The XXIX Großer Preis von Deutschland, otherwise known as the 1967 German Grand Prix, was the seventh round of the 1967 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Nürburgring on the 6th of August, 1967. The Nordschleife had been modified to slow down the Grand Prix cars in 1967, but Jim Clark proved that the modifications did little to drop the pace of the new equipment.
Formula Two would once again be invited to the Grand Prix of Germany, and the headlines were almost set by one of their contingent during qualifying. Young Belgian racer Jacky Ickx set a stunning time with his Matra-Ford Cosworth to claim third on the grid, only just edged out by Denny Hulme in second. Yet, both would be denied pole, and the headlines, by a stunning lap from Clark, with the Scot taking pole by almost ten second.
Unfortunately, the chance to start on the front row would be denied to Ickx, who had to start at the back of the field with the rest of his F2 colleagues. At the start it was Clark who went streaking into the lead, a stark contrast to teammate Graham Hill who was sent spinning on the run onto the Nordschleife.
Clark would battle with Hulme and Dan Gurney for the lead during the opening stages, although the Scot's race would be run as early as lap four with a suspension failure. Hulme therefore inherited the lead with Gurney and Bruce McLaren taking over the podium positions, while Ickx put together a stunning series of laps to rise as high as fifth overall.
When Jackie Stewart retired there was a serious chance of Ickx finishing on the podium, with the Belgian harassing the back of Jack Brabham for third. Soon, Chris Amon managed to muscle his way past the impressive youngster, with Ickx remaining in the top five until he retired with a suspension failure.
The final laps were also attritional for the Grand Prix cars, with Gurney missing out on a certain podium with a driveshaft failure. That left Hulme on his own to win from Brabham and Amon, a significant feat achieved by the Antipodean trio in denying a British driver a podium for the first time since the 1962 French Grand Prix. John Surtees would be the best Brit in fourth, ahead of the first of the F2 racers in the form of Jackie Oliver, while Jo Bonnier and Guy Ligier collected the final points.
The Nürburgring would be slightly different in 1967, with a new set of curves added to the final sector, the first modifications to the circuit since its creation in 1927. The new chicane could be found between the rise of Tiergarten and the start/finish straight and was named Hohenrain, an addition that was thought to add ten seconds to the lap time. Some drivers would get the chance to try out the circuit modifications during the 1,000 km race earlier in the season, although a fair few of the teams would also complete private testing on the Nordschleife before the German race.
The first team to arrive in Germany were Brabham-Repco, who had Jack Brabham and Denny Hulme ready to race with their two BT24s, with the development car in reserve. Lotus-Ford Cosworth were also early to the Ring, with Jim Clark racing the same car that had taken him to victory at Silverstone, while Graham Hill had his original car rebuilt. The Norfolk squad also brought the brand new car as a reserve entry, with all three 49s getting updated ignition systems and slightly redesigned suspension components to counter the two failures in Britain.
Cooper-Maserati were back with their factory cars, led by Jochen Rindt in the distinctively low bellied Cooper T86. His teammate Pedro Rodríguez would use a development version of the 1966 car, featuring the new Maserati engine, while the familiar privateer efforts of Jo Bonnier and Jo Siffert getting fresh engines. All four of the quartet would also get the latest Z.F. gearboxes from Hewland, although it would only be the factory cars which ran the new equipment.
Elsewhere, BRM were told that they were to bring their H16 cars or not bother to come at all, so the Bourne squad decided to deploy four of the troublesome cars. Jackie Stewart was allocated the latest of the quartet, with an older car in reserve, Mike Spence got an intermittent version between the Stewart car and the older design, while the fourth, and oldest, car was loaned to Reg Parnell Racing as usual. Completing the two car entries was Eagle-Weslake, with Dan Gurney entering himself and Bruce McLaren in unmodified cars.
The rest of the F1 field would be made up of single entries, although both Ferrari and Honda deploying two cars but only one driver. Chris Amon would be representing the tifosi, getting to use their latest V12 car, while the Japanese effort sent John Surtees with two cars, one of which had an evolved engine that was set to go into the back of their new car. Guy Ligier completed the regular runners with his privately owned Brabham-Repco, before the A.v.D. provided extra means to expand the entry list.
