French GP 1961
JULY 2, 1961
French GP, 1961
A fortnight after the Belgian GP the F1 teams gathered at Reims for the French GP. As the French did not bother with the restrictive invitations it was a large field of cars with a variety of unusual privateers. Ferrari had a fourth car, run in the colors of the Federazione Italiana Scuderie Automobilische and driven by 27-year-old Italian Giancarlo Baghetti who arrived at Reims undefeated in F1 races after wins in non-championship races at Syracuse in April and Naples in May. There was a new De Tomaso-Osca which was run by Scuderia Serenissima for Giorgio Scarlatti but it was not competitive.
It was an all-Ferrari front row with Phil Hill on pole from Wolfgang Von Trips and Ritchie Ginther with the second row being shared by Stirling Moss in his Rob Walker Lotus 18 and Jim Clark in one of the factory Lotus 21s.
Hill led from the start with Ginther and Von Trips giving chase but when Ginther spun Moss was able to take third for a while before the American recovered. Further back there was an exciting slipstreaming battle between seven cars: the two Porsches of Dan Gurney and Jo Bonnier, the factory Lotuses of Clark and Ireland, Graham Hill's BRM (Tony Brooks went out early in the other car with engine trouble), Bruce McLaren's Cooper and the fourth Ferrari of Baghetti. Eventually Ginther passed Moss and Stirling dropped back into this fight because of brake trouble.
Then Ferrari faltered. Von Trips, who had taken the lead under team orders, stopped with engine trouble on lap 18. Hill took over but spun on lap 38 and stalled his engine, rejoining a lap behind. Ginther lasted only three laps in the lead before he stopped with an engine problem and suddenly the seething battle for fourth place was a fight for the lead. Gradually the challengers dropped away leaving Gurney's Porsche against Baghetti's Ferrari. They changed places lap after lap and on the final lap Baghetti dived out of Gurney's slipstream to pass the American a couple of hundred yards before the finish line.
Baghetti thus became the first and, to date, only man to win his first World Championship event...
|1||50||Giancarlo Baghetti||Ferrari 156||52||2h14m17.500s||12|
|2||12||Dan Gurney||Porsche 718||52||2h14m17.600s||9|
|3||8||Jim Clark||Lotus-Climax 21||52||2h15m18.600s||5|
|4||6||Innes Ireland||Lotus-Climax 21||52||2h15m27.800s||10|
|5||4||Bruce McLaren||Cooper-Climax T55||52||2h15m59.300s||8|
|6||22||Graham Hill||BRM-Climax P48/57||52||2h15m59.400s||6|
|7||10||Jo Bonnier||Porsche 718||52||2h17m32.900s||13|
|8||42||Roy Salvadori||Cooper-Climax T53||51||15|
|9||16||Phil Hill||Ferrari 156||50||1|
|10||30||Henry Taylor||Lotus-Climax 18/21||49||25|
|11||46||Michel May||Lotus-Climax 18||48||22|
|12||36||Masten Gregory||Cooper-Climax T53||43||16|
|13||32||Maurice Trintignant||Cooper-Maserati T51||42||23|
|14||38||Ian Burgess||Lotus-Climax 18||42||24|
|15r||18||Richie Ginther||Ferrari 156||40||Engine||3|
|r||26||Stirling Moss||Lotus-Climax 18/21||31||Brakes||4|
|r||48||Willy Mairesse||Lotus-Climax 21||27||Fuel System||20|
|r||14||Carel Godin de Beaufort||Porsche 718||23||Engine||17|
|r||28||Lucien Bianchi||Lotus-Climax 18/21||21||Clutch||19|
|r||20||Wolfgang von Trips||Ferrari 156||18||Engine||2|
|r||34||Giorgio Scarlatti||De Tomaso-OSCA F1||15||Engine||26|
|r||2||Jack Brabham||Cooper-Climax T55||14||Engine||14|
|r||52||Bernard Collomb||Cooper-Climax T53||6||Engine||21|
|r||40||John Surtees||Cooper-Climax T53||4||Suspension/ Accident||7|
|r||24||Tony Brooks||BRM-Climax P48/57||4||Overheating||11|
|r||44||Jack Lewis||Cooper-Climax T53||4||Overheating||18|
|ns||28||Juan-Manuel Bordeu||Lotus-Climax 18/21||Car Raced By Bianchi||27|