Formula 1 History: 1982 South African Grand Prix drivers strike
The 1982 South African Grand Prix was a Formula 1 race held at Kyalami on January 23rd, 1982. It was the first race of the 1982 season. Strike action was taken by the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, led by Niki Lauda and Didier Pironi, to protest the new super license conditions imposed by FISA, which tied drivers to a single team for up to three years. A late compromise was reached and the race went ahead. All drivers who participated were fined between $5,000-$10,000 dollars and handed suspended race bans. The FIA Court of Appeal later reduced the penalties and criticised FISA's handling of the dispute. Alain Prost went on to win the race and Niki Lauda participated in his first race after two years out of F1 and finished fourth.
When the season started, only five drivers of twenty-five had signed their contracts (which included the super-liscence clause). Pironi and Lauda stated the case that “there should only be contracts that were mutually binding . . . if I [Lauda] am not allowed to leave McLaren, then McLaren is not allowed to fire me.” At a meeting of the drivers before the race, in was established that, with the exception of Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass, they were all in favor of holding out. It was decided that the drivers would call a strike and boycott practice on Thursday. In the words of Lauda, “Driver solidarity had never been all that impressive in Formula 1, not even in the days of Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart . . . In this instance . . . driver solidarity was extremely important because we couldn’t afford to let the united front crumble.
Niki then thought of the plan TO RENT A BUS. YEAH. At seven in the morning on Thursday, a bus drew up to the track and parked at the entrance of the paddock. Inside it was a chafferer, Pironi and the undersigned. As each other drivers arrived, they were asked to park their cars and “get into the bus. They were going for a ride.” Ickx and Mass wouldn’t go along but all the others took their places on the bus instead of the grid. Everyone “seemed happy and there was a sense of strength through unity.” They took the bus the long way to a beautiful hotel in Johannesburg. Pironi then found out that there was news that all the drivers would be banned for life if they participated in this. All the drivers, of course, ignored this and instead chilled out at the pool and had a “really splendid day.” Bernie Ecclestone gave an ultimatum to Piquet and Patrese and both of them had effectively been “sacked.”
The younger drivers gave issue because they were more afraid of getting banned or fined for broken contracts. The good mood persisted through dinner and there was a lot of laughter when they had to ask the hotel manager for a room. ONE ROOM. ONE ROOM FOR ALL THE DRIVERS. They were given a “small banquet suite” and there was a piano but the bathroom was down the hall. They called up some sheets and spread them on the floor along with some mattresses. Roberto Guerrero manager came to the room with his girlfriend and tried to coax him out of it. Guerrero and his girlfriend broke down into tears but then they kicked the manager out and allowed the girlfriend to some inside instead. Gilles Villeneuve and Elio de Angelis began playing the piano and the atmosphere “picked up again.” Arrows team chief Jacky Oliver came and tried to force himself into the room and even brought the POLICE along. They managed to get the door halfway open before all the diets pushed it shut and used the piano to block the door. The younger drivers began to panic and most of them went to Lauda for reassurance. Throughout it all, Pironi and Nelson Piquet were lightening the mood through strength and jokes.
Eventually, they had to get some sleep. Since the bathroom was down the hall, there was one room key they all had to use. They put it on a plate in the middle of the room and crossed their hearts (Niki’s words) that they would use the bathroom and come straight back with the key. However, Teo Fabi chickened out and left with the key and never returned. Then proceeds to take a vote to see if they could continue and the vote was unanimous. In the end, Pironi came to terms with Balestre and they ended up wining the battle.
697 notes · View notes
Hold onto your butts, and find out how Niki and James wound up with twelve kids...
Bruno: Dad. Where do we all come from?
Niki and James: *Confused looks *
James: What do you mean Bruno?
Bruno: Well, Niki already explained to us where babys come from. But he said you nead a man and a woman for that. And you are both men, so... *gears in brain scraping *
Niki and James exchange a knowing look.
James: Well, you see Bruno, we all got you guys from somewhere. You for example were found by uncle Jackie.
Everybody perking up.
Bruno excited: Really?!
James nods: Uh hu. But you know, uncle Jackie and uncle Francois weren't sure if they were quite ready to have a child so they decided to give you to old Niki and I. After all, we already had Nigel and Elio.
Nelson mumbling to Gilles: That doesn't sound fake at all.
Gilles: *hisses for Nelson to be quiet *
Gilles: Wait, and where did uncle Jackie find Bruno?
James cryptically: He never told us.
Gilles: And me? Where did you get me?
James easy going: Oh you, we found you in the dumpster.
Didier starts laughing and Gilles looks horrified.
James chuckles: Yeah, and Didier liked you so much that he talked us into keeping you. He called you his 'trash brother'.
Didier laughs: I don't even remember that, but I'm okay with that.
Gilles glaring: And where'd you get that hyena from *nods at Didier *
James: Oh, some auction. Niki wanted a plane but, you see, Didier was much cheeper.
Gilles starts laughing and now Didier looks horrified. He looks over at Niki for some support but Niki just shruggs.
Niki: He was quite cheep.
By now, everybody is laughing or snickering and really interested in the story.
Andrea: And me?! Where'd you get me.
James: Well, you see--
Niki butting in: We were at the zoo one day.
