1984 Brazilian Grand Prix: An Overshadowed Overachievement
By: Jeremy McMullen
2014 Acura RLX
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By: Jeremy McMullen
| In 1983, a little-known Belgian driver by the name of Thierry Boutsen would buy his way into a drive with the Arrows Racing Team in time to take part in the Belgian Grand Prix. Though he would retire early in the race, he would follow the performance up with two-straight near misses of the points, beating his teammate in the process. He had been close with a car that was already overreaching. One year later, competing with an older and underdeveloped car, championship points couldn't have seemed any further away.
Even when Thierry Boutsen joined the Arrows team in time for the Belgian Grand Prix in 1983, it was well known the team was not one of the more competitive teams up and down the paddock. Filled with talented people, but thin in budget, the team's engineers and designers had a lot of ideas of how to improve their cars but didn't have the capital to see it done. Nonetheless, the team managed to hang around the midfield and would seem to come away with a point or two when others faltered.
For a young driver, struggling teams are often the first stop in their Formula One journey. Whether meant to teach humility, or, just to give the driver experience, such moments are rarely opportunities for great results. But when those opportunities present themselves, it is incumbent upon the young drivers to take advantage of them if they have a desire to earn a better ride.
The problem Boutsen had is that Belgium was a small racing market. He had no money to buy a better seat. Therefore, a drive with Arrows would be the best he could get, unless he could work with the team and the car to get it to do more than it was truly capable. Unfortunately, that often meant doing so with older equipment. But if there was a man equal to such a task it would be Boutsen.
'Grands Prix/1984/Brazil', (http://www.manipef1.com/grandprix/1984/brazil/). ManipeF1. http://www.manipef1.com/grandprix/1984/brazil/. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
'Grand Prix Results: Brazilian GP, 1984', (http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr389.html). GrandPrix.com. http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr389.html. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
'1984 World Drivers Championship', (http://www.silhouet.com/motorsport/archive/f1/1984/f184.html). 1984 World Drivers Championship. http://www.silhouet.com/motorsport/archive/f1/1984/f184.html. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Thierry Boutsen', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 14 June 2012, 11:08 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Thierry_Boutsen&oldid=497534680 accessed 3 July 2012
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