The 1971 Italian Grand Prix (formally the XLII Gran Premio d'Italia) was a Formula One World Championship race that took place on 9 September 1971 at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza and served as the ninth round (out of eleven) of the 1971 Formula One Season. It was the 42nd Italian Grand Prix, and the 38th to be held at the Monza circuit.
With the Monza circuit without chicanes (for what turned out to the final time), the race was an incredibly fast slipstreaming battle, and at 242.615 km/h (150.754 mph), was the fastest race of all time for 32 years until broken by the 2003 race at the circuit. The race also featured the closest finish in F1 history (allowing for improvements in timing technology).
Chris Amon took pole position at a speed of 251.214 km/h (156.071 mph), 0.42 seconds ahead of Ferrari driver Jacky Ickx. The BRMs of Jo Siffert and Howden Ganley filled the second row, while the re-crowned World Championship Jackie Stewart was in seventh.
At the start, Ickx's teammate, Clay Regazzoni, amazingly took the lead from eighth on the grid, while Amon did the opposite the crossed the line at the end of the first lap in eighth. Regazzoni soon was slipstreamed and passed by multiple cars as Ronnie Peterson held the lead at multiple stages throughout the race, with Stewart, François Cevert, Siffert, Ganley and Ickx were all in close proximity. Ickx, Stewart and Regazzoni all retired early and they were replaced in the pack initially by Mike Hailwood (in his first race in over six years) and later by Amon, while Peter Gethin was never too far behind.
Siffert and Ganley both fell back temporarily with overheating engines, and while both returned to the front, Siffert fell back again when his gearbox became stuck in fourth gear. Amon finally made his way into the lead on lap 37 and was beginning to break away ten laps later when, intending to remove a visor tear-off, accidently ripped off the whole visor. He was forced to give up his best opportunity to secure an F1 victory when this issue combined with an overheating engine that required cooling. This left a leading pack of Peterson, Cevert, Hailwood, Ganley and Gethin.
Hailwood, and the following lap Gethin, took the lead from Peterson in the final laps. However, Gethin fell to fourth place as he started the final lap, but in a car geared to gain traction out of the Parabolica corner, he found himself in the lead ahead of Peterson and Cevert.
Using the slipstream, Peterson closed in on Gethin, but the British driver somehow stayed ahead, winning the race by just one hundredth of a second (0.01 seconds). Cevert crossed the line in third, just 0.09 seconds behind Gethin, and Hailwood was another 0.09 seconds down on Cevert. Ganley brought home the rear of the group for fifth, a relatively distant 0.61 seconds behind Gethin. Amon came home sixth, 32 seconds down on Gethin.
Henri Pescarolo scored the fastest lap of the race on lap 9; ten other drivers recorded a lap within half a second of the Frenchman. Eight different drivers managed to lead the race, an F1 record; Peterson was the only driver to lead more than ten laps as the lead changed hands 25 times.
With Jackie Stewart having taken the Drivers' Championship with three rounds remaining, only one Championship remained open, though only a large amount of misfortune for Tyrrell and a few slices of luck for Ferrari could prevent Tyrrell from capturing their first title.
Following the death of Jochen Rindt a year earlier, legal issues meant that the "Team Lotus" entries were absent; however, under the entry of "World Wide Racing", Emerson Fittipaldi got a run-out in the Lotus 56B powered by a Pratt & Whitney turbine engine. A second Lotus, entered by Swiss sportscar champion Herbert Müller, was unable to start a session.
Also interestingly, Enzo Ferrari had threatened to not participate in the race after blaming the car's Firestone tyres for the poor performance in Austria. However, he decided to attend the race. All in all, Jacky Ickx considered the 312B2 not drivable enough for the event and switched to the year-old 312B; Clay Regazzoni continued with the new car.
On the other hand, McLaren only fielded one entry for Jackie Oliver after Denny Hulme decided to enter the USAC race rather than compete in the Grand Prix. A second McLaren, fielded privately by Jo Bonnier, was also entered.
