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1971: An Italian Grand Prix for Eternity

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017 | Sports

(cafetheology.org) – For many, the classic era of Formula 1 ended in Monza in 1971. It was the last real windshield slaughter on the high-speed course in the royal park, In the following year, chicanes were installed, which put an end to the madness of the temporal movement. And it was a race that made it into the record books of the Grand Prix sport: winner Peter Gethin provided the fastest Grand Prix of the history with an average speed of 247,016 km / h, before Damon Hill in Monza 1993 under the best. But what is even more serious is the fact that five of the pilots were within just 0.61 seconds – a record that has not been broken up to this day. Not only the figures make Monza 1971 a very special race. Also the spectacular race course: When the Formula One team returned one year after the tragic death of world champion Jochen Rindt through the old walls into the sleepy, nebelverhangenen park, nobody suspects that the lead on Sunday would change between eight drivers 25 times. And that Peter Gethin should win his only Grand Prix. The aftermath of the Rindt catastrophe can be felt everywhere in 1971. Although the issue of safety is still not a major issue, Monza is considered particularly dangerous because of the enormous speed, which is a queer feeling for many pilots. The Rindt Team Lotus is even pushing forward to fight in Monza under its own flag, because of the still incomplete investigations fear of conflicts with the Italian judiciary. Ago after Rindt tragedy: Lotus suddenly called World Wide Racing Named "World Wide Racing", and introduced the legendary turbines to Emerson Fittipaldi, who was to go to the museum for lack of success. The irony of the story: Lotus boss Colin Chapman had caused Rindt just a few days before the death in September 1970, not to finish his career by promising him that with the Lotus 56 driven by an airplane turbine everything in reason and Driving ground – a capital misjudgment.

Fittipaldi does not have much to do with the tip in the turbine Lotus


For fear of being arrested, Chapman remains out of the race in Italy. However, he is not the only one to whom the Italian investigators are clinging: Matra pilot Jean Pierre Beltoise does not appear in Monza because his license has been suspended. The reason for this is the fatal accident of Italian star Ignazio Giunti at a sports car race in Argentina earlier this year, which was triggered by Beltoise because he had pushed his car over refueling. Chris Amon is the only Matra driver in Monza. The World Cup is already decided: Jackie Stewart travels to Italy as a freshly baked World Champion. The Scotsman just finished his second title on the Austrian Ring – three Grands Prix before the end. The favorite of the season is not the Dominator of the season: this is due to the Cosworth engine of his Tyrrell, which has only eight cylinders. Ferrari fans cheer up poles, which is none. And so it is little surprise that the V12 pilots in the timeshare around the Poles. The Ferrari euphoria is at its peak, when the Gazettes announce the Jacky Ickx, who has just been beaten in the title fight, to the top. Today unimaginable: The Belgian is experimenting with Goodyear and Firestone tires in the qualifying alternately. Matra-time driver Michele Dubosc convinces the race management that a mistake has happened in the timing: And so there is no Ferrari in Monza on pole but The only Matra pilot Amon. The main reason why Matra suddenly is so competitive is that the French have got a problem with the oil system at the in-house V12 engine. "Everyone suddenly thought we had a new engine," the New Zealander is saying he has 460 hp by solving the error – 65 more than before. "We are on the same level as Cosworth, if not with Ferrari and the best BRM engines." The best BRM driver is Austria's winner Jo Siffert, followed by Teamcollege Howden Ganley. The later winner, Gethin, who is second in the BRM as a substitute for the deadly crashing Pedro Rodriguez, is only 11th in the starting line – by the way, just before Helmut Marko, who is racing his second Formula 1 race in the old BRM bomber Eight in lead: Regazzoni's allowed early start

Early start without consequences: Ferrari-pilot Regazzoni (top) shoots to the top


The Cosworth V8 drivers are among the beaten ones: Francois Cevert is best in fifth place in Tyrrell, world champion Stewart is only seventh behind rider Ronnie Peterson. At the start, however, a huge surprise comes to the attention of the Ferrari fans who have been injured in the pole position of Ickx: Ferrari driver Clay Regazzoni is tricking out the competition and does not stop his car after the warm-up From position eight and thus the fourth row like a rocket to the top. A Ferrari disqualification is unthinkable at this time in front of a local audience, and so the autodrome resembles a madhouse, when the Boliden the first time at start and finish past and a red Car in front. Monza, however, was to take his reputation as a wind shadow course. The unwritten law applies: If you are the first to enter the Lesmo curves, you are only second in the Parabolica target curve.

