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The French Grand Prix was the sixth race of the 1972 season, and returned to the Charade Circuit, near Clermont-Ferrand. In a race dominated by stones thrown onto the track by the cars, Jackie Stewart drove a careful race and inherited the win, ahead of Emerson Fittipaldi. Pole sitter and front runner Chris Amon lost almost a lap from a flat tire caused by the stones, but recovered at a furious pace to finish third, setting fastest lap along the way. Early in the race, Helmut Marko was hit in the eye by a stone kicked up by Emerson Fittipaldi, and lost most of his sight in that eye, ending his driving career.

BackgroundEdit

The Charade circuit had an unusual element of danger attached. It was built around an extinct volcano, and a large number of small (but very hard and sharp) igneous rocks were used for the foundation of the roads. As the cars got wider, it became increasingly common for a driver to put a wheel into the rocks, flinging a number of them onto the track and at following cars. The large number of flat tires, lack of run off room, and Marko's injury, all combined to ensure that this was the final Formula One race at the circuit.

There was another very large entry of 29 cars, and since only 24 would be allowed to start, some folks would be going home unhappy. Because of the cancellation of the Dutch GP, there had been a four week gap since Belgium, and a number of teams had modified their cars.

The Formula One world was also saddened by the death of Jo Bonnier, who had been killed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, three weeks earlier.

  • Brabham: Carlos Reutemann's car was fitted with a revised rear suspension, in anticipation of a new model of Hewland gearbox (which had not yet arrived). All three cars had their rear wings moved further back.
  • BRM: the car of Jean-Pierre Beltoise had been fitted with P180 front and rear suspension, giving the car a 5cm wider track. The car was designated a P160C, even though it was one of the P160B chassis. The team felt this move would allow them to evaluate the suspension independently, helping to sort the P180s.
  • Ferrari: Mario Andretti was at the USAC Pocono 500, and Clay Regazzoni had suffered a broken wrist in a soccer match. So the team obtained Nanni Galli on loan from Tecno. Since Belgium, the cars had had their rear suspensions modified, and the rear wings moved further back. Jacky Ickx decided that the spare car was better suited for the circuit, and drove it in the race.
  • Lotus: The cars all had the rear wings mounted atop the oil tank, with the oil radiators on either side of the tank, further improving the airflow.
    • Dave Charlton showed up once again with his 72D having all of the latest bells and whistles. This would be one of three European races contested by Charlton.
  • March: In the four weeks since Nivelles, the team retired the 721X cars, and built their own 721Gs, similar to Mike Beuttler's car. But the team claimed that they had made 43 improvements to the original design. And the experimenting continued: Ronnie Peterson's car had an aluminum rear wing, whereas Niki Lauda's car had one made of fiberglass.
  • Matra: Now that Le Mans was over with, the factory could pay some attention to the F1 team. They arrived with a brand new MS120D chassis, looking much smoother and efficient than the previous cars. Chris Amon was obviously pleased with it, and spent much of the weekend showing the field that the old spark was still there.
  • McLaren: Peter Revson was at the USAC race, so once again the team welcomed Brian Redman in his stead. The cars had their rear wings moved further back, on very sturdy supports. The oil tanks were now mounted between the rear bulkhead and the engine, and the oil coolers were mounted lower next to the gearbox. There were some tweaks to the suspension, too.
  • Tecno: With Nanni Galli at Ferrari this weekend, Derek Bell was given a shot. This was the second chassis built, and with it Galli had finished third (out of seven starters!) at the non-championship race at Vallelunga.
  • Tyrrell: Jackie Stewart returned to the team, looking rested and fitter than he had for a while. For the second time in less than two years, the team startled the paddock by arriving with an unsuspected brand new design. Chassis 005 was a major upgrade on the 001 series. The full width nose was lower, except for the section just in front of the tires, but still enclosed the water radiator. The chassis was rectangular, as apposed to the bulbous oval of the 001 series. On either side of the driver were inlet ducts, like the Lotus 72, but these were for the oil radiators. The bodywork continued on a gentle upward slope until the very rear of the car, and the rear wing had a fairing that continued back from the engine airbox. The whole effect was very neat and aerodynamic, with the bodywork covering almost all of the car. Since Stewart was still on the mend, he stuck with his normal 003 car, and 005 was entrusted to François Cevert in his homeland. In addition, the team entered promising Formula 2 driver Patrick Depailler in 004, and Cevert's old 002 chassis was kept as the spare. Unfortunately, Cevert would have to resort to the spare, when he crashed the new car in the first session, after breaking the lap record.


