Argentine GP 1973

Argentine GP, 1973

The boom in Formula 1 which followed the arrival of the Cosworth DFV continued in 1973 with two new constructors planning to enter the formula and a 15 races wanting to be part of the World Championship. There were political battles between the teams (a new organization called the Formula One Constructors Association) and the race organizers.

The experiment of having the Argentine Grand Prix in January was repeated in 1973 despite political instability in the country (following the return from exile of General Juan Peron) which had meant that the race was canceled and then reinstated.

In consequence the field was small but it highlighted the major changes of the driver lineup. The big news was that Ronnie Peterson had left March and had been hired as Emerson Fittipaldi's teammate at Team Lotus. Clay Regazzoni left Ferrari to join BRM, where he was joined by former March driver Niki Lauda. March decided to run only one factory car for rising star Jean-Pierre Jarier, while Mike Beuttler continued to run in a privately-entered car.

Tyrrell remained unchanged with Jackie Stewart and Francois Cevert and McLaren retained Denny Hulme and Peter Revson. Bernie Ecclestone began to take more control at Brabham and dropped Graham Hill. To replace Regazzoni Ferrari hired Arturo Merzario to be Jacky Ickx's partner and gave up using commuting US driver Mario Andretti. Beltoise was the only survivor of the previous year's BRM team, with Howden Ganley joining Williams where he replaced Carlos Pace, who had been poached by Surtees. This was bad news for Tim Schenken who found himself out of work. Nanni Galli quit Tecno to join Ganley at Williams (which had backing from Iso Rivolta and Marlboro) and that left Chris Amon with no choice but tecno, as Matra decided it was time to leave the sport. The new teams did not appear but Shadow had Tony Southgate working on its new car (which would be raced by Jack Oliver and George Follmer) and Mo Nunn was building the first Ensign F1 car for Rikki Von Opel. Graham Hill refused to retire and arranged a deal to run a new Shadow in Embassy colors but it was ready to race in Argentina.

Regazzoni took pole position for BRM with Emerson Fittipaldi alongside him on the front row. The second row featured Ickx and Stewart with Peterson and Cevert behind them. The top 10 was completed by Beltoise, Hulme, Reutemann and Mike Hailwood (Surtees).

At the start Cevert, Fittipaldi and Regazzoni all arrived at the first corner side-by-side and it was the Frenchman who emerged ahead from sixth on the grid. Regazzoni challenged the Tyrrell driver at the second corner and forced his way into the lead. The order at the front did not change until lap 29 when Cevert took the lead, Regazzoni having worn out his tires. The man who made the most progress was Stewart who had worked his way up through the field and he took second place from Regazzoni on lap 32. Fittipaldi and Peterson followed him through on laps 33 and 34. The top four remained unchanged until lap 68 when Peterson stopped with an engine problem. Stewart then began to run into tire trouble and on lap 76 dropped behind Fittipaldi. The Brazilian then closed on Cevert and after a lively battle he took the lead on lap 86. Cevert finished second with Stewart third.

Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Cosworth 72D 96 1h56m18.220s  
Francois Cevert Tyrrell-Cosworth 006 96 1h56m22.910s  
Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Cosworth 005 96 1h56m51.410s  
18 Jacky Ickx Ferrari 312B2 96 1h57m00.790s  
14 Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M19C 95  
12 Wilson Fittipaldi Brabham-Cosworth BT37 95  12 
32 Clay Regazzoni BRM P160D 93  
16 Peter Revson McLaren-Cosworth M19C 92  11 
20 Arturo Merzario Ferrari 312B2 92  14 
10r 22 Mike Beuttler March-Cosworth 721G 90 Suspension 18 
24 Jean-Pierre Jarier March-Cosworth 721G 84 Gear Linkage 17 
30 Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM P160D 79 Engine 
nc 38 Howden Ganley Iso Marlboro-Cosworth FX3B 79  19 
Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Cosworth 72D 66 Engine 
34 Niki Lauda BRM P160C 66 Engine 13 
10 Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Cosworth BT37 16 Gearbox 
28 Carlos Pace Surtees-Cosworth TS14A 10 Suspension 15 
26 Mike Hailwood Surtees-Cosworth TS14A 10 Drive Shaft 10 
36 Giovanni Galli Iso Marlboro-Cosworth FX3B Engine 16