Brazilian GP 1973

Brazilian GP, 1973

With a Brazilian World Champion there was much demand for a Grand Prix in Brazil and, having run a non-championship event in 1972, the Brazilians won the right to stage a World Championship event at Interlagos in 1973. The event was held a fortnight after the race in Argentina and so all the teams went directly there. As the field in Argentina had been a small one the field was only 20 in number with the only new face being local man Luis Pereira Bueno who rented an old Surtees for the event. This was not his first F1 experience, however, as he had rented a March the previous year for the non-championship event.

Team Lotus had done considerable testing at the track in an effort to give Emerson Fittipaldi a chance to win in front of his home crowd but as things turned out it was his team mate Ronnie Peterson was on pole position with Fittipaldi second, two tenths of a second slower. There was then a gap of 1.3secs back to Jacky Ickx's Ferrari (which was on the outside of the front row). The second row featured Clay Regazzoni's BRM and Denny Hulme's McLaren with the third row being made up of Carlos Pace (Surtees), Carlos Reutemann (Brabham) and Jackie Stewart (Tyrrell).

The temperatures were very high on race day and at the start the Brazilian crowd was rewarded with two really good starts from the stars they had come to see: Fittipaldi took the lead and Pace leapt through into second position with Stewart third, Peterson fourth and Ickx fifth. On the second lap Pace was pushed back to third by Stewart and he soon dropped behind Peterson as well. The Swedish driver then closed up to Stewart and battled for second place until lap six when Ronnie suffered a wheel failure and crashed heavily.

By then Ickx had moved to third place ahead of Pace, who was in trouble with a rear suspension problem which forced him to retire a few laps later. The order at the front remained unchanged while the excitement was provided by Hulme driving up through the field. On the 12th lap he overtook fourth-placed Jean-Pierre Beltoise (BRM) and three laps later he passed Ickx for third. The Belgian had to pit with a puncture and so fourth place went to Beltoise until the French stopped with an electrical problem. Regazzoni then moved into fourth but almost immediately had to pit for new tires and so the position went to Arturo Merzario in the second Ferrari.

Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Cosworth 72D 40 1h43m55.600s  
Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Cosworth 005 40 1h44m09.100s  
Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M19C 40 1h45m42.000s  
10 Arturo Merzario Ferrari 312B2 39  17 
Jacky Ickx Ferrari 312B2 39  
14 Clay Regazzoni BRM P160D 39  
19 Howden Ganley Iso Marlboro-Cosworth FX3B 39  16 
16 Niki Lauda BRM P160C 38  13 
20 Giovanni Galli Iso Marlboro-Cosworth FX3B 38  18 
10 Francois Cevert Tyrrell-Cosworth 006 38  
11 17 Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Cosworth BT37 38  
12 23 Luis Bueno Surtees-Cosworth TS9B 36  20 
15 Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM P160D 23 Electrics 10 
12 Mike Beuttler March-Cosworth 721G 18 Overheating 19 
Carlos Pace Surtees-Cosworth TS14A Suspension 
Mike Hailwood Surtees-Cosworth TS14A Gearbox 14 
11 Jean-Pierre Jarier March-Cosworth 721G Gearbox 15 
Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Cosworth 72D Wheel 
18 Wilson Fittipaldi Brabham-Cosworth BT37 Engine 11 
Peter Revson McLaren-Cosworth M19C Gearbox 12