South African GP 1971
MARCH 6, 1971
South African GP, 1971
The tragic 1970 season had ended with the new Tyrrell being the dominant car, although the Ferrari 312B was more reliable and so the Italian team was able to win four of the last five races that year. Over the winter months Mauro Forghieri and his engineers at Ferrari developed the car into 312B/2 form. Jackie Ickx and Clay Regazzoni were retained but the team's third driver Ignazio Giunti was killed in January during the Buenos Aires 1000 sportscar race. He was pushing his Ferrari 312P sportscar back to the pits when he was hit by the Matra of Jean-Pierre Beltoise. As a result Mario Andretti was hired to be the team's third driver. Tyrrell retained Jackie Stewart and Francois Cevert, while Team Lotus also developed its 1970 car for youngsters Emerson Fittipaldi and Reine Wisell (although design work was progressing on the Lotus 56, a gas turbine car powered by Pratt & Whitney engines). March lost both of its 1970 drivers: Chris Amon moving to Matra Sports to join Beltoise and Jo Siffert replacing Jack Oliver at BRM as team mate to Pedro Rodriguez and new boy Howden Ganley. McLaren continued with Denny Hulme and Peter Gethin but the Alfa Romeo engines used by Andrea de Adamich moved to March where the Italian became Ronnie Peterson's teammate in the curious March 711 factory cars. Rob Walker decided that he could no longer afford to continue his private team and transferred his Brooke Bond Oxo sponsorship to Surtees, which recruited second driver Rolf Stommelen (with backing from Auto Moto und Sport and Eifelland caravans) from Brabham.
Walker's decision to stop racing freed Graham Hill and he moved to Brabham (which was now being run by Ron Tauranac) where he was joined by former Williams driver Tim Schenken while Williams entered old Marches for Derek Bell and Matra refugee Henri Pescarolo.
Amon's Matra career got off to a good start when he won the non-championship Argentine GP in Buenos Aires in January but the year began with bitterness for Beltoise who lost his racing license as a result of the Giunti accident and was forced to miss the opening round of the World Championship in South Africa.
In qualifying Jackie Stewart (running on Goodyears rather than Dunlops) was fastest with Amon and Regazzoni alongside him on the front row. Andretti shared row two with Fittipaldi while Surtees, Hulme and Ickx were on row three. There was an impressive performance from local driver Dave Charlton, who qualified 12th in a Lucky Strike-sponsored Brabham.
At the start Regazzoni took the lead with Fittipaldi second ahead of Ickx, Hulme, Rodriguez, Andretti and a slow-starting Stewart. Surtees had also made a bad start and was 11th while Amon made an even worse start and was down in 14th position. In the early laps Hulme moved to second place and on lap 17 he took the lead from Regazzoni. he stayed there until the 76th lap when he suffered a suspension problem and had to pit for repairs. Regazzoni had run second for a while after Hulme overtook him but he was then passed by Surtees and Andretti and a few laps later the American overtook Surtees as well. When Hulme ran into trouble Andretti went ahead and won his first Grand Prix victory. Towards the end of the race Stewart was able to catch and pass Surtees and then Regazzoni and so finished second with the Italian third. The only other man to go the full distance was Wisell in the Lotus, while Amon and Hulme completed the points scorers after Surtees and Fittipaldi went out with mechanical troubles.
|1||6||Mario Andretti||Ferrari 312B||79||1h47m35.500s||4|
|2||9||Jackie Stewart||Tyrrell-Cosworth 001||79||1h47m56.400s||1|
|3||5||Clay Regazzoni||Ferrari 312B||79||1h48m06.900s||3|
|4||3||Reine Wisell||Lotus-Cosworth 72C||79||1h48m44.900s||14|
|5||19||Chris Amon||Matra Simca-Matra MS120B||78||2|
|6||11||Denny Hulme||McLaren-Cosworth M19A||78||7|
|7||28||Brian Redman||Surtees-Cosworth TS7||78||17|
|8||4||Jacky Ickx||Ferrari 312B||78||8|
|9||14||Graham Hill||Brabham-Cosworth BT33||77||19|
|10||7||Ronnie Peterson||March-Cosworth 711||77||13|
|11||22||Henri Pescarolo||March-Cosworth 701||77||18|
|12||21||Rolf Stommelen||Surtees-Cosworth TS7||77||15|
|13||8||Andrea de Adamich||March-Alfa Romeo 711||75||22|
|r||2||Emerson Fittipaldi||Lotus-Cosworth 72C||58||Engine||5|
|r||20||John Surtees||Surtees-Cosworth TS9||56||Gearbox||6|
|r||10||Francois Cevert||Tyrrell-Cosworth 002||45||Accident||9|
|r||27||Howden Ganley||BRM P153||42||Driver Ill||24|
|r||16||Pedro Rodriguez||BRM P160||33||Overheating||10|
|r||17||Jo Siffert||BRM P153||31||Overheating||16|
|r||15||Dave Charlton||Brabham-Cosworth BT33||31||Engine||12|
|r||24||John Love||March-Cosworth 701||30||Differential||21|
|r||25||Jackie Pretorious||Brabham-Cosworth BT26A||22||Engine||20|
|r||12||Peter Gethin||McLaren-Cosworth M14A||7||Fuel Line||11|
|r||23||Jo Bonnier||McLaren-Cosworth M7C||5||Suspension||23|
|r||26||Alex Soler-Roig||March-Cosworth 711||5||Engine||25|