100 F1 race winners part 5: 1968-1973

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Emerson Fittipaldi won his first championship in the classic JPS-liveried Lotus

Ten more of F1’s 100 Grand Prix winners including champions Jochen Rindt, Emerson Fittipaldi and Mario Andretti.

Plus the fiftieth driver to win a Formula 1 race – America’s Peter Revson.

41. Jo Siffert

First win: 1968 British Grand Prix, Silverstone
Total wins: 2
Nationality: Swiss

Siffert spent little of his career in machinery that was sufficiently competitive for his talent. After winning a championship in motorcycle sidecar racing he entered F1 in 1962, and began to find success when he bought a Brabham BT11 and joined Rob Walker’s team in 1964.

Having caused a stir by edging out Jim Clark in two non-championship races, he got the use of a Lotus 49 in 1968 and scored a memorable triumph at Brands Hatch. He was closely followed home by Chris Amon, the New Zealander widely regarded to be one of the best drivers never to win a race.

Siffert’s racing commitments were divided between sports cars and Can Am racing as well as the world championship. He scored a second win at Austria for BRM in 1971, but at the end of the year died in a fiery crash in a non-championship round at Brands Hatch.

42. Jochen Rindt

First win: 1969 United States Grand Prix, Watkins Glen
Total wins: 6
Nationality: Austrian

Rindt spent three years with Cooper at the start of his F1 career, but found himself constrained by an uncompetitive car in 1967. Nonetheless, he dominated that year’s Formula Two championship, with nine wins and four second places in 15 races.

He moved to Brabham in 1968 but the reigning world champions were no match for Lotus. Rindt joined Colin Chapman’s team in 1969 but relations between him and the Lotus boss were strained at first – especially when Rindt’s rear wing collapsed at Montjuich Park.

At the end of the year he scored his first win at Watkins Glen, having lost out to Jackie Stewart at Silverstone earlier in the year. That set him up for a tilt at the title in 1970.

Rindt went head-to-head with Jack Brabham, snatching a win from the Australian on the last lap at Monaco and doing the same at Brands Hatch. A fifth win at Hockenheim put the title within his reach. But two races later he was killed in practice at Monza.

When Emerson Fittipaldi won at Watkins Glen it meant Rindt’s points tally could not be overhauled. Rindt thus became the sport’s first and, thankfully, so far the only posthumous world champion.

Read more about Jochen Rindt: Jochen Rindt biography

43. Clay Regazzoni

First win: 1970 Italian Grand Prix, Monza
Total wins: 5
Nationality: Swiss

Regazzoni was an uncompromising driver and often drew criticism from his rivals – particularly in 1968 when he was involved in a crash in an F2 race that claimed the life of Chris Lambert.

But signs that he had matured as a driver prompted Enzo Ferrari to run him in 1970 and Regazzoni responded with fourth on his debut at Zandvoort and a win fifth time out at Monza. The following year marked something of a step backwards however, and he was dropped by Ferrari at the 1972 after a string of incidents.

He was only away for a year though and in 1974 consistent points finishes and a win at the Nurburgring put him in contention for the championship. But the same mix of inspiration and desperation characterised much of the following years – he triggered the famous multi-car shunt at the start of the 1976 British Grand Prix.

Ferrari dropped him again and Regazzoni joined back-of-the-grid team Ensign. But those who thought he his winning days were over were mistaken – he gave Williams their first victory at Silverstone in 1979.

For 1980 he was replaced by Carlos Reutemann and returned to Ensign. But a severe crash at Long Beach left Regazzoni paralysed. He continued to race in other series using hand-operated cars and commentated on F1 for Swiss television. Regazzoni died in a road accident at the end of 2006.

44. Emerson Fittipaldi

First win: 1970 United States Grand Prix
Total wins: 14
Nationality: Brazilian

Fittipaldi won his fourth Grand Prix at Watkins Glen in 1970 for Lotus but the team weren’t in the same all-conquering form the following season.

The next year was a different matter, however, and Fittipaldi won five times to claim the championship. At 25, he was the youngest driver to do so until Fernando Alonso won the title in 2005.

The 1973 season began well with six consecutive podiums, but a road accident part-way through the season put Fittipaldi off his stride and Jackie Stewart came through to win the championship.

Fittipaldi switched to McLaren over the winter and consistent points-scoring in a competitive year secured him a second championship. But at the end of 1975 Fittipaldi stunned the motor racing world by joining his brother Wilson’s fledgling team.

He spent five years driving uncompetitive cars for the tiny team. Some questioned whether his motivation waned but there were occasional moments of joy such as his brilliant second place at home in 1978.

After leaving F1 he won the Indy Car championship and was twice winner of the Indianapolis 500. He is now involved in running Brazil’s A1 Grand Prix and also competed in the short-lived GP Masters series in 2005 and 2006.

Read more about Emerson Fittipaldi: Emerson Fittipaldi biography

45. Mario Andretti

First win: 1971 South African Grand Prix, Kyalami
Total wins: 12
Nationality: American

One of the great versatile talents like Stirling Moss, Andretti looked equally at home in a sports car, Indy Car, Formula 1 car, or any of the other machines he competed in.

He qualified on pole position for his first Grand Prix at Watkins Glen in 1968 but retired in the race. After a series of inconsequential appearances for Lotus and March he joined Ferrari in 1971 and won on his debut at Kyalami, but continued to divid his time between F1 and Indy Car.

