Italian GP 1973


Italian GP, 1973

With three races to go in the World Championship Emerson Fittipaldi was faced with the almost impossible task of scoring 24 points in the final three races with Jackie Stewart scoring nothing. The Lotus was becoming the dominant car but it remained fragile, Fittipaldi having retired from the lead at the previous race in Austria with just a few laps to go.

The usual grid was bolstered by the return to full strength of Ferrari which had convinced Jacky Ickx to rejoin the team (on a temporary contract). Niki Lauda was back in action after breaking his wrist at the Nurburgring.

In qualifying the field was reduced by one when James Hunt crashed the Hesketh March heavily and neither Jean-Pierre Jarier's March nor Chris Amon's Tecno were very fast and so both were withdrawn. Up at the front Ronnie Peterson took pole for Lotus while Peter Revson qualified alongside him in his McLaren. The second row featured Denny Hulme in the second McLaren and Fittipaldi's Lotus. Carlos Pace (Surtees) and Stewart shared the third row with Merzario and Mike Hailwood (Surtees) behind them and the Brabhams of Rolf Stommelen and Carlos Reutemann on the fifth row. Francois Cevert was a disappointing 11th in his Tyrrell while Ickx was 14th.

At the start Peterson went into the lead with Fittipaldi chasing him while Hulme claimed third ahead of Stewart and Revson. Merzario disappeared on the second lap when he broke his suspension running over a curb. Both Hulme and Stewart disappeared to the pits, the Scotsman with a puncture and the New Zealander for a check after a wild ride over a curb. This left Revson third. The order at the front remained unchanged while Stewart charged back with a marvelous drive and at the end was up to fourth place. It was enough to make it impossible for Fittipaldi to win the World title and so Peterson was allowed to win. It was Lotus's first 1-2 result for five years.

Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Cosworth 72E 55 1h29m17.000s  
Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Cosworth 72E 55 1h29m17.800s  
Peter Revson McLaren-Cosworth M23 55 1h29m45.800s  
Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Cosworth 006 55 1h29m50.200s  
Francois Cevert Tyrrell-Cosworth 006 55 1h30m03.200s  11 
10 Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Cosworth BT42 55 1h30m16.800s  10 
23 Mike Hailwood Surtees-Cosworth TS14A 55 1h30m45.700s  
Jacky Ickx Ferrari 312B3 54  14 
29 David Purley March-Cosworth 731 54  24 
10 16 George Follmer Shadow-Cosworth DN1 54  21 
11 17 Jackie Oliver Shadow-Cosworth DN1 54  19 
12 Rolf Stommelen Brabham-Cosworth BT42 54  
13 20 Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM P160E 54  13 
14 12 Graham Hill Shadow-Cosworth DN1 54  22 
15 Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M23 53  
nc 25 Howden Ganley Iso Marlboro-Cosworth IR 44  20 
15 Mike Beuttler March-Cosworth 731 34 Gearbox 12 
21 Niki Lauda BRM P160E 33 Tire/ Accident 15 
19 Clay Regazzoni BRM P160E 31 Coil 18 
24 Carlos Pace Surtees-Cosworth TS14A 17 Tire 
26 Gijs van Lennep Iso Marlboro-Cosworth IR 14 Overheating 23 
28 Rikky von Opel Ensign-Cosworth N173 10 Overheating 17 
11 Wilson Fittipaldi Brabham-Cosworth BT42 Brakes 16 
Arturo Merzario Ferrari 312B3 Suspension/ Accident 
ns 27 James Hunt March-Cosworth 731  Accident 25