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James "Jim" (or "Jimmy") Clark, Jr OBE (born 4 March 1936 in Kilmany, Scotland – died 7 April 1968 in Hockenheim, Germany) was a British Formula One driver who won the 1963 and 1965 world championships. He is generally consided to be one of Formula One's best-ever drivers, whose early and tragic death at just 32 years old in a Formula Two race in Hockenheim in 1968 shocked the world. He drove for Lotus for his entire Formula One career.

He won the Indianapolis 500 in 1965, his win being the first Indy win by a rear-engined car (and only rear-engined cars have won it since).

He is only the only driver to have won the championship with maximum points twice (until 1981 and between 1985 and 1990, not all points scored counted towards the championship).

When he won his first championship (1963), Clark became the youngest world champion, at 27 years and 188 days. This record was not broken until Emerson Fittipaldi won the championship 1972 at 25 years and 273 days.

He holds the records for most Grand Chelems, with eight.

Formula One Career[]

Pre-Formula One[]

Clark took part in local events, such as road rallies and hillclimb events. He started in 1956. In 1958, Clark joined the local racing team, Border Reivers to compete in National events.

In late 1958, Clark competed in a GT race at Brands Hatch. He finished second in the event to Colin Chapman.


Clark began his Formula One career midway through the 1960 season, serving as a replacement for John Surtees of Lotus. Surtees had left Formula One to race motorcycles, but would later return with the Lola racing team. Clark was unable to complete his debut race in the Netherlands, after he suffered a transmission failure on lap 42 of the event.

He entered his second Formula One event in Belgium, where he would witness one of the most tragic races the sport's history. On lap 19 of the race, Chris Bristow lost control of his car and crashed off of the track. Clark was close to the accident and was able to avoid impact with the body of Bristow, but got a large amount of blood on his car. A few laps later, teammate and personal friend Alan Stacey was sent off of the track in the same corner after being struck in head by a bird. Both Bristow and Stacey died.

"I was driving scared stiff pretty much all through the race" - Jim Clark

Clark was traumatized by this experience and considered ending his own career. After some influence by fellow drivers, family and friends, Clark decided to continue his career. Although would become quite successful at Spa-Francochamps, he would forever hate the track.

He would gain his first podium finish later that season in Portugal, finishing almost a whole minute behind Bruce McLaren. This gave Clark enough points to earn 10th position in the World Championship.


Clark rejoined Lotus for the 1961 season, alongside his new teammate Innes Ireland. This would be Clark's first complete season in Formula One. He had high hopes as he earned two podium finishes in the Dutch Grand Prix and the French Grand Prix.

However, Clark again witnessed tragedy in Italy. On the first lap of the event, Clark made contact with Wolfgang von Trips. This sent von Trips' car airborne off the track and into spectators. He was ejected from the car and killed instantly. In the accident, 15 spectators were killed. Clark was uninjured, but felt the accident was his fault.

Clark again considered quitting the sport, but was persuaded by the team designer, Colin Chapman to stay. This tragedy added Italy to his list of hated tracks. He entered the next and final race of the season, but was unable to earn any points. This placed him in 7th position for the championship.


Clark returned to Lotus for the 1962 season, alongside fellow British racing driver, Trevor Taylor. The first race of the season did not go as well as the team had hoped, Clark not finishing in the points. However, Taylor finished on the podium in second position.

The following race at Monaco was a career milestone for Clark, as he managed to earn the first pole position on his career. This was the first of six pole positions that he would earn in the season. Clark also managed to set the fastest time of the day, but was forced to retire after a clutch failure near the halfway point of the race. Clark witnessed his fourth death in the sport, after track marshal, Ange Baldoni was killed by a tyre that had fell off of Taylor's car. Although this death was not as traumatic for Clark, he was quite emotional once he had learned about the death.

Clark snatched another career milestone at the next race in Belgium, after he won the first race in his Formula One career. He had an amazing lead, as he was over 44 seconds ahead of Graham Hill. Despite his hatred towards the track, this would be an event that he would win the next three times.

The 1962 season was a great season for Clark, clenching two more wins at Britain and the United States. The season was also full of milestones, as Clark gained his first of eight Grand Chelems in Britain.

Clark was set to win his first World Championship when disaster struck in South Africa. He had earned the pole position for the race, had led all laps of the race and put in the fastest time. However with only 20 laps remaining, an oil leak put Clark's car out of the running. This allowed Graham Hill to take the lead, and win the championship by 12 points. Although this wasn't a championship win, this was Clark's best finish in his career.