Tyrrell and Brabham entered their standard pairings. But Jackie Stewart's car had some interesting modifications. To add stability in Monza's long, sweeping turns, the car had an 11cm (4.3 inch) spacer inserted between the engine and gearbox. It also had a modified rear wing, comprised of a pair of large blended ducts starting just after the chassis, covering the engine and continuing to the rear of the car, and funneling air to the radiators, mounted at the extreme rear. After experimenting with this configuration in practice, the car was overheating, so the radiator was moved back to its original location in the nose, but the larger wing and ducting were kept for the race.
Other entries included the sole débutant, Jean-Pierre Jarier, who was driving an old March 701 chassis; Silvio Moser, who returned to drive his Bellasi; and François Mazet had an entry, using a March from Siffert, but he did not appear.
Constructors' Championship permutations
- Still in the title race:
- Pre-race gap from leader to second place: 19 points
- Post-race gap required for Tyrrell victory: 18 points (Tyrrell's victories would give the British team the title)
- Tyrrell would win the title if:
- The best-placed Tyrrell car is ahead of the best-placed Ferrari car; or
- Tyrrell get precisely one less point than Ferrari; or
- Ferrari do not score any points; or
- Both teams fail to score any points.
- Ferrari would stay in the title race if:
- Ferrari scored two or more points than Tyrrell.
Note: Drivers in italics did not compete in any sessions.
- Jackie Stewart was originally assigned #1, but thought it very disrespectful that the track where his good friend, Jochen Rindt, was killed the previous year would not omit issuing car number 1 as a tribute to the champion. So Stewart opted for the lowest unassigned number, 30.
There were six hours of practice, but with no mid-qualifying results released, drivers would have to try their best and hope that at the end of the day that their times were good in comparison. It was expected that the V12s would dominate, so Ferrari, BRM and Matra were expected to fill up the front rows.
And they did so. Late on Saturday, it was believed that Jacky Ickx (Ferrari) had set the fastest time. However, Chris Amon, driving the sole Matra, had in fact set a time faster – four tenths faster – and thus the New Zealander took pole, his lap also two seconds faster than Ickx's pole from 1970. The BRMs of Jo Siffert and Howden Ganley were next, and François Cevert was the fastest of the V8s, and a second down on Amon. Ronnie Peterson was sixth, new World Champion Jackie Stewart was seventh, and 1970 winner Clay Regazzoni eighth in the second Ferrari.
Tim Schenken was ninth, ahead of Henri Pescarolo. The other two BRMs of Peter Gethin and Helmut Marko were 11th and 12th, ahead of Jackie Oliver's sole works McLaren. The two other World Champions on the grid, Graham Hill and John Surtees, lined up 14th and 15th. Mike Beuttler was half a second behind Surtees in 16th. Mike Hailwood (on his return), Emerson Fittipaldi (in a turbine and Nanni Galli were separated by 0.02 seconds as they qualified 17th, 18th and 19th respectively. Andrea de Adamich's Alfa Romeo-powered March was 20th. Jo Bonnier's old McLaren was 21st and Silvio Moser's Bellasi was 22nd. Rolf Stommelen had qualified 23rd, but an accident too damaging to repair meant the German would not start. Jean-Pierre Jarier, in an outdated March, qualified last on his début.
