Italian GP 1961

SEPTEMBER 10, 1961

Italian GP, 1961

The penultimate race of the 1961 World Championship was to be a showdown between the Ferrari drivers. The team had already won the Constructors' title so it was a straight fight between Wolfgang Von Trips and Phil Hill for the Drivers' title although Moss still had a mathematical chance of victory if he won both races. The advantage lay with Phil Hill who had 38 points to Wolfgang Von Trips's 33.

The Ferrari team had a new recruit at Monza, Ricardo Rodriguez taking over the team's fourth car while Giancarlo Baghetti reappeared in a private Ferrari. Once again Jack Brabham was the only driver with the new Climax V8 engine. Stirling Moss ran his usual Lotus 18 but was not happy with it and Innes Ireland let him have his factory Lotus 21.

The organizers decided to use the combined oval/road course again and the Ferraris were impressive. Von Trips was on pole with Rodriguez second (becoming the youngest driver ever to start a World Championship Grand Prix) ahead of Ginther and P Hill with Graham Hill's BRM sharing the third row with Baghetti.

At the start P Hill and Ginther managed to get into first and second places followed by Rodriguez, the fast-starting Jim Clark and Von Trips. Approaching the Parabolica the two cars collided. Clark crashed without injury but the Ferrari hit a spectator fence and was tossed into a roll. Von Trips was thrown from the car and was killed along with 14 spectators.

The race organizers decided not to stop the race and the Ferrari team put on a display until Rodriguez, Baghetti and Ginther all stopped with mechanical trouble. This left Hill to win.

Of the rest, Brabham went out with engine trouble while Surtees retired after running to the back of Bonnier who had slowed his Porsche at the site of Von Trips's accident. Moss went out with a broken wheel which left Dan Gurney second for Porsche and Bruce McLaren third for Cooper. Jack Lewis drove a marvelous race in his private Cooper to finish fourth ahead of Tony Brooks (BRM) and Roy Salvadori (Parnell Cooper).

The awful accident meant that Phil Hill became the first American to win the Formula 1 World Championship but there was no celebrating at Monza on that Sunday.

Phil Hill Ferrari 156 43 2h03m13.000s  
46 Dan Gurney Porsche 718 43 2h03m44.200s  12 
12 Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax T55 43 2h05m41.400s  14 
60 Jack Lewis Cooper-Climax T53 43 2h05m53.400s  16 
26 Tony Brooks BRM-Climax P48/57 43 2h05m53.500s  13 
40 Roy Salvadori Cooper-Climax T53 42  18 
74 Carel Godin de Beaufort Porsche 718 41  15 
62 Lorenzo Bandini Cooper-Maserati T53 41  21 
48 Maurice Trintignant Cooper-Maserati T51 41  22 
10 16 Tim Parnell Lotus-Climax 18 40  27 
11 20 Henry Taylor Lotus-Climax 18/21 39  23 
12 58 Renato Pirocchi Cooper-Maserati T51 38  29 
28 Stirling Moss Lotus-Climax 21 36 Wheel Bearing 11 
Richie Ginther Ferrari 156 23 Engine 
72 Gaetano Starraba Lotus-Maserati 18 19 Engine 30 
44 Jo Bonnier Porsche 718 14 Suspension 
50 Nino Vaccarella De Tomaso-Conrero F1 13 Engine 20 
32 Giancarlo Baghetti Ferrari 156 13 Engine 
Ricardo Rodriguez Ferrari 156 13 Fuel Pump 
22 Masten Gregory Lotus-Climax 18/21 11 Suspension 17 
24 Graham Hill BRM-Climax P48/57 10 Engine 
10 Jack Brabham Cooper-Climax T58 Overheating 10 
14 Brian Naylor JBW-Climax (61) Engine 31 
30 Jack Fairman Cooper-Climax T45 Engine 26 
38 Innes Ireland Lotus-Climax 18/21 Chassis 
42 John Surtees Cooper-Climax T53 Accident 19 
56 Wolfgang Seidel Lotus-Climax 18 Engine 28 
54 Roberto Bussinello De Tomaso-Conrero F1 Engine 24 
52 Roberto Lippi De Tomaso-OSCA F1 Engine 32 
36 Jim Clark Lotus-Climax 21 Accident 
Wolfgang von Trips Ferrari 156 Fatal Accident 
18 Gerry Ashmore Lotus-Climax 18 Accident 25 
nq 68 Andre Pilette Emeryson-Climax (61)   33 
ns 58 Massimo Natili Cooper-Maserati T51  Car Raced By Pirocchi 34