Someone had given me a Coke. I remember smashing the bottle against the ground as I went off to the transporters. Yet, despite it all, my mind was cold. Absolutely cold. In neutral. All my concentration had been exhausted and I felt empty, as I always do at the end of a race. Piers' death had come as a shock, but there was no way left for me to show it. There was nothing left inside me.
June 25. Piers' funeral was in Essex in a small country church. The organist wasn't very good and the choir was composed of ladies from the village, yet it couldn't be any other way. For Piers, the son of English aristocracy, it had to be in a place where dignity would prevail without public grandeur.
At the grave, near the home of Piers' parents, Sally was distraught, destroyed, and that made me feel worse than anything. I cried right there in the open. Helen, too, and most everyone else, I think. Later we went back to the house and saw the family. Piers' grandmother was there with the aunts, uncles, brothers and all the other relatives. "So nice of you to come, and we thank you for doing so much for Piers in Holland," she said cordially, even with a smile. "We really do appreciate all you've done." I became quite upset in the face of her strength.
Piers' father said much the same thing. "It was very nice of you to come. I know how busy you are, and to come all this way...it's really quite wonderful of you."
I told him I was terribly sorry. There was nothing more I could say, except that Piers had once explained his racing to me with something he had told his father.
"Father, you had the war," Piers had said. "I didn't."
Mr. Courage's face softened and he nodded. "Yes, I suppose that's right. I had forgotten that."
Sally was standing in the corner of the garden. She had had sedatives and people were coming to her with their condolences. Alejandro de Tomaso, the Argentinian who builds cars in Italy, was there and I heard Sally thank him for making Piers such a wonderful car. I think he understood how hard she was trying.
August 1. Arrived in Hockenheim early for the Formula I race and spent the morning hours of the first two days taping television spots for the British Tea Council. Since I was up early for the commercials, I saw to it that I went to bed early, and last night, as before any race, I went to bed, kissed Helen good night and rolled over without further ado. I speak of this for good reason.
Making love before a race has the same effect upon my metabolism as food upon hunger. It leaves me too contented. It takes off the anticipatory, even slightly nervous edge I need to perform well in a racing car. Nor do I eat before racing. When I am switched on, food makes me uncomfortable. A simpler way of putting it, perhaps, is just to say that I have to be hungry. I have to feel hunger in order to succeed. Whether with racing or anything else, if the goal is not something I have to strive for, go flat out for, use everything I have to attain, then, indeed it is probably not important. The hunger is a very reliable index.