Belgian GP 1973

Belgian GP, 1973

After visiting Nivelles in 1972, the Belgian GP moved to Zolder in the Flemish part of Belgium. The organizers started resurfacing late because of a dispute with the teams and so when practice began the tarmac was still not properly hardened. The result was that the track surface broke up in places on Friday. Resurfacing work was carried out overnight, amid threats from the Grand Prix Drivers Association that they would cancel the event if the track broke up again on Saturday. The disputes continued well into Saturday morning but finally it became clear that the track was all right and there was a rush to qualify. The field was as normal with the addition of Chris Amon in a new Tecno. Arturo Merzario was back in action in the second Ferrari having missed the Spanish GP because his new car was not ready.

Qualifying resulted in pole position for Ronnie Peterson's Lotus with Denny Hulme second in the McLaren M23. Then came Ickx's Ferrari and Francois Cevert's Tyrrell. The third row featured Jean-Pierre Beltoise in his BRM and Jackie Stewart's Tyrrell, while the top 10 was completed by Carlos Reutemann (Brabham), Carlos Pace (Surtees), Emerson Fittipaldi (Lotus) and Peter Revson (McLaren).

Peterson took the lead at the start with Cevert chasing and then Ickx, Hulme and Reutemann. On the second lap Cevert took the lead and began to pull away. Hulme dropped away after going off on oil being dropped by Ickx and soon afterwards Ickx retired with an oil pump failure. This put Reutemann third but he went out with engine failure on the 14th lap. Four laps later Fittipaldi and Stewart (who were now third and fourth) overtook Peterson and on lap 20 the Fittipaldi took the lead when Cevert spun. Five laps later Stewart went into the lead and began to pull away. Fittipaldi began to suffer from fuel pressure problems and on lap 48 dropped behind Cevert to give Stewart a 1-2 with the Lotus driver surviving to finish third.

De Adamish and Lauda ended up fourth and fifth with Amon sixth.

Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Cosworth 006 70 1h42m13.430s  
Francois Cevert Tyrrell-Cosworth 006 70 1h42m45.270s  
Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Cosworth 72E 70 1h44m16.220s  
Andrea de Adamich Brabham-Cosworth BT37 69  18 
21 Niki Lauda BRM P160E 69  14 
22 Chris Amon Tecno PA123 67  15 
Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M23 67  
24 Carlos Pace Surtees-Cosworth TS14A 66  
12 Graham Hill Shadow-Cosworth DN1 65  23 
10r 19 Clay Regazzoni BRM-Cosworth P160E 63 Accident 12 
11r 15 Mike Beuttler March-Cosworth 731 63 Accident 20 
14 Jean-Pierre Jarier March-Cosworth 731 60 Accident 16 
20 Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM P160E 56 Engine 
11 Wilson Fittipaldi Brabham-Cosworth BT42 46 Engine 19 
Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Cosworth 72E 42 Accident 
Peter Revson McLaren-Cosworth M23 33 Accident 10 
25 Howden Ganley Iso Marlboro-Cosworth IR 16 Throttle Jammed/ Accident 21 
10 Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Cosworth BT42 14 Engine 
16 George Follmer Shadow-Cosworth DN1 13 Throttle Slides Jammed 11 
17 Jackie Oliver Shadow-Cosworth DN1 11 Accident 22 
26 Giovanni Galli Iso Marlboro-Cosworth IR Engine 17 
Jacky Ickx Ferrari 312B3 Oil Pump 
23 Mike Hailwood Surtees-Cosworth TS14A Accident 13