Entry listEdit

The full entry list for the 1972 French Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 72D Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
2 New Zealand Denny Hulme United Kingdom Yardley Team McLaren McLaren M19C Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
3 Belgium Jacky Ickx Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312B2 Ferrari 001/1 F12 3.0 F
4 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 003 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
5 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise United Kingdom Marlboro BRM BRM P160B BRM P142 V12 3.0 F
6 Australia Dave Walker United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 72D Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
7 France François Cevert United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 002 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
8 France Patrick Depailler United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 004 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
9 New Zealand Chris Amon France Equipe Matra Sports Matra MS120D Matra MS72 V12 3.0 G
10 West Germany Rolf Stommelen West Germany Team Eifelland Caravans Eifelland 21 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
11 United Kingdom Brian Redman United Kingdom Yardley Team McLaren McLaren M19A Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
12 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom STP March Racing Team March 721G Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
14 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom STP March Racing Team March 721G Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
15 United Kingdom Mike Beuttler United Kingdom Clarke-Mordaunt-Guthrie Racing March 721G Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
16 France Henri Pescarolo United Kingdom Team Williams Motul March 721 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
17 Brazil Carlos Pace United Kingdom Team Williams Motul March 711 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
18 United Kingdom Graham Hill United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Ltd. Brabham BT37 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
19 Brazil Wilson Fittipaldi United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Ltd. Brabham BT34 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
20 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Ltd. Brabham BT37 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
21 United Kingdom Derek Bell Italy Martini Racing Tecno PA123 Tecno Series-P F12 3.0 F
22 United Kingdom Peter Gethin United Kingdom Marlboro BRM BRM P160B BRM P142 V12 3.0 F
23 New Zealand Howden Ganley United Kingdom Marlboro BRM BRM P160B BRM P142 V12 3.0 F
24 Sweden Reine Wisell United Kingdom Marlboro BRM BRM P160B BRM P142 V12 3.0 F
25 Austria Helmut Marko United Kingdom Austria Marlboro BRM BRM P160B BRM P142 V12 3.0 F
26 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood United Kingdom Brooke Bond Oxo Team Surtees Surtees TS9B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
27 Australia Tim Schenken United Kingdom Flame Out Team Surtees Surtees TS9B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
28 Italy Andrea de Adamich United Kingdom Ceramica Pagnossin Team Surtees Surtees TS9B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
29 South Africa Dave Charlton South Africa Scribante Lucky Strike Racing Lotus 72D Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
30 Italy Nanni Galli Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312B2 Ferrari 001/1 F12 3.0 F

