Buy from Amazon


Buy from Amazon


The Complete History of Grand Prix Motor Racing by Adriano Cimarosti
Buy from Alibris

 

F. Gordon Crosby - Nazzaro wins the French GP at 42

   
       
The NaturalJimmy Clark
Jimmy Clark coming so close to the championship in only his second full season now knew what it would take to win the Championship and came to realize that his time would come sooner rather than later. The Lotus 25 was virtually unchanged from the previous year with attention paid to making it more reliable. Its engine the Climax V8 was further refined to give it increased driveability. They more than anyone else were eager for the new season to start.

Porsche, despite scoring their first victory chose to withdraw from Formula 1. John Surtees was signed to drive for Ferrari while Gurney moved over to Brabham. The first race of the season was again held in Monaco. Despite quick starts by Hill and and his BRM teammate Ginther, Clark was soon in the lead. After temporarily relinquishing second place to Surtees, Hill found himself in the lead when first Surtees had to pit to change his goggles and then Clark spinning at Gasworks due to a jammed gearbox and having to retire. The next race at Spa was a Clark demonstration of superiority when he lapped the field under torrential rains. Zandvoort saw another Clark victory by a lap over his nearest rival. Clark made it a hat-trick at the French Grand Prix at Reims and four in a row at Brands Hatch. Surtees was finally able to create a momentary pause to the Clark steam-roller with a well deserved win at the Nurburgring. This was Surtees' first win of his four-wheel career.

For Monza both Ferrari and BRM had a new monocoque chassis. The Ferrari of Surtees stormed into the lead but fell victim to a broken valve spring. Clark assumed the lead but was strongly challenged by both Hill and Gurney. After both of his challengers suffered mechanical problems and were forced to retire Clark was able to coast to another victory which allowed him to capture the World Championship with three races remaining. Out of the three remaining races Clark was able to win two giving him seven victories out of ten races.

1964 looked to be another year of battle between Clark and Hill but there were stirrings at Ferrari that they would once again be a force to reckon with. But for the drivers of the red cars there would always be another obstacle to overcome. Surtees explains: "At Ferrari in those days you started with a handicap. Until Le Mans was over you couldn't really do the work you wanted to do-and needed to do-in Formula One." The first race was again at Monaco where Clark found himself on pole and shortly out of the race. Graham Hill led his teammate Ginther for a BRM 1-2 finish while Clark won the next two races at Zandvoort and Spa. The French Grand Prix saw Clark joined by Surtees on the front row but the race was won by Dan Gurney now driving for Brabham with Hill picking up second. The British Grand Prix had Clark again on the pole but this time joined by Hill. They would finish the race in the same order. Surtees felt that while his Ferrari was becoming more and more competitive he could not let the duo of Clark and Hill get too far out in front. Nurburgring would be his turning point. Returning to his favorite circuit and the scene of his maiden victory scored only last year, Surtees responded by capturing pole position. In the race Clark jumped into the lead only to suffer mechanical problems that forced him to retire. Surtees assumed a lead that he would not relinquish. Wining the most difficult race on the calendar two years running proved that Surtees belonged to the first rank of drivers during the early part of his career.

At Zeltweg, Austria all three championship leaders were on the front row of the grid and all three failed to finish with the win going to Surtees' teammate Lorenzo Bandini. This unfortunately would be the popular Italian's sole victory of his brief career. Monza belonged to Surtees and Ferrari as they celebrated a very popular victory with their tifosi. Things tightened up when Hill won the next race at Watkins Glen and unlike last year the title would be won or lost at the last race. The final race in Mexico saw Hill leading with 39 points, Surtees with 34 points and Clark with 30 points. At the start of the race Clark led off from his pole position but both Hill and Surtees were slow off the mark and found themselves 10th and 13th respectively. As the race progressed Hill was able to move up to third with Surtees now in fifth. All Hill had to do was stay out of trouble but unfortunately trouble was right behind him. Bandini driving for all he was worth looked for any opportunity to pass Hill and thought he had found it when Hill momentarily left the door open. Bandini dove for the inside but too late, leaving Hill nowhere to go but into the guardrail. Hill was able to return to the race but only after losing two laps. After Clark retired with a seized engine it was Bandini who allowed his teammate Surtees, to pass him into second place and the World Championship. Surtees could now add a four-wheel title to his seven two-wheel titles.

For the last year of the 1 1/2-litre Formula both Lotus and Brabham had at their disposal a Coventry Climax 32-Valve V8. Lotus also had a new monocoque Type 33 car while Brabham stuck with the proven tubular chassis. Disappointed at losing last years Championship despite winning the most races, Clark and Chapman were more determined than ever that 1965 would be different. Ferrari had their new flat-12 cylinder engine available should they need it to defend their Championship. Unfortunately for the Italian team this engine proved to be a step backward. Added to this mix was was the Honda Grand Prix car now in their second season and being driven by the Americans Richie Ginther and Ronnie Bucknum. Their V12 transverse mounted engine would soon become the class of the field.


Buy from Amazon
BRM added a Scot of their own, the brilliant rookie Jackie Stewart to partner Graham Hill. Cooper was no longer a front line team though their drivers Bruce McLaren and newcomer Jochen Rindt were both capable of causing some discomfort to the leading teams.
 
Be sure to visit the Grand prix History Auto Racing Books
Mon Ami Mate by Chris Nixon A Racing Motorist  by S.C.H. Davis Gentlemen, Start Your Engines by Wilbur Shaw Grands Prix 1934-1939 by Rodney Walkerley Full Throttle by Tim Birkin Auto Union V16 - A Technical Appraisal by Ian Bamsey Sir Henry Segrave by Cyril Posthumus Managing a Legend by Robert Edwards It was Fun!: My Fifty Years of High Performance Power and Glory by Wiliam Court My Cars, My Career by Stirling Moss

And so the year began with South Africa holding the first race. The race was dominated by Clark in his Lotus who was followed by Surtees and Hill. Monaco was next and the race was held without Clark, who was at Indianapolis winning that year's classic in a Lotus Type 38 powered by an American Ford engine under a partnership with the American giant that would have tremendous consequences for Formula 1 in the near future.The race was won by Clark's rival Graham Hill in a BRM. Hill's victory at Monaco was his third in succession.

Clark victoriousClark returned for Spa and won in the wet in front of the year's sensation, Jackie Stewart. Clark and Stewart repeated their results at the French Grand Prix. The British Grand Prix as well as the Dutch and German fell to Clark's all-out assault on the record books. With only the top six races counting Clark claimed a perfect score and his second World Championship. Only when his Lotus suffered mechanical failure or was absent was there any hope for the others, such was his dominance. A broken fuel pump allowed Stewart a win in his maiden season and a engine failure allowed Hill to come through. Clark stood head and shoulders above all others, a natural talent that has not and may never be duplicated. The last race of the season was held at the Autodrome Magdalena Mixhuca in Mexico City. Always a problem for the teams due to the high altitude of the circuit it proved to be an Advantage to Honda as they and Richie Ginther claimed their first victory. Significantly this was also Goodyear's maiden victory.