James: *stares *
Niki: And at the erm... sea lion exhibit with Jacques and Elio, and there was this lone kid there as well. Just sitting in a stroller, with a paper clip pinned to it that read, 'take if you want'.
Andrea stares in shock, and James has to fight to suppres his laughter.
Jacques: And I? What about me?!
Niki: You know those storage auctions.
James catching on: Yeah, when you rent a garage or something to store your stuff in. If you stop paying the rent, at some point they're just gonna auction the garage and all the stuff in it.
Jacques nods slowly.
Niki: Well, we went to one of those auctions for a weekend and *shrugs * you were in the unit that we got.
Jacques: *stares with big eyes *
Alain thoughtfull: I don't know... That doesn't really sound right.
James catching on quickly: Don't tell me you don't remember how we got you Alain.
Alain shakes his head and quietly stares at James.
James pretending to be shocked: You don't remember how you just dropped out of the trees when we were hiking in the woods?
Niki nods: I don't know for how long you've been living there all by yourself. But we really managed to integrate you nicely.
René: Wait, Alain was a wild child? Like Mogli?
René, almost afraid to ask: And me?
Niki: Well, we went to the bakery one day.
James: And you were there too, all by your lonesome, staring at the cakes with eyes all big and teary. We couldn't not pick you up.
Gilles, totally enraptured at this point: And Nelson? *pointing at Nelson *
Niki snorts: Nelson? He was just there all of a sudden.
Gilles and Nelson simultaniously: Huh?
Niki: I was grocery shopping one day, with Alain and Elio, and when I got back into the car he sat in the passenger seat. Just said, 'you're my new family now' and crossed his arms all pouty.
Gilles snickers: You were pouting.
Nelson: No I was not! *pouts *
Patrick excited: Me. Me. What about me?
Niki: There was this carnival one day.
James: That all the kids really wanted to go to.
Nelson rolling his eyes: And let me guess, you won Patrick at one of the stands. Can knockdown maybe.
James frowns: No, Nigel won.
Niki: And it wasn't can knockdown but duck fishing.
Elio excited: And Nigel and I? What about us.
James: Oh you two are adopted *waves him off *
Everybody laughs, except for Elio and Nigel. Elio looking quite hurt.
James hurries: We adopted you from a witch.
Elio excited: Really?
Niki: Well Nigel. You we adopted from a fairy.
Elio: *heart eyes *
Riccardo meekly: And what about me?
James: Well... *rubbing his chin *
Niki: Erm... *scratching his forehead *
Gilles: Hey, do you guys remember those storys you told us, about how you got us all. Just so you didn't have to tell us that we're all adopted?
Niki over the newspaper: I don't know what you mean trash baby...
Gilles: *stares, contemplating his life *
Elio: You know, you never told us where you got Ayrton from though.
Niki and James exchange a look.
Niki and James: Well, there was this shooting star one night...
28 notes · View notes
Niki: Taking the kids on a train ride because James broke the sardin can VW.
Niki: At least he managed to get us all seats in one compartment.
Niki: Emerson and Ronnie are sitting with us *mumbles * my condolences.
Niki: Alain is hanging off of Emerson's arm the whole time and-
Alain to Emerson: Uncle Emerson can you tell me a story about Colin Chapman.
Niki: Elio has snuggled up to Nigel and is sleeping. What is Nigel doing you may ask? He's eating. But this time we have enough food for everyone.
Niki looks at James, who looks to be deeply relieved by that fact.
A bit later:
Niki: Nelson and Andrea managed to persuated James into running through the train to go see the conductor.
Niki pans camera to show Patrick and Ronnie, both in deep conversation.
Niki: Patrick actually started a serious discussion with Ronnie.
A bit later again:
Niki: Gilles has been poking me in the side for minutes *turns to Gilles * What is it?
Gilles grimaces: I have to pee.
Bruno: *looking out of the window and amazed by the landscape *
Niki: Don't drool on the window!
Niki to Gilles: We'll gonna go find the toilet in a moment, alright.
Niki: René's hopping around on the vacated seats of James, Nelson, Andrea and Jacques. *rolls eyes *
Niki: Didier is reading a book and being quiet... I mean, I don't wanna say that Didier's the only good kid, but... he kinda is.
Didier sticks his tongue out to Gilles, who sticks his tongue out right back.
Niki: And this time we didn't forget Riccardo.
Niki thinks about it for a second and suddenly turns pale.
Niki: Wait a second... where is Jacques.
That would start the desperate search of the compartment for Jacques. All the while Gilles won't shut up about the fact that he still needs to pee, and Didier threatning to lock him in the toilet after they finally managed to locate it.
James gets yelled at by Niki once he gets back with Nelson and Andrea but this time he won't take it. Nelson and Andrea wanted to see the conductor, there was never any mention of Jacques.
In the end they manage to locate Jacques, he had fallen asleep on the overhead rack. Emerson noticed him once he started snoring.
And according to Jacques, he went there because he needs to be higher up on train rides or else he feels sick.
Emerson and Ronnie really question how Niki and James manage to handle the boys and how none of them have ended up dead yet.
By the by, they didn't forget Riccardo... if you can count Riccardo being in an entirely different compartment the entire train ride, talking to Jochen and only rejoining the group once they reached their destination, as not forgetting.
13 notes · View notes