Brazilian driver Emerson Fittipaldi temporarily weathered the fuel crisis on Friday (January 4) when supporters managed to gather enough fuel for a test run on Sao Paulo's Interlagos circuit in the McLaren M23 car.
GV Racing car without wheels
SV mechanic pours oil into car
SV Mechanic mounting nose on car
CU Fittipaldi taking to Alistar Calduell (McLaren Team Chief)
SV Fuel poured form car into car via large funnel
CU Emblem on car 0.38
GV Fittipaldi & Caldwell stand beside car
GV Pan Car drives off down racing track
GV Car on straight
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Background: Brazilian driver Emerson Fittipaldi temporarily weathered the fuel crisis on Friday (January 4) when supporters managed to gather enough fuel for a test run on Sao Paulo's Interlagos circuit in the McLaren M23 car.
The test was held amid a crisis which erupted on Thursday (January 3), when Brazil's National Petroleum Council announced a ban on the use of partrol for Formula-One motor racing. The ban would affect not only the McLaren testing programme before the Argentine Grand Prix on January 13, but also the running to the Brazilian Grand Prix on January 27.
With the Petroleum Council adamant that it would not provide any high-octane petrol for the Brazilian Grand Prix, the organisers on Saturday (January 5) announced they would import the so-called "green" racing fuel form argentina or Venezuela.
But the Council President said the importation of fuel would require the approval of his organisation. He told reporters he did not see why the race should have scarce green petrol when many Brazilian mail aircraft using the same fuel were grounded because of its shortage.
Despite the uncertain situation, Fittipaldi began testing the M23 McLaren car on Friday, and pronounced it better than either the Lotus or Tyrell cars he'd driven previously. It was the first Formula-One car totally redesigned under the new safety rules issued last year, and has already won three Grand Prix races.
Fittipaldi is favoured to win this year's World Championship; he won the title in 1972 and was runner-up to Jackie Stewart last year. This year he left the Lotus team to become Number One driver for McLaren.