Mexican GP 1968

NOVEMBER 3, 1968

Mexican GP, 1968

There were three drivers fighting for the World Championship when the F1 teams arrived in Mexico for the final round of the World Championship. Graham Hill (Team Lotus) had 39 points, Jackie Stewart (Matra International) had 36 and Denny Hulme (McLaren) had 33. All the contenders were overshadowed in qualifying by Jo Siffert in Rob Walker's Lotus 49 who took pole position with Chris Amon's Ferrari second. Hill and Hulme shared the second row while Dan Gurney (in the third McLaren) was alongside John Surtees's Honda on the third row. Stewart was on row four with Jack Brabham's Brabham. For the occasion the third Lotus was driven by Moises Solana, who outqualified Lotus driver Jack Oliver after the Essex driver had a spin.

At the start of the race neither man on the front well got away well and it was Hill who took the lead although he was overtaken at the first corner by the fast-starting Surtees. Hill retook the lead later in the lap and was clear by the end of the lap. Stewart had moved to third ahead of Amon, Hulme, Pedro Rodriguez (BRM) and Jochen Rindt (Brabham). In the early laps the order switched around considerably. Surtees dropped back through the field as his engine overheated and Rindt disappeared with an ignition problem. Jacky Ickx was back in action in his Ferrari after missing the US Grand Prix because of a leg injury but his race was also short-lived because of an ignition failure. Stewart took the lead for several laps but Hill repassed him while Hulme ran third until his car began to handle oddly and Siffert overtook him. Hulme retired on lap 11 when a rear suspension failure sent him into a guardrail, bringing to an end his World Championship challenge.

It was now a straight fight between Hill and Stewart although Siffert decided to get in on the act and took the lead on lap 22. He then had to pit with a broken throttle cable and so it was Hill and Stewart again at the front. They were well clear of third-placed Brabham. And then Stewart began to drop back quickly with a fuel feed problem. The engine began to misfire and the handling also went awry. On lap 51 McLaren and Brabham both overtook him (the New Zealander having overtaken the Australian earlier). Brabham's race ended soon afterwards with an engine problem and as Johnny Servoz-Gavin also went out with an engine problem it was left to Oliver to take third place behind Hill and McLaren. Stewart ended up back in seventh position. Hill was World Champion for the second time.

10 Graham Hill Lotus-Cosworth 49B 65 1h56m43.950s  
Bruce McLaren McLaren-Cosworth M7A 65 1h58m03.270s  
11 Jackie Oliver Lotus-Cosworth 49B 65 1h58m24.600s  14 
Pedro Rodriguez BRM P133 65 1h58m25.040s  12 
17 Jo Bonnier Honda RA301 64  18 
16 Jo Siffert Lotus-Cosworth 49B 64  
15 Jackie Stewart Matra-Cosworth MS10 64  
18 Vic Elford Cooper-BRM T86B 63  17 
Henri Pescarolo Matra MS11 62  20 
10r Jack Brabham Brabham-Repco BT26 59 Engine 
23 Johnny Servoz-Gavin Matra-Cosworth MS10 57 Ignition 16 
14 Dan Gurney McLaren-Cosworth M7A 28 Suspension 
22 Piers Courage BRM P126 25 Overheating 19 
19 Lucien Bianchi Cooper-BRM T86B 21 Engine 21 
John Surtees Honda RA301 17 Overheating 
Chris Amon Ferrari 312 16 Mechanical 
12 Moises Solana Lotus-Cosworth 49B 14 Wing Collapsed 11 
21 Jean-Pierre Beltoise Matra MS11 10 Suspension 13 
Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M7A 10 Suspension/ Accident 
Jacky Ickx Ferrari 312 Ignition 15 
Jochen Rindt Brabham-Repco BT26 Ignition 10