100 F1 race winners part 4: 1962-1968

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Jim Clark in the Cosworth DFV-powered Lotus

The fourth part of our series looking at F1’s 100 winners includes four champions: Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark, John Surtees and Denny Hulme.

Plus which Italian driver only won once – at home, in a Ferrari? Read on to find out.

31. Jim Clark

First win: 1962 Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps
Total wins: 25
Nationality: British

Champion in 1963 and 1965, Clark was the dominant force of the mid-sixties. He surely would have been at the front of the sport for many more years had he not died in a Formula 2 race at Hockenheim in 1968, a loss that shocked the motor racing world.

Clark stayed loyal to Lotus throughout his career, and though their superior speed would allow him to dominate races, poor reliability cost him many others. The 1962 championship slipped from his grasp at the final round in East London, South Africa, when he suffered an oil leak.

In 1963 he won seven times in ten starts and claimed the title. He only finished three times the following year – but he won every time he did.

In 1965 he started nine F1 races with the following results: win, win, win, win, win, win, fuel pump failure, engine failure, engine failure. That’s how dominant Jim Clark was.

Clark drove the Ford Cosworth DFV engine to victory in its first race in 1967. Though unreliability again dogged him throughout the year he looked good for the championship in the following season when he won the opening round in South Africa. But then came that fateful race at Hockenheim.

Read more about Jim Clark: Jim Clark biography

32. Dan Gurney

First win: 1962 French Grand Prix, Roeun
Total wins: 4
Nationality: American

Said to be the driver Clark feared most on the track, Gurney started his F1 career with Ferrari 1959, then moved on to BRM the following season but the car was terribly uncompetitive. Results started to come when he joined Porsche in 1961 and the next year he won for the first time at Rouen.

Porsche withdrew at the end of the season and Gurney joined Brabham. He won twice in 1964, and for 1966 he formed his own team, Anglo American Racing. When their gorgeous Eagle chassis was paired with the Weslake engine Gurney took the machine to victory at Spa in 1967.

Unable to offer any serious opposition to the Cosworth-engined cars Gurney turned to American racing in 1969 but returned to F1 the following year with McLaren following the death of founder Bruce McLaren.

33. John Surtees

John Surtees (left) beat Jack Brabham by 0.2s at Monza in 1967

First win: 1963 German Grand Prix
Total wins: 6
Nationality: British

John Surtees is the only driver to have won world championships for both motorcycles and cars: he won seven titles on his MV August before switching to F1.

He won the Formula 1 title in 1964 for Ferrari but the following year he was badly injured in a sports car crash. As he recuperated Enzo Ferrari’s advisor Eugenio Dragoni began encouraging Ferrari to give young Italian driver Lorenzo Bandini greater prominence in his driving line-up.

Angered by the political manoeuvrings, Surtees left the team. He later drove for Honda, scoring a memorable final win at Monza, before setting up his own F1 team.

Read more about John Surtees: John Surtees biography

Lorenzo Bandini

First win: 1964 Austrian Grand Prix, Zeltweg
Total wins: 1
Nationality: Italian

Bandini won only one race, at the unloved Zeltweg airfield course in Austria. He died when his Ferrari crashed into straw bales on the harbour front during the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix and erupted into flames.

35. Jackie Stewart

Jackie Stewart won from 16th on the grid at Kyalami in 1973

First win: 1965 Italian Grand Prix, Monza
Total wins: 27
Nationality: British

Stewart’s skills as a racing driver were just part of what he brought to the sport. By the time of his retirement in 1973 he had won 27 races from 99 starts and claimed three world championships.

His style was meticulous, methodical and smooth – and devastatingly effective. In thick rain and fog at the Nurburgring in 1968 he crossed the finishing line four minutes before his nearest competitor.

The following year he was champion for the first time in a Matra run by Ken Tyrrell. He couldn’t compete with Tyrrell’s first attempt at his own chassis the following year, but was champion once more in 1971 winning six times.

Illness in the form of a stomach ulcer hampered his 1972 championship effort but he still won four races. He planned to retire after his 100th start at Watkins Glen in 1973 – having already won a third title – but when team mate Francois Cevert was killed in practice for the race Stewart quit on the spot.

He remained closely involved with motor sport in various ways including commentator, ambassador and even team owner. His Stewart team won a race in 1999 before he sold it to Ford.

