FANDOM


  The 1976 Spanish Grand Prix, otherwise known as the XXII Gran Premio de España, was the fourth round of the 1976 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Circuito del Jarama on the 2 May 1976.[1] The race would be remembered as one of the most controversial in F1 history, as race winner James Hunt was initially disqualified after post-race scrutineering.[1]

It had gone well for Hunt from the start of the weekend, the McLaren racer claiming pole in the final qualifying session.[1] Increasingly arch rival Niki Lauda would start alongside the Brit yet again, while the rookie Gunnar Nilsson claimed third ahead of Carlos Reutemann in the Alfa Romeo engined Brabham.[1]

Indeed, the only black mark for Hunt during the weekend would be the fact that Lauda once again beat him into the first corner, as the Austrian had done twice in the opening three races.[1] Vittorio Brambilla sprinted up the order to third, while Patrick Depailler, debuting the new six-wheeled Tyrrell P34, shot into fourth.[1]

The opening stages of the race would see Brambilla slowly tumble down the order, before retiring on lap 21 via an accident.[1] Jacques Laffite was another early casualty, while Depailler managed to get to lap 25 before the P34 burned through its brakes.[1] All of that promoted Jochen Mass into third, and Nilsson back into the top four.[1]

Out front, meanwhile, Hunt was closing onto the back of Lauda, and duly snatched the lead on lap 32, soon followed by teammate Mass.[1] Those two would then run away, set for a dominant McLaren one-two, only for Mass' engine to fail just ten laps from the flag.[1]

Hunt eased his pace to a cruise over the following laps, claiming victory from Lauda by over half a minute.[1] Nilsson survived to finish third, the last man on the lead lap, while Carlos Reutemann finally had a trouble free-run in the Alfa Romeo engined Brabham to claim fourth.[1] Chris Amon in the Ensign, and Carlos Pace in the other Brabham-Alfa completed the points.[1]

After the race, however, the FIA announced the disqualification of Hunt's car, stating that the rear of the car was wider than the regulations allowed when measured after the race.[1] McLaren protested, stating that the discrepancy was down to the Goodyear tyres, which expanded due to the heat caused during the race.[1]

Hunt would ultimately be reinstated after an FIA tribunal in July 1976, although McLaren were fined $3,000 after their initial comments.[1]

BackgroundEdit

As the first European round of the season, and with almost all of the F1 circus based in Europe, there was little surprise that the majority of the entrants for the 1976 Spanish Grand Prix had been at the Circuito del Jarama for over a week before the meeting got underway.[2] The result would be a vastly superior entry list than had been seen for some time, including some new faces and some new equipment.[2] The circuit itself, meanwhile, had gone unchanged since F1's last visit in 1974, having become a prime testing venue for Grand Prix cars over the winter months.[2]

Among the most intriguing entries in Spain would be the Tyrrell effort, which arrived the earliest of all the teams with four cars.[2] Two of these would be the team's old 007s which had been campaigned over the past couple of seasons, while the other pair were the Tyrrell team's new P34s.[2] Remarkable for having six wheels, four ten inch diameter wheels at the front and eighteens on the back, the new P34 proved more than capable in the hands of Patrick Depailler over the week.[2] He duly opted to try out the newer P34 for the upcoming race, while Jody Scheckter decided to stick with his conventional 007.[2]

Elsewhere, Lotus spent the week refining their 77s after a difficult start to the season, having officially picked up Mario Andretti from Parnelli.[2] The Italian-American racer duly got to grips with his new car, while Swedish rookie Gunnar Nilsson seemed to be getting more and more confident as the week went on.[2] Andretti's former team Parnelli, meanwhile, had come to rue their decision to enter F1 in the first place, the loss of title sponsors Firestone back in 1974 effectively meaning the company had bankrupted itself by the spring of 1976.[2]

Championship leaders Ferrari, meanwhile, had been busy since the Long Beach Grand Prix completing two new 312Ts, which were both put through a shakedown at Jarama.[2] Defending Champion Niki Lauda would take the newer of the pair, with his 1975 car serving as a spare, while Clay Regazzoni took the other chassis.[2] However, there were to be some question marks over whether the Ferrari domination could continue, as Lauda was sporting some bad bruising on his chest after an accident on his farm near Salzburg.[2]

Ferrari's emerging rivals McLaren had one new car on offer ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, handed to Jochen Mass as team leader James Hunt preferred his "old" car.[2] Likewise, Shadow had one new chassis and two older ones for their drivers Tom Pryce and Jean-Pierre Jarier, both of whom were hoping to have better luck during the race.[2] They were joined by the rejuvenated Surtees team, which once again fielded highly rated youth Alan Jones alongside Brett Lunger in their new TS19s.[2]