The 1963 marked the domination of Clark and Lotus. He was off to an amazing start to the season at Monaco, qualifying for the pole position. Unfortunately, he dropped down to eighth position and was unable to score any points.

However, a winning streak would be made at the next four races, managing to win at Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Britain. He was also able to gain two additional Grand Chelems at both the Netherlands and France. Fans thought the winning streak would continue, but they were wrong. Even though Clark had earned the pole for the German Grand Prix, but the loss an engine cylinder gave John Surtees the opportunity to pass him for the win.

After his second place finish in Germany, he went right back into winning races. He then won the Italian Grand Prix, as well as the final two races of the season in Mexico and South Africa. His win in Mexico also added to his Grand Chelem list, giving him a total of five.

Clark had won seven out of the ten races in the 1963 season, giving him a staggering 25 point lead over Graham Hill and crowning him the 1963 World Champion. This was his first World Championship win since he joined Formula One in 1960.


Again with Lotus, Clark would not have a consistent teammate for the 1964 season and would have to race alongside a few different drivers. To start off the season, Clark had earned his third consecutive pole position in 1964 Monaco Grand Prix, but would finish the event in fourth position.

Clark's domination returned, winning in the Netherlands, Belgium and Britain. However, a mechanical failure in France would not allow these wins to be consecutive. These wins were followed by a series of various mechanical failures that would force Clark to retire from another three races.

Clark would again lose his championship to an oil leak late in the race at Mexico. This repeat of the 1962 season meant that he would only finish in third position for the Drivers' Championship, missing second place by only a point.


Clark began the 1965 season with Lotus, alongside Mike Spence. During the season, he was also participating in the Tasman Series. He managed to beat the record for the most wins in Tasman racing, with 14 wins.

The Formula One season began in South Africa, where he earned another Grand Chelem. He was unable to compete in Monaco because he had entered into the Indianapolis 500. There he would make history, being the first and only driver to win the Indianapolis 500 and the Formula One World Championship in the same year.

When he returned to Formula One for the Belgian Grand Prix, he began a winning streak that would allow him to win this and four other events. Of his wins, France and Germany gave him two more Grand Chelems. These would be the last of his career, but would allow him to surpass Alberto Ascari's Grand Chelem record by three.

Because of his massive winning streak, Clark was able to take home the Championship by 14 points. This was the second World Championship win of his career, but would also be the last.


At the beginning of the 1966 season, the FIA's new regulations made Lotus less competitive than in other seasons. This meant that Clark would not be as successful as he had been in previous seasons. It wasn't until Lotus switched from using Climax engines to the new BRM engines that Clark began to regain his success.

However, he was only able to finish three out of the nine races that season. He only win in the United States we a drop in the bucket compared to his past seasons. This left him out of the running for the championship title, with a sixth place finish.

Although unsuccessful in Formula One that season, Clark had managed to earn a second place finish in the Indianapolis 500 that year.


Despite issues the season before, Clark agreed to return to Lotus once again. He began the season racing a BRM engine, but opted to use an old Climax engine after an engine failure in South Africa. He would only stay with a Climax engine for one race however, as Lotus signed a deal with Ford to use the Ford Cosworth.

This engine proved to be treating Clark better, as he chalked up his first win of the season in the Netherlands. He then earned the pole position in Belgium, but was forced to pit early in the race to get a spark plug changed. This cost him two minutes and he eventually finished a lap behind the leaders.

Three more wins and another podium finish brought Clark to third place in the World Championship. While racing in Formula One, Clark also took part in the Tasman racing series with Lotus. There he claimed his second Tasman series championship.


Racing for Lotus in Formula One, Clark also raced and won the Tasman Series in 1968. This was his third championship in the series.

He began the Formula One season with a bang, getting the pole position and victory at the first race of the season in South Africa. However a tragedy would prevent him from completing the season.


On the 7th of April 1968, was racing a Formula Two Lotus car in the Deutschland Trophäe at the Hockenheimring. He was teamed with Graham Hill. He had previously chosen to race in a sportscar race at Brands Hatch, but changed his mind.

While racing in the event, Clark's car left the track and struck a tree on the fifth lap. He died of a fatal head and neck injury enroute to the hospital. His death showed drivers that bad things happen, no matter how good you are.

"If it could happen to him, what hope did the rest of us have?"Chris Amon

Lotus launched a private investigation to discover the cause of the accident, hiring aircraft crash investigators. The investigation uncovered that the accident was most likely caused by a rear deflating tyre and not because of driver error.

