British GP 1968

JULY 20, 1968

British GP, 1968

The dreadful 1968 season had seen four Formula 1 drivers killed between April and July in a variety of racing machinery. British fans has lost both Jim Clark and Mike Spence but Graham Hill arrived at Brands Hatch with a big lead in the World Championship and with seven other British drivers in the 20-car field there was plenty for the fans to cheer.

The only major change from the miserable French GP (where Honda driver Jo Schlesser had been killed) was the arrival in the Cooper-BRM team of Robin Widdows.

The cars had sprouted increasingly dramatic rear wings in an effort to get as much downforce as possible.

Qualifying showed that Team Lotus was dominant with Hill fastest by half a second and Jack Oliver alongside him. Chris Amon completed the front row in his Ferrari. On the second row Jo Siffert (Rob Walker Lotus) lined up alongside Jochen Rindt's Brabham while the third row featured Dan Gurney (back in action after missing several races in his Eagle-Weslake because of engine problems), Jack Stewart in Ken Tyrrell's Matra-Ford and Jack Brabham's Brabham.

There was light rain at the start (for the third consecutive race) and Oliver took the lead from Hill and Siffert. The leading Lotus was trailing smoke and on the fourth lap Oliver was overtaken by Hill. Despite the smoke trail Oliver remained second. On the 27th lap. however, Hill went out with a rear suspension failure and so Oliver went back into the lead. behind him Siffert fought for second place with Amon but gradually the Lotus driver moved away.

On lap 44 Oliver came to a halt with a transmission failure and so Siffert inherited the lead and went on to win Rob Walker's first victory in seven years. The Ferraris of Amon and Ickx came home second and third.

22 Jo Siffert Lotus-Cosworth 49B 80 2h01m20.300s  
Chris Amon Ferrari 312 80 2h01m24.700s  
Jacky Ickx Ferrari 312 79  12 
Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M7A 79  11 
John Surtees Honda RA301 78  
14 Jackie Stewart Matra-Cosworth MS10 78  
Bruce McLaren McLaren-Cosworth M7A 77  10 
20 Piers Courage BRM P126 72  16 
Jochen Rindt Brabham-Repco BT26 55 Fuel System 
10 Pedro Rodriguez BRM P133 52 Mechanical 13 
nc 19 Silvio Moser Brabham-Repco BT20 52  19 
Jackie Oliver Lotus-Cosworth 49B 43 Transmission 
16 Robin Widdows Cooper-BRM T86 34 Ignition 18 
15 Vic Elford Cooper-BRM T86B 26 Engine 17 
Graham Hill Lotus-Cosworth 49B 26 Mechanical 
18 Jean-Pierre Beltoise Matra MS11 11 Engine 14 
11 Richard Attwood BRM P126 10 Radiator 15 
24 Dan Gurney Eagle-Weslake T1G Fuel Pump 
23 Jo Bonnier McLaren-BRM M5A Engine 20 
Jack Brabham Brabham-Repco BT26 Engine