Over at March it was business as usual, with their quartet of mismatched creations getting through the "practice week" without issue.[2] The "factory" pairing of Vittorio Brambilla and Ronnie Peterson headlined the effort in the #9 and #10 cars, while Hans-Joachim Stuck and Arturo Merzario were partnered in the #34 and #35 entries.[2] The chassis had also been shuffled around in the quartet, with Merzario now using the newer 761, while Peterson took over Stuck's old car.[2]

There were to be two separate "Williams" entries in Spain, as Frank Williams partially left his own team as Canadian businessman Walter Wolf assumed full control of the board after the race in Long Beach.[2] The old Frank Williams Racing Cars entry officially became Walter Wolf Racing in the buildup to the Spanish race, with Jacky Ickx and Michel Leclère retained as drivers.[2] Mr. Williams himself brought along one of the team's old FW04s, putting Emilio Zapico in the seat, although he was still technically team manager of all three cars.[2]

There were to be five Brabham cars in Spain over the Grand Prix weekend, three entered by Bernie Ecclestone's team and two by new entrants RAM Racing.[2] The three factory cars were the new BT45s, in which Carlos Reutemann and Carlos Pace would continue their struggles against the team's so far unreliable Alfa Romeo F12 engines.[2] The RAM Racing cars were the factory team's old BT44Bs, which were entered for Spaniard Emilio de Villota and Swiss racer Loris Kessel.[2]

Elsewhere, Fittipaldi arrived with two cars, one for former World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi and the other for Ingo Hoffmann, although both had trouble during the practice week.[2] The Ligier-Matra, in contrast, came through the test week in sterling form, with Jacques Laffite hopeful of claiming another points finish for the all French squad.[2] The remains of Hesketh were among the few to not take part, Harald Ertl arriving just before the race meeting, while Penske brought two cars along for sole driver John Watson as usual.[2]

Completing the field would be a pair of Ensigns, although they would race under completely different teams, badging and entries.[2] The factory squad, supporting Chris Amon, had finally got the newest Morris Nunn project, the N176 to run reliably, while the old N174 was sold to Dutch businessman HB Bewaking, who had backed the team previously.[2] However, the deterioration of the relationship between sponsor and team had seen Bewaking start up his own effort, hiring Australian racer Larry Perkins to race his self-entered car, run by the Hoogenboom brothers.[2] The two brothers renamed the car a Boro 001 after making some minor revisions, with the squad arriving shortly before the final day of testing.[2]

Into the Championship, and despite being beaten to victory for the first time in 1976, Lauda had continued to hold his dominant lead, actually growing his advantage over second to fourteen points in the United States. Depailler had remained in second, while race winner Regazzoni leapt up the order having failed to score in the opening two rounds. Mass and Hunt now completed the top five, while Andretti rounded out the twelve drivers on the scorers list.

Ferrari left Long Beach with an equally impressive lead atop the International Cup for Manufacturers' standings, the Italian firm fourteen points clear of Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth after only three rounds. The Surrey squad, in spite of their constant use of the FIA's technical rulebook to throw at their competitors, retained second ahead of McLaren-Ford Cosworth, while Shadow-Ford Cosworth lost ground in fourth. Elsewhere Ligier-Matra had claimed their first points in F1, as had Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth.

Entry listEdit

The full entry list for the 1976 Spanish Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 Austria Niki Lauda Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312T2 Ferrari 015 3.0 F12 G
2 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312T2 Ferrari 015 3.0 F12 G
3 South Africa Jody Scheckter United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 007 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
4 France Patrick Depailler United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell P34 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
5 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 77 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
6 Sweden Gunnar Nilsson United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 77 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
7 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Martini Racing Brabham BT45 Alfa Romeo 115-12 3.0 F12 G
8 Brazil Carlos Pace United Kingdom Martini Racing Brabham BT45 Alfa Romeo 115-12 3.0 F12 G
9 Italy Vittorio Brambilla United Kingdom Beta Team March March 761 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
10 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom March Engineering March 761 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
11 United Kingdom James Hunt United Kingdom Marlboro Team McLaren McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
12 Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Marlboro Team McLaren McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
16 United Kingdom Tom Pryce United Kingdom Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN5B Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
17 France Jean-Pierre Jarier United Kingdom Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN5B Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
18 United States Brett Lunger United Kingdom Team Surtees Surtees TS19 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
19 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Team Surtees Surtees TS19 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
20 Belgium Jacky Ickx Canada Walter Wolf Racing Wolf-Williams FW05 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
21 France Michel Leclère Canada Walter Wolf Racing Wolf-Williams FW05 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
22 New Zealand Chris Amon United Kingdom Team Ensign Ensign N176 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
24 Austria Harald Ertl United Kingdom Hesketh Racing Hesketh 308D Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
25 Spain Emilio Zapico United Kingdom Mapfre-Williams Williams FW04 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS5 Matra MS73 3.0 V12 G
28 United Kingdom John Watson United States Citibank Team Penske Penske PC3 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
30 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Copersucar-Fittipaldi Fittipaldi FD04 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
31 Brazil Ingo Hoffmann Brazil Copersucar-Fittipaldi Fittipaldi FD04 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
32 Switzerland Loris Kessel United Kingdom RAM Racing Brabham BT44B Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
33 Spain Emilio de Villota United Kingdom RAM Racing Brabham BT44B Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
34 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck United Kingdom March Engineering March 761 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
35 Italy Arturo Merzario United Kingdom Ovoro Team March March 761 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
37 Australia Larry Perkins Netherlands HB Bewaking Alarm Systems Boro 001 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
Source: [3]