|1||12||Chris Amon||Matra||1:22.40||251.214 km/h||1|
|2||3||Jacky Ickx||Ferrari||1:22.82||+ 0.42 s||249.940 km/h||2|
|3||20||Jo Siffert||BRM||1:23.03||+ 0.60 s||249.307 km/h||3|
|4||19||Howden Ganley||BRM||1:23.15||+ 0.75 s||248.948 km/h||4|
|5||2||François Cevert||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:23.41||+ 1.01 s||248.172 km/h||5|
|6||25||Ronnie Peterson||March-Ford Cosworth||1:23.46||+ 1.06 s||248.023 km/h||6|
|7||30||Jackie Stewart||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:23.61||+ 1.21 s||247.578 km/h||7|
|8||4||Clay Regazzoni||Ferrari||1:23.69||+ 1.29 s||247.341 km/h||8|
|9||11||Tim Schenken||Brabham-Ford Cosworth||1:23.73||+ 1.33 s||247.223 km/h||9|
|10||16||Henri Pescarolo||March-Ford Cosworth||1:23.77||+ 1.37 s||247.105 km/h||10|
|11||18||Peter Gethin||BRM||1:23.88||+ 1.48 s||246.781 km/h||11|
|12||21||Helmut Marko||BRM||1:23.96||+ 1.56 s||246.546 km/h||12|
|13||14||Jackie Oliver||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||1:24.09||+ 1.69 s||246.165 km/h||13|
|14||10||Graham Hill||Brabham-Ford Cosworth||1:24.27||+ 1.87 s||245.639 km/h||14|
|15||7||John Surtees||Surtees-Ford Cosworth||1:24.45||+ 2.05 s||245.115 km/h||15|
|16||24||Mike Beuttler||March-Ford Cosworth||1:25.01||+ 2.61 s||243.501 km/h||16|
|17||9||Mike Hailwood||Surtees-Ford Cosworth||1:25.17||+ 2.77 s||243.043 km/h||17|
|18||5||Emerson Fittipaldi||Lotus-Pratt & Whitney||1:25.18||+ 2.78 s||243.015 km/h||18|
|19||22||Nanni Galli||March-Ford Cosworth||1:25.19||+ 2.79 s||242.986 km/h||19|
|20||23||Andrea de Adamich||March-Alfa Romeo||1:25.78||+ 3.38 s||241.315 km/h||20|
|21||28||Jo Bonnier||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||1:26.14||+ 3.74 s||240.306 km/h||21|
|22||27||Silvio Moser||Bellasi-Ford Cosworth||1:26.54||+ 4.14 s||239.196 km/h||22|
|23||8||Rolf Stommelen||Surtees-Ford Cosworth||1:27.92||+ 5.52 s||235.441 km/h||DNS*|
|24||26||Jean-Pierre Jarier||March-Ford Cosworth||1:28.19||+ 5.79 s||234.720 km/h||24|
- * Rolf Stommelen (23rd) did not start due to an accident.
|______________||Andrea de Adamich|
- * Rolf Stommelen did not start due to an accident.
The cars lined up on the grid, and just as the cars were ready, the flag was waved and the drivers started the race. Clay Regazzoni made by far the best start, moving off fractions before the rest, to stunningly take the lead from eighth. Jo Siffert manages to take second, ahead of Jacky Ickx and polesitter Chris Amon. Siffert temporarily takes the lead from Regazzoni before the Ferrari driver drives past his BRM opponent, and takes a sizeable lead. As the drivers start the second lap, Regazzoni leads Siffert, with Jackie Stewart third, Howden Ganley fourth, Ronnie Peterson fifth, Ickx sixth, Henri Pescarolo seventh, Amon eighth, Peter Gethin ninth and François Cevert tenth. Mike Hailwood made a good start from 17th to 14th, as did Nanni Galli from 19th to 16th; Graham Hill started poorly, falling from 14th to 18th.
Siffert attacks Regazzoni, but fails to pass. Peterson makes his way past Stewart and Ganley, the New Zealander also losing a place to Ickx. At the back, Andrea de Adamich's engine misfires, and he falls to last place.
On the fourth lap, Peterson takes the lead, as both Regazzoni and Siffert are overhauled. Stewart finishes the lap second, Siffert third and Regazzoni fourth. Cevert is now seventh, and Amon has fallen to tenth, suffering from an overheating engine. Further down the pack, both Helmut Marko and John Surtees suffered from engine failures, and were the day's first retirements. 21 remained.
The top five cars run wheel-to-wheel on lap five, as Cevert overtakes Ganley for sixth, and Gethin and Amon push Pescarolo down two places. Hailwood was now eleventh, but at the back, Jean-Pierre Jarier, broke his clutch pedal, but it was soon fixed. On lap six, Regazzoni overtook his fellow Swiss driver, while Cevert overtook Ickx. Down the pack, both Tim Schenken and Silvio Moser retired with suspension issues. Hailwood was now tenth, while Pescarolo had fallen to twelfth, behind Jackie Oliver.
