Mexican GP 1970

Mexican GP, 1970

The World Championship was over and so the field for the final race shrank to the eight major teams (Tyrrell, Ferrari, Matra, McLaren, March, Brabham, BRM and Lotus) as the Mexican organizers said they could not afford more than 18 cars. The two extras allowed to compete were Graham Hill (in the Rob Walker Lotus) and John Surtees in his Surtees.

After Emerson Fittipaldi's fortunate win at Watkins Glen, when all the other front-runners retired, the battle in Mexico was between Ferrari and Jackie Stewart's Tyrrell. On this occasion Clay Regazzoni took pole for Ferrari with Stewart second and Ferrari's Jacky Ickx third. Sharing the second row with the Belgian was Jack Brabham (who announced his intention to retire after the race on the Friday) and on the third row were Chris Amon's STP March and Jean-Pierre Beltoise in the Matra. Fittipaldi had a terrible time and ended up on the back row of the grid after an engine failure.

The crowd on race day was enormous, estimates ranging up to 200,000 and the pressure for space resulted in the crowds pulling down the safety fences and sitting on the grass verges. Fearing that there would be riot if the race was called off the organizers asked the drivers to go ahead and after attempts had been made to move people back from the track the race began an hour late. Regazzoni took the lead from Stewart with Ickx third. Ickx quickly took the lead and Regazzoni was pushed into third by Stewart. The Scotsman stayed there until his steering column broke and he headed for the pits for repairs. He rejoined but later his dog which damaged his suspension beyond repair. This left the Ferraris to finish 1-2. After Stewart disappeared Brabham ran third but he suffered an engine failure on lap 53 and so failed to go out with podium finish. Third place went to Denny Hulme.

In the closing laps the crowds edged closer and closer to the track and as soon as Ickx crossed the line they invaded the track, forcing all the other cars to slow to a crawl as they made their way to the finishing line.

It was the end of a tragic year for Formula 1 but thankfully no-one was hurt in Mexico.

Jacky Ickx Ferrari 312B 65 1h53m28.360s  
Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 312B 65 1h54m13.820s  
Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M14A 65 1h54m14.330s  14 
12 Chris Amon March-Cosworth 701 65 1h54m15.410s  
Jean-Pierre Beltoise Matra Simca-Matra MS120 65 1h54m18.470s  
19 Pedro Rodriguez BRM P153 65 1h54m53.120s  
20 Jackie Oliver BRM P153 64  13 
17 John Surtees Surtees-Cosworth TS7 64  15 
Henri Pescarolo Matra Simca-Matra MS120 61  11 
nc 23 Reine Wisell Lotus-Cosworth 72C 56  12 
15 Jack Brabham Brabham-Cosworth BT33 52 Engine 
Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Cosworth 001 33 Suspension  
Peter Gethin McLaren-Cosworth M14A 27 Engine 10 
16 Rolf Stommelen Brabham-Cosworth BT33 15 Fuel System 17 
Francois Cevert March-Cosworth 701 Engine 
14 Graham Hill Lotus-Cosworth 72C Overheating 
11 Jo Siffert March-Cosworth 701 Engine 16 
24 Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Cosworth 72C Engine 18