One of the ploys by the organisers was to encourage the home fans to attend the race by allowing a German manufacturer to enter the Formula One race. BMW were allowed to enter Hubert Hahne in a modified Formula Two car, with the Bavarians entering a Grand Prix for the first time as a factory effort. The car would be based on a Lola T100 chassis, with an expanded capacity BMW engine that had been used throughout the F2 season by some teams.
Speaking of Formula Two, the A.v.D. had also decided to blend the F1 and F2 fields together as they had done in 1966, once again inviting only the best of the F2 field. Lola headlined the field, entering two cars for David Hobbs (BMW powered) and Brian Redman, with the latter among seven drivers to be powered by a Cosworth engine. Ron Harris Racing Team had two cars for Kurt Ahrens and Brian Hart to use, those being the intriguing Protos-Ford Cosworths, while Brabham had two cars on show with privateers Gerhard Mitter and Alan Rees. The rest of the F2 field featured Jackie Oliver (Team Lotus), Jo Schlesser (Ecurie Ford-France) and Jacky Ickx, the latter two using Matra chassis that had raced in F1 races before.
Sadly, a few days before the start of the German Grand Prix weekend, news emerged of the death of Bob Anderson whom had crashed heavily while testing at Silverstone and died from the resulting injuries.
With Clark having become the first repeat winner of the season at the sixth race, the first half of the season was over, with the drivers only carrying over their best five results from the first six races. Fortunately, the picture was not muddied by this fact because no one had managed to score points across all six races, leaving Hulme atop the standings with 28 points. Clark was nine points behind in second, level on points with Brabham, while Amon stubbornly held onto a top five spot ahead of Pedro Rodríguez as the only man in the leading quintet without a race win.
Brabham-Repco were leading the charge in the Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers standings, a comparatively huge fourteen point lead having opened up to the rest. Lotus-Ford Cosworth had leapt up to second with Clark's second win, going level on points with Cooper-Maserati but ahead on wins. Elsewhere, Ferrari remained in fourth thanks to Amon's podium, while BRM fell to fifth, as all of the manufacturers avoided dropping points from the first half of the season.
The full entry list for the 1967 German Grand Prix is outlined below:
- A green background indicates a Formula Two driver.
Practice/qualifying were scheduled over three sessions on Friday and Saturday, with two two hour sessions over Friday, before a final two hour run on Saturday. As usual a problem on the Nordschleife could ruin a who weekends worth of running if a car broke down anywhere other than the pits as retrieval was difficult at best. Target times would be in the 8:25.0 region, some ten seconds slower than the circuit record of Jim Clark due to the addition of the Hohenrain chicane.
Friday morning would not be a particularly inspiring session for the followers of Grand Prix racing, with almost everyone content to just orbit around the "short circuit". Because even a small problem could ruin a session, it was a tradition for the organisers to leave a set of gates open just after the Nordkehre, allowing drivers to loop round from the first corner and back into the pits before going onto the Nordschleife proper. This system was not helped by the fact that when drivers did go out onto the Nordschleife, it was only to record one painfully slow effort.
It was only when Jacky Ickx in a Formula Two car went screaming round to record a 8:27.5 that most of the Grand Prix teams seemed content to go out and push. Even then, most were still adjusting to the dips, dives and deceptive turns of the Nordschleife, with many such as Clark simply trying to resolve a variety of issues. The impressive Ickx would therefore hold onto the fastest time until the final minutes, when Denny Hulme and John Surtees pushed on to record 8:25.0s.
Friday afternoon saw the field begin to get on with some proper running, although most were simply left stunned when Ickx continued to slither the Matra-Ford Cosworth round with incredible bravery. The Belgian racer was over 25 seconds quicker than his nearest F2 rival, and when he went ten seconds quicker than the target time of 8:25.0 early on, recording an 8:14.0, almost everyone in the F1 field were given renewed vigour. Only Hulme would beat the Belgian before the end of Friday, although the twice as powerful Brabham-Repco would only be half a second quicker.
