The 1967 Italian Grand Prix, officially known as the XXXVIII Gran Premio d'Italia, was the ninth round of the 1967 FIA Formula One World Championship, held at Monza on the 10th of September, 1967. Jim Clark would put together one of his greatest performances to battle back from an early puncture, although the Scot would be cruelly denied victory on the final lap.
There were to be no shocks in qualifying when Clark put his Lotus 49 on pole, sharing the front row with Jack Brabham and an impressive Bruce McLaren in his new McLaren M5A. Other highlights would be John Surtees getting the new Honda RA300 into the top ten, while debutante Jacky Ickx claimed fifteenth for Cooper-Maserati.
It was a poor start for Clark when the flag dropped on race day, as Brabham surged into the lead, with Dan Gurney and Graham Hill also getting ahead of the #20 Lotus. Gurney then took the lead on lap two, before Clark finally got into his stride to take the lead on lap three, with teammate Hill following him through.
Denny Hulme then had a brief stint in the lead until Clark put him back in his place, only for the Scot to get a puncture on lap twelve, ultimately falling a lap down. When the Scot was released back onto the circuit he aided Hill in getting away from Brabham and Hulme, with the Englishman then helping Clark get through the order.
Hill then hit trouble and dropped back, leaving Clark to battle his way back through the order alone, until the Scot came across Surtees to take third. This became a brief battle for second when Hill retired, with Clark then pushing on to take Brabham for the lead, taking Surtees with him.
Clark took Brabham and was on for victory once Brabham and Surtees became embroiled in a fight for second. Then, on the final lap, the Lotus' fuel pump began to fail and the Scot's pace collapsed, allowing Surtees and Brabham to catch and pass. It was therefore Surtees who claimed the Italian Grand Prix honours ahead of Brabham, while Clark was a heartbroken third ahead of Jochen Rindt as his title bid was ended.
The Canadian Grand Prix had been an interesting affair for the Grand Prix cars, although there was no time for the field to recover as all of the equipment had to be shipped back to Europe in time for the Italian Grand Prix. As ever, Monza would play host to the final European round of the World Championship with the F1 field arriving to use the road course only, with the banking fast becoming a relic only used a couple of times a year.
There was some shock when Ferrari only entered one car for their home race, although Enzo Ferrari was quick to declare that Italian talent was rare at best. It was therefore down to the New Zealander Chris Amon to fly the flag for the Maranello based outfit on his own, although there had been a lot of work to support him over since the race team had been over in North America. A brand new chassis had been built, lighter and stronger than the one that Amon had used throughout the season, although the most impressive feature was the new V12 engine, an updated version of their usual powerhouse.
The decision of Ferrari to only field one car had also harmed the career of Ludovico Scarfiotti, who had finally come to terms with the accidents for his friends Lorenzo Bandini and Mike Parkes, only to be fired by his employers. Mr. Ferrari had been none to pleasant about his talents, although that did not stop Dan Gurney from signing him up to be his number two at Eagle-Weslake. Gurney handed the Italian racer his usual car, as AAR had built a brand new car for the boss which was both lighter and more refined.
Another Italian marque on show in Monza would be Maserati, partnering Cooper as usual to field a half-squadron of cars. The factory effort had the new car for Jochen Rindt and the B-spec T81 for their second driver Jacky Ickx, promoted from Formula Two as Pedro Rodríguez recovered from his huge accident before Canada. Elsewhere, Jo Siffert and Jo Bonnier were doing the rounds with their familiar cars, while Italian local Andrea de Adamich obtained an old car from Guy Ligier to get a home start.
Elsewhere, Brabham-Repco were in an experimental mood as they brought rear bodywork for their two cars, as Jack Brabham and Denny Hulme took turns to test a new BT24. Other changes included updated cockpits and minor suspension changes, with an ex-factory car in the hands of Ligier. Major rivals Team Lotus had three cars on offer, fielding Jim Clark and Graham Hill as usual while also getting a late agreement to run Giancarlo Baghetti as the latter was a home hero.
