Italian GP 1969
SEPTEMBER 7, 1969
Italian GP, 1969
The month-long gap between the German and Italian GPs featured only one non-championship with Jacky Ickx winning a poorly attended Oulton Park Gold Cup for Brabham. There were 16 cars (and 17 drivers) in action with Team Lotus continuing to develop the four-wheel-drive 63 in the hands of John Miles, Jack Brabham back in action for the first time since his crash in July. Jo Bonnier was out of action after big crash at Oulton Park and a third Matra for Johnny Servoz-Gavin failed to materialize. Ferrari had only one car as the new 312B (with a new flat 12 engine) had broken down in testing. Ferrari's only entry on the first day of practice was one of the old cars for F2 driver Tino Brambilla. On Saturday the car was handed over to Pedro Rodriguez.
Jochen Rindt took pole position in his Lotus with Denny Hulme's McLaren alongside him on the 2 x 2 grid. Jackie Stewart's Matra was third alongside Piers Courage's Frank Williams Brabham, while the third row featured the McLaren of Bruce McLaren and Jean-Pierre Beltoise's Matra. Graham Hill was again out of contention, behind the Walker-Durlacher Lotus of Jo Siffert. Rodriguez was 12th and Ickx (the winner of the German GP) was at the back after two engine failures.
Despite Ferrari's poor showing there was a huge crowd to watch the race and they were treated to an exciting slipstreaming battle between eight cars, with the lead switching between Stewart, Rindt, Hulme and Courage with Hill, McLaren and Beltoise and Siffert also involved. Hulme eventually dropped away with brake trouble and Siffert with engine problems. With 110 laps to go Courage slipped away with fuel feed problems leaving five cars battling it out. With five laps to go Hill stopped when a driveshaft broke and so it was down to four drivers. On the last lap Stewart lost the lead to Rindt and then regained it. Beltoise went ahead in the Parabolica but drifted wide and was beaten in the run to the line by Stewart and Rindt. The top four cars were covered by just 0.19s.
Stewart's victory (his sixth of the year) gave him the World Championship despite the fact that there were still three races to go in the Americas.
|Car Raced By Rodriguez