4. Alan Jones
Heheh. AJ. On winning at France, he said it was good to stick it to the frogs (Renault and their turbo engines). According to Patrick Head, AJ is the quintessential Williams driver. No holes barred, always gave his all, won a world championship, battle another season, then gave it up to ride his mower on his farm in Australia. Got bored with that then came back to collect some big fat cheques for Lola Ford. Then he raced in Australia for a bit, including a stint racing with old mate Colin Bond in Alfa Romeo GTV6s (inarguably the coolest car of all time). Bonus points for being an Aussie and doing it always in an “I don’t give a fuck no nonsense fuck all that bullshit” way that only Aussies like Sir Jack and old mate Webbo do.
AJ battling at the sand dunes, 1980 Dutch Grand Prix.
Alan Jones, true Australian hero.
1981 was going down to the wire. World Champion Alan Jones was out of the title race, but his team mate Carlos Reutemann lead Brazilian youngster Nelson Piquet by a single point, with Frenchman Jacques Laffite six points behind Reutemann on 53 points.
After movements on the first lap, Piquet found himself directly behind rival Reutemann in points positions as Jones went off to dominate the race en route to victory. Reutemann was eventually passed by Piquet and many others and have a poor race finishing out of the points. Piquet, dogged by fatigue all weekend due to the weather, was visibly effected and his neck unable to hold up to the high speed anti-clockewise circuit (most circuits are clockwise and neck strength is commonly built up on one side) and was overtaken by Brit Nigel Mansell dropping to fifth but still holding on for the points to win. Laffite finished sixth with one points, Reutemann finished a lap down on his team mate and in eight position. Piquet won the title and despite Reutemann losing the title the Williams team celebrated the quintessential Williams driver Alain Jones’ victory (and I don’t mean that as a metaphor or hyperbole, both Patrick Head and Sir Frank have said he was Williams embodied).
Benetton boys, bottom right. Teo Fabi’s haircut was always amazing.
Alan Jones (1946) en un Williams Ford FW05 (1980).
Alan Jones’ world championship season. This was also the last time two cars that weren’t Ferraris had the numbers 27 and 28, sans Alain’s first season with the Scuderia in 1990 (where they were adorned by the McLarens).
AJ and Mario given it their all at Long Beach.