BRM were back in action too, bringing an ex-demonstration car from Czechoslovakia to enforce their factory effort of Jackie Stewart and Mike Spence. A third factory car would be loaned out to Chris Irwin and Reg Parnell Racing, while the new BRM V12 engine would be on show with Bruce McLaren and his McLaren M5A once again. The McLaren effort would also be represented by Trevor Taylor and Ian Raby Racing, with the privateer effort obtaining an older M2B for a rare outing.
A final highlight on the entry list would be that of Honda, who would field their new Honda RA300 for the first time, which had been developed at Team Surtees headquarters in England for much of the European season. Team Surtees had been focusing on developing CanAm cars, so there was little surprise when the resulting product resembled a Lola Indy car, leading to a rather unsurprising nickname, of "Hondola". The car itself was a vastly updated version of the RA273, including the latest development version of the engine, with the car running for the first time at a proper Grand Prix circuit in Italy.
Victory for Brabham in Canada had propelled him into a secure second the World Championship, nine points off of teammate Hulme for the lead. Amon moved into third with another points finish, fourteen points behind the Australian, while Clark dropped to fourth after another retirement. Pedro Rodríguez maintained his position in the top five, despite spending the Canadian weekend in hospital, with Gurney a point behind.
The fourth victory of the season by a Brabham-Repco meant that they had settled the Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers in their favour. Their tally of 51 put them 29 points clear of second placed Lotus-Climax, with only 27 points left in the season to fight for, before dropped scores were applied. Cooper-Maserati dropped back to third, with a point either side to Team Lotus, and to Ferrari in fourth.
The full entry list for the 1967 Italian Grand Prix is outlined below:
Practice/qualifying were rarely issues at Monza, and with six hours of running scheduled, combined with a series of unofficial sessions undertaken by some in the week before, there would be plenty of time for cars to be up and running. Official practice would begin at 3:30pm on Friday afternoon, lasting until 6:30pm, with an identical session then held on Saturday. The class of 1967 would be aiming for the pole lap set by Mike Parkes in 1966, which stood as the circuit record at 1:31.3.
It was a quiet start to practice, with a slow trickle of machinery entering the circuit to complete some preliminary runs. The first man to put together some quick runs would be Championship leader Denny Hulme, although he was not pushing hard enough to worry Parkes' record. Jim Clark went out to join the New Zealander but would have gearbox ratio trouble with his car and seating issues when "borrowing" Giancarlo Baghetti's Lotus 49.
Elsewhere, Ferrari were having trouble setting up the brand new car, leaving Chris Amon to run the old car, while John Surtees only had a few laps in the brand new Honda before the suspension mountings began to fail. Jack Brabham tried out his new rear bodywork, without the updated cockpit, but quickly discovered that the gearbox was overheating, while Bruce McLaren had engine trouble. Other problems were to be found at BRM, where Jackie Stewart was swapping between all four H16s and not having any joy, while Ludovico Scarfiotti managed to destroy his Weslake engine in the second Eagle by doing a huge number of laps.
Once Amon and Clark got out with their proper cars the times really fell, the New Zealander setting a 1:29.40, just before Clark flew around to set a 1:28.50 without pushing the car to its limits. Amon would slowly wind his times down throughout the session but proved no threat to Clark, while Brabham found that he lost time with the cockpit modifications as it obscured his view. Before the end of the session five drivers were under the 1:30.0 mark, with over half the field under the official lap record.
Saturday saw a lot more action as teams fielded repairs to their cars, on the basis that the circuit was set to get a dose of rain before practice finished. Gurney was among those to go out an push early on, using a fresh engine after handing his usual unit to Scarfiotti, while Stewart was much happier with a fresh H16 in his car. Stewart therefore became one of the outsiders for pole, joined by a stunning lap from McLaren who set a slipstream assisted time to put him into third, just as rain began to fall.