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

Practice/qualifying were to be staged across four sessions, three of which would be timed to decide the grid, while one was set aside for long running.[2] Both Friday and Saturday at Jarama would be given over to practice for the Grand Prix, with four one and a half hour long sessions held in warm sunshine.[2] The target time for the top teams would be the pole time from 1974, a 1:18.44 set by Niki Lauda.[2]

ReportEdit

Most of the dramas on Friday's first session were to be found at the Fittipaldi team, who had only just arrived at the circuit after their transporter broke down en-route to Spain.[2] As prop-shaft troubles hampered their arrival, Ingo Hoffmann would only get three laps in before his Ford Cosworth engine blew itself apart, leaving him on the sidelines until the team could source another one.[2] Elsewhere, Ronnie Peterson suffered successive electrical and bodywork failures in the blue-yellow March, while the sister car of Hans-Joachim Stuck spent the morning dragging its orange bodywork around.[2]

Setting the pace, meanwhile, would be James Hunt in the #11 McLaren, with the Brit having a trouble free morning en-route to a 1:18.52.[2] That was enough to beat Championship leader Lauda by over three tenths of a second, although the Austrian was battling against his badly bruised ribs.[2] Indeed, such was Lauda's lack of personal manoeuvrability, that the mechanics had to lift the top half of the monocoque off the car to allow the Austrian to climb out of the cockpit.[2]

Other highlights in the first session would be the performance of the new Tyrrell P34 which, in the hands of Patrick Depailler was up in fifth place and demonstrating phenomenal front-end grip.[2] Also looking surprisingly strong was Gunnar Nilsson in the new-for-1976 Lotus 77, with the young Swede a full second faster than American ace teammate Mario Andretti.[2] Jacques Laffite, meanwhile, was completing some metronomic laps in the Ligier-Matra, recording a 1:19.39 in the middle of a 54 lap run, while Carlos Pace finally had some decent timed running in the Brabham-Alfa Romeo.[2]

The second session on Friday was reduced to a single hour, although that fact did not deter Tom Pryce from completing 32 tours around Jarama, albeit without any real evidence of quick pace.[2] Another man counting up laps was Hoffmann, although his were limited to his pit garage as he paced around on foot as his new Cosworth engine refused to fire.[2] Another man left to walk around Jarama, albeit only for a few yards, was Pace, whose clean running came to an end in some Alfa branded smoke, moments before Carlos Reutemann wrote off his car in the catch fencing after a mistake.[2] They would share the spare Brabham until Pace's engine was changed.

Away from the mechanical dramas and Hunt was still leading the charge, unable to beat his time from the morning but still fast enough to hold provisional pole.[2] Lauda was still battling his ribs, while Hunt's teammate Jochen Mass moved into the top five after a change of gearbox during the lunch break.[2] Chris Amon was another running stronger after the break, up among the midfield runners in the new Ensign, while Wolf-Williams, Shadow and Surtees found themselves in the scrap to qualify for the race.[2]

Saturday's running would be restricted to a single session in the afternoon as per the FIA's new rules, although the "untimed" morning session would drag on far longer than anyone expected.[2] The source of these delays would almost exclusively be the Fittipaldi team, as Hoffmann's new engine expired after a single lap, while ex-Champion Emerson Fittipaldi wiped out a large amount of catch fencing after a rare mistake.[2] The only other time eating incident of the morning involved Vittorio Brambilla, who beached himself in the gravel at turn one after experimenting with his braking point.[2]

Into the final session of qualifying and with no improvements coming from the fight for pole, leaving Hunt and Lauda on the front row, the afternoon was all about the fight to qualify.[2] Star of that particular battle would be Larry Perkins in his "Boro", with the Aussie setting his best time of the weekend to sneak into twenty-fourth, the final qualifying spot.[2] Out therefore went Brett Lunger, Loris Kessel, Emilio Zapico, Emilio de Villota, Harald Ertl and, unsurprisingly, Hoffmann, who recorded just three laps in two days.[2]

