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The Scarlet Pimpernel
I came here in 1979 and 1980 and each time it was a French victory. "Jean-Marie Balestre was in the mood to crow at his Saturday morning press conference in Sao Paulo, when he recalled the successes of Jacques Laffite and Rene Arnoux. He'd dragged himself to Brazil "despite precarious health state" and said he'd enjoyed the reception he got from "a raving crowd" of angry Paulistas still steaming after his treatment of their beloved Ayrton Senna over the winter. "This is my third visit," he went on, "but I am not trying to manipulate the World Championship!"
As the President made that jocular remark the chances of a French success seemed, shall we say, unlikely. The Ferraris couldn't make their qualifiers work and it was Senna, the local hero, all the way in his own backyard, on one of the circuits (or a derivation thereof) on which he'd cut his racing teeth. Things were going just the way his delirious fans had hoped. The end result, however, was different.