An hour of heavy rain followed, and it would be far longer before any running was completed although times would not affect the grid order. The final phase of running would see Clark do some rather pointless tyre testing, Baghetti run out of fuel, and Jochen Rindt have a rather spectacular driveshaft failure that saw the shaft also smash into the right rear brake and suspension.
The full qualifying results for the 1967 Italian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||20||Jim Clark||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||1:28.50||1:29.70||—|
|8||22||Graham Hill||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||1:29.70||1:30.20||+1.20s|
|13||6||Jo Siffert||Cooper-Maserati||No Time||1:32.30||+3.80s|
|17||24||Giancarlo Baghetti||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||No Time||1:35.20||+6.70s|
|WD||28||Andrea de Adamich||Cooper-Maserati||Withdrawn|
Sunday dawned bright and warm, although the full power of the sun was being blocked by hazy clouds, leaving the stands to fill to capacity before the start. The start was rather rushed ahead of the race, with the drivers' briefing skipped entirely, as the cars got ready to start on the dummy grid. However, the field would not go from the proper grid, as the officials showed the wrong flag to signal the field to move off from the dummy grid.
Indeed, the officials failed to raise the green flag to tell the pole sitter, Jim Clark, to pull forward before the 30 second mark, so there was some confusion as to what was happening. An official finally showed a green flag to Clark as the thirty second countdown ended, with the Scot crawling forward as expected. However, just as the official withdrew, the starter unfurled the Italian tricolour to signal the start, with the front row still only halfway to the grid.
Immediately, Jack Brabham dropped the clutch and roared away as soon as he saw the tricolour flutter, a smoking start that left tyre marks from the dummy grid all the way past the proper grid. Dan Gurney was another quick reactor, swinging past Bruce McLaren, while Chris Amon had to take avoiding action to miss Clark as the Scot got caught between procedure and pressure behind. Almost the entire field was on its way to Curva Grande before the starter started waving the tricolour properly, almost as if to complete the farcical start.
However, the on-track action was far from farcical, as Gurney pulled an excellent pass on Brabham through the Lesmo bends to take the lead. The New Yorker continued to lead from Brabham, Graham Hill and Clark, with McLaren, Jackie Stewart, Denny Hulme and Amon chasing hard. Under FIA rules the jump start should have been a disqualification, but as the entire field had done so, there was little chance of that fate occurring.
The man on the move during the opening stages would be Clark, with the Scot taking Hill and Brabham on lap two, the latter move also allowing his teammate to take the Australian. Clark then endured a one lap dogfight with Gurney for the lead, the two darting across the circuit on the run to Parabolica to complete lap three, with the Scot ahead. Gurney, however, was determined to keep with him and so opted to run in the Lotus' wake to try and unsettle him, as the leading pair blasted away from the rest.
Elsewhere, Hulme had had a strong opening phase of the race to take McLaren and Stewart, before joining Hill and Brabham in joining the breakaway group trying to catch the leaders. Brabham opted to let his New Zealand based teammate through on lap four, a move that ultimately put Hulme into third as Gurney failed to appear. The New Yorker had had a connecting rod fail due to a lose bolt, leaving the Weslake engine starved of oil which was being dumped along the sweeping surface of the Monza circuit.
The demise of Gurney left Clark with a one second lead over teammate Hill, who was now beginning to come under attack from Hulme. Brabham was tagging onto the back of his teammate, but already losing time, while Stewart was bridging the gap between the top four and the next four, heading a group containing McLaren, Amon, John Surtees and Jochen Rindt. There would then a be a distinct gap when Surtees pitted to have a rear tyre checked after sliding wide at Lesmo, as Clark eased off his pace after detecting a handling problem.
Hulme managed to take the two Lotuses once Clark's pace dropped, Hill falling on lap nine with the Scot following on lap ten, although Clark fought back to lead into lap eleven. Yet, all was not well in the #20 Lotus, and when Clark finally ran down through the options of the cause, the Scot could be seen leaning out of his cockpit and glancing at the right rear. A lap later and Clark was in for a change, with Hulme, Hill and Brabham having already got through on the run to Parabolica.