But his greatest contribution outside the cockpit was his passion for improving safety, a legacy of a crash at Spa in 1966 where he found himself trapped in a car with petrol leaking onto him. His efforts for the GPDA earned criticism from the likes of Pedro Rodriguez and Jacky Ickx, but from the vantage point of forty years later it is clear Stewart’s tireless efforts saved many lives.

Read more about Jackie Stewart: Jackie Stewart biography

Richie Ginther

First win: 1965 Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City
Total wins: 1
Nationality: American

Ginther’s first – and only – win at Mexico City in 1965 was also the first win for Honda’s fledgling F1 team. That came in his sxith season of a Formula 1 career where he’d earned that unfortunate title of “good number two” – a quality driver, but not from the top drawer. After that first win he only entered six more races.

37. Ludovico Scarfiotti

First win: 1966 Italian Grand Prix
Total wins: 1
Nationality: Italian

Perhaps not the best-remembered of the drivers on this list – but what Italian racer wouldn’t want to win at Monza for Ferrari? That’s what Scarfiotti did in 1966, in only his fourth Grand Prix start. He never did a full season of F1, and died in a crash at a hillclimb in 1968.

38. Pedro Rodriguez

First win: 1967 South African Grand Prix, Kyalami
Total wins: 2
Nationality: Mexican

Pedro was two years older than brother Ricardo who also raced in F1. Despite the death of his brother in practice for the first Mexican Grand Prix in 1962, Pedro made his debut in Formula 1 the following year. After several appearances mainly in American rounds he joined Cooper in 1967 and won first time out for them in South Africa.

After switching to BRM another victory followed in 1970 at Spa. It was one of his finest wins, but dwarfed by his mighty feat in the Brands Hatch 1,000km sports car race, where he won by five laps in heavy rain. Sadly, like his brother, Pedro also died at the wheel, during a sports car race at the Norisring in Germany.

39. Denny Hulme

First win: 1967 Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo
Total wins: 8
Nationality: New Zealander

Perhaps the most understated and low-key champion ever, Hulme was famously disinterested in the glamorous trappings of professional motor sport. He came over to Europe from New Zealand in 1960 and having worked as a mechanic for Jack Brabham found his way into driving.

He first raced for Brabham’s team in 1965 and learned from his boss, team mate and mentor who was champion in 1966. But the following year Hulme claimed the title himself and then left to join McLaren.

Two further wins in 1968 kept him in the championship hunt once again but the title went to Graham Hill. Then in 1970 he crashed heavily in Indianapolis and was badly burned. He still won the Can Am champoinship for the team that year but from then on his race performances seemed to lack the edge they once had, although he did win twice more in F1. Hulme died when he suffered a heart attack during the 1992 Bathurst touring car race.

Read more about Denny Hulme: Denny Hulme biography

40. Jacky Ickx

First win: 1968 French Grand Prix
Total wins: 8
Nationality: Belgium

Certainly one of the best drivers never to be champion, Ickx was runner-up in 1969 and 1970, first with Brabham and then Ferrari.

He dazzled at the Nurburgring in 1967, setting a time good enough for third on the grid using an F2 car. Ferrari snapped him up for 1968 and he duly delivered his first win at Rouen. He switched to Brabham for 1969 and pushed Stewart hard for the title, famously beating his rival at the Nurburgring, but Stewart took the championship.

At the end of 1970, having returned to Ferrari, Ickx found himself in the unenviable position of trying to overtake championship leader Jochen Rindt in the title race, despite the Austrian having died at Monza earlier that year. Ickx admitted he was not too disappointed to have taken the title that year, although he would never come as close again.

Ickx remained with Ferrari has their poerformances vacillated in the early 1970s. But in 1973 he finally left, joining Lotus for 1974. It was terribly ill-timed, as Ferrari had a string of competitive seasons culminating in Niki Lauda winning the 1975 and 1977 titles. Ickx didn’t win in F1 again but was tremendously successful in sports cars, winning the Le Mans 24 Hours six times.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “100 F1 race winners part 4: 1962-1968”

  1. I suspect that the picture of Jackie Stewart is not from Kyalami, but from the Watkins Glen track, a few feet short of the spot where Francois Cevert had his fatal accident in practice. Francois’ accident was so sad… I can clearly remember summoning grim-faced team officials to Timing and Scoring to listen in on the first reports from safety workers, but haven’t a clue as to what year it was. Again, memory plays strange tricks on one.