For the rest, Friday afternoon would be a vast improvement, although there was still a significant amount of experimentation. Clark had a brake change and so was more competitive, still five seconds off of Ickx, while Jack Brabham was closing in on the Belgian, until he had a nasty moment when the suspension collapsed at full throttle. He joined Mike Spence and Surtees in having to wait around the back of the circuit to be picked up at the end of the session.
Many were excited to see if Ickx could continue his impressive form against the big boys, many of whom had had late nights repairing and rebuilding cars after a hard Friday session. Team Lotus, for instance, had been focusing on preparing Clark's car, and so had little time to warn Graham Hill that the spare, into which he had climbed into at the start of the session, had untested brakes. The result was an inevitable accident for the Englishman in the spare car, Hill escaping without physical injury after braking too late into Adenau, meaning his reappearance at Team Lotus was not too welcome.
The rest of the session was rather less spectacular, with most of the field completing long runs to ensure that they completed the minimum mileage to qualify. It was only when Clark went out in the final thirty minutes that the best time was beaten, the Scot completing a stunning pair of laps to take pole with an 8:04.1, smashing through his own lap record by some margin. Hill then had to borrow the car to complete a fifth lap to make sure he had qualified, leading to many sighs of relief when he returned the car without issue, although the team would have to wait until the evening, along with Ferrari, BRM, and Cooper-Maserati to get their cars back from the circuit.
The full qualifying results for the 1967 German Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||3||Jim Clark||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||8:43.4||8:19.8||8:04.1||—|
|3||29||Jacky Ickx||Matra-Ford Cosworth||8:27.5||8:14.0||N/A*||+9.9s|
|6||10||Bruce McLaren||Eagle-Weslake||No Time||8:36.7||8:17.7||+13.6s|
|14||4||Graham Hill||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||No Time||8:31.7||N/A*||+27.6s|
|16||24||Jackie Oliver||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||8:54.1||8:40.9||8:34.9||+33.8s|
|17||22||Alan Rees||Brabham-Ford Cosworth||9:10.6||8:41.9||8:39.8||+35.7s|
|18||23||Jo Schlesser||Matra-Ford Cosworth||8:49.2||8:40.6||N/A*||+36.5s|
|22||26||Kurt Ahrens, Jr.||Protos-Ford Cosworth||8:58.6||8:47.8||N/A*||+43.7s|
|23||20||Gerhard Mitter||Brabham-Ford Cosworth||No Time||9:44.0||8:52.6||+48.5s|
|24||25||Brian Hart||Protos-Ford Cosworth||9:05.3||8:59.7||N/A*||+55.6s|
|26||28||Brian Redman||Lola-Ford Cosworth||9:59.7||No Time||No Time||+115.6s|
|WD||21||Frank Gardner||Brabham-Ford Cosworth||Withdrawn|
- A green background indicates a Formula Two driver, with those drivers grouped together on the grid.
- * These drivers failed to record an officially registered time as it was not an improvement on their previous best.
- Redman was a non-starter.
Raceday was bright and warm, a rarity for the Nürburgring, with the starters all allowed to complete a few laps around the short circuit. All seventeen Grand Prix cars were prepared for the start without issue after overnight work, while there was single casualty among the Formula 2 field, as Brian Redman had to leave due to domestic reasons. The two grids were assembled on the dummy grid before pulling onto the proper grid, with a row left clear between the last of the F1 drivers in Guy Ligier, and the fastest of the F2 racers in Jacky Ickx.
When the flag dropped it was pole sitter Jim Clark who surged into the lead of the race, although his start was upstaged by the incredible youngster in the F2 field. Indeed, Ickx put together a fabulous start to clear the rest of his lesser powered rivals, and had got ahead of Guy Ligier, Jo Bonnier and Chris Irwin. Graham Hill and Hubert Hahne would also fall behind the Belgian before the opening lap, as Clark streaked ahead of the field with a one and a half second lead.
