A century ago, the “mechanic” was very different from the modern idea we have now. Until 1926 he was a professional who sat next to the racing driver during the races, often obliged to perform acrobatic feats (in the real sense of the word!!) to repair the damage caused during the race.
He was also the driver’s “preparer”, navigator during the race and raid. The profession of mechanic was almost an art, he could teach how to drive and issue the “Ability Certificate” for driving if he felt it right. In the second half of the Twenties, for safety reasons the mechanic became the ‘ground’ assistant.
Since then the figures of technical preparer and second pilot have been separated into the roles that we know today.