As the battle to simply qualify stole the show there were to be some intriguing changes in the middle of the pack. The best of these would be Depailler, who leapt into third in the six-wheeled P34, lapping a full second faster than teammate Jody Scheckter in the more conventional Tyrrell 007.[2] Amon, meanwhile, caused a stir by breaching the top ten in the new Ensign, while Laffite record a terrific total of 142 laps in the Ligier-Matra across the two days, despite the fact that the race was only to run for 75.[2]

After qualifying several teams were forced to make changes to bodywork, with McLaren, Lotus and March all having to modify their rear and cockpit bodywork to comply with new FIA rules.[2] Fortunately these changes did not affect the qualifying order.

Qualifying ResultsEdit

The full qualifying results for the 1976 Spanish Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap
P1 P2 P3
1 11 United Kingdom James Hunt United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:18.52 1:19.19 1:18.92
2 1 Austria Niki Lauda Italy Ferrari 1:18.84 1:19.44 1:19.33 +0.32s
3 4 France Patrick Depailler United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:19.32 1:19.32 1:19.11 +0.59s
4 12 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:19.36 1:19.30 1:19.14 +0.62s
5 2 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Italy Ferrari 1:19.15 1:19.73 1:19.70 +0.63s
6 9 Italy Vittorio Brambilla United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 1:19.27 1:20.19 1:19.68 +0.75s
7 6 Sweden Gunnar Nilsson United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:19.35 1:20.01 1:19.52 +0.83s
8 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Matra 1:19.39 1:19.95 1:19.41 +0.87s
9 5 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:20.35 1:19.95 +1.07s
10 22 New Zealand Chris Amon United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth 1:20.99 1:20.06 1:19.83 +1.31s
11 8 Brazil Carlos Pace United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:19.93 1:21.18 1:20.36 +1.41s
12 7 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:20.44 1:20.91 1:20.12T +1.60s
13 28 United Kingdom John Watson United States Penske-Ford Cosworth 1:21.48 1:20.54 1:20.17 +1.65s
14 3 South Africa Jody Scheckter United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:20.61 1:20.40 1:20.19 +1.67s
15 17 France Jean-Pierre Jarier United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:20.48 1:20.54 1:20.21 +1.69s
16 10 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 1:20.55 1:21.85 1:20.34 +1.82s
17 34 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 1:20.98 1:21.79 1:20.40 +1.88s
18 35 Italy Arturo Merzario United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 1:20.63 1:20.92 1:21.06 +2.11s
19 30 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 1:20.71 1:21.42 1:20.74 +2.19s
20 19 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 1:21.26 1:21.29 1:20.87 +2.35s
21 20 Belgium Jacky Ickx Canada Wolf-Williams-Ford Cosworth 1:21.47 1:22.68 1:21.13 +2.61s
22 16 United Kingdom Tom Pryce United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:22.15 1:21.30 1:21.19T +2.67s
23 21 France Michel Leclère Canada Wolf-Williams-Ford Cosworth 1:21.29 1:22.10 1:21.29 +2.77s
24 37 Australia Larry Perkins Netherlands Boro-Ford Cosworth 1:21.84 1:30.67 1:21.52 +3.00s
DNQ 18 United States Brett Lunger United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 1:25.95 1:23.39 1:21.96 +3.44s
DNQ 32 Switzerland Loris Kessel United Kingdom Brabham-Ford Cosworth 1:23.52 1:22.99 1:22.05 +3.53s
DNQ 25 Spain Emilio Zapico United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 1:22.22 1:23.30 1:22.72 +3.70s
DNQ 33 Spain Emilio de Villota United Kingdom Brabham-Ford Cosworth 1:25.38 1:24.53 1:22.89 +4.37s
DNQ 24 Austria Harald Ertl United Kingdom Hesketh-Ford Cosworth 1:24.73 1:23.94 1:22.92 +4.40s
DNQ 31 Brazil Ingo Hoffmann Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 1:53.12 +34.60s
Source:[2][4]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.
  • Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.

