Belgian GP 1974

Belgian GP, 1974

After a year at Zolder the Belgian GP was back at Nivelles again and there were 32 cars present. Missing from the entry in Spain were Chris Amon, who had decided to have his car redesigned, and Tom Belso who had been replaced in the second Iso-Marlboro by Gijs Van Lennep. There were four Grand Prix debutantes: Tom Pryce driving a car which had been designed as a Motul by Ray Jessop for Ron Dennis and Neil Trundle of Rondel but was being run as a Token by Tony Vlassopoulo and Ken Grob; Gerard Larrousse appeared in an old Brabham entered by Bretscher Racing; Leo Kinnunen was at the wheel of an old Surtees; and local hero Teddy Pilette at the wheel of a third Brabham thanks to sponsorship from Hitachi. Australian Vern Schuppan appeared at the wheel of the Ensign thanks to backing from Macau businessman Teddy Yip.

Qualifying resulted in a rather suspect pole position for Clay Regazzoni , who was credited with a time which was a full second faster than everyone else. Then came Jody Scheckter in the new Tyrrell. The next 10 drivers were all covered by a second. Niki Lauda (Ferrari) shared the second row with Emerson Fittipaldi's McLaren while the third row featured Ronnie Peterson (Lotus) and Arturo Merzario, showing well once again in the Iso-Marlboro. The top 10 was completed by Jean-Pierre Beltoise (BRM), Carlos Pace (Surtees), James Hunt (Hesketh) and Hans Stuck (March). Local hero Jacky Ickx was a disappointing 16th in his Lotus, while Carlos Reutemann was a disastrous 24th after a troubled practice. Only Kinnunen failed to qualify.

At the start Regazzoni went off into the lead with Scheckter and Fittipaldi behind him. At the end of the lap Fittipaldi breezed past the Tyrrell to take second place. Behind the top three Peterson led Lauda, Hunt, Pace, Beltoise and Merzario. On the third lap Lauda overtook Peterson and a few laps later went past Scheckter as well. The order then stabilized until the front-runners ran into traffic. Lauda was slightly delayed by one and was retaken by Scheckter. Seven laps later they switched places again. Peterson went into the pits with a brake problem, while Regazzoni was pushed onto the grass by a backmarker and lost the lead to Fittipaldi and Lauda was able to grab second as well. Hunt disappeared when his suspension failed and he was thrown into a spin. He was replaced in fifth place by Depailler but the Frenchman went out soon afterwards with a brake problem. This elevated Beltoise and Hulme into the top six although both were overtaken later by Hailwood, although he dropped behind again because of fuel feed problems in the closing laps. Fuel problems also resulted in Regazzoni dropping behind Scheckter on the final lap and so the podium featured Fittipaldi. Lauda and Scheckter.

Emerson Fittipaldi McLaren-Cosworth M23 85 1h44m20.570s  
12 Niki Lauda Ferrari 312B3 85 1h44m20.920s  
Jody Scheckter Tyrrell-Cosworth 007 85 1h45m06.180s  
11 Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 312B3 85 1h45m12.590s  
14 Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM P201 85 1h45m28.620s  
Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M23 85 1h45m31.110s  12 
33 Mike Hailwood McLaren-Cosworth M23 84  13 
26 Graham Hill Lola-Cosworth T370 83  29 
10 Vittorio Brambilla March-Cosworth 741 83  31 
10 41 Tim Schenken Trojan-Cosworth T103 83  23 
11 28 John Watson Brabham-Cosworth BT42 83  19 
12 27 Guy Edwards Lola-Cosworth T370 82  21 
13 17 Jean-Pierre Jarier Shadow-Cosworth DN3 82  17 
14 21 Gijs van Lennep Iso Marlboro-Cosworth FW 82  30 
15 22 Vern Schuppan Ensign-Cosworth N174 82  14 
16 37 Francois Migault BRM P160E 82  25 
17 34 Teddy Pilette Brabham-Cosworth BT42 81  27 
18r 16 Brian Redman Shadow-Cosworth DN3 80 Engine 18 
Jacky Ickx Lotus-Cosworth 76 72 Brakes 16 
42 Tom Pryce Token-Cosworth RJ02 66 Fuel Pressure/ Accident 20 
Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Cosworth BT44 62 Fuel Line 24 
Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Cosworth 76 56 Fuel Tank 
43 Gerard Larrousse Brabham-Cosworth BT42 53 Tires 28 
19 Jochen Mass Surtees-Cosworth TS16 53 Suspension 26 
Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Cosworth 007 53 Brakes 11 
18 Carlos Pace Surtees-Cosworth TS16 50 Vibration 
Rikky von Opel Brabham-Cosworth BT44 49 Engine 22 
24 James Hunt Hesketh-Cosworth 308 45 Suspension 
20 Arturo Merzario Iso Marlboro-Cosworth FW 29 Drive Shaft 
15 Henri Pescarolo BRM-Cosworth P160E 12 Accident 15 
Hans-Joachim Stuck March-Cosworth 741 Clutch 10 
nq 44 Leo Kinnunen Surtees-Cosworth TS16   32