that from the 1997 Williams FW19. But looking at the current grid, there’s no green team – so I’d go for Jaguar’s debut car in 2000, the R1. We’d make it fit with Red Bull branding, given our team owner, replacing the white jaguar outline with a bull. It’d stand out on the grid!
For more of Stewart’s work, head to www.theinsideline.com or (check your local guides to) watch The Inside Line on TV.