The 1963 Dutch Grand Prix was the third round of the 1963 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at Zandvoort on the 23rd of June. Publicised as the XI Grote Prijs van Nederland, the 1963 race would go down in history for Jim Clark, with the Scot claiming a second career Grand Chelem with his fifth career win.
Having claimed pole during the combined practice/qualifying sessions, Clark sprinted away from the grid to claim an early lead as his major rival Graham Hill battled for second. Hill ended up getting stuck behind Jack Brabham when the Australian elbowed his way past, before both ran into mechanical issues. Clark continued to dance his Lotus 25 around Zandvoort in the meantime, setting a new lap record with a quarter of the race still to go with Hill retiring just a few laps later with an engine failure.
The down fall of Hill and Brabham promoted John Surtees and Dan Gurney onto the podium, with the two duelling for second place for the rest of the race. The soon had the race leader in sight, with Clark coming charging past to lap them in the closing stages to complete an utterly dominant display. Gurney came home second from Surtees after a mistake by the Englishman let the American through, with the remaining points heading to Innes Ireland, Richie Ginther and Ludovico Scarfiotti.
The major news ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix of 1963 affected Ferrari, as they drafted in Italian racer Ludovico Scarfiotti to partner John Surtees. Regular racer Willy Mairesse had suffered a car fire during the 24 Hours of Le Mans while leading, with the Belgian being taken to hospital for treatment. He remained in hospital on the order of the doctors, meaning Scarfiotti, who had inherited the victory at Le Mans, was drafted into the F1 team.
Lotus-Climax arrived in the Netherlands with their familiar 25s, Jim Clark and Trevor Taylor using gearboxes from different manufacturers to try to solve their continuing issues. Clark's car was also fitted with the experimental "deflector" windscreen from Belgium, which had been modified to increase the angle of the air. Their third car featured an older Climax V8 and had been raced by Taylor in Spa.
BRM brought a brand new P57 chassis with them, one which was built to fit lead driver Graham Hill perfectly. The new car only shared the rear suspension and engine with the older chassis, and would be tested with a view to race depending on its performance. Brabham-Climax were another team to arrive with a new car, with Jack Brabham bringing a second BT7 for himself to leave him and team mate Dan Gurney with equal machinery.
With no issues from Spa, Cooper-Climax arrived with their two factory cars, while also supporting the RRC Walker Racing Team with their ex-factory T60. ATS were also back to compete with Phil Hill and Giancarlo Baghetti, the latter using eight exhausts to the former's two. A single Lola-Climax arrived for Chris Amon to use, while the BRP-BRM came to the Netherlands with hopes of claiming points.
Privateers would also be out in force in the Netherlands, with Jo Siffert using a customer Lotus 24 which after extensive rebuilds by his mechanics was becoming known as the "Siffert Special". BRP were also using a 24 for their second driver Jim Hall, while Carel Godin de Beaufort entered two Porsches for himself and Gerhard Mitter.
The Championship was being led by Bruce McLaren as the field gathered among the sand dunes, the New Zealander's two podium finishers giving him a one point lead. Graham Hill and Clark, the two race winners in 1963, arrived with one win and one retirement each, with Richie Ginther also level on nine points. Californian Gurney rounded out the top five, as ten scorers were already on the board after two races.
BRM led the charge in the Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers, two points ahead of Team Lotus after their win in Belgium. Third, and level on points with Lotus came Cooper, while Brabham found themselves ahead of Italian giants Ferrari in the Championship's earliest stages. Porsche were represented too despite their decision to leave F1 after de Beaufort's sixth place in Spa.
The full entry list for the 1963 Dutch Grand Prix is outlined below:
A stormy Thursday night gave way to a bright Friday morning among the dunes for the first practice/qualifying sessions, with Team Lotus delayed by being unable to cross the channel. They would only start running on Friday afternoon as the wind picked up, before a third and final session on Saturday. Sand proved to be an issue over the practice days, being swept onto the circuit as the wind kept changing direction.
There were failures before the session even began, with Dan Gurney missing out for the entire day after his engine failed as it was being warmed up. Innes Ireland, in contrast, had managed to get a fair number of laps in at high speed before he reported an issue, the BRP-BRM dramatically pirouetting directly in front of Graham Hill through Tarzan. Hill, for his part, was experimenting with the new chassis, running with the number #T12 until a brake issue forced him into his regular challenger. They would ultimately ended up joint fastest at the end of the session.
Team Lotus were in action in the opening stages of the Friday afternoon session, although Clark would use the spare while his car was being prepared. Jack Brabham, meanwhile, was working his way to the 1:33.0 mark despite leaving his helmet in town, meaning he had to borrow Gurney's as the American awaited a new engine. Ferrari continued to have problems with both of their cars, while the new ATSes continued to come in and out of the pits without setting a flying lap.
