Canadian GP 1974

Canadian GP, 1974

The Formula 1 circus arrived in Canada with two races to go and the World Championship finely balanced between Clay Regazzoni on 46pts, Jody Scheckter on 45, Emerson Fittipaldi on 43 and Niki Lauda on 38.

The entry was smaller than it had been in Europe with several of the tail-end teams not making the trip to the Americas but numbers were bumped up by the appearance of two new American teams: Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing and Penske Cars.

Parnelli had the Viceroy-sponsored Maurice Philippe-designed VPJ4 for Mario Andretti while Penske entered Mark Donohue in the Geoff Ferris-designed PC1 which was supported by the First National City bank. Ian Ashley and Eppie Wietzes were entered in private Brabhams, while BRM had dropped both Henri Pescarolo and Francois Migault and was running Chris Amon alongside Jean-Pierre Beltoise. Surtees had Helmut Koinigg alongside Derek Bell and the Yardley McLaren team had replaced David Hobbs with Jochen Mass.

Qualifying resulted in pole position for Fittipaldi's McLaren with Lauda's Ferrari alongside and Scheckter's Tyrrell third. Then came Carlos Reutemann (Brabham), Jean-Pierre Jarier in the Shadow and Regazzoni's Ferrari. The top 10 was completed by Patrick Depailler (Tyrrell), James Hunt (Hesketh), Carlos Pace (Brabham) and Ronnie Peterson (Lotus). Andretti qualified the Parnelli a promising 16th.

Lauda went into the lead at the start with Fittipaldi and Regazzoni in pursuit. Scheckter was fourth but on the third lap he moved ahead of Regazzoni and set off after the two leaders. The four World Championship contenders were running in the top four positions. The order remained unchanged until after half-distance and it looked as though the teams would go to the last race with three drivers on the same points (Fittipaldi, Lauda and Scheckter would all have had 49 points and Lauda 47 if they had finished in that order) but on lap 49 Scheckter's brakes (which had been causing him problems) failed and he crashed heavily. That moved Regazzoni to third and into the lead in the World Championship again. That order at the front remained the same until the 70th lap when the leader Lauda crashed out after running over debris. Fittipaldi was the new leader with Regazzoni second. In the World Championship that put Fittipaldi a point ahead.

Amid the excitement Peterson was driving an impressive race. he had started 10th but worked his way up to fifth place after Lauda's departure. He then forced his way ahead of Hunt and began to close on Regazzoni. The pair crossed the line separated by less than a second with Hunt just behind them. Depailler finished fifth with Denny Hulme (McLaren) sixth.

The stage was set for an exciting World Championship showdown in Watkins Glen a fortnight later.

Emerson Fittipaldi McLaren-Cosworth M23 80 1h40m26.136s  
11 Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 312B3 80 1h40m39.170s  
Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Cosworth 72E 80 1h40m40.630s  10 
24 James Hunt Hesketh-Cosworth 308 80 1h40m41.805s  
Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Cosworth 007 80 1h41m21.458s  
Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M23 79  14 
55 Mario Andretti Parnelli-Cosworth VPJ4 79  16 
Carlos Pace Brabham-Cosworth BT44 79  
Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Cosworth BT44 79  
10 19 Helmut Koinigg Surtees-Cosworth TS16 78  22 
11 27 Rolf Stommelen Lola-Cosworth T370 78  11 
12 66 Mark Donohue Penske-Cosworth PC1 78  24 
13 Jacky Ickx Lotus-Cosworth 72E 78  21 
14 26 Graham Hill Lola-Cosworth T370 77  20 
15r 21 Jacques Laffite Iso Marlboro-Cosworth FW 74 Puncture 18 
16 33 Jochen Mass McLaren-Cosworth M23 72  12 
nc 15 Chris Amon BRM P201 70  25 
12 Niki Lauda Ferrari 312B3 67 Accident 
16 Tom Pryce Shadow-Cosworth DN3 65 Engine 13 
28 John Watson Brabham-Cosworth BT44 61 Suspension/ Accident 15 
nc 14 Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM P201 60  17 
Jody Scheckter Tyrrell-Cosworth 007 48 Brakes/ Accident 
17 Jean-Pierre Jarier Shadow-Cosworth DN3 46 Drive Shaft 
20 Arturo Merzario Iso Marlboro-Cosworth FW 40 Handling 19 
50 Eppie Wietzes Brabham-Cosworth BT42 33 Transmission 26 
Hans-Joachim Stuck March-Cosworth 741 12 Fuel Pressure 23 
nq 18 Derek Bell Surtees-Cosworth TS16   27 
nq 22 Mike Wilds Ensign-Cosworth N174   28 
nq 10 Vittorio Brambilla March-Cosworth 741  Accident 29 
nq 42 Ian Ashley Brabham-Cosworth BT42   30