The 1972 British Grand Prix was held on July 15 at Brands Hatch, southeast of London. It was won by Emerson Fittipaldi in a Lotus, who finished four seconds ahead of Jackie Stewart in a Tyrrell, with McLaren's Peter Revson driving a solid race to third. Ferrari's Jacky Ickx had led Fittipaldi and Stewart in a tight three car battle for the first 2/3 of the race before his