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

Friday QualifyingEdit

Saturday QualifyingEdit

Qualifying ResultsEdit

The full qualifying results for the 1972 French Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap
P1 P2 P3
1 9 New Zealand Chris Amon France Matra 2:56.7 2:54.7 2:53.4
2 2 New Zealand Denny Hulme United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 2:55.6T 2:59.7 2:54.2 +0.8s
3 4 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 2:55.8 2:55.0 2:55.3 +1.6s
4 3 Belgium Jacky Ickx Italy Ferrari 2:56.8 2:57.7T 2:55.1T +1.7s
5 27 Australia Tim Schenken United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 3:04.6 2:59.6 2:57.2 +3.8s
6 25 Austria Helmut Marko United Kingdom BRM 3:02.0 2:58.8 2:57.3 +3.9s
7 7T France François Cevert United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 3:32.6 2:58.1 3:16.8 +4.7s
8 1 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 3:02.1 2:58.1 2:58.1T +4.7s
9 12 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 3:04.8 3:03.5 2:58.2 +4.8s
10 26 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 3:01.7 2:58.6 2:58.3 +4.9s
11 17 Brazil Carlos Pace United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 3:01.0 2:59.0 2:58.6 +5.2s
12* 16 France Henri Pescarolo United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 3:01.7 2:59.0 2:59.9 +5.6s
13 28 Italy Andrea de Adamich United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 3:02.1 2:59.1 3:01.0 +5.7s
14 11 United Kingdom Brian Redman United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 3:04.3 3:00.8 2:59.4 +6.0s
15 19 Brazil Wilson Fittipaldi United Kingdom Brabham-Ford Cosworth 3:02.4 2:59.5 3:22.3 +6.1s
16 10 West Germany Rolf Stommelen West Germany Eifelland-Ford Cosworth 2:59.8 2:59.6 3:00.4 +6.2s
17 8 France Patrick Depailler United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 3:01.6 2:59.6 3:02.2 +6.2s
18 20 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Brabham-Ford Cosworth 3:00.7 3:03.8 3:11.7 +7.3s
19 24 Sweden Reine Wisell United Kingdom BRM 3:08.3 3:02.9 3:00.7 +7.3s
20 30 Italy Nanni Galli Italy Ferrari 3:02.0 3:03.8 3:00.7 +7.3s
21* 23 New Zealand Howden Ganley United Kingdom BRM 3:07.9 3:02.2 3:02.0 +8.6s
22* 22 United Kingdom Peter Gethin United Kingdom BRM 3:13.1 3:02.8 4:47.3 +9.4s
23 18 United Kingdom Graham Hill United Kingdom Brabham-Ford Cosworth 3:03.0 3:03.8 3:04.2 +9.6s
24 14 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 3:06.6 3:03.1 +9.7s
25 6 Australia Dave Walker United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 3:06.2 3:04.7 +11.3s
26 15 United Kingdom Mike Beuttler United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 3:15.3 3:08.1 3:05.9 +12.5s
27* 21 United Kingdom Derek Bell Italy Tecno 3:06.9 3:07.5 3:07.3 +13.5s
DNQ 29 South Africa Dave Charlton South Africa Lotus-Ford Cosworth 3:38.2 3:20.2 3:11.6 +18.2s
EX 5 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise United Kingdom BRM 3:00.4 2:59.2 3:00.8
  • Bold indicates the driver's best/qualifying time.
  • T Indicates a driver using their test/spare car to set their best time in this session.
  • * Pescarolo, Ganley, Gethin, and Bell had failed to take the start on the grid.
  • Beltoise's time were excluded from the results as he had started at the back of the grid.