After a brief flurry of times around the 1:33.0 mark at the end of Friday afternoon, the pace of practice was about to climb sharply upwards during the final session on Saturday. Brabham led the charge, the Australian having briefly lent his car to team mate Gurney so the American could qualify before setting a series of laps that left him with an ultimate time of 1:32.4. Moments later Bruce McLaren charged past the pits to record a 1:32.3, while Clark and Hill wound themselves up to go for pole.
The first, and ultimately telling, blow was made by the Scot, as he recorded a 1:31.6 in his normal car, three quarters of a second quicker than McLaren's best effort. Hill flashed over the line a few laps later to record a 1:32.2, some six tenths slower than his rival with both unable to best their times later in the day. It was Clark's eighth pole of his career, and the Scot's third of the season.
The full qualifying results for the 1963 Dutch Grand Prix are outlined below:
|19||32||Carel Godin de Beaufort||Porsche||1:39.3||+7.7s|
|20||Carel Godin de Beaufort|
A glorious summer day among the dunes greeted the field for the race on Sunday, although a headwind along the start/finish straight was blowing sand onto the circuit. The race was scheduled to start at 3:15 in the afternoon, allowing plenty of time for Brabham to fit the new engine that had arrived for Dan Gurney, with finishing touches elsewhere in the field. The only man who had an issue after the parade lap was Bruce McLaren with hasty repairs made to the gearbox on the grid.
It was a drag race to the corner by the front row, with Jim Clark, Graham Hill and McLaren entering the Tarzan hairpin together. Clark was on the inside and so held the tighter, quicker line with the camber of the corner sweeping him into the lead, with the BRM and the Cooper having to fall in behind. It was a fairly even start throughout the field, although Gurney managed to change from first to fourth as he pulled away, meaning he tumbled to the back of the field.
A fairly tame opening lap ended with Clark leading from Hill, while McLaren waved Jack Brabham through after the New Zealander's Cooper got stuck in fifth gear. He would have to drag the car round into the pits a lap later meaning he lost more time, while Brabham set about putting pressure on Hill ahead. Gurney, meanwhile, was making up for his poor start by taking the slower cars at the back before joining a large brawl for fifth being led by Richie Ginther.
It was Gurney who claimed the spotlight in the group, picking off the cars ahead methodically over the following laps. Débutante Ludovico Scarfiotti was the first to fall to the Californian's charge, before Trevor Taylor and Chris Amon were disposed of during the next lap. The following lap saw him move past Phil Hill with Amon following through, before entering a four way tussle between himself, Ginther, Innes Ireland and Jo Bonnier.
As Gurney charged, Brabham made a move, claiming second from Hill through Tarzan, while John Surtees caught Tony Maggs for fourth, the Englishman escaping the group behind before Gurney could catch him. With Clark dancing the Lotus once again, a familiar sight as the Scot pulled away from the rest, Gurney had his elbows out as he and former team mate Bonnier went side-by-side into Tarzan. This move would be repeated several times over the following laps, before Bonnier, Ireland and Ginther fell.
Maggs was forced to climb out of his car on lap fourteen after a water leak, releasing Surtees to try to catch Brabham and Hill ahead before he himself was caught by Gurney. McLaren's car was still in the garage for gearbox repairs in a sad day for Cooper-Climax, while Taylor dragged the second Lotus in with a misfire. The two ATSes of Phil Hill and Giancarlo Baghetti would also join the retirement list, both out with mechanical problems within a couple of laps of each other.
By the nineteenth lap Graham Hill had found his way past Brabham, although his BRM was beginning to suffer from high water temperatures, although the Englishman pushed on regardless with Clark over ten seconds ahead. Surtees had been dropped from the leaders to run a lonely fourth, for Gurney was called in to have a piece of metal strapped up due to the modifications made to his car. Although it was a quick stop, Ireland, Ginther and Bonnier all slipped by, with the American stamping on the throttle as he left the pits to catch them once again.
As half distance approached there was an interesting battle at the back of the field, with Jo Siffert taking on Jim Hall in an all Lotus-BRM scrap, the two often seen running side-by-side through the dunes. Clark, meanwhile, had lapped Gurney and Ginther, the former benefiting from a gearbox repair made to Bonnier's car and still led Hill by fifteen seconds. Brabham had dropped back from Hill after his car developed a sticking throttle, although he was under no pressure for the final podium spot.
Surtees was now running with Ireland catching him, and Gurney drawing in the pair of them, until a spin for Ireland as the race ticked past half distance allowed Gurney to sweep by. Brabham then had a drama into Tarzan, the Australian's throttle getting jammed open leaving him to frantically jam on the brakes and kill the engine in his attempts to make the corner. With a new set of black marks on the circuit, Brabham made the corner, limped his car round to the pits on the ignition switch and had a new spring fitted, although the entire affair dropped him from third to eighth.
