British GP 1975

British GP, 1975

Mindful of the accident in 1973 and demands for more safety after the Barcelona accidents in the Spring, the Silverstone authorities decided to build a chicane at Woodcote Corner. The old Silverstone was no longer.

There were rumors that Graham Hill would finally announce his (long-overdue) decision to retire and he duly did, having set a record of 176 Grands Prix starts, in addition to winning two World Championships, the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Indianapolis 500 and the Targa Florio.

The entry, however, was huge with the World Championship regulars being joined by some of the local machinery. The biggest chance was at Lotus, however, where Jacky Ickx had lost interest after two poor years and had left. Colin Chapman decided to run three cars for Ronnie Peterson, Jim Crawford and Brian Henton. March also expanded to run three cars with Vittorio Brambilla and Lella Lombardi being joined for the occasion by Hans Stuck. The Penske team was also running a March having decided that its own car was not good enough. Surtees also had an additional entry with John Watson being joined by David Morgan. Roelof Wunderink was back in action with Ensign (which had the new N175) but Gijs Van Lennep, who was to drive an older car, failed to appear. Frank Williams was down to only one car because he did not have enough engines and so Jean-Pierre Jabouille did not get a drive. The field was completed by the Maki (with Hiroshi Fushida and David Walker both trying it) and the Lyncar with John Nicholson driving.

Qualifying resulted in a popular pole position for Tom Pryce in the Shadow with Carlos Pace second for Brabham. Then came the two Ferraris of Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzoni, Vittorio Brambilla's March and Jody Scheckter's Tyrrell. The top 10 was completed by World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi (McLaren), Carlos Reutemann (Brabham), James Hunt (Hesketh) and Jochen Mass (McLaren). Wunderink and Fushida failed to qualify.

In the race Pace went away quickest to snatch the lead from Pryce with Regazzoni and Lauda following and a fast-starting Hunt up to fifth. in the early laps Scheckter took Hunt for fifth while Fittipaldi overtook Andretti for seventh and later overtook Hunt as well to move to sixth position. On the 10th lap Regazzoni managed to get ahead of Pryce and three laps later he took the lead from Pace. Four laps later Pryce moved ahead of the Brazilian as well. Rain began to fall and on lap 19 Regazzoni spun at Club and damaged his rear wing. He had to pit. Pryce led for two laps and then he too crashed. This left Scheckter in the lead as he had overtaken both Lauda and Pace. As the weather deteriorated Scheckter pitted for wet weather tires and so Pace went back into the lead. Lauda had a bad stop and he had to stop a second time to have a wheelnut tightened. Some of the cars continued on slicks, notably Pace, Fittipaldi, Hunt and Mass but Scheckter caught them quickly and was followed by Jarier. But now the track was dry again and so Scheckter had to stop again and for two laps Jarier led before he too pitted. This left Hunt in the lead but his engine went flat and began to lose power and so on lap 43 Fittipaldi went ahead again. He was followed by Pace and on lap 53 by Scheckter.

The rain returned and Jarier was the first to go off at Woodcote. On lap 56 Brise, Pace, Scheckter, Hunt, Henton, Nicholson, Morgan and Wilson Fittipaldi (Fittipaldi) all went off at Club while Patrick Depailler (Tyrrell), Mark Donohue, (Penske March) and John Watson (Surtees) all went off at Stowe.

There was a red flag. Emerson Fittipaldi was the winner but the order was decided at the start of lap 56 so Pace, Scheckter and Hunt were given second, third and fourth places with Donohue and Brambilla (the only front-runner other than Fittipaldi who was still going) in sixth.

Emerson Fittipaldi McLaren-Cosworth M23 56 1h22m05.000s  
2r Carlos Pace Brabham-Cosworth BT44B 55 Accident 
3r Jody Scheckter Tyrrell-Cosworth 007 55 Accident 
4r 24 James Hunt Hesketh-Cosworth 308 55 Accident 
5r 28 Mark Donohue March-Cosworth 751 55 Accident 15 
Vittorio Brambilla March-Cosworth 751 55  
7r Jochen Mass McLaren-Cosworth M23 55 Accident 10 
12 Niki Lauda Ferrari 312T 54  
9r Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Cosworth 007 54 Accident 17 
10 22 Alan Jones Hill-Cosworth GH1 54  20 
11r 18 John Watson Surtees-Cosworth TS16 54 Accident 18 
12 27 Mario Andretti Parnelli-Cosworth VPJ4 54  12 
13 11 Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 312T 54  
14r 17 Jean-Pierre Jarier Shadow-Cosworth DN5 53 Accident 11 
15r 23 Tony Brise Hill-Cosworth GH1 53 Accident 13 
16r 15 Brian Henton Lotus-Cosworth 72E 53 Accident 21 
17r 32 John Nicholson Lyncar-Cosworth 006 51 Accident 26 
18r 19 David Morgan Surtees-Cosworth TS16 50 Accident 23 
19r 30 Wilson Fittipaldi Copersucar-Cosworth FD03 50 Accident 24 
10 Hans-Joachim Stuck March-Cosworth 751 45 Accident 14 
Jim Crawford Lotus-Cosworth 72E 28 Accident 25 
16 Tom Pryce Shadow-Cosworth DN5 20 Accident 
29 Lella Lombardi March-Cosworth 751 18 Ignition 22 
Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Cosworth 72E Engine 16 
21 Jacques Laffite Williams-Cosworth FW04 Gearbox 19 
Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Cosworth BT44B Engine 
nq 31 Roelof Wunderink Ensign-Cosworth N175   27 
nq 35 Hiroshi Fushida Maki-Cosworth F101C   28