Argentine GP 1972

Argentine GP, 1972

There had been some important changes during the off season months in Formula 1. The 1971 season had ended with another tragedy when Jo Siffert crashed his BRM in the World Championship Victory Race at Brands Hatch. The car hit an earth bank at 130mph and overturned. A fire broke out and Siffert perished in the flames.

The dominant Tyrrell team remained unchanged with Jackie Stewart and Francois Cevert, Ferrari retained Jacky Ickx, Clay Regazzoni and Mario Andretti, while Team Lotus kept Emerson Fittipaldi and signed up Dave Walker to replace Reine Wisell. The team landed a major new sponsorship deal from John Player Special. McLaren continued to field Denny Hulme and Peter Revson was hired as his team mate while the team picked up the Yardley sponsorship from BRM. Brabham had been sold again with Ron Tauranac handing over to Bernie Ecclestone. Graham Hill stayed on and was joined by rising Argentine star Carlos Reutemann, who bought backing from YPF. March Engineering continued to have STP backing and took on Niki Lauda to partner Ronnie Peterson, the Austrian buying the drive with money borrowed from an Austrian bank.. Matra reduced its involvement to one car (for Chris Amon) and Jean-Pierre Beltoise was loaned out to BRM to partner Peter Gethin and Howden Ganley. The team had landed backing from Marlboro and there were plans for a huge six-car effort with three new cars and three old ones for up and coming drivers. The plans did not quite come together. John Surtees decided to cut back on his driving and hired Mike Hailwood and Brabham's Tim Schenken to drive the Brooke Bond Oxo cars, while an agreement was made for a third car to be run for Andrea de Adamich in the colors of Ceramica Pagnossin.

There were several new teams planned in 1972, notably Tecno, which had backing from Martini and nominated Derek Bell and Nanni Galli to drive the flat-12 engined cars. The team was managed by David Yorke (formerly on Vanwall and the JWA sportscar team). Frank Williams also had plans for a car of his own and contracted Ron Tauranac to build him a chassis called the Politoys, named after his new sponsor.

The arrival of Reutemann in top level racing in Europe in 1971 had created sufficient interest for the Argentines to organize a Grand Prix at the old Buenos Aires track and this opened the season in January 1972. Practice proved to be sensational as F1 debutante Reutemann beat World Champion Jackie Stewart to pole position. The two McLarens of Revson and Hulme shared the second row and the third featured Fittipaldi (Lotus) and Regazzoni (Ferrari). The top 10 was completed by Cevert, Ickx, Andretti and Peterson.

At the start of the race Stewart took the lead with Reutemann second while behind them Fittipaldi quickly moved up to third ahead of Hulme. Then came Regazzoni, the fast-starting Peterson, Cevert and Revson. On the eighth lap Fittipaldi overtook Reutemann for second place and on the 12th lap Hulme bounced Reutemann back to fourth. The order at the front then remained stable with the only change being Cevert getting ahead of Peterson to take take sixth. On lap 34 Cevert was able to pass Regazzoni for fifth. By then Fittipaldi was drifting back towards Hulme because of gear selection trouble and on lap 35 the McLaren took second place. A few laps later Reutemann dropped out of the running, having to stop for new tires, which left Cevert in fourth place. On lap 60 Cevert went out with an oil pipe problem and on the next lap third-placed Fittipaldi ground to a halt with a rear suspension problem and so Jacky Ickx found himself in third place behind Stewart and Hulme.

21 Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Cosworth 003 95 1h57m58.820s  
17 Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M19A 95 1h58m24.780s  
Jacky Ickx Ferrari 312B2 95 1h58m58.210s  
Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 312B2 95 1h59m05.540s  
19 Tim Schenken Surtees-Cosworth TS9B 95 1h59m07.930s  11 
14 Ronnie Peterson March-Cosworth 721 94  10 
Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Cosworth BT34 93  
23 Henri Pescarolo March-Cosworth 721 93  15 
Howden Ganley BRM P160B 93  13 
10 Helmut Marko BRM P153 93  19 
11 15 Niki Lauda March-Cosworth 721 93  22 
11 Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Cosworth 72D 61 Suspension 
Reine Wisell BRM P153 59 Water Hose 17 
22 Francois Cevert Tyrrell-Cosworth 002 59 Mechanical 
18 Peter Revson McLaren-Cosworth M19A 50 Engine 
10 Mario Andretti Ferrari 312B2 20 Misfire 
Graham Hill Brabham-Cosworth BT33 11 Fuel Pump 16 
20 Andrea de Adamich Surtees-Cosworth TS9B 11 Mechanical 14 
dq 12 David Walker Lotus-Cosworth 72D Used Pit Tools To Repair Car 20 
Peter Gethin BRM P160B Accident 18 
Alex Soler-Roig BRM P160B Throttle Jammed/ Accident 21 
16 Chris Amon Matra Simca-Matra MS120C -1 Gearbox 12