GridEdit

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 ______________ 1
2 James Hunt
Niki Lauda ______________
Row 2 ______________ 3
4 Patrick Depailler
Jochen Mass ______________
Row 3 ______________ 5
6 Clay Regazzoni
Vittorio Brambilla ______________
Row 4 ______________ 7
8 Gunnar Nilsson
Jacques Laffite ______________
Row 5 ______________ 9
10 Mario Andretti
Chris Amon ______________
Row 6 ______________ 11
12 Carlos Pace
Carlos Reutemann ______________
Row 7 ______________ 13
14 John Watson
Jody Scheckter ______________
Row 8 ______________ 15
16 Jean-Pierre Jarier
Ronnie Peterson ______________
Row 9 ______________ 17
18 Hans-Joachim Stuck
Arturo Merzario ______________
Row 10 ______________ 19
20 Emerson Fittipaldi
Alan Jones ______________
Row 11 ______________ 21
22 Jacky Ickx
Tom Pryce ______________
Row 12 ______________ 23
24 Michel Leclère
Larry Perkins ______________

RaceEdit

Raceday proved to be the warmest of the weekend, with bright sunshine causing temperatures to climb into the 25°C window just before the start.[2] The schedule was also revised to allow for a live-broadcast of the race to South America, meaning that the pre-race warm-up was held at 11:00am, with the race start at 4:00pm.[2] Even so there would be delays to the actual start, the last of which saw Emerson Fittipaldi swap to Ingo Hoffmann's rebuilt car after a brake failure on his way to the grid.[2]

ReportEdit

It was Niki Lauda who shot into the lead at the start, streaking past pole sitter James Hunt after sensing the slightest twitch from the starter's flag.[2] Hunt was just fractions of a second slower but lost out, although he did do enough to keep a fast starting Vittorio Brambilla at bay.[2] Patrick Depailler got away in fourth ahead of Jochen Mass, while Clay Regazzoni lost out in the middle of the pack after a poor launch from the line.[2]

The opening lap would bot see any major incidents, meaning it was still Lauda leading from Hunt, Brambilla and Depailler at the end of the first tour of Jarama.[2] Mass and Jacques Laffite were next, tagging onto the leaders, while Regazzoni was trying to barge his way up the order in the middle of the pack.[2] Well behind everyone else, meanwhile, would come Tom Pryce in the Shadow, who had picked up so much dust from the start that his throttle slides had jammed shut, meaning he had to wait until they had been cleaned by the car's fuel flow.[2]

Lauda began to inch clear at the front during the first few laps, with Hunt having to fend off Depailler and Mass, who forced their way past Brambilla at the start of the second tour.[2] The top four would soon pull clear of Brambilla in fifth, leaving the Italian to fight with Laffite, Gunnar Nilsson and Mario Andretti, while Regazzoni scrapped with Jody Scheckter at the head of the next group.[2] Elsewhere there would be an early retirement for Fittipaldi as the Brazilian suffered a gearstick failure in the second of his brother's cars.[2]

After ten laps the race had entered a distinct pattern, with Hunt pressuring Lauda for the lead while Depailler and Mass looked on a few yards behind.[2] Laffite, meanwhile, was eyeing a move on Brambilla as the March driver continued to struggle with a suspected car issue.[2] Indeed it seemed as if all of the multi-coloured Marches were in trouble, with Ronnie Peterson in the pits with transmission troubles, while Arturo Merzario and Hans-Joachim Stuck were overtaken by Jacky Ickx in the lowly Wolf-Williams at the back of the field.[2]

With a stalemate out front attention focused on the struggling Brambilla, who was powerless to prevent Laffite from charging clear once the Frenchman elbowed his way past on lap twelve.[2] Nilsson was the next man in the queue and tried every trick in the book to take the orange March, eventually forcing his way up the inside of Brambilla into turn one at the start of lap nineteen.[2] The pair hit the brakes at the same time, but whereas Nilsson actually slowed and made it around the corner, Brambilla went skating off into the gravel trap, requiring assistance from the marshals to get back underway.[2]

Brambilla would rejoin having lost a lap and a lot of positions, before ultimately retiring with terminally damaged suspension.[2] Laffite was another casualty, the Ligier-Matra forced to stop its pursuit of the leaders when the Frenchman stopped for two laps to have a gear selection issue cured.[2] Also in trouble was the six-wheeled Tyrrell of Depailler, who lost out to Mass after suddenly finding he had a "spongy" brake pedal on lap 25.[2] A lap later and the Frenchman was climbing out of the P34 at the side of the circuit, a complete brake failure spitting the car into the catch fencing backwards at the end of the start/finish straight.[2]

With Depailler out of contention Mass could aid teammate Hunt's pursuit of Lauda, with the Austrian doggedly defending from the Brit in the midst of back markers.[2] This ultimately gave Hunt the advantage, with the McLaren charging past Lauda into turn one as the pair lapped one of the back markers.[2] Lauda managed to fend off Mass for two more laps before the German racer got the upper-hand, leaving Lauda to nurse his car, and bruised ribs, in third.[2]

As the race reached half-distance the order was now Hunt leading from Mass, with Lauda dropping back, while Nilsson was up to fourth after the Laffite and Depailler problems.[2] Andretti was up to fifth in the second of the Loti only to suffer a gearbox failure, promoting Regazzoni into the top five.[2] Scheckter was a disappointing sixth ahead of a scrap between Jean-Pierre Jarier and Carlos Reutemann, while John Watson and Chris Amon were into the top ten.[2]