It would be a lap before Clark reappeared, tagging onto the back of the leading trio, with the battle for fourth between Amon, McLaren, Surtees and Rindt ferocious enough to cost them time compared to the leaders. When the leaders came up to lap the first of the backmarkers, those being Jo Bonnier, Guy Ligier and Jacky Ickx, Brabham used the sudden lack of space to take the lead. Hulme led on the following lap before Hill darted around the back of Ickx to lead, while Clark was back already climbing through the order by tagging onto the leaders.
Once the backmarkers dried up, Clark began to get involved in the leading battle, getting himself between Hulme and Brabham on lap 21. Two laps later and the Scot was drafting past teammate Hill, but this move allowed Hulme to pull into his slipstream and therefore take the lead. Brabham's pace then began to fall when the throttle jammed and caused the engine revs to jump too high, reducing power output, while Clark tried to break away by setting a new lap record of 1:28.5.
As Clark began to physically move up the field by taking Jo Siffert and Mike Spence, just as Hill charged past Hulme to retake the lead on lap 28. The latest move was, however, a symptom of an issue for the New Zealander's Repco engine, as his pace deteriorated soon after. Hulme would pull out of the race two laps later with a broken head gasket, leaving Hill with a huge lead over Brabham, while also just tagging onto the back of Clark.
At half distance Clark and Hill drafted past Giancarlo Baghetti in the third of the Lotus 49s, meaning they were in number order across the line. Clark's pace was towing Hill around Monza at record pace, with the Englishman's lead over Brabham growing by two seconds a lap as a result. Baghetti's pace also picked up as his temporary teammates went past, the Italian tagging onto the back of the Brits for a few laps to get on the verge of the points.
Elsewhere, mechanical fatigue was beginning to bite, with Stewart going out of the race, his engine giving up the ghost in a cloud of smoke, just as he had overtaken Ickx. McLaren was next, his BRM V12 destroying its connecting rods through Lesmo, while Amon lost a lap with suspected suspension damage, although nothing of note could be found. The latter two casualties put Clark in with a shout of a podium, while the third placed brawl was suddenly cut down to a tense stalemate between Surtees and Rindt.
More retirements were confirmed in the following laps, with one of the Lotuses joining the list when Baghetti suffered a connecting rod failure. The Lotus garage was therefore filled with anxious faces for the rest of the race as they did not know what the other engines were doing, although the mood in there was nothing compared to the Cooper-Maserati efforts.
Siffert had just lapped Ickx through the entry into Lesmo, when the left rear began to deflate, going completely flat as the Swiss racer accelerated through the second corner. The Cooper-Maserati was thrown into the guard rail and spun back across the track, and only lightening quick reactions by the rookie Ickx kept the works car out of trouble. Rindt, meanwhile, had just fallen to Clark as the Scot decided to go all or nothing for the win.
It was at this point where Hill began to ease off, leaving Clark to chase after Surtees and Brabham, just as the Honda began to close onto the back of the Brabham-Repco. The following laps therefore became a tense wait in the garages and stands as the gaps slowly closed up, with Brabham's pace continuing to drop and Clark pushing on. Just before the kickoff of that fight, Amon came into the pits for a second time for repairs to a shock absorber, although another lap long delay left the only Ferrari entered at the back of the field.
On lap 59, the entire picture of the race changed, all sparked when the second Lotus-Ford Cosworth expired at the start of the lap. Hill was just coming into Parabolica when his engine began pouring white smoke out the back, putting him out of the race, just as Clark got onto the exhaust pipes of Surtees. The Scot passed the Honda just as Hill came to a stop in the Lotus garage, with Brabham now the only man between Clark and the lead.
When Brabham did finally get round to take the lead on the lap chart, Clark was right in his wake, with the two going into Curva Grande side-by-side. A huge cheer from the Team Lotus supporters indicated that Clark was in the lead, and when the leading trio came through to complete the lap it was indeed Clark at the front of the field. It would be four laps before Clark got away from the Australian, a feat that allowed Surtees to finally pass the defending World Champion for second.
