Brazilian GP 1974
JANUARY 27, 1974
Brazilian GP, 1974
A fortnight after the opening round of the World Championship in Buenos Aires the teams gathered again in Brazil. Shadow had been forced to fly out a new car after the first lap crash in Argentina but despite some problems with the local customs authorities the field was in place for qualifying. Emerson Fittipaldi was pole in his McLaren with Carlos Reutemann's Brabham alongside while Niki Lauda confirmed that Ferrari was going to be a force to be reckoned with by qualifying third. He shared the second row of the grid with Ronnie Peterson's Lotus. Jacky Ickx was fifth quickest in his Lotus and then came Peter Revson's Shadow. The fourth row was shared by Mike Hailwood's Yardley McLaren and Clay Regazzoni in the second Ferrari while the top 10 was completed by Arturo Merzario in the Williams-run Iso-Marlboro and Jochen Mass's Surtees.
The start of the race saw Reutemann jump into the lead with Peterson chasing him. Fittipaldi was third and Regazzoni fourth. Lauda was in trouble with a misfiring engine. For the first few laps Reutemann was able to keep Peterson behind him but on lap 4 the Swede took the lead and Fittipaldi moved to second. Reutemann would fade as his softer tires began to lose grip and he was overtaken by both Regazzoni and Ickx. Peterson remained in the lead until lap 16 when Fittipaldi outfoxed Peterson while they were lapping Merzario and went into the lead. Peterson then dropped back with a slow puncture and had to pit on lap 19. This promoted Regazzoni to second place and Ickx to third (a lap down).
It had been a dominant and very impressive performance by Fittipaldi.