Karl Jochen Rindt (born April 18, 1942 in Mainz, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany – died September 5, 1970 in Monza, Milan, Lombardy, Italy) was a German racing driver representing Austria, who most notably won the Formula One World Championship in 1970. He was killed in an practice accident during his championship year and is F1's only posthumous World Championship.
Formula One Career
Rindt's parents were killed in a bombing during the Second World War, and he was raised in Graz, Austria. There Rindt started motor racing. After success in Formula 2, Rindt reached F1 in 1964, making his début for the Rob Walker Racing Team at the Austrian Grand Prix, which turned out to be his only race that year.
However, the 1966 car provided by Cooper was quicker and Rindt often scored points, including three podiums, to come third in the championship. The Belgian Grand Prix was the best race of the season for Rindt, where he led for 20 of the 28 laps but eventually finished over 40 seconds behind race winner John Surtees. At the Dutch Grand Prix, Rindt's final lap was too slow and it was not counted, but he was given second place.
Unfortunately for Rindt, 1967 was hampered by breakdowns. Out of the ten races he started, Rindt only finished two, both in fourth place.
1968 was similar as even though Rindt had moved to Brabham, he was once again plagued with reliability problems, scoring just two third place finishes. The first was in South Africa in Jim Clark's last race; the other at the German Grand Prix, where Jackie Stewart won by over four minutes despite driving with a broken wrist.
Rindt moved to Lotus in 1969, and yet suffered from poor reliability, but a string of three podium finishes brought Rindt his first win, at the United States Grand Prix. Rindt also took five pole positions. Before that, he finished 0.08 seconds behind eventual Champion Stewart at the Italian Grand Prix, and fourth-placed Bruce McLaren, was only 0.19 seconds behind Stewart. The next race, the race before the win, was the Canadian Grand Prix, where Rindt led the first five laps. As for the US GP, Rindt secured pole and fought hard with Stewart, and then when Stewart was forced to slow, Rindt had an easy victory.
1970 was to be Rindt's year, as Lotus team leader. Rindt took victory at the Monaco Grand Prix, taking advantage of Jack Brabham's misfortune to take victory at the last corner. He then won four races in a row, the Dutch, the French, the British and the German. The Dutch win was by 30 seconds over Stewart in a dominant display. The French win was a strong victory at the dangerous Charade Circuit. The British win was more exciting, with Rindt holding the lead for the majority of the race before losing the lead to Brabham with 12 laps remaining, but Brabham slowed at the end, and Rindt took victory by over half a minute. Rindt was then disqualified for having a wing too high, but was quickly reinstated. The final win of the season, the German, was won after a fantastic slipstreaming battle with Jacky Ickx.
After retiring at the Austrian Grand Prix, Rindt was killed in practice for the Italian Grand Prix. Since Monza was track all about speed, the team decided to remove the wings of the car, but this would make the car less stable. While braking into a turn, Rindt lost control of the car; spinning it into the barriers. Because Rindt would not use a safety harness that kept his body from shifting in an accident, the impact forced his body forward, and the strap from the safety harness slit his throat. Rindt was removed from the car and taken to a nearby hospital by the track medical crew, however, he would be pronounced dead on arrival.
The Lotus team withdrew from the race as a mark of respect. Rindt had a lead of more than 20 points when he died. Jacky Ickx made a late charge in the standings, but despite two wins in the final races, he finished five points short of Rindt.
Formula One Statistical Overview
Formula One Record
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Points||WDC Pos.||Report|
|1964||R.R.C. Walker Racing Team||Brabham-BRM||0||NC||Report|
|1965||Cooper Car Company||Cooper-Climax||4||13th||Report|
|Roy Winkelmann Racing||Brabham-Ford Cosworth*|
|1966||Cooper Car Company||Cooper-Maserati||22 (24)||3rd||Report|
|1967||Cooper Car Company||Cooper-Maserati||6||13th||Report|
|Roy Winkelmann Racing||Brabham-Ford Cosworth*|
|1968||Brabham Racing Organisation||Brabham-Repco||8||12th||Report|
|1969||Gold Leaf Team Lotus||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||22||4th||Report|
|1970||Gold Leaf Team Lotus||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||45||1st||Report|
- Bold indicates a driver who wins the World Championship.
- Italics donates an entrant used in non-championship races.
- * Classified as a Formula Two entry.
|Front Row Starts||18|
|Distance Raced||13503.416 km (8391 mi)|
|Distance Led||1898.448 km (1180 mi)|
|Win Number||Grand Prix|
|1||1969 United States Grand Prix|
|2||1970 Monaco Grand Prix|
|3||1970 Dutch Grand Prix|
|4||1970 French Grand Prix|
|5||1970 British Grand Prix|
|6||1970 German Grand Prix|
|Complete Formula One results|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)||DNS||Did not start|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap||[+] More Symbols|
|v·d·e||Nominate this page for Featured Article|