"Deaths in the sport were a regular occurrence in those days, but surely someone of Clark's sublime talent and skill? People reckoned that the rear tyre had deflated, and there is another theory that the mechanical metering unit on the Cosworth FVA engine had seized and caused Clark to crash."Andrew Marriott, Motor Sport journalist

Formula One Statistical Overview[]

F1 Career History[]

Year Entrant Team(s) WDC Pts WDC Pos. Report
1960 Team Lotus Lotus-Climax 8 pts 10th Report
1961 Team Lotus Lotus-Climax 11 pts 7th Report
1962 Team Lotus Lotus-Climax 30 pts 2nd Report
1963 Team Lotus Lotus-Climax 54 (73) pts 1st Report
1964 Team Lotus Lotus-Climax 32 pts 3rd Report
1965 Team Lotus Lotus-Climax 54 pts 1st Report
1966 Team Lotus Lotus-Climax
16 pts 6th Report
1967 Team Lotus Lotus-BRM
Lotus-Ford Cosworth
41 pts 3rd Report
1968 Team Lotus Lotus-Ford Cosworth 9 pts 11th Report


Entries 73
Starts 73
Pole Positions 33
Front Row Starts 48
Race Wins 25
Podiums 32
Fastest Laps 28
Points 274
Laps Raced 3930
Distance Raced 21348.993 km (13266 mi)
Races Led 43
Laps Led 1940
Distance Led 10109.579 km (6282 mi)
Doubles 15
Hat-Tricks 11
Grand Chelems 8


No. Race
1 1962 Belgian Grand Prix
2 1962 British Grand Prix
3 1962 United States Grand Prix
4 1963 Belgian Grand Prix
5 1963 Dutch Grand Prix
6 1963 French Grand Prix
7 1963 British Grand Prix
8 1963 Italian Grand Prix
9 1963 Mexican Grand Prix
10 1963 South African Grand Prix
11 1964 Dutch Grand Prix
12 1964 Belgian Grand Prix
13 1964 British Grand Prix
14 1965 South African Grand Prix
15 1965 Belgian Grand Prix
16 1965 French Grand Prix
17 1965 British Grand Prix
18 1965 Dutch Grand Prix
19 1965 German Grand Prix
20 1966 United States Grand Prix
21 1967 Dutch Grand Prix
22 1967 British Grand Prix
23 1967 United States Grand Prix
24 1967 Mexican Grand Prix
25 1968 South African Grand Prix

Career Results[]

Complete Formula One Results
Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Pts Pos
1960 Flag of Argentina.svg Flag of Monaco.svg US flag 49 stars.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of Belgium.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Portugal.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of the United States.svg 8 10th
Ret 5th 5th 16th 3rd 16th
1961 Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of Belgium.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of the United States.svg 11 7th
10th 3rd 12th 3rd Ret 4th Ret 7th
1962 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of Belgium.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of the United States.svg Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg 30 2nd
9th Ret 1st Ret 1st 4th Ret 1st Ret
1963 Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of Belgium.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of the United States.svg Flag of Mexico 1934-1968.svg Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg 54 (73) 1st
8th 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 1st 3rd 1st 1st
1964 Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of Belgium.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Austria.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of the United States.svg Flag of Mexico 1934-1968.svg 32 3rd
4th 1st 1st Ret 1st Ret Ret Ret 7th 5th
1965 Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of Belgium.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of the United States.svg Flag of Mexico 1934-1968.svg 54 1st
1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 10th Ret Ret
1966 Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of Belgium.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of the United States.svg Flag of Mexico 1934-1968.svg 16 6th
Ret Ret DNS 4th 3rd Ret Ret 1st Ret
1967 Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of Belgium.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Canada.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of the United States.svg Flag of Mexico 1934-1968.svg 41 3rd
Ret Ret 1st 6th Ret 1st Ret Ret 3rd 1st 1st
1968 Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg Flag of Spain 1945 1977.svg Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of Belgium.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of Canada.svg Flag of the United States.svg Flag of Mexico.svg 9 11th
Symbol Meaning Symbol Meaning
1st Winner Ret Retired
2nd Podium finish DSQ Disqualified
3rd DNQ Did not qualify
5th Points finish DNPQ Did not pre-qualify
14th Non-points finish TD Test driver
Italics Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap DNS Did not start
18th Classified finish (retired with >90% race distance) NC Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)
4thP Qualified for pole position [+] More Symbols


External links[]