Peterson survives to lead lap seven while Cevert passes Siffert for fourth and Galli passes Pescarolo for twelve. Stewart made his way past Peterson on lap eight, and Hailwood moved to ninth after overtaking Amon, while Galli and Pescarolo swapped back.
Regazzoni made a move on lap nine, first getting past Peterson, followed by Stewart for the lead. Peterson then passed Stewart to take second back. Behind them, Hailwood made it past Gethin to get into the top eight, and Galli and Pescarolo swapped once again.
Regazzoni lost the lead to Peterson on lap ten, as Stewart held off Siffert, who'd overtaken Cevert. Ixkx and Ganley were still sixth and seventh, while Hailwood held eighth. Amon had overhauled Gethin for ninth, while Oliver held onto eleventh with Galli twelfth and Pescarolo thirteenth. The top five were separated by 0.9 seconds, and Pescarolo was only 4.4 seconds down on Peterson.
To be completed
Peter Gethin's win capped off a fast race, the fastest in F1 history at the time. Unfortunately for Gethin, it turned out to be the highlight of his career, and he would not score another win, let alone another podium. Ronnie Peterson's second place moved him ahead of Jacky Ickx in the battle for second place in the Championship, while François Cevert's third place saw him move up to fourth in the Championship. It was also enough points to secure Tyrrell their first (and only) Constructors' Championship.
Mike Hailwood's first F1 race in over six years was a success for the motorcycle champion, fourth place with five laps in the lead a good return for someone unfamiliar with slipstreaming. Howden Ganley's fifth place was his first points finish.
Chris Amon missed another opportunity to take his first victory in a World Championship race. Although he started on pole, Amon's poor start and overheating issues put him out of the early running. Once the issues were resolved, Amon led, but in ripping off his helmet visor he seriously damaged his chances, and fuel starvation issues removed all chances of victory.
Emerson Fittipaldi, driving the sole Lotus with a Pratt & Whitney turbine engine, finished in eighth and a lap down. Jo Siffert was also part of the lead pack, but ended the race two laps down with gearbox issues.
Newly re-crowned World Champion Jackie Stewart was one of three notable early retirements, along with the Ferraris of Jacky Ickx and Clay Regazzoni. Regazzoni was not punished for his jump start by the Italian authorities. Ferrari held onto the second place in the Constructors' Championship, ahead of BRM.
The race set a number of a records. It was the fastest race in F1 history at 242.615 km/h (150.754 mph), and was only beaten in 2003. It is still the fifth-fastest race. The eight different leaders was, and still is, a standalone F1 record. The close finish of 0.01 seconds was, and (along with the 2002 United States Grand Prix) the closest ever finish in an F1 race. It is also still holds records for closest finish between first and third (0.09 seconds), first and fourth (0.18 seconds) and first and fifth (0.61 seconds).