GridEdit

RaceEdit

ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts
1 4 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford 38 1:52:21.5 3 9
2 1 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford 38 +27.7 8 6
3 9 New Zealand Chris Amon Matra 38 +32.1 1 4
4 7 France François Cevert Tyrrell-Ford 38 +49.3 7 3
5 12 Sweden Ronnie Peterson March-Ford 38 +56.8 9 2
6 26 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood Surtees-Ford 38 +1:36.1 10 1
7 2 New Zealand Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford 38 +1:48.1 2  
8 19 Brazil Wilson Fittipaldi Brabham-Ford 38 +2:25.1 14  
9 11 United Kingdom Brian Redman McLaren-Ford 38 +2:55.5 13  
10 18 United Kingdom Graham Hill Brabham-Ford 38 +2:59.5 20  
11 3 Belgium Jacky Ickx Ferrari 37 +1 Lap 4  
12 20 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford 37 +1 Lap 17  
13 30 Italy Nanni Galli Ferrari 37 +1 Lap 19  
14 28 Italy Andrea de Adamich Surtees-Ford 37 +1 Lap 12  
15 5 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM 37 +1 Lap 24  
16 10 Germany Rolf Stommelen March-Ford 37 +1 Lap 15  
17 27 Australia Tim Schenken Surtees-Ford 36 +2 Laps 5  
Ret 6 Australia Dave Walker Lotus-Ford 34 Transmission 22  
Ret 15 United Kingdom Mike Beuttler March-Ford 33 Out of fuel 23  
NC 8 France Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford 33 +5 Laps 16  
Ret 24 Sweden Reine Wisell BRM 26 Gearbox 18  
Ret 17 Brazil Carlos Pace March-Ford 19 Engine 11  
Ret 25 Austria Helmut Marko BRM 8 Eye injury 6  
Ret 14 Austria Niki Lauda March-Ford 4 Driveshaft 21  
DNS 16 France Henri Pescarolo March-Ford   Accident    
DNS 25 New Zealand Howden Ganley BRM   Accident    
DNS 22 United Kingdom Peter Gethin BRM   Accident    

MilestonesEdit

Standings after raceEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Pritchard, Anthony (1973). The Motor Racing Year No4. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.. pp. 81-90. ISBN 0-393-08677-1.
V T E France French Grand Prix
Circuits Reims (1950–1951, 1953–1954, 1956, 1958–1961, 1963, 1966)
Rouen-Les-Essarts (1952, 1957, 1962, 1964, 1968)
Charade Circuit (1965, 1969–1970, 1972)
Bugatti Circuit (1967)
Circuit Paul Ricard (1971, 1973, 1975–1976, 1978, 1980, 1982–1983, 1985–1990, 2018-present)
Dijon-Prenois (1974, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1984)
Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours (1991–2008)
PR Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 12.15.31 AM
F1 Races 195019511952195319541955195619571958195919601961196219631964196519661967196819691970197119721973197419751976197719781979198019811982198319841985198619871988198919901991199219931994199519961997199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009-201720182019
European Championship Races 1931193219381939
Non-Championship Races 190619071908191219131914192119221923192419251926192719281929193019331934193519361937194719481949
V T E 1972 Formula One Season
Constructors Brabham • BRM • Connew • Ferrari • Lotus • March • Matra • McLaren • Politoys • Surtees • Tecno • Tyrrell
Engines BRM • Ferrari • Ford Cosworth • Matra • Tecno
Drivers de Adamich • Amon • Andretti • Barber • Bell • Beltoise • Beuttler • Brack • Cevert • Charlton • Depailler • Ferguson • E. Fittipaldi • W. Fittipaldi • Galli • Ganley • Gethin • Hailwood • Hill • Hulme • Ickx • Lauda • Love • Marko • Merzario • Migault • Oliver • Pace • Pescarolo • Peterson • Posey • Redman • Regazzoni • Reutemann • Revson • J. Scheckter • Schenken • Soler-Roig • Stewart • Stommelen • Surtees • Walker • Wisell
Cars Brabham BT33 • Brabham BT34 • Brabham BT37 • BRM P153/P153B • BRM P160B/P160C • BRM P180 • Connew PC1 • Ferrari 312B2 • Lotus 72D • March 711 • March 721/721G/721X • Matra MS120C/MS120D • McLaren M19A/M19C • Politoys FX3 • Surtees TS9B • Surtees TS14 • Tecno PA123/3 • Tyrrell 002 • Tyrrell 003 • Tyrrell 004 • Tyrrell 005 • Tyrrell 006
Tyres Firestone • Goodyear
Races Argentina • South Africa • Spain • Monaco • Belgium • France • Britain • Germany • Austria • Italy • Canada • United States
Non-championship Races Race of Champions • Brazil • International Trophy • Gold Cup • Italian Republic • Rothmans 50,000 • World Championship
See also 1971 Formula One Season • 1973 Formula One Season • Category
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