First round, getting to the Parabolica: The Ferrari leadership does not last long


And so the lead is constantly changing: On lap 4 the Swede Ronnie Peterson pushes in front, also world champion Stewart and Austrian winner Siffert pass by Regazzoni. The top 8 are separated by one second at this time. For the fans it is difficult by the constant position shifts to keep the overview. Before the material-destroying course in Monza demands his first prominent victims: In round 16, Stewart, but then also his Ferrari rival Ickx with engine damage, which makes the Tifosi for long faces. Both Ferrari engineers within two rounds, but the next Shock is not long in coming: only two laps later the second Ferrari of Regazzoni smokes. The first spectators make their way home. A bad decision, because the Grand Prix remains exciting: Now the hour of Mike Hailwood beats.

Typical Monza picture 1971: Peterson before Siffert, Cevert and Hailwood


The nine-time motorcycle world champion, who has not competed in a Formula 1 race for six years and started with the Surtees Boliden only as a 17th, is currently working on third place behind Peterson and Tyrrell-man Cevert before joining the two Surprise everyone even overtaken. "I had no idea what this Windschatten-Jux really was," he said later. "I've never done that before." Behind the top three is a small gap, because Siffert, whose transmission will be broken later, and Ganley fight with overheating BRM engines and take some pace. Behind the scenes six and seven: Amon and the later winner Gethin.Pechvogel Amon: Leader tears himself from the HelmPole Setter Amon, so far unobtrusively, now blows to the big attack: the New Zealander overtakes one rival after another despite blistering the left front tire Is in the lead on lap 36 – very much to the delight of the spectators, because after the failure of the Ferrari pilots, the heart of many now beats for the former pilot of the Scuderia. He is really on the verge of celebrating his premier, defending himself against the attacks of Peterson, Cevert and Hailwood, before the famous pitch hits again in round 48. "I've attached the tear-away foils too well to the visor." Chris AmonAmon wants to snap a foil from the Helmvisier seven laps before the end in order to have a clear view, but accidentally catches the entire visor. The victory is thus: The Matra pilot must let his five pursuers pull and drives with watery eyes slowly around the course. "In the past races I've lost the break-offs," he will later explain his misfortune. "That's why I've fortified her this time, too well, as it turned out, because suddenly the whole damned visor was gone." Gethin's finale Furioso

It was so tight that Gethin tipped his hands up for tactical reasons


In the face of Amon's bad luck now Gethin turns up: three laps before the end, the Briton finally rides past the start goal as leader. But he knows: If you lead the race in the last round on your way to Parabolica, you will not be able to win. So he stays in the lead quinte, but is only fourth at the beginning of the last round. When he reaches the finish line, he sucks up the bike to the wheel-fighting leader Cevert and Peterson and uses their late braking maneuvers to push through. On the last meters he draws all the stops. "The speedometer was already at 10,500 revolutions per minute, but I turned to 11,500 before I took the highest gear," he tells the decisive seconds. "I knew it would probably rip the rotten sack, but if not, I'd win the race." Decision in the last corner

Peter Gethin is the only winner in the record books


As he crossed the road, he almost broke his fist with Peterson and Cevert. For tactical reasons, as he later admits: "It was so tight that the goal-makers could have doubted, so they would probably explain the pilot to the winner who is most convinced of the success." But this time, the time taken: Peterson is missing in the end 0.01 seconds to the highest stage of the winner's stage, with Cevert it is 0.09 seconds. Behind them are Hailwood (+0.18) and Ganley (+0.61). Amon rolls to the finish with a 32-second deficit. It should remain the only victory in the career of Peter Gethin's Formula One career – but one that remains unforgotten. Even the margin notes of the race are impressive: only in eight of the 55 laps did the order look the same as before. And although it was only in the course of time that the memorable race in Monza really took place in 1971, some of them already suspect a year later when they return to the Autodrome. The chicanes built after the Curva Grande and the two Lesmos provide for displeasure. Hailwood, who is second on the slow-track behind Lotus-Fittipaldi, scolds the end of the Windschatten era: "My result is better than last year, but the fun is gone, you have destroyed the track with these ridiculous chicanes."


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