Dutch GP 1970
JUNE 21, 1970
Dutch GP, 1970
There were only two weeks between the Belgian and Dutch GPs but McLaren had regrouped and the team fielded three cars for Peter Gethin, Dan Gurney and Andrea de Adamich (the last-named continuing his experiments with Alfa Romeo engines). Denny Hulme was out of action because of his burned hands. BRM, which had won the Belgian race with Pedro Rodriguez, expanded to three cars again with George Eaton joining Rodriguez and Jack Oliver, while there was a new face at Tyrrell with Elf nominee Francois Cevert replacing Johnny Servoz-Gavin. Team Lotus had decided that the new 72 was ready and Jochen Rindt and John Miles each had a new car. Ferrari had two cars again with F1 debutante Clay Regazzoni joining Jacky Ickx on this occasion. Making its first appearance was the Bellasi chassis, driven by Silvio Moser. It failed to qualify.
Rindt put the new Lotus on pole position by a couple of tenths with Jackie Stewart's Tyrrell March and Ickx alongside him on the front row. Chris Amon's March and Jack Oliver's BRM were on the second row, while Regazzoni, Rodriguez and Miles shared the third row. Then came Piers Courage in Frank Williams's De Tomaso and Jean-Pierre Beltoise in the first of the Matras.
Practice was marked by two large accident with Jack Brabham and Rodriguez both overturning cars but emerging unhurt.
Race day was dull and overcast and the start of the race was brought forward to avoid a clash with the World Cup Final which was taking place in Mexico City. At the start Amon was left sitting on the grid while the rest of the field jinked around him. this did not affect Ickx, Rindt, Oliver and Stewart but the rest of the field was a bit of jumble behind Miles. On the second lap Rodriguez managed to get ahead of Miles and a lap later Rindt took the lead. Next time around Stewart had slipped past Oliver to take third place. Making rapid progress in the early laps was Regazzoni who passed Beltoise, Courage and Miles to move to sixth place. Things then began to settle down with the only movement being Courage overtaking Miles for seventh position. On lap 23 Courage crashed, his De Tomaso hitting a sand back, colliding with a post and turning over. The car caught fire with Courage trapped underneath. He was the second F1 driver to die in 19 days.
The race went on but Rindt stayed ahead throughout. Ickx suffered a puncture and so Stewart was able to get to second and Regazzoni to third. Ickx recovered and charged back, repassing his team mate for third place.
The first victory of the Lotus 72 was unimportant given what had happened.