|1||18||Peter Gethin||BRM||55||1 h 18 m 12.60 s||11||9|
|2||25||Ronnie Peterson||March-Ford Cosworth||55||+ 0.01 s||6||6|
|3||2||François Cevert||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||55||+ 0.09 s||5||4|
|4||9||Mike Hailwood||Surtees-Ford Cosworth||55||+ 0.18 s||17||3|
|5||19||Howden Ganley||BRM||55||+ 0.61 s||4||2|
|6||12||Chris Amon||Matra||55||+ 32.36 s||1||1|
|7||14||Jackie Oliver||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||55||+ 1 m 24.83 s||13|
|8||5||Emerson Fittipaldi||Lotus-Pratt & Whitney||54||+ 1 lap||18|
|9||20||Jo Siffert||BRM||53||+ 2 laps||3|
|10||28||Jo Bonnier||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||51||+ 4 laps||21|
|Ret||10||Graham Hill||Brabham-Ford Cosworth||47||Gearbox||14|
|NC||26||Jean-Pierre Jarier||March-Ford Cosworth||47||+ 8 laps||24|
|Ret||24||Mike Beuttler||March-Ford Cosworth||41||Engine||16|
|Ret||16||Henri Pescarolo||March-Ford Cosworth||40||Suspension||10|
|Ret||23||Andrea de Adamich||March-Alfa Romeo||33||Engine||20|
|Ret||30||Jackie Stewart||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||15||Engine||7|
|Ret||22||Nanni Galli||March-Ford Cosworth||11||Electrical||19|
|Ret||11||Tim Schenken||Brabham-Ford Cosworth||5||Suspension||9|
|Ret||27||Silvio Moser||Bellasi-Ford Cosworth||5||Suspension||22|
|Ret||7||John Surtees||Surtees-Ford Cosworth||3||Engine||15|
|DNS||8||Rolf Stommelen||Surtees-Ford Cosworth||0||Accident||23|
|1||16||Henri Pescarolo||March-Ford Cosworth||9||1:23.8||247.017 km/h||Ret|
|2||19||Howden Ganley||BRM||54||1:24.0||+ 0.2 s||246.429 km/h||5th|
|3||9||Mike Hailwood||Surtees-Ford Cosworth||9||1:24.1||+ 0.3 s||246.136 km/h||4th|
|4||14||Jackie Oliver||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||9||1:24.1||+ 0.3 s||246.136 km/h||7th|
|5||25||Ronnie Peterson||March-Ford Cosworth||38||1:24.1||+ 0.3 s||246.136 km/h||2nd|
|6||18||Peter Gethin||BRM||47||1:24.1||+ 0.3 s||246.136 km/h||1st|
|7||22||Nanni Galli||March-Ford Cosworth||9||1:24.2||+ 0.4 s||245.843 km/h||Ret|
|8||20||Jo Siffert||BRM||28||1:24.2||+ 0.4 s||245.843 km/h||9th|
|9||12||Chris Amon||Matra||37||1:24.2||+ 0.4 s||245.843 km/h||6th|
|10||11||Tim Schenken||Brabham-Ford Cosworth||3||1:24.3||+ 0.5 s||245.552 km/h||Ret|
|11||2||François Cevert||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||39||1:24.3||+ 0.5 s||245.552 km/h||3rd|
|12||3||Jacky Ickx||Ferrari||14||1:24.8||+ 1.0 s||244.104 km/h||Ret|
|13||30||Jackie Stewart||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||15||1:24.8||+ 1.0 s||244.104 km/h||Ret|
|14||4||Clay Regazzoni||Ferrari||14||1:24.9||+ 1.1 s||243.816 km/h||Ret|
|15||10||Graham Hill||Brabham-Ford Cosworth||43||1:25.2||+ 1.4 s||242.958 km/h||Ret|
|16||24||Mike Beuttler||March-Ford Cosworth||29||1:25.4||+ 1.6 s||242.389 km/h||Ret|
|17||7||John Surtees||Surtees-Ford Cosworth||3||1:25.7||+ 1.9 s||241.540 km/h||Ret|
|18||5||Emerson Fittipaldi||Lotus-Pratt & Whitney||41||1:25.9||+ 2.1 s||240.978 km/h||8th|
|19||21||Helmut Marko||BRM||2||1:26.4||+ 2.6 s||239.583 km/h||Ret|
|20||28||Jo Bonnier||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||4||1:28.3||+ 4.5 s||234.428 km/h||10th|
|21||27||Silvio Moser||Bellasi-Ford Cosworth||3||1:28.8||+ 5.0 s||233.108 km/h||Ret|
|22||23||Andrea de Adamich||March-Alfa Romeo||21||1:29.8||+ 6.0 s||230.512 km/h||Ret|
|23||26||Jean-Pierre Jarier||March-Ford Cosworth||2||1:30.6||+ 6.8 s||228.477 km/h||NC|
