Belgian GP 1972

Belgian GP, 1972

With Spa being considered too dangerous for Formula 1 machinery, the Belgians decided to hold their Grand Prix at a new track near Brussels called Nivelles. It was safe but inspired little enthusiasm. The World Championship was still very open with four different winner in the first four races (Jackie Stewart in Argentina, Denny Hulme in South Africa, Emerson Fittipaldi in Spain and Jean-Pierre Beltoise in Monaco). Although Fittipaldi looked to be quickest a few days before the Belgian race Hulme beat him in the Gold Cup at Oulton Park.

When the field gathered at Nivelles Stewart was missing, having been ordered by doctors to rest because of an stomach ulcer. Reine Wisell was out of action as well, having injured his hand in the Gold Cup and his place in the five-car team was taken by Vern Schuppan (although he failed to make the start because Peter Gethin damaged his car and so took over Helmut Marko's car and the Austrian took Schuppan's. Ferrari still had two cars as Mario Andretti was elsewhere but Peter Revson was back in action of McLaren. Carlos Reutemann was also back in action after his ankle injury and so Brabham had increased to three cars, with Wilson Fittipaldi running an older BT34 while Reutemann and Graham Hill used the new BT37.

The Martini Tecno team made its first appearance with one car for Nanni Galli but it was not very competitive.

Emerson Fittipaldi took pole position with Clay Regazzoni (Ferrari) and Hulme alongside him on the front row. Jacky Ickx (Ferrari) shared the second row with Francois Cevert's Tyrrell, while Beltoise (BRM), Revson (McLaren) and Mike Hailwood (Surtees) on the third. The top 10 was completed by Reutemann and Andrea de Adamich (Surtees).

In the race Regazzoni made the best start and took the lead with Fittipaldi and Ickx chasing him. Then came Hulme, Cevert, Hailwood and Beltoise. There was then a gap because De Adamich had collided with Revson and caused some considerable confusion. Reutemann was also in trouble with a gear lever problem.

Regazzoni stayed ahead until the ninth lap but then Fittipaldi overtook him and began to move away. Cevert moved ahead of Hulme on the 12th lap and so when Ickx stopped with a throttle problem on lap 26, Cevert was third and in a position to challenge Regazzoni for second place. He moved ahead on lap 31. Regazzoni remained third until lap 58 when he stumbled while lapping Galli's Tecno and crashed. This put Amon third but as usual the New Zealander had no luck at all and on lap 77 he had to pit for more fuel because his fuel pumps were playing up. This promoted Hulme to third with Hailwood fourth, Carlos Pace again impressive in the Williams March in fifth and the recovering Amon in sixth.

32 Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Cosworth 72D 85 1h44m06.700s  
Francois Cevert Tyrrell-Cosworth 002 85 1h44m33.300s  
Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M19C 85 1h45m04.800s  
34 Mike Hailwood Surtees-Cosworth TS9B 85 1h45m18.700s  
16 Carlos Pace March-Cosworth 711 84  11 
Chris Amon Matra Simca-Matra MS120C 84  13 
10 Peter Revson McLaren-Cosworth M19A 83  
25 Howden Ganley BRM P160B 83  15 
11 Ronnie Peterson March-Cosworth 721X 83  14 
10 27 Helmut Marko BRM P153B 83  23 
11 Rolf Stommelen Eifelland March-Cosworth 721 83  20 
12 12 Niki Lauda March-Cosworth 721X 82  25 
13 19 Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Cosworth BT37 81  
14 33 David Walker Lotus-Cosworth 72D 79  12 
17 Graham Hill Brabham-Cosworth BT37 73 Suspension 16 
nc 15 Henri Pescarolo March-Cosworth 721 59  19 
30 Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 312B2 57 Accident 
36 Andrea de Adamich Surtees-Cosworth TS9B 55 Engine 10 
22 Giovanni Galli Tecno PA123 54 Suspension/ Accident 24 
29 Jacky Ickx Ferrari 312B2 47 Fuel Injection 
14 Mike Beuttler March-Cosworth 721G 31 Drive Shaft 22 
18 Wilson Fittipaldi Brabham-Cosworth BT34 28 Gearbox 18 
24 Peter Gethin BRM P160B 27 Fuel Pump 17 
23 Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM P160B 15 Overheating 
35 Tim Schenken Surtees-Cosworth TS9B 11 Overheating 21 
ns 26 Vern Schuppan BRM P153B  Car Raced By Marko 26