Spanish GP 1968

MAY 12, 1968

Spanish GP, 1968

The opening round of the 1968 season had taken place on January 1 and the five months since then had seen a variety of developments - both good and bad. In March Bruce McLaren had won the Race of Champions in the new McLaren M7A. The race saw the first appearance of Team Lotus in the colors of sponsor Gold Leaf although the name was blotted out. Three weeks later at Hockenheim Jim Clark's Formula 2 Lotus went out of control and crashed into the trees early in the Deutschland Trophae race. The Scotsman was killed instantly. When the F1 troops gathered again at Silverstone for the International Trophy the Lotus team was still in shock and ran only one car. Hulme gave McLaren another victory. That weekend Jackie Stewart crashed heavily in the F2 race at Jarama and damaged ligaments in his wrist which put him out of action for a month. Lotus then suffered another shock when Mike Spence died four days after a practice accident at Indianapolis while running one of Andy Granatelli's Lotus turbines when he hit the wall in Turn One and one of the wheels came back into his cockpit. It was, therefore, a very subdued F1 circus which arrived at Jarama for the first Spanish GP in 14 years. BRM ran only Pedro Rodriguez and Lotus Graham Hill (a second car for Jack Oliver not being completed in time). Stewart was still out of action and so Jean-Pierre Beltoise drove Ken Tyrrell's Matra-Ford. Reg Parnell Racing appeared with a BRM for Piers Courage while the Cooper team of Brian Redman and Lodovico Scarfiotti appeared with BRM-engined cars.

Qualifying resulted in Chris Amon being fastest for Ferrari with Rodriguez and Hulme completing the first row. Then came McLaren and Beltoise with Hill's Lotus a lowly sixth on the grid, ahead of John Surtees's Honda and Jacky Ickx in the second Ferrari.

In the race Rodriguez took the lead from Beltoise, Amon and Hulme. The top three remained unchanged int he early laps but on lap 12 Beltoise took the lead. As he did so the Frenchman's car began smoking and on lap 16 he dropped out, leaving Amon (who had overtaken Rodriguez) in the lead. For the next 30 laps the New Zealander was ahead while Rodriguez shadowed him until he lost control on lap 28 and crashed. This put Hill into second place with Hulme third and Surtees fourth. On lap 58 Amon's fuel pump failed and so Hill took the lead and went on to win from Hulme and the reliable Redman.

10 Graham Hill Lotus-Cosworth 49 90 2h15m20.100s  
Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M7A 90 2h15m36.000s  
14 Brian Redman Cooper-BRM T86B 89  13 
15 Ludovico Scarfiotti Cooper-BRM T86B 89  12 
Jean-Pierre Beltoise Matra-Cosworth MS10 81  
Bruce McLaren McLaren-Cosworth M7A 77 Mechanical 
John Surtees Honda RA301 74 Gear Linkage 
16 Jo Siffert Lotus-Cosworth 49 62 Transmission 10 
19 Chris Amon Ferrari 312 57 Fuel Pump 
Piers Courage BRM P126 85 Mechanical 11 
Pedro Rodriguez BRM P133 27 Accident 
21 Jacky Ickx Ferrari 312 13 Ignition 
Jochen Rindt Brabham-Repco BT24 10 Engine 
ns Jack Brabham Brabham-Repco BT26  Engine 14