Andretti made a full assault on F1 in 1975 with the American Parnelli team but when the outfit collapsed in 1976 he switched to Lotus. The team had gone through a barren patch but Andretti won the famous season finale at Fuji.

He helped develop the team’s famous ‘ground effect’ 78 chassis which revolutionised Formula 1. Andretti and team mate Ronnie Peterson dominated 1978, Andretti claiming the drivers’ title at Monza, but Peterson was killed in a crash at the start.

Lotus then lost their way badly and Andretti made a disastrous switch to Alfa Romeo in 1981. After that he seemed to be done with Formula 1 although he made two surprise comebacks: first with Williams after Carlos Reutemann abruptly retired, and then with Ferrari after Didier Pironi was injured. Fittingly, Andretti scored an emotional pole position for the team at Monza.

He returned to America to win another Indy Car championship in 1984, and retired at the end of 1994. His son Michael later raced in F1 and Michael’s son Marco is now in Indy Cars.

Read more about Mario Andretti: Mario Andretti biography

46. Peter Gethin

First win: 1971 Italian Grand Prix, Monza
Total wins: 1
Nationality: British

Gethin is best remembered for winning the 1971 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. It was the last time the circuit was used before chicanes were installed to slow it down, and Gethin led five cars across the finishing line separated by less than a second.

Aside from that win, he only scored points on two other occasions.

47. Francois Cevert

First win: 1971 United States Grand Prix, Watkins Glen
Total wins: 1
Nationality: French

Cevert spent four years at Tyrrell alongside Jackie Stewart, learning much from the three-times champion and preparing to take over as team leader when Stewart retired at the end of 1973.

The French driver won at Watkins Glen in 1971 and in 1973 he raced Stewart so closely on some occasions that many felt he only declined to overtake his team leader out of respect.

Tragically, Cevert was killed before he could take the role he had been prepared for, when he crashed heavily in practice at Watkins Glen.

48. Jean-Pierre Beltoise

First win: 1972 Monaco Grand Prix
Total wins: 1
Nationality: French

Beltoise survived a serious accident in Formula Three in 1964 which left him with a badly injured left arm which suffered restricted movement from then on. Nonetheless he made it into F1 with French team Matra for whom he scored several podiums.

In 1971 he was briefly suspended from racing after he was involved in a crash in the Buenos Aires 1,000km sports car race that claimed the life of Ignazio Giunti. Beltoise’s car had run out of fuel and he was pushing it along when Giunti’s car struck it.

But he returned to F1 with BRM in 1972 and scored a magnificent win in torrid rain at Monte-Carlo, even keeping renowned wet weather master Jacky Ickx behind him. He left F1 at the end of 1974.

Read more about the 1972 Monaco Grand Prix

49. Ronnie Peterson

First win: 1973 French Grand Prix
Total wins: 10
Nationality: Swedish

Peterson’s swashbuckling style made him a firm favourite among the fans. He joined March on a three-year deal at the start of his F1 season and threatened to score his breakthrough win with four second places in 1971.

The 1972 car was a dog but a move to Lotus in 1973 brought him a maiden win at Paul Ricard which was quickly followed by further triumphs at Osterreiching, Monza and Watkins Glen.

Peterson was a ‘get in and drive the wheels off’ type of driver, unsuited to development work, so when Lotus fell off the pace he went downhill with them. A return to March in 1976 was largely a waste of time, except for a win at Monza, and he struggled with the six-wheeled Tyrrell P34 the following year.

He move back to Lotus in 1978 but had to play second fiddle to Andretti, though Peterson took wins at Kyalami and the Osterreichring. Then, on a dark day for the sport, he lost his life in a start line crash at Monza.

50. Peter Revson

First win: 1973 British Grand Prix, Silverstone
Total wins: 2
Nationality: American

Revson, heir to the Revlon cosmetics empire, made his first crack at Formula 1 in 1964 but it was too much too soon and he dropped back into F3 and F2 in the following years.

He made a one-off appearance in his home Grand Pix for Tyrrell in 1971, then signed for McLaren. In 1973 he won a wet-dry race at Silverstone, and emerged victorious in a confusing race at Mosport (the safety car was deployed for the first time in a Grand Prix, but it failed to pick up the leaders and Revson was one of several drivers to gain a lap on his rivals).

Unwilling to be relegated to a third-string sear at McLaren in 1974 he moved to Shadow. But tragedy struck in testing at Kyalami, when a suspected suspension failure provoked an enormous crash which claimed Revson’s life.

This is part five of a ten-part series: join us tomorrow for part six. To make sure you don’t miss it you can subscribe to F1 Fanatic by RSS or email.

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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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2 comments on “100 F1 race winners part 5: 1968-1973”

  1. Fascinating series Keith, thanks for this.

  2. Fittipaldi for me gains alot of respect. Not many drivers have jumped between Formula One and Indycars and enjoyed the level of success that he did.
    Ronnie Peterson too, although his career and sad death were before my time, you only have to watch some of his races to admire his talent. A terrible, terrible waste.
    I read recently that following the crash that killed Jochen Rindt, a very distraught Bernie Ecclestone went to the crash site and accidentally stumbled upon one of Rindt’s shoes. Is this a true story, or some kind of warped fabrication? Please, does anybody know the answer to this one?

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