Hill was now the only car on the lead lap, but his temperatures were still climbing and had been in the danger zone for far too long. On lap 58 the Englishman was forced to surrender, indicating he was stopping on the following lap. He did so with steam pouring out from the engine, diagnosed as a leak into one of the cylinders, although the time he was stuck in the pits saw him lose a lap to Clark and, perhaps more importantly, allow Surtees and Gurney through. The BRM mechanics quickly topped up the water and sent him back out, although many were sceptical that the struggling engine would last for the final 20 laps.
As Hill had his issues, Gurney had ruthlessly drawn in Surtees, and just three laps after the Englishman had inherited second, the American danced the Brabham past having pressured the scarlet Ferrari into a spin through Tarzan. Hill was also through as he charged in an all or nothing attempt to claim second in his wounded BRM, while Ireland had dragged Ginther back into play for a potential podium. All five were in sight of each other down the main straight, and their battle looked set to go the distance.
Hill's valiant effort to claim second ended with eleven laps to go, the BRM finally giving up along the run round the edge of the woods and back to the pits. Gurney, Surtees, Ireland and Ginther continued to drift closer and closer together, while Scarfiotti spun through Tarzan all on his own. Siffert and Hall's battle was also done by this stage, the American having suffered from intense heat in the cockpit meaning he could not touch the brake pedal for more than a second.
Clark, meanwhile, pounded round untroubled, his pace while still some way off his new lap record set on lap 56 enough to prevent Gurney and co. from unlapping themselves. The Scot duly won with one of the most dominant displays in Formula One history, while the battle for second ran out of time before all of the combatants were in position. Regardless, it had been a marvellous recovery drive from Gurney to claim second, while Surtees had a largely trouble free race to third.
The full results for the 1963 Dutch Grand Prix are outlined below:
|2||18||Dan Gurney||Brabham-Climax||79||+1 lap||14||6|
|3||2||John Surtees||Ferrari||79||+1 lap||5||4|
|4||30||Innes Ireland||BRP-BRM||79||+1 lap||7||3|
|5||14||Richie Ginther||BRM||79||+1 lap||6||2|
|6||4||Ludovico Scarfiotti||Ferrari||78||+2 laps||11||1|
|7||36||Jo Siffert||Lotus-BRM||77||+3 laps||17|
|8||42||Jim Hall||Lotus-BRM||77||+3 laps||18|
|9||32||Carel Godin de Beaufort||Porsche||75||+5 laps||19|
|10||8||Trevor Taylor||Lotus-Climax||66||+14 laps||10|
|11||28||Jo Bonnier||Cooper-Climax||56||+24 laps||8|
|Ret||10||Chris Amon||Lola-Climax||29||Water pump||12|
- * Hill and Brabham were not classified as they did not complete the final lap.
- Début for Ludovico Scarfiotti.
- Fifth World Championship victory for Jim Clark
- Team Lotus claimed their tenth victory as a constructor.
- 130th podium for Ferrari.
- Climax earned a twenty-fifth fastest lap.
A second consecutive victory for Jim Clark saw him leap into the lead of the Championship, the Scot leaving the Netherlands seven points clear of the rest of the runners. Richie Ginther proved to be the closest challenger to Clark, the American's consistent point scoring in 1963 meaning he was ahead of Bruce McLaren and Dan Gurney despite the four podiums split between them. Graham Hill's second retirement in succession saw him down in fifth, with the Defending Champion's hopes of retaining the title dwindling as Clark continued to dominate.
Lotus-Climax hit the front of the field in the Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers in the Netherlands, taking a five point lead over BRM. Cooper-Climax and Brabham-Climax were level on ten points each, Cooper staying ahead by virtue of a better finishing record, while Ferrari made some rare progress to close the gap ahead. BRP-BRM were also on the board with Innes Ireland's first points of the season, while Porsche rounded out the scorers.
Images and Videos:
- 'GRAND PRIX RESULTS: DUTCH GP, 1963', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2016), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr114.html, (Accessed 04/06/2016)
- D.S.J, 'The Dutch Grand Prix: Clark, Lotus and Climax on their own', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport Magazine, 01/08/1963), http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/august-1963/20/dutch-grand-prix, (Accessed 04/06/2016)
- 'Netherlands 1963: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1963/pays-bas/engages.aspx, (Accessed 04/06/2016)
- 'Netherlands 1963: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1963/pays-bas/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 04/06/2016)
- 'Netherlands 1962: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1963/pays-bas/classement.aspx, (Accessed 04/06/2016)
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