Laps in the lead
|1||Clay Regazzoni||1 – 3||3||17.250 km|
|2||Ronnie Peterson||4 – 7||4||23.000 km|
|3||Jackie Stewart||8||1||5.750 km|
|4||Clay Regazzoni||9||1||5.750 km|
|5||Ronnie Peterson||10 – 14||5||28.750 km|
|6||François Cevert||15 – 16||2||11.500 km|
|7||Ronnie Peterson||17 – 22||6||34.500 km|
|8||François Cevert||23||1||5.750 km|
|9||Ronnie Peterson||24||1||5.750 km|
|10||Mike Hailwood||25||1||5.750 km|
|11||Ronnie Peterson||26||1||5.750 km|
|12||Mike Hailwood||27||1||5.750 km|
|13||Jo Siffert||28 – 30||3||17.250 km|
|14||François Cevert||31 – 32||2||11.500 km|
|15||Ronnie Peterson||33||1||5.750 km|
|16||François Cevert||34||1||5.750 km|
|17||Mike Hailwood||35||1||5.750 km|
|18||François Cevert||36||1||5.750 km|
|19||Chris Amon||37 – 41||5||28.750 km|
|20||Mike Hailwood||42||1||5.750 km|
|21||Chris Amon||43 – 46||4||23.000 km|
|22||Ronnie Peterson||47 – 50||4||23.000 km|
|23||Mike Hailwood||51||1||5.750 km|
|24||Peter Gethin||52 – 53||2||11.500 km|
|25||Ronnie Peterson||54||1||5.750 km|
|26||Peter Gethin||55||1||5.750 km|
|1||Ronnie Peterson||23||132.250 km|
|2||Chris Amon||9||51.750 km|
|3||François Cevert||7||40.250 km|
|4||Mike Hailwood||5||28.750 km|
|5||Clay Regazzoni||4||23.000 km|
|6||Peter Gethin||3||17.250 km|
|Jo Siffert||3||17.250 km|
|8||Jackie Stewart||1||5.750 km|
- Peter Gethin's first and only victory and podium.
- First points score for Howden Ganley.
- Tyrrell secured their first and only Constructors' Championship.
- Jean-Pierre Jarier's Championship début.
- Final start for Silvio Moser.
- Henri Pescarolo's first (and only) fastest lap in his 25th race.
- Closest victory in Formula One history at 0.01 seconds, joint fastest to the hundredth of a second with the 2002 United States Grand Prix (which was timed at 0.011 seconds) and the 1986 Spanish Grand Prix (timed to 0.014 seconds).
- Then-fastest race in Formula One at 242.615 km/h (150.754 mph). The record was beaten at the 2003 Italian Grand Prix (which still holds the record) and this race is still the fifth-fastest in history.
- Eight different drivers crossed the line in the lead, a record that still stands.
- Final race to be run at the chicane-less Monza circuit.
- Final race for both a four-wheel-drive car and a gas-turbine powered car (both the Lotus 56B).
Standings after race
- Constructors' Championship scores were best result per constructor.
- Some sources list Müller's entrant as Siffert Racing Team. However, as this image shows, the entrant was Villiger Cigar Team Herbert Müller.
- Wikipedia article
- GP Encyclopedia article
- F1 Fanatic flashback of the race
- Nigel Roebuck's "I was there when..."
- STATS F1 page
- Racing Sports Car page
|V T E||Italian Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Monza (1950 - 1979, 1981 - Present), Imola (1980)|
|Races||1950 • 1951 • 1952 • 1953 • 1954 • 1955 • 1956 • 1957 • 1958 • 1959 • 1960 • 1961 • 1962 • 1963 • 1964 • 1965 • 1966 • 1967 • 1968 • 1969 • 1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1986 • 1987 • 1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 • 2018 • 2019 • 2020 • 2021 • 2022|
|European Championship Races||1931 • 1932 • 1935 • 1936 • 1937 • 1938|
|Non-Championship Races||1921 • 1922 • 1923 • 1924 • 1925 • 1926 • 1927 • 1928 • 1933 • 1934 • 1947 • 1948 • 1949|
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