    1. Major William Brown
      31st July 2010, 0:22

      The picture of Jackie Stewart is not from Watkins Glen. I’ve attended a number of races there. The bend in the track, the S turn at the Glen is no where near as sharp as the picture shows. They also didn’t allow a bunch of unsafe spectator stands like that show in the photo. The land around Watkins Glen is brightly colored and wooded, due to it being October, whereas the photo is open ground and doesn’t appear to be in “fall” leaves.

    2. The Track is most definitely Kyalami South Africa _ I live here

      The “unsafe spectator stands” mentioned below by Major William Brown are actually official scaffold platforms for Press photographers.

      I doubt that this pic was taken during the official race, more likely during a practice a couple of days before – hence spectators on the Press scaffolds

  2. Although Jackie Stewart did not race at Watkins Glen after Cevert’s death unbelievably he did go out in the next practise session to try and figure out what had gone wrong. He eventually decided that the accident was probably caused by Francois going over a bump a gear lower than Stewart did to try and get a little extra performance. Stewart said his car became unsettled over the bump and he thought that had he been a gear lower and higher up the rev range an accident would have resulted. Once he was satisfied as to the cause of the accident he parked his car in the pits and walked away from racing.

  3. I love Jackie Stewart. Great driver, great person. Probably the smartest (as in universially intelligent) driver to grace F1 ever.

  4. My vote goes to Jim Clark as the best ever….

  5. I can’t begin to imagine what Jackie Stewart was going through while stuck in a crashed car with fuel all over him. Something like that has got to change a persons perspective on life.

    Another good article. Thanks Keith.

  6. Make of this what you will: But I have met 3 people who have all met Jackie Stewart (I know these three people independently of each other) and all said (and I’m para-phrasing here) that they’ve never met such a rude, arrogant, self-righteous SOB in their whole lives. Basically it’s the first two adjectives that seemed to be mentioned by all three

    I can’t help but give due respect to a 3 time World-Champion but I always thought that he seemed like a bit of a d***. However being that I’ve never met him, I can’t really comment but there you go…

  7. SOB or not.. Hunt down a copy of Jakie Stewarts video biography “The Flying Scotsman”, fantastic stuff. Great insight into his relationship with Ken Tyrell, footage of the pit lane reaction to Cevert’s death. Really makes you understand why he championed the whole driver safety thing. Might just change your thoughts about him

  8. I second Lady Snowcat about Jim Clark being the best ever. He usually started from pole, led the race and won by a huge margin or parked his broken car on the side. When you see the density of talent during his years, it’s impressive.

  9. Jackie Stewart deserves his kudos, for what he has done inside and outside of the car. Jim Clark, obviously is nothing short of a legend, a true racing driver in a time that was defined by tragedy as much as glamour.
    Also, a big nod to Dan Gurney. Famously Clark said of Gurney once that ‘the American was one of the few men I feared on the race track’. Wow, I didn’t realise he was that good!

  10. Your Clark quote is not accurate. At Clark’s funeral his father pulled Gurney aside and said ‘You should know that Jim said you were the only rival he really feared.’ Yet no-one ever puts Dan in a top ten. Just think of all the drivers who Clark rated as less than Gurney.

  11. Steven – good point, have re-worded it.

  12. michael counsell
    10th August 2008, 23:54

    It is perhaps the most famous definition of a driver ever and is used universally to describe Dan Gurney. The 8w page takes it to the extreme, “He was the man Clark feared most,” is the first sentence of his driver profile. Why use the word fear in the context of 1960s Grand Prix Racing. Its a powerful word with no further elaboration (not needed in the situation it was said).

    Anyone have any theroies on this?

  13. Bear in mind that the quote as it appears in the public domain is Dan Gurney’s version of what Jim Clark’s father told him Jim said and he told Gurney and Jim’s funeral. So I wouldn’t get too hung up on the exact wording because it was an emotional occasion and Dan himself has said that he almost broke down partly because Jim Clark rated him so highly and partly because a man had taken time to tell him at his son’s funeral. We shouldn’t put a modern interpretation on something that was said 40 years ago. They viewed the risks they took very differently to the way history views them.

  14. michael counsell
    11th August 2008, 18:30

    I’d imagine its the kind of label that is incredibly difficult to live up to.

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