Indeed the Jarier, Reutemann fight was part of an entertaining series of battles encompassing seventh through to eleventh which had been fought since the opening stages.[2] Although the brawl had seen most of its early contenders fall to mechanical woes, the fight was only truly broken up when Watson sent himself spinning in the Penske, splitting the quintet into to pairs.[2] This allowed Jarier to pull clear of Reutemann and catch Scheckter, while Amon was left to fight with Carlos Pace in the second Brabham-Alfa Romeo.[2]

Watson would ultimately rejoin at the back of the field, only to suffer a huge engine blow-up in his Penske that dumped oil over the circuit.[2] Scheckter was another to see his engine fail, albeit in less spectacular fashion after a belt snapped, while Regazzoni was forced to stop in the pits for three laps after discovering a major fuel leak in his cockpit.[2] Pryce was struggling at the back of the field, fighting the two Wolf-Williams entries, Alan Jones and Larry Perkins, with Laffite up the road nursing the Ligier-Matra.[2]

Into the closing stages and another flurry of retirements saw Jarier, then up to fifth, disappear with an electrical failure, before McLaren's perfect day was ruined by an engine failure.[2] The casualty was Mass, whose engine had detonated on the entry of the final corner on lap 65, leaving him to coast straight into the pits.[2] The McLaren crew immediately signalled to Hunt that he should ease his pace, meaning the Brit was left to cruise to the flag.[2]

With that, bar some minor dramas at the back of the order, the race was run, with Hunt duly cruising home thirty seconds clear of Lauda, despite having the sister car of Regazzoni sat in his mirrors for the final five laps.[2] Nilsson, meanwhile, was a jubilant third for Lotus after an excellent display, with Reutemann securing the first points finish for the Brabham-Alfa, which had atleast run reliably if not quickly.[2] Amon was also a happy driver having finished fifth in the new Ensign, while Pace rounded out the points in the second of the Brabhams.[2] Ickx, Pryce, Jones (who completed the last five laps stuck in third gear), Michel Leclère, Regazzoni, Laffite and Perkins the other finishers.[2]

Post-raceEdit

After the race all thirteen finishers had their cars put through a series of scrutineering checks, which had been tightened in recent races after a series of complaints, largely led by the Tyrrell team.[2] The scrutineers ultimately found that Hunt's McLaren, and Laffite's Ligier, were illegal, the former's too wide, while the latter's aerofoil was found to be outside of the permitted area.[2] Both were subsequently disqualified from the result by the organisers, although both McLaren and Ligier-Matra launched appeals.[2]

These appeals would ultimately be heard in July 1976, with the FIA deciding to reinstate both drivers after seeing the evidence provided by both teams.[1]

ResultsEdit

The full results for the 1976 Spanish Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1* 11 United Kingdom James Hunt United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 75 1:42:20.43 1 9
2 1 Austria Niki Lauda Italy Ferrari 75 +30.97s 2 6
3 6 Sweden Gunnar Nilsson United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 75 +48.02s 7 4
4 7 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 74 +1 Lap 12 3
5 22 New Zealand Chris Amon United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth 74 +1 Lap 10 2
6 8 Brazil Carlos Pace United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 74 +1 Lap 11 1
7 20 Belgium Jacky Ickx Canada Wolf-Williams-Ford Cosworth 74 +1 Lap 21
8 16 United Kingdom Tom Pryce United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 74 +1 Lap 22
9 19 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 74 +1 Lap 20
10 21 France Michel Leclère Canada Wolf-Williams-Ford Cosworth 73 +2 Laps 23
11 2 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Italy Ferrari 72 +3 Laps 5
12 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Matra 72 +3 Laps 8
13 37 Australia Larry Perkins Netherlands Boro-Ford Cosworth 72 +3 Laps 24
Ret 12 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 65 Engine 4
Ret 17 France Jean-Pierre Jarier United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 61 Electrical 15
Ret 3 South Africa Jody Scheckter United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 53 Engine 14
Ret 28 United Kingdom John Watson United States Penske-Ford Cosworth 51 Engine 13
Ret 35 Italy Arturo Merzario United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 36 Gearbox 18
Ret 5 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 34 Gearbox 9
Ret 4 France Patrick Depailler United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 25 Accident 3
Ret 9 Italy Vittorio Brambilla United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 21 Suspension 6
Ret 34 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 16 Gearbox 17
Ret 10 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 11 Transmission 16
Ret 30 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 3 Transmission 19
DNQ 18 United States Brett Lunger United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 32 Switzerland Loris Kessel United Kingdom Brabham-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 25 Spain Emilio Zapico United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 33 Spain Emilio de Villota United Kingdom Brabham-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 24 Austria Harald Ertl United Kingdom Hesketh-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 31 Brazil Ingo Hoffmann Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth
Source:[5]
  • * Hunt's disqualification was overturned by the FIA on the 5 July.[5]
  • Laffite was also excluded from the results after the race, only to have his twelfth place reinstated on the 5 July.[2]

