French GP 1963

JUNE 30, 1963

French GP, 1963

After a year away at Rouen, the French Grand Prix returned to Reims and the field was much as normal with Jim Clark taking pole position in his Lotus from Graham Hill in the new BRM 61. On the outside of the front row was Dan Gurney's Brabham, while the second row featured John Surtees in his Ferrari alongside Jack Brabham's Brabham. The third row of the 3-2-3 grid featured two two Coopers of Bruce McLaren and Tony Maggs, split by the second Lotus of Trevor Taylor. Innes Ireland was 10th on the grid in the BRP-BRM and shared the fourth row of the grid with Jo Siffert's Siffert Racing Team Lotus-BRM. With BRM using the new car for Hill one of the older BRM 57s was made available to Scuderia Centro Sud to run for Lorenzo Bandini. Missing from the action was the ATS team which had not been successful in earlier races.

Ferrari suffered a setback when Lodovico Scarfiotti crashed in practice and injured his knee so he was unable to start.

The race itself began in chaotic fashion as the local officials decided on their own version of the F1 rules and so Graham Hill, who had stalled on the grid, was allowed to start from his usual position rather than at the back of the field. The starter then gave the starting signal using a red flag. Despite this the field managed to get away without undue drama and Clark took the lead. He was completely dominant all afternoon and won by over a minute. Behind the Lotus there were the usual slipstreaming battles but eventually Brabham emerged in second place until he suffered an engine problem and dropped back. This put G Hill into second but the BRM was in difficulties with a slipping clutch and on the penultimate lap Maggs passed him to take second place. It was later decided that Hill should be allowed to keep his position but he was not given the points because of his push-start.

18 Jim Clark Lotus-Climax 25 53 2h10m54.300s  
12 Tony Maggs Cooper-Climax T66 53 2h11m59.200s  
Graham Hill BRM P61 53 2h13m08.200s  
Jack Brabham Brabham-Climax BT7 53 2h13m09.500s  
Dan Gurney Brabham-Climax BT7 53 2h13m27.700s  
36 Jo Siffert Lotus-BRM 24 52  10 
30 Chris Amon Lola-Climax MK 4A 51  15 
28 Maurice Trintignant Lotus-Climax 24 50  14 
32 Innes Ireland BRP-BRM MK 1 49  
10 46 Lorenzo Bandini BRM P57 45  19 
11 34 Jim Hall Lotus-BRM 24 45  16 
12r 10 Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax T66 42 Ignition 
13r 20 Trevor Taylor Lotus-Climax 25 41 Transmission 
42 Phil Hill Lotus-BRM 24 34 Fuel Pump 13 
44 Jo Bonnier Cooper-Climax T60 32 Gearbox 11 
48 Masten Gregory Lotus-BRM 24 30 Gearbox 17 
16 John Surtees Ferrari 156 12 Fuel Pump 
38 Tony Settember Scirocco-BRM SP Mechanical 18 
Richie Ginther BRM P57 Radiator 12 
ns 14 Ludovico Scarfiotti Ferrari 156  Accident/ Injury 20 
ns 22 Peter Arundell Lotus-Climax 25  Drove In Different Race 21