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Ecclestone recreates F1's 'Gang of Four' – only now there are five

21 October 2010

One of the most famous and evocative photographs in F1 history has been recreated in the build-up to this weekend's inaugural Korean Grand Prix – with the sport's ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone bringing back nostalgic memories of yesteryear's 'Gang of Four' with today's 'Gang of Five'.

Almost a quarter of a century ago, as the 1986 F1 title fight reached fever pitch, the four drivers in with a shout of lifting the laurels – Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet, the late Ayrton Senna and the man who would become world champion for the second time in his career that year, Alain Prost – were assembled on the pit wall in Adelaide ahead of the decisive Australian Grand Prix for a group photo with Ecclestone.

At the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam County today (Thursday), the five protagonists for the F1 2010 crown – Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button – similarly came together for just such a picture alongside Ecclestone, although admittedly the antipathy between the quintet is not on a remotely similar level to that which raged between Messrs. Mansell, Piquet, Senna and Prost, the very factor that made the original shot so memorable and such a unique achievement.

“It was good to do the photo with all the guys,” remarked world championship leader Webber, “going back all those years with some of our heroes obviously in those [1986] photos.”

In 1986, it was the driver second-from-left, or third-from-right, in the shot who went on to triumph. Should history repeat itself 24 years on, either Alonso or Webber would doubtless be a very happy man indeed.

To see a gallery of the pictures, click here


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