The holidays are again behind us, with some very pleasant motoring to be remembered fondly. At the moment of writing, we are sitting behind the wheel of the very original Citroen Cactus, and its bright yellow livery lets the sun still shine a bit in our car loving hearts, even when the weather gods want to drown us into autumn.
Bravo for Citroen, to design and build such a refreshing car. Refreshing in clean simplicity, style, practicality. Unique again, with much original design details. We will soon comment more about it. The Cactus has every bit to become a cult car, in our modest opinion.
We also drove the new Nissan Juke and X-Trail, and the technical maturity and finish of these cars made us consider how good and fruitful alliances can be. The know-how the Renault-Nissan alliance now combines is uncanny, and delivers quite state of the art technology and vehicles. Advanced Diesel engines, infotainment and electronics, driver assistance systems, all the areas of technology are explored, all registers are played. Soon, I will attend the Electric Vehicle presentation of Nissan with its new version of the Leaf.
On the other end of the spectrum, there is Renault's collaboration with Daimler, not at least with Smart. The new Twingo is also the result.
In the meantime, Daimler is not sitting on its hands. It launched its first all electric Denza, engineered and built together with BYD exclusively in China, for the Chinese market. German manufacturers are steaming ahead in China, definitely going global, leaving no markets untouched.
Turning the pages in my rediscovered Alfred Neubauer book, thinking about that historic Belgian Grand Prix in 1955, it made me rather sad.
We see history almost repeating itself. Almost that is, because Stirling Moss stayed respectfully behind the Mercedes of Fangio, admiring every inch of the way the technique of the master.
Not so this year, Rosberg cicked into his team mate in Francorchamps. Of course, Mercedes did not like this. Nor did Neubauer by the way. He found that Stirling drove always too close behind Fangio. "When he makes a mistake, you will hit him", Alfred Neubauer warned. "Yes," answered Stirling, "but then Fangio never makes a mistake"...
You can read all this in the book of Alfred Neubauer. Telling about a time when racing drivers were still gentlemen...like Caracciola, posing here in 1939 donned in his cloth racing cap, with his second wife "Baby"...
Hans Knol ten Bensel