However, all was not well with the lead Lotus as the Scot began to battle a slow puncture, although he did not realise what the issue. Clark put down his increasingly poor handling down the fact that the car was carrying a large fuel load and brand new tyres, meaning he opted to simply try and keep Denny Hulme and Dan Gurney behind rather than push on. The Scot's decision meant that the top three were nose-to-tail at the end of the second lap, before a huge gap back to Bruce McLaren running at the head of the fourth place group having taken Jack Brabham into the Hohenrain chicane.
The second lap had seen a few changes among the midfield, with Jackie Stewart and Chris Amon moving past the Honda of John Surtees. The Japanese car was also in the sights of the charging Ickx, who had added Jochen Rindt, Mike Spence and Pedro Rodríguez to his list of victims, all three moves pulled off with precision around the back of the circuit. Behind him were a mix of F1 and F2 cars heading to the pits, with Jo Siffert having to stop with a sticking throttle, while Irwin came to his crew with a puncture.
The pace at the front was dreadfully slow compared to the qualifying pace, as Clark battled with his punctured rear over laps three and four. The wayward handling eventually became too much for the Scot so he eased off, allowing Hulme and Gurney to shoot past, while Ickx caused some stunned faces by recording the fastest lap. The demise of Clark seemed to inspire Gurney, for the New Yorker came through Hohenrain at the end of the lap in the lead.
When Clark finally limped into the pits having lost a lap, and McLaren dropped out with an engine failure, the incredible Ickx was up to fifth, taking Surtees with ease before McLaren was announced as a retirement. Stewart was proving more resistant, pushing on once he saw Amon fall to the Belgian's charge, while Clark was officially retired with suspension damage. As this was going on, Gurney was taking advantage of the empty circuit ahead, with the New Yorker smashing the lap record to pull a five second gap back to Hulme in the space of one lap.
The race order seemed to settle after the opening barage of casualties, with many hoping that the Nordschleife would relent its treacherous nature. This was not to be, however, as Rindt dropped out with handling issues, Stewart pitted to retire with a transmission failure, while Hill and Rodriguez were late to return on lap six. It was not going too well for Hill since an opening lap spin sent him plummeting down the order, and when the car suddenly snapped through Flugplatz, Hill slowed to a crawl. When the Englishman returned to the pits a loose wheel-nut was diagnosed, tightened and the car released back onto the circuit, although Hill was not confident in the car.
Rodriguez would soon reappear to have a suspension component replaced, although the delay dropped him well out of the running for the points. Gurney, meanwhile, was really pushing on, breaking his own lap record on successive laps, leading Hulme to ease off at it was clear that he could not beat the New Yorker's Eagle-Weslake on sheer pace. He was aided by the fact that his teammate Brabham was a long way back, although he may not have been pleased to know that the Australian was being harassed by a much quicker F2 car.
Ickx was really throwing the lightweight Matra-Ford Cosworth around in the wake of the Brabham-Repco, although the 3.0 litre car simply had too much power for the 1.6 litre car to match. The intensity of that battle was allowing Amon to catch back up, and the New Zealander showed he was in no mood to indulge the Belgian in a fight, simply breezing past the Matra on the Dottinger Hohe. As this was going on, Gurney built a 46 second lead with five laps to go, Hill retired when the suspension screws failed again, while Tim Parnell was fined 200 Deutsche Marks after refuelling Irwin's car.
With three laps to go there were some disappointed faces among the 260,000 strong crowd, as Ickx came round to complete lap twelve with collapsed suspension, his spirited drive therefore over. That elevated Jackie Oliver into the position of being the best placed F2 racer, the Englishman some way off of Surtees, who was having a terrible day in the Honda although he was still running. Brabham, meanwhile, had used Amon's move on Ickx to escpe, so the Australian was slowly being drawn in by the Ferrari when the Belgian dropped out, while Hulme continued to lose out to Gurney ahead.
