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Jarama, June 1st
For the world of motor-racing politics, the Spanish Grand Prix will be remembered as a pretty momentous event, fur flying with all and sundry swiping each other with their handbags, but Motor Sport is here to chronicle events in predominantly motor racing terms. We also only appear monthly, so that if we seem to treat the off-track events at Madrid's Jarama circuit during Spanish Grand Prix weekend merely in passing, it is basically because by the time you, the reader, digest this report, the political scene will probably have changed half a dozen times over!
We should remember that all the Grand Prix teams turned up in Spain primarily to contest the Spanish Grand Prix motor race over 80 laps of the tight little 3.404 kilometre circuit which lies alongside the main Madrid to Burgos road. All the regular teams were present, but owing to a major "who runs what" dispute, basically between the Federation Internationale Sport Automobile (FISA) and the Formula One Constructors' Association (FOCA), there were three teams who declined to take part in the event. Although keen as mustard about the business of motor racing, the Renault, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari teams decided that there was some valid doubt as to whether the race qualified as an officially sanctioned event under FISA auspices and chose not to run rather than jeopardise their many other motor racing and rallying involvements throughout the world. There is a tendency to get so wrapped up in the business of Grand Prix racing that one forgets that there are other legitimate areas of motoring sport, just as important in their own ways, outside the spectrum of Formula One.