-Larrauri, do you want to drive in a Formula 1 Grand Prix to test the car? It’s 15 minutes. And I give you the choice: Imola, Silverstone, Monza and Spa Francorchamps.

The past and present, separated by 36 years, came together in less than 30 words. From Switzerland, who bought the EuroBrun ER188 with which the Santa Fe native Oscar Larrauri ran in 1988 he made that offer impossible to refuse. “And I chose Imola, I liked it because it seems not so complicated to me, do you understand me?” account Poppy before getting into the car, this Saturday at the Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit, where Formula 1 will compete on date 7 and he will have his wife and children, Gaspar (15) and Amy (17) in the stands.

“For me it is remember a past because the present I have is different. My children don’t know anything about my history and this is part of showing them who dad was. -remarks-. It’s what I value most: being able to experience it with my family. He had lived it alone, because he was single, but today I have my children who are going to enjoy it. What do I know, that they call me is also a recognition. I think it is a very nice energetic charge at this age of my life, I am 69 years old. And it is being able to go through the past a little, today I am here on that path, right? I am happy”.

Oscar Larrauri in the 1988 Brazilian Grand Prix that could not start due to an electrical failure.  (Clarin Archive)Oscar Larrauri in the 1988 Brazilian Grand Prix that could not start due to an electrical failure. (Clarin Archive)

In that 1988 season of an F1 with pre-classification, Larrauri managed to enter the starting grid of eight Grand Prix, although the first one – the one from Brazil – was not raced due to an electrical problem before the start. Two tests later, he surprised in Monaco. He did a great job in the rain, which allowed him to qualify 18th – while his teammate, Stefano Módena, failed to get among the 26th in the final – although he abandoned the race on lap 14.

In the following Grand Prix, that of Mexico, he achieved his best result (13th), while he returned to consecutively enter the finals in Canada, the United States and France. He then went 16th at the Hockenheimring circuit (Germany) and managed to be in the last race of the year, the one in Australia. In 1989 he continued in the Euro Brun team, but, with a record of 39 entries, he could no longer pass pre-qualification nor could the team put a car on the grid.

Larrauri with the Eurobrun in 1988.Larrauri with the Eurobrun in 1988.

“I hope I feel it like I felt in my youth.”, anticipates what will happen this weekend about the car. “We would have to see if I had the capacity to manage it, right? Today the mind, or the brain, orders you something and sometimes putting it into practical action is complicated, and even more so if we are talking about Formula 1, otherwise people would continue racing at 60 or 70.. But there comes a point when the reflections do not work, he maintains. We’d have to see… After a couple of laps, I would be able to tell you where I stand. But of course it’s going to be a thrill. Press the brake and feel it stop, live it, right? Because one has communication with the car. Although it is not an emotional bond, one understands it and interprets it.”

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-For drivers, the car is an extension of the body.

-It is an extension, exactly. Because you move the steering wheel and it responds, you press the brake and if you press it harder, you brake more and if you don’t press it, it doesn’t brake, what do I know. It’s something very nice. I think it is an experience that will be unique for me: I drove that car 36 years ago, a lifetime ago.. My children don’t know anything. It’s very simple: I’m happy.

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-What does it mean to you that they have chosen you to manage it?

-It is a nice opportunity for me and I feel proud. It means that one has thrown seeds in different parts of the world. It’s a nice experience. I always believe in the hand of God: he accompanied me throughout my sporting career and in my old age he still continues to reward me. In short, this is part of an award: having people choose you and tell you ‘I came to drive your old car’ is a source of pride for me. Can I tell you an anecdote?

-Yes of course.

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