Indeed, there was little that anyone could do to deny the New Yorker, who was being aided by the fact that the Eagle was handling beautifully while the Weslake engine sounded sweet. Sadly, there was to be one last strike from the Nürburgring Gods, with the transmission failing on Gurney's car just as he started the climb to the Karussel, forcing him to park the car straight away. Hulme was therefore handed the lead, while Brabham began to start a rear guard action to deny a charging Amon who was confident he had enough fuel.
The last punishment for Gurney would prove to be the last of the race, meaning Hulme was able to sweep home for an unlikely victory after the New Yorker's dominance. Brabham would just hold onto second ahead of Amon, although some of the Australian's tactics managed to wind up Ferrari manager Franco Lini who was going ballistic at the officials and demanding Brabham to be disqualified for weaving. Surtees managed to cruise home for a largely unnoticeable fourth, four minutes ahead of the F2 winner Oliver, while Bonnier and Ligier claimed the final Grand Prix points in sixth and eighth.
The full results for the 1967 German Grand Prix are outlined below:
- A green background indicates a Formula Two driver, none of whom were eligible to score points.
- * Hart could not be classified as he failed to complete 90% of the race distance.
- Second time that Formula Two cars had be raced in a Grand Prix in 1967.
- A 29th career pole position left Jim Clark level at the top of the all time list with Juan Manuel Fangio.
- Ford Cosworth claimed a fifth pole position.
- Second career win for Denny Hulme.
- Brabham claimed their ninth win as a constructor.
- Also engine partner Repco's seventh triumph.
- Dan Gurney earned his sixth (and final) fastest lap.
- Maiden points finish for Guy Ligier.
- First time since the 1962 French Grand Prix that a British driver had failed to finish on the podium (51 races in total).
Victory for Denny Hulme for the second time in 1967 meant he was more than a win ahead of his rivals in the World Championship, leaving Germany with a twelve point lead. His closest challenger was now Jack Brabham, who had jumped ahead of Jim Clark, meaning it was a Brabham-Repco one-two as the second half of the season kicked off. Chris Amon was level with Clark on points, but behind without a win, with Pedro Rodríguez stubbornly held onto a top five spot in fifth.
Speaking of Brabham-Repco, the work of Hulme and Brabham meant that the team had a commanding lead in the Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers, with the Anglo-Antipodean effort holding double the points of their nearest challengers. They proved to be Cooper-Maserati, who seemed to be set for a battle for second with Lotus-Ford Cosworth, who would claim to have the best car in the Championship. Ferrari remained in fourth, while BRM completed the top five.
Images and Videos:
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 'GRAND PRIX RESULTS: GERMAN GP, 1967', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2016), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr157.html, (Accessed 17/08/2016)
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36 2.37 2.38 2.39 2.40 2.41 2.42 2.43 2.44 2.45 2.46 2.47 2.48 2.49 2.50 2.51 2.52 2.53 2.54 2.55 2.56 2.57 2.58 2.59 2.60 2.61 2.62 2.63 2.64 2.65 2.66 2.67 2.68 2.69 2.70 2.71 2.72 2.73 2.74 2.75 2.76 2.77 2.78 2.79 2.80 2.81 D.S.J., 'GERMAN GRAND PRIX: Tenacity reaps the reward', motorsportmagazine.com, (MotorSport Magazine, 01/09/1967), http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/september-1967/14/german-grand-prix, (Accessed 19/08/2016)
- ↑ 'BOB ANDERSON', motorsportmagazine.com, (MotorSport Magazine, 01/09/1967), http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/september-1967/22/bob-anderson, (Accessed 19/08/2016)
- ↑ 'Germany 1967: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1967/allemagne/engages.aspx, (Accessed 16/08/2016)
- ↑ 'Germany 1967: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1967/allemagne/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 15/08/2016)
- ↑ 'Germany 1967: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1967/allemagne/classement.aspx, (Accessed 19/08/2016)
|German Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Nürburgring (1951–1954, 1956–1958, 1960–1969, 1970–1976, 1985, 2007–2013*), AVUS (1959), Hockenheimring (1970, 1977–1984, 1986–2006, 2007–2014*, 2016)|
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|* Nürburgring and Hockenheim alternated between each other during these years.|
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