MilestonesEdit

  • Fiftieth World Championship Grand Prix to feature a Matra engine.
  • First entry by Boro as a "constructor".
    • The Boro chassis was really an Ensign N175, rebadged by owner HB Bewaking.
  • First entries by RAM Racing.
  • Larry Perkins made his World Championship debut.
  • Maiden entries for Loris Kessel, Emilio de Villota and Emilio Zapico.
  • First race for the famed Tyrrell P34.
    • The P34 became the first six-wheeled car to enter and qualify for a World Championship Grand Prix.
  • Third pole position set by James Hunt.
  • Hunt claimed his second career victory.
  • McLaren earned their sixteenth win as a constructor.
  • Gunnar Nilsson earned his first podium finish.
    • It was also the Swede's maiden points finish.
  • Second and final fastest lap recorded by Jochen Mass.
  • Tenth fastest lap set by a McLaren chassis.
    • Ford Cosworth powered a car to an 80th fastest lap.
  • Chris Amon claimed his final points finish.

StandingsEdit

Once the mess surrounding James Hunt's disqualification had been sorted and the Brit restored as victor, the Championship stood thus after the Spanish Grand Prix. Defending Champion Niki Lauda continued to lead by fifteen points, double Hunt's corrected tally, while Patrick Depailler slipped to third. Clay Regazzoni and Jochen Mass completed the top five, while Gunnar Nilsson shot up the table, gaining a huge total of sixteen places.

With Hunt reinstated the gap at the top of the International Cup for Manufacturers' had been reduced, although Ferrari still held a daunting lead with their 33 point tally. McLaren-Ford Cosworth moved up into second with Hunt's restored heroics, some fifteen points behind, overtaking Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth on thirteen. Lotus-Ford Cosworth were big movers, up into fifth and level with Shadow-Ford Cosworth, while Brabham-Alfa Romeo had secured the first points of their new partnership.

Drivers' World Championship*
Pos. Driver Pts +/-
1 Austria Niki Lauda 30
2 United Kingdom James Hunt 15 ▲3
3 France Patrick Depailler 10 ▼1
4 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni 9 ▼1
5 West Germany Jochen Mass 7 ▼1
6 South Africa Jody Scheckter 5
7 United Kingdom Tom Pryce 4
8 Sweden Gunnar Nilsson 4 ▲16
9 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck 3 ▼1
10 France Jacques Laffite 3 ▼1
11 Argentina Carlos Reutemann 3 ▲12
12 New Zealand Chris Amon 2 ▲1
13 United Kingdom John Watson 2 ▼3
14 Brazil Carlos Pace 1 ▲1
15 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi 1 ▼4
16 United States Mario Andretti 1 ▼4
International Cup for Manufacturers*
Pos. Team Pts +/-
1 Italy Ferrari 33
2 United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 18 ▲1
3 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 13 ▼1
4 United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 4
5 United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 4 ▲9
6 United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 3 ▼1
7 United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 3 ▲5
8 France Ligier-Matra 3 ▼2
9 United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth 2 ▲2
10 United States Penske-Ford Cosworth 2 ▼3
11 United States Parnelli-Ford Cosworth 1 ▼3
12 Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 1 ▼3
  • * Corrected to show points after Hunt was reinstated as the race winner.

ReferencesEdit

Images and Videos:

References:

