United States GP 1970

United States GP, 1970

A month had passed since World Championship leader Jochen Rindt had been killed at Monza. Jacky Ickx was the only man capable of taking the World Championship away from the Austrian and he needed to win both at Watkins Glen and in Mexico City. The Ferraris, however, were the dominant force with Ickx and his team mate Clay Regazzoni having won the previous three races.

Team Lotus had missed Canada but reappeared to defend Rindt's position and the Constructors' title. Emerson Fittipaldi was now team leader and John Miles had been dropped to make way for another rising star, Sweden's Reine Wisell. Several other teams had made changes as well with Surtees running a second car for Derek Bell and BRM adding a fourth for hillclimb champion Peter Westbury. The entry amounted to a healthy 27 cars, 24 of which were allowed to start. Westbury, Peter Lovely (private Lotus) and Andrea de Adamich (McLaren-Alfa Romeo) failed to make it.

Pole position went to Ickx by over half a second but Jackie Stewart was on the front row in his new Tyrrell, while Fittipaldi shared the second row with the BRM of Pedro Rodriguez. Chris Amon's factory March was on the third row with Regazzoni while Jack Oliver (BRM) lined up on row fourth with John Surtees (Surtees) alongside. Wisell shared the fifth row with the Rob Walker Lotus 72 of Graham Hill.

Stewart took the lead at the start with Rodriguez grabbing second ahead of Ickx and Regazzoni. Behind them came Amon, Surtees, Oliver and a slow-starting Fittipaldi. Surtees soon disappeared with mechanical trouble and Oliver followed on lap 15, soon after he had passed Amon. On lap 16 Ickx overtook Rodriguez and a lap later Regazzoni was also ahead of the Mexican. Amon was fifth and Fittipaldi sixth. Stewart was well clear of Ickx and Regazzoni was five seconds behind his team leader when the second Ferrari headed for the pits to change a tire. On lap 48 Amon also had to stop for a new tire and so Fittipaldi moved to fourth place. On the 57th laps Ickx headed for the pits with a fuel leak. His World Championship hopes had gone.

At the front Stewart seemed in total control until lap 83 when an oil leak forced him to retire. Rodriguez went into the lead with a 20 second lead over Fittipaldi. And then on lap 101 of 108 the BRM ran out of fuel and coasted into the pits. Fittipaldi took the lead to win his first Grand Prix victory. Rodriguez rejoined to finish second while Wisell's F1 debut ended with an impressive third place finish.

24 Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Cosworth 72C 108 1h57m32.790s  
19 Pedro Rodriguez BRM P153 108 1h58m09.180s  
23 Reine Wisell Lotus-Cosworth 72C 108 1h58m17.960s  
Jacky Ickx Ferrari 312B 107  
12 Chris Amon March-Cosworth 701 107  
18 Derek Bell Surtees-Cosworth TS7 107  13 
Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M14A 106  11 
Henri Pescarolo Matra Simca-Matra MS120 105  12 
11 Jo Siffert March-Cosworth 701 105  23 
10 15 Jack Brabham Brabham-Cosworth BT33 105  16 
11 29 Ronnie Peterson March-Cosworth 701 104  15 
12 16 Rolf Stommelen Brabham-Cosworth BT33 104  19 
13 Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 312B 101  
14 Peter Gethin McLaren-Cosworth M14A 100  21 
Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Cosworth 001 82 Mechanical 
14 Graham Hill Lotus-Cosworth 72C 72 Clutch 10 
Francois Cevert March-Cosworth 701 62 Wheel Lost 17 
30 Tim Schenken De Tomaso-Cosworth 505 61 Suspension 20 
27 Jo Bonnier McLaren-Cosworth M7C 50 Mechanical 24 
Jean-Pierre Beltoise Matra Simca-Matra MS120 27 Handling 18 
31 Gus Hutchinson Brabham-Cosworth BT26A 21 Accident 22 
20 Jackie Oliver BRM P153 14 Engine 
21 George Eaton BRM P153 10 Engine 14 
17 John Surtees Surtees-Cosworth TS7 Flywheel 
nq 32 Peter Westbury BRM P153   25 
nq 28 Peter Lovely Lotus-Cosworth 49B   26 
nq 10 Andrea de Adamich McLaren-Alfa Romeo M14D   27