Austrian GP 1971

AUGUST 15, 1971

Austrian GP, 1971

With Jackie Stewart having won five of the first seven races, the World Championship was almost over by the time the teams arrived at Zeltweg in mid-August. Stewart had 51 points to Jacky Ickx's 19 and with only four races to go, making any impact was going to be difficult. There were a few changes down through the order. Peter Gethin had been released by McLaren to join BRM, where he replaced Pedro Rodriguez, who had been killed in a sportscar race a few weeks earlier at the Norisring. McLaren had taken on Jack Oliver to replace him. For the Austrian event March had rented out a factory car to a new rising star Niki Lauda, while another Austrian Helmut Marko was running in a fourth BRM.

Qualifying saw something of an upset Jackie Stewart being outqualified by Jo Siffert's BRM. The Scotsman was second quickest and his ever-improving Tyrrell team mate Francois Cevert was third, just ahead of the Clay Regazzoni in the fastest of the Ferraris. Emerson Fittipaldi was on the third row in his Lotus with Ickx 's Ferrari alongside, while the Brabhams of Tim Schenken and Graham Hill were on the fourth row. The top 10 was completed by Denny Hulme (McLaren) and Reine Wisell (Lotus).

Siffert took the lead at the start and successfully held off Stewart's attacks with Regazzoni, Cevert, Ickx and Schenken chasing after them. Both Ferraris were soon in trouble, however, both dropping out of the action with engine trouble. This promoted Cevert to third place and Schenken to fourth. As the race progressed Siffert began to edge away at the front. Cevert was able to close up on Stewart, who was struggling with the handling of his car. On lap 23 Cevert was waved through into second place. On lap 36 Stewart's race ended with a broken rear axle. Four laps earlier Ickx had retired for good and so Stewart was the World Champion as Ronnie Peterson, the only man with a mathematical chance was running around in ninth place with serious handling problems. He was not going to win the race.

Cevert's charge came to an end on lap 43 when his engine failed and so Fittipaldi moved into second, having overtaken Schenken a few laps earlier. In the final laps Siffert suffered a deflating tire but he was so far ahead that he was able to nurse the car to the line, beating Fittipaldi by just over four seconds.

14 Jo Siffert BRM P160 54 1h30m23.910s  
Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Cosworth 72D 54 1h30m28.030s  
Tim Schenken Brabham-Cosworth BT33 54 1h30m43.680s  
Reine Wisell Lotus-Cosworth 72D 54 1h30m55.780s  10 
Graham Hill Brabham-Cosworth BT34 54 1h31m12.340s  
25 Henri Pescarolo March-Cosworth 711 54 1h31m48.420s  13 
24 Rolf Stommelen Surtees-Cosworth TS9 54 1h32m01.330s  12 
17 Ronnie Peterson March-Cosworth 711 53  11 
10 Jackie Oliver McLaren-Cosworth M19A 53  22 
10 23 Peter Gethin BRM P160 52  16 
11 16 Helmut Marko BRM P153 52  17 
12 19 Giovanni Galli March-Alfa Romeo 711 51  15 
nc 27 Mike Beuttler March-Cosworth 711 47  19 
12 Francois Cevert Tyrrell-Cosworth 002 42 Engine 
11 Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Cosworth 003 35 Wheel Lost 
Jacky Ickx Ferrari 312B2 31 Spark Plugs 
26 Niki Lauda March-Cosworth 711 20 Handling 21 
22 John Surtees Surtees-Cosworth TS9 12 Engine 18 
Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 312B2 Engine 
15 Howden Ganley BRM P160 Ignition 14 
Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M19A Engine 
ns 28 Jo Bonnier McLaren-Cosworth M7C  Fuel Leak 20