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 'GRAND PRIX RESULTS: SPANISH GP, 1976', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr268.html, (Accessed 22/01/2018)
  2. 2.000 2.001 2.002 2.003 2.004 2.005 2.006 2.007 2.008 2.009 2.010 2.011 2.012 2.013 2.014 2.015 2.016 2.017 2.018 2.019 2.020 2.021 2.022 2.023 2.024 2.025 2.026 2.027 2.028 2.029 2.030 2.031 2.032 2.033 2.034 2.035 2.036 2.037 2.038 2.039 2.040 2.041 2.042 2.043 2.044 2.045 2.046 2.047 2.048 2.049 2.050 2.051 2.052 2.053 2.054 2.055 2.056 2.057 2.058 2.059 2.060 2.061 2.062 2.063 2.064 2.065 2.066 2.067 2.068 2.069 2.070 2.071 2.072 2.073 2.074 2.075 2.076 2.077 2.078 2.079 2.080 2.081 2.082 2.083 2.084 2.085 2.086 2.087 2.088 2.089 2.090 2.091 2.092 2.093 2.094 2.095 2.096 2.097 2.098 2.099 2.100 2.101 2.102 2.103 2.104 D.S.J., 'The Spanish Grand Prix', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport, 01/06/1976), https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/june-1976/35/spanish-grand-prix, (Accessed 22/01/2018)
  3. 'Spain 1976: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1976/espagne/engages.aspx, (Accessed 22/01/2018)
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named QR
  5. 5.0 5.1 'Spain 1976: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1976/espagne/classement.aspx, (Accessed 31/01/2018)
V T E Spain Spanish Grand Prix
Circuits Pedralbes (1951, 1954), Jarama (1967-1968, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976-1981), Montjuïc (1969, 1971, 1973, 1975), Jerez (1986-1990), Catalunya (1991-Present)
Catalunya2007
Races 19511952–195319541955–1967196819691970197119721973197419751976197719781979198019811982–19871986198719881989199019911992199319941995199619971998199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016201720182019
Non-Championship Races 19231924–1925192619271928–192919301931–19321933193419351936–196619671968–19791980
V T E 1976 Formula One Season
Constructors Boro • Brabham • BRM • Ensign • Ferrari • Fittipaldi • Hesketh • Kojima • Lotus • Maki • March • McLaren • Parnelli • Penske • Shadow • Surtees • Tyrrell • Wolf-Williams
Engines Alfa Romeo • BRM • Ferrari • Ford Cosworth
Drivers by number Lauda • 2 Regazzoni • 35 Reutemann • 3 J. Scheckter • 4 Depailler • 5 Peterson • 5 Evans • 5/6 Andretti • 6 Nilsson • 7 Reutemann • 7/77 Stommelen • 7 Perkins • 8 Pace • 9 Brambilla • 10 Lombardi • 10 Peterson • 34 Stuck • 35 Merzario • 11 Hunt • 12 Mass • 13 Galica • 14 Ashley • 15 I. Scheckter • 16 Pryce • 17 Jarier • 18 Lunger • 18 Andersson • 18 Takahara • 19 Jones • 20 Ickx • 20 Merzario • 21 Zorzi • 21 Leclère • 21 Amon • 21 Brown • 21 Binder • 21 Kuwashima • 22 Amon • 22 Nève • 22 Binder • 22 Ickx • 24 Ertl • 25 Edwards • 25 Stommelen • 25 Ribeiro • 25 Zapico • 26 Laffite • 27 Andretti • 28 Watson • 30 Fittipaldi • 31 Hoffmann • 32 Kessel • 32 Evans • 33 De Villota • 33 Nève • 33 Nellemann • 33 Magee • 33 Lombardi • 37/40 Perkins • 37/39/40 Pesenti-Rossi • 38 Pescarolo • 39 Hayje • 39 Stuppacher • 40 Wilds • 51 Hasemi • 52 Hoshino • 54 Trimmer
Drivers alphabetically Amon • Andersson • Andretti • Ashley • Binder • Brambilla • Brown • Depailler • Edwards • Ertl • Evans • Fittipaldi • Galica • Hasemi • Hayje • Hoffmann • Hoshino • Hunt • Ickx • Jarier • Jones • Kessel • Kuwashima • Laffite • Lauda • Leclère • Lombardi • Lunger • Magee • Mass • Merzario • Nellemann • Nève • Nilsson • Pace • Perkins • Pescarolo • Pesenti-Rossi • Peterson • Pryce • Regazzoni • Reutemann • Ribeiro • I. Scheckter • J. Scheckter • Stommelen • Stuck • Stuppacher • Takahara • Trimmer • De Villota • Watson • Wilds • Zapico • Zorzi
Cars Boro 001 • Brabham BT44B • Brabham BT45 • BRM P201B • Ensign N174 • Ensign N176 • Ferrari 312T • Ferrari 312T2 • Fittipaldi FD03 • Fittipaldi FD04 • Hesketh 308D • Kojima KE007 • Ligier JS5 • Lotus 77 • Maki F102A • March 761 • McLaren M23 • McLaren M26 • Parnelli VPJ4B • Penske PC3 • Penske PC4 • Shadow DN3 • Shadow DN5B • Shadow DN8 • Surtees TS16 • Surtees TS19 • Tyrrell 007 • Tyrrell P34 • Williams FW04 • Williams FW05
Tyres Goodyear • Dunlop • Bridgestone
Races Brazil • South Africa • U.S. West • Spain • Belgium • Monaco • Sweden • France • Britain • Germany • Austria • Netherlands • Italy • Canada • United States • Japan
Non-championship Races Race of Champions • International Trophy
See also 1975 Formula One Season • 1977 Formula One Season • Category
v·d·e Nominate this page for Featured Article
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.