Wolfgang Alexander Albert Eduard Maximilian Reichsgraf Berghe von Trips (May 4, 1928 - September 10, 1961) was a German racing driver, the son of a noble Rhineland family. All but three of his Grands Prix were run with Ferrari power.
He'd have been the first German champion in Formula One were it not for his fatal accident at the penultimate round of the 1961 season in Monza, Italy. His Ferrari team-mate Phil Hill of the United States grabbed the title, since von Trips had been leading the championship going into this round with Hill only three points behind, giving his country their first title instead.
However, after learning of von Trips' death, Enzo Ferrari and his team sat out of final race of the season as a mark of respect, thus denying Hill an opportunity to race in front of his home crowd as the newly crowned champion.
von Trips was posthumously crowned the runner-up in the 1961 championship. The only other time this has happened was in 1978, when Ronnie Peterson died at the same circuit. In a recurrence of 1961, the team-mate was American and also won the World Championship; that was Mario Andretti.
Formula One Career
After striking the wall, Von Trips' car bounced back into the middle of the track, hitting Clark's car. Clark's car was sent off the track and into the crowd of spectators. Fifteen spectators were killed in the accident.
"Von Trips and I were racing along the straightaway and were nearing one of the banked curves, the one on the southern end. We were about 100 metres from the beginning of the curve. Von Trips was running close to the inside of the track. I was closely following him, keeping near the outside. At one point Von Trips shifted sideways so that my front wheels collided with his back wheels. It was the fatal moment. Von Trips' car spun twice and went into the guardrail along the inside of the track. Then it bounced back, struck my own car and bounced down into the crowd." - Jim Clark
Formula One Statistical Overview
Formula One Record
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Points||WDC Pos.||Report|
|1959||Dr Ing hcf Porsche KG
Scuderia Centro Sud
|Front Row Starts||4|
|Distance Raced||7804 km (4849 mi)|
|Distance Led||788 km (490 mi)|
|Win Number||Grand Prix|
|1||1961 Dutch Grand Prix|
|2||1961 British 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|
|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|
A commemorative statue of von Trips was unveiled in Kerpen, Germany, 30 kilometres from his birthplace of Cologne.