Spanish GP 1975

Spanish GP, 1975

Two weeks after the South African Grand Prix Tom Pryce won the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch, showing the pace of the new Shadow DN5 but a month later Niki Lauda was the winner of the International Trophy at Silverstone in the new Ferrari 312T. This paved the way for the Spanish GP in Montjuich Park, the opening round the European season.

Most of the new cars had appeared by Williams showed off his new FW04 and with Jacques Laffite busy racing in F2 at the Nurburgring, he ran a new rising star Tony Brise. There were two other F1 debutantes: Australian Alan Jones who was at the wheel of the original Hesketh which had been sold to Harry Stiller and Roeluf Wunderink who brought sponsorship from Dutch security company HB Bewaking to the Ensign team. Graham Hill entered Francois Migault alongside Rolf Stommelen.

There was controversy from the start of the meeting because the Grand Prix Drivers Association was unhappy with the state of the barriers, which were not properly bolted together, and they went on strike. Of the major runners only Jacky Ickx (not a member of GPDA) did any running on Friday. Work was carried out overnight and on Saturday morning many of the teams sent their staff out to help get everything finished in time for qualifying. The drivers were still not keen to go out but the threat of legal action from the organizers forced the teams to pressure the drivers to give up. There was little time left and so practice was rather hit or miss. Emerson Fittipaldi was still unhappy and did just three slow laps, the minimum needed.

The two Ferraris were side by side on the front row with Niki Lauda just ahead of Clay Regazzoni. James Hunt (Hesketh) shared the second row with Mario Andretti (Parnelli) while the third row featured Vittorio Brambilla (March) and John Watson (Surtees). The top 10 was completed by Patrick Depailler (Tyrrell), Pryce, Stommelen and Jean-Pierre Jarier (Shadow). Of the other usual front-runners Jody Scheckter (Tyrrell) and Carlos Pace (Brabham) were 13th and 14th and Carlos Reutemann (Brabham) was 15th.

On Sunday morning Emerson Fittipaldi announced that he was not going to race and headed for home.

At the start Brambilla tried to pass Andretti and the two cars collided. The Parnelli was punted into the back of Lauda's Ferrari and this went into Regazzoni's car and so both Ferraris were out of the running, although Regazzoni did pit for repairs and rejoin later. Also retiring was Depailler with suspension damage. Wilson Fittipaldi and Arturo Merzario withdrew because they were unhappy with safety.

All this left Hunt in the lead from Andretti (who had managed to keep going), Watson, Stommelen, Brambilla and Pace. On the fourth lap Scheckter suffered an engine failure and dropped oil on the road. This resulted in Jones and Mark Donohue (Penske) both crashing. On lap seven Hunt did the same. This left Andretti in the lead with Watson second and Stommelen third. Watson began to suffer from a serious vibration and so he pulled into the pits. Andretti led for another seven laps but then retired when a rear suspension failure sent him into the guardrail.

Stommelen was left in the lead with Pace and Peterson chasing him and then came Jochen Mass (McLaren) and Jacky Ickx (Lotus). Peterson disappeared on lap 24 when he collided with Migault while lapping him.

Two laps later Stommelen's rear wing broke. The car went into the barriers and bounced back into the road causing Pace to crash. The Hill then hit the barrier on the other side of the track and flew over it. Five people were killed and Stommelen was very seriously injured. The organizers were in chaos and took four laps to stop the race by which time Mass had overtaken Ickx to take the lead. Jarier was third on the road but it was later established that he had passed Reutemann under a yellow flag and so the Brabham was given third place. As the race was stopped early half points were awarded, Jochen Mass thus becoming the first winner of "half" a Grand Prix. Jarier was fourth, Brambilla fifth and Lombardi collected half a point for sixth place, becoming the first woman to score in the World Championship.

Jochen Mass McLaren-Cosworth M23 29 42m53.700s  11 
Jacky Ickx Lotus-Cosworth 72E 29 42m54.800s  16 
Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Cosworth BT44B 28  15 
17 Jean-Pierre Jarier Shadow-Cosworth DN5 28  10 
Vittorio Brambilla March-Cosworth 751 28  
10 Lella Lombardi March-Cosworth 751 27  24 
21 Tony Brise Williams-Cosworth FW 27  18 
18 John Watson Surtees-Cosworth TS16 26  
22 Rolf Stommelen Hill-Cosworth GH1 25 Rear Wing/ Accident 
Carlos Pace Brabham-Cosworth BT44B 25 Accident 14 
nc 11 Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 312T 25  
Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Cosworth 72E 23 Accident 12 
16 Tom Pryce Shadow-Cosworth DN5 23 Accident 
31 Roelof Wunderink Ensign-Cosworth N174 20 Cv Joint 19 
nc 23 Francois Migault Hill-Cosworth GH1 18  22 
27 Mario Andretti Parnelli-Cosworth VPJ4 16 Suspension/ Accident 
14 Bob Evans BRM P201 Mechanical 23 
24 James Hunt Hesketh-Cosworth 308 Accident 
Jody Scheckter Tyrrell-Cosworth 007 Engine 13 
28 Mark Donohue Penske-Cosworth PC1 Accident 17 
25 Alan Jones Hesketh-Cosworth 308 Accident 20 
Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Cosworth 007 Accident 
20 Arturo Merzario Williams-Cosworth FW04 Withdrew (protest) 25 
30 Wilson Fittipaldi Copersucar-Cosworth FD02 Withdrew (protest) 21 
12 Niki Lauda Ferrari 312T Accident 
ns Emerson Fittipaldi McLaren-Cosworth M23  Considered Track Unsafe 26