United States GP 1969
OCTOBER 5, 1969
United States GP, 1969
All the team traveled to Watkins Glen from Canada, while some of the drivers went to Michigan for a CanAm race on the intervening weekend. Others flew back to Europe for the Paris 1000 sportscar race which was won by Matra's Jean-Pierre Beltoise with Pedro Rodriguez second in a similar car. Matra's third driver Johnny Servoz-Gavin flew to Rome, won an F2 race and then flew back to the US.
The field reassembled at Watkins Glen with the field largely unchanged. Mario Andretti was back in the four-wheel-drive Lotus 63 while Bill Brack had been replaced in the third BRM by George Eaton. There was still only one Ferrari, entered by NART for Pedro Rodriguez.
Rindt was fastest in qualifying in his Lotus, beating Denny Hulme's McLaren by 0.03s while World Champion Jackie Stewart was third on the 2 x 2 grid alongside Graham Hill's Lotus. Jo Siffert was fifth with sixth place on the grid going to Bruce McLaren, although the New Zealander failed to make the start because of mechanical problems during the reconnaissance laps before the race. Rindt took the lead at the start with Stewart and Hill in pursuit while Hulme dropped back to ninth during the first lap and pitted soon afterwards.
On the third lap Siffert managed to pass Hill and he was soon overtaken by Beltoise and Piers Courage in the Frank Williams Brabham. Siffert retired soon afterwards and as Courage had passed Beltoise (who was in trouble with gears), it was the Englishman who was running third.
On lap 12 Stewart overtook Rindt to go into the lead. Nine laps later Rindt was in the lead again. Rindt was able to pull away this time and Stewart's Matra began to trail smoke and he retired with engine failure on lap 36. This left Courage in second, 40 seconds behind Rindt, although he was battling for the position with Brabham and Ickx. Eventually both the factory Brabhams hit trouble, Ickx retiring with engine failure and Brabham being forced to pit for more fuel and so Surtees moved into third place in his BRM.
Hill was running in sixth place in the mid-race. He had a spin and had to push-start his car. As a result he was unable to do up with seat belts and on lap 91 he spun again. This time the car overturned and Hill was thrown out, breaking both his legs.
|1||2||Jochen Rindt||Lotus-Cosworth 49B||108||1h57m56.840s||1|
|2||18||Piers Courage||Brabham-Cosworth BT26A||108||1h58m43.830s||9|
|3||14||John Surtees||BRM P139||106||11|
|4||8||Jack Brabham||Brabham-Cosworth BT26A||106||10|
|5||12||Pedro Rodriguez||Ferrari 312||101||12|
|6||19||Silvio Moser||Brabham-Cosworth BT24||98||17|
|nc||16||Johnny Servoz-Gavin||Matra-Cosworth MS84||92||15|
|r||1||Graham Hill||Lotus-Cosworth 49B||90||Accident||4|
|r||7||Jacky Ickx||Brabham-Cosworth BT26A||77||Engine||8|
|r||22||George Eaton||BRM P138||76||Engine||18|
|r||4||Jean-Pierre Beltoise||Matra-Cosworth MS80||72||Engine||7|
|r||5||Denny Hulme||McLaren-Cosworth M7A||52||Gearbox||2|
|r||3||Jackie Stewart||Matra-Cosworth MS80||35||Engine||3|
|r||21||Peter Lovely||Lotus-Cosworth 49B||25||Mechanical||16|
|r||15||Jackie Oliver||BRM P139||23||Engine||14|
|r||9||Mario Andretti||Lotus-Cosworth 63||3||Suspension||13|
|r||10||Jo Siffert||Lotus-Cosworth 49B||3||Mechanical||5|
|ns||6||Bruce McLaren||McLaren-Cosworth M7C||Engine||6|