V T E List of World Drivers' Champions
1950: Giuseppe Farina
1951: Juan Manuel Fangio
1952: Alberto Ascari
1953: Alberto Ascari
1954: Juan Manuel Fangio
1955: Juan Manuel Fangio
1956: Juan Manuel Fangio
1957: Juan Manuel Fangio
1958: Mike Hawthorn
1959: Jack Brabham
1960: Jack Brabham
1961: Phil Hill
1962: Graham Hill
1963: Jim Clark
1964: John Surtees
1965: Jim Clark
1966: Jack Brabham
1967: Denny Hulme
1968: Graham Hill
1969: Jackie Stewart
1970: Jochen Rindt
1971: Jackie Stewart
1972: Emerson Fittipaldi
1973: Jackie Stewart
1974: Emerson Fittipaldi
1975: Niki Lauda
1976: James Hunt
1977: Niki Lauda
1978: Mario Andretti
1979: Jody Scheckter
1980: Alan Jones
1981: Nelson Piquet
1982: Keke Rosberg
1983: Nelson Piquet
1984: Niki Lauda
1985: Alain Prost
1986: Alain Prost
1987: Nelson Piquet
1988: Ayrton Senna
1989: Alain Prost
1990: Ayrton Senna
1991: Ayrton Senna
1992: Nigel Mansell
1993: Alain Prost
1994: Michael Schumacher
1995: Michael Schumacher
1996: Damon Hill
1997: Jacques Villeneuve
1998: Mika Häkkinen
1999: Mika Häkkinen
2000: Michael Schumacher
2001: Michael Schumacher
2002: Michael Schumacher
2003: Michael Schumacher
2004: Michael Schumacher
2005: Fernando Alonso
2006: Fernando Alonso
2007: Kimi Räikkönen
2008: Lewis Hamilton
2009: Jenson Button
2010: Sebastian Vettel
2011: Sebastian Vettel
2012: Sebastian Vettel
2013: Sebastian Vettel
2014: Lewis Hamilton
2015: Lewis Hamilton
2016: Nico Rosberg
2017: Lewis Hamilton
2018: Lewis Hamilton
2019: Lewis Hamilton
2020: Lewis Hamilton
2021: Max Verstappen
V T E List of World Drivers' Championship runners-up
1950: Juan Manuel Fangio
1951: Alberto Ascari
1952: Giuseppe Farina
1953: Juan Manuel Fangio
1954: José Froilán González
1955: Stirling Moss
1956: Stirling Moss
1957: Stirling Moss
1958: Stirling Moss
1959: Tony Brooks
1960: Bruce McLaren
1961: Wolfgang von Trips
1962: Jim Clark
1963: Graham Hill
1964: Graham Hill
1965: Graham Hill
1966: John Surtees
1967: Jack Brabham
1968: Jackie Stewart
1969: Jacky Ickx
1970: Jacky Ickx
1971: Ronnie Peterson
1972: Jackie Stewart
1973: Emerson Fittipaldi
1974: Clay Regazzoni
1975: Emerson Fittipaldi
1976: Niki Lauda
1977: Jody Scheckter
1978: Ronnie Peterson
1979: Gilles Villeneuve
1980: Nelson Piquet
1981: Carlos Reutemann
1982: Didier Pironi
1983: Alain Prost
1984: Alain Prost
1985: Michele Alboreto
1986: Nigel Mansell
1987: Nigel Mansell
1988: Alain Prost
1989: Ayrton Senna
1990: Alain Prost
1991: Nigel Mansell
1992: Riccardo Patrese
1993: Ayrton Senna
1994: Damon Hill
1995: Damon Hill
1996: Jacques Villeneuve
1997: Heinz-Harald Frentzen*
1998: Michael Schumacher
1999: Eddie Irvine
2000: Mika Häkkinen
2001: David Coulthard
2002: Rubens Barrichello
2003: Kimi Räikkönen
2004: Rubens Barrichello
2005: Kimi Räikkönen
2006: Michael Schumacher
2007: Lewis Hamilton
2008: Felipe Massa
2009: Sebastian Vettel
2010: Fernando Alonso
2011: Jenson Button
2012: Fernando Alonso
2013: Fernando Alonso
2014: Nico Rosberg
2015: Nico Rosberg
2016: Lewis Hamilton
2017: Sebastian Vettel
2018: Sebastian Vettel
2019: Valtteri Bottas
2020: Valtteri Bottas
2021: Lewis Hamilton
* Michael Schumacher was disqualified from the 1997 championship.

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