Onto the final lap and Clark's lead suddenly collapsed from 3.3 seconds to just 1.5 seconds, and as the leading trio went into Curva Grande, the Cosworth engine cut out. The Scot was thrown into a slide that allowed Surtees and Brabham to sneak by, although as the Lotus was in the middle of the track, the Englishman and the Australian had to dodge either-side. The rest of the lap would see Surtees and Brabham enter a 180 mph knife fight through to Parabolica, as Clark limped home to try and secure third.
The decisive move would be into the final corner, with Surtees taking the racing line through Parabolica, while Brabham dived on the brakes down the inside. Unfortunately for the Australian, the move meant he hit the cement dust, laid down to clear up after Hill's engine failure, while still on the brakes, and so slithered out wide and let Surtees sweep back through. They then came nose-to-tail onto the start.finish straight, but just as the Australian pulled out of the slipstream, the chequered flag fluttered and ended the race.
The result was declared a few moments later, with the crowd flooding onto the circuit just in time to mob Clark as he crawled home. Victory went to Surtees by just 0.2 seconds, with Brabham and an exhausted Scot completing the podium, the latter's performance ultimately putting Clark into the realm of F1's legends. Rindt ended the race down in fourth ahead of Spence, while Ickx had a quiet race to complete the points, a couple of laps ahead of the final finisher Amon.
The full results for the 1967 Italian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|3||20||Jim Clark||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||68||+23.1s||1||4|
|5||36||Mike Spence||BRM||67||+1 lap||12||2|
|6||32||Jacky Ickx||Cooper-Maserati||66||+2 laps||15||1|
|7||2||Chris Amon||Ferrari||64||+4 laps||4|
|Ret||22||Graham Hill||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||58||Engine||8|
|Ret||24||Giancarlo Baghetti||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||50||Engine||17|
|Ret||38||Chris Irwin||BRM||16||Fuel pump||16|
|WD||28||Andrea de Adamich||Cooper-Maserati|
- Formula One debut for Jacky Ickx.
- 21st and final entry for Giancarlo Baghetti.
- John Surtees claimed his sixth and final Grand Prix victory.
- Honda won for the second time.
- 20th podium finish for a Repco engine.
- Ickx claimed a maiden points finish.
John Surtees' victory prevented anyone bar a Brabham-Repco driver from winning the World Championship, as Jim Clark lost his chance at the Championship by failing to win. Jack Brabham closed to within three points of teammate Denny Hulme by taking second in the race, as those two duelled for the title over the final two rounds. Clark was now twenty points off the lead in third, with only eighteen points left, as Jacky Ickx became the newest driver on the scorers list with a debut point.
Brabham-Repco had already been declared as Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers Champions in Canada, so there was little change in the standings after Italy. Lotus-Ford Cosworth were still in a battle for second, needing to beat Cooper-Maserati and Ferrari in the final two races to make sure, while Honda leapt into the top five thanks to Surtees. BRM and Eagle-Weslake remained ahead of the privateer entries, while McLaren-BRM looked set to remain among them in the lower orders.
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 1.12 'GRAND PRIX RESULTS: ITALIAN GP, 1967', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2016), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr159.html, (Accessed 21/08/2016)
- ↑ 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 2.82 2.83 2.84 2.85 2.86 2.87 2.88 2.89 2.90 2.91 2.92 2.93 2.94 2.95 2.96 2.97 2.98 D.S.J., 'Italian Grand Prix: What a race!', motorsportmagazine.com, (MotorSport Magazine, 01/10/1967), http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/october-1967/16/italian-grand-prix, (Accessed 23/08/2016)
- ↑ 'Italy 1967: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1967/italie/engages.aspx, (Accessed 16/08/2016)
- ↑ 'Italy 1967: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1967/italie/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 22/08/2016)
- ↑ 'Italy 1967: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1967/italie/classement.aspx, (Accessed 23/08/2016)
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