British GP 1973

British GP, 1973

The British Grand Prix marked the midway point in the World Championship and thanks to his three points scored in France Jackie Stewart was leading the title race by a single point from Emerson Fittipaldi. The pair were 10 points clear of third-placed Francois Cevert. As usual there were additional entries for the British GP with four drivers making their Grand Prix debuts. McLaren entered a third car for Jody Scheckter while Jean-Pierre Jarier had concluded that he was wasting his time in F1 and stood down from the March team and in his place the team chose rising British star Roger Williamson. Team Surtees decided to run a third car for Jochen Mass, while John Watson made his first appearance in a Team MRD Brabham BT37, supported by BMW dealer Hexagon of Highgate. Andrea de Adamich was given one of the newer Brabham BT 42s. Williams rented out his second car to New Zealander Graham McRae. Mike Beuttler, David Purley and James Hunt were all in action in their private Marches while Chris Amon reappeared in the Tecno.

Qualifying resulted in French GP winner Ronnie Peterson taking pole position in his Lotus with the McLarens of Denny Hulme and Peter Revson alongside on the front row. Stewart was on the second row with Fittipaldi while Scheckter lined up alongside Francois Cevert (Tyrrell) and Carlos Reutemann (Brabham) on the third row. Then came the BRMs of Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzoni, followed by Hunt, Mike Hailwood (Surtees) and Wilson Fittipaldi (Brabham). Mass was the best of the new boys in 12th place on the grid.

At the start Lauda suffered a driveshaft failure and was hit from behind by Jack Oliver's Shadow. Both cars were out. At the front Peterson had taken the lead but had lost it in the course of the first lap to Stewart while Reutemann had made a remarkable start to run third ahead of Scheckter and Hulme. As they arrived at Woodcote Corner at the end of the first lap Scheckter lost control and spun across the track into the pitwall. The car bounced back into the middle of the road as the main pack arrived. Eight other cars were involved in the shunt. The race was stopped. De Adamich had broken his ankle but Jean-Pierre Beltoise (BRM), George Follmer (Shadow), Mike Hailwood, Carlos Pace and Mass (all three Surtees entries), Graham Hill and Williamson were all involved. Hill was the only one able to drive away from the scene.

It took half an hour to extract de Adamich from his car and then another hour before the race could be restarted with 19 cars. Lauda's BRM had been repaired and he made a great start (thanks to having a vacant space in front of him) and jumped through into second place behind Peterson ahead of Stewart, Fittipaldi, Hulme, Revson and Cevert. Lauda's second place lasted until the second lap when Stewart overtook him but the Austrian held on to third until Fittipaldi passed him on the seventh lap. At the same time Stewart spun because of a gearbox problem. In the laps that followed Lauda drifted back down the field, being passed by Revson, Hulme, a charging Hunt, Cevert and Reutemann. The order remained unchanged until lap 37 when Fittipaldi retired with a driveshaft failure. His retirement cleared the way for Revson to challenge Peterson for the lead and on lap 39 the American went ahead. Behind them Hunt overtook Hulme and began to attack Peterson. The young Hesketh driver could not keep up his challenge, however, and as his tires faded he slipped back behind Hulme in the closing laps.

It was Revson's first Grand Prix victory and the second consecutive race with a new winner, Peterson having scored his first win in France.

Peter Revson McLaren-Cosworth M23 67 1h29m18.500s  
Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Cosworth 72E 67 1h29m21.300s  
Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M23 67 1h29m21.500s  
27 James Hunt March-Cosworth 731 67 1h29m21.900s  11 
Francois Cevert Tyrrell-Cosworth 006 67 1h29m55.100s  
10 Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Cosworth BT42 67 1h30m03.200s  
19 Clay Regazzoni BRM P160E 67 1h30m30.200s  10 
Jacky Ickx Ferrari 312B3 67 1h30m35.900s  19 
25 Howden Ganley Iso Marlboro-Cosworth IR 66  18 
10 Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Cosworth 006 66  
11 15 Mike Beuttler March-Cosworth 731 65  24 
12 21 Niki Lauda BRM P160E 63  
13 28 Rikky von Opel Ensign-Cosworth N173 61  21 
11 Wilson Fittipaldi Brabham-Cosworth BT42 44 Mechanical 13 
Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Cosworth 72E 36 Cv Joint 
29 John Watson Brabham-Cosworth BT37 36 Mechanical 23 
12 Graham Hill Shadow-Cosworth DN1 24 Front Sub-frame 27 
22 Chris Amon Tecno PA123 Fuel Pressure 29 
26 Graham McRae Iso Marlboro-Cosworth IR Throttle Slides 28 
20 Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM P160E Accident 17 
Andrea de Adamich Brabham-Cosworth BT42 Accident 20 
16 George Follmer Shadow-Cosworth DN1 Accident 25 
23 Mike Hailwood Surtees-Cosworth TS14A Accident 12 
31 Jochen Mass Surtees-Cosworth TS14A Accident 14 
24 Carlos Pace Surtees-Cosworth TS14A Accident 15 
30 Jody Scheckter McLaren-Cosworth M23 Accident 
14 Roger Williamson March-Cosworth 731 Accident 22 
17 Jackie Oliver Shadow-Cosworth DN1 Accident 26 
ns 18 David Purley March-Cosworth 731  Accident 16