Shameful disqualification in Formula 1: the pilot was removed from the race for too low speed
The Canadian Grand Prix was the ninth of eleven races of the 1969 season – Jackie Stewart had already secured the championship, but still broke into the lead, ahead of Jacqui Ickx and Jochen Rindt. But unfortunately for Stewart, he comes across a circular Al Pease. The 48-year-old rider resists as if he is fighting for the championship – and at some point there is contact between the pilots!
This is not Pisa’s first incident during the race. Earlier, already losing a circle, he almost knocked Jean-Pierre Beltoise out of the race , but he was more fortunate – at least stayed in the race . Ken Tyrrell, whom Stewart was chasing, contacted the race directors in a rage and demanded that Pisa be removed from the race.
And after 22 laps, the judges really ordered to stop Pisa in the pits and disqualify the pilot. For “too slow driving”, as it was stated in the protocol – see the leaders by this moment drove 43! Neither before nor after this incident in Formula 1 have never been filmed racers with such a humiliating wording …
Royal Air Force illustrator
Al Pisa’s story begins in 1938, when he, a 17-year-old recruit of the British Army, is sent to serve in India. In a few years, he will enter the Royal Air Force – Pease will go to Rhodesia, fly the Tiger Mot and T-6 Texan, and then go to Egypt. With Pease transformed into a ready combat pilot, World War II came to an end. “My training was over, I was sent to the UK – but that was right before Victory Day,” Al later recalled.
Pease did not stay at home after so many years abroad and moved to the United States, where he looked for work as an illustrator. Al was not very lucky in this: he was considered a migrant, US laws prescribed certain quotas, beyond which it was impossible to hire foreign citizens. As a result, Pease went to Toronto: there were no such laws in Canada. In the end, Pease was able to settle in Canada and not only found a job, but also opened his own agency, among whose clients were, for example, General Motors.
Pease became interested in racing in the 50s and recalled that he first went to the start in 1952 or 1953. Then Al was in his 30s, he managed to find sponsors, which was not too difficult: his father himself sponsored various motorcycle racers. Pease, however, gravitated more towards cars.
And Pease started performing relatively well! Al got behind the wheel of everything that moves – from quiet Minis to charged MGBs and Grand Prix cars. At the national level, Pease has achieved podiums, often won. Moreover, in 1964, the Canadian Racers Association chose him as the pilot of the year!
Along with Villeneuve
Success on the Canadian scene inspired Pisa to try his hand at racing more seriously. He began competing in endurance races and even went to the start of “12 Hours of Sebring”, but did not make it to the finish line due to technical problems. And in 1967, at the age of 46, he went to the start of the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix in Mosport! True, after the start, Pease fell back to the last place, and during the race he had the battery changed three times, which still failed in the middle of the distance.
In the same year, Pease intended to drive stages in the United States and Mexico, but eventually abandoned these plans, but returned a year later to the Canadian Grand Prix. Alas, even before the start, the engine failed, Al again missed the race. Well, in 1969 he came to the stage again, successfully qualified, went to the start – and knocked out Jackie Stewart, being disqualified for driving too slowly.
Jackie Stewart and the others were shocked by Pisa’s speed
Shameful, you cannot say otherwise, the disqualification could not cool the rider’s ardor: in 1970 he continued to race in Formula A, and although he was already under 50, Al won one of the races. Pease would have chased further, but now he did not have enough money to finance his career: large sponsors were rapidly coming to motorsport, the cost of participation was growing.
However, Pease did not abandon motorsport and played an important role in the Canadian Motorsport Federation and is considered one of those who helped organize and provide legal support for motorsport sponsorship in the country. In parallel, Pease from time to time went to the start of classic races, but was already primarily a functionary from motorsport, and in 1998 he was enrolled in the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame, where he is now listed along with Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve and Greg Moore, who died tragically in California. …
Al Pease died on May 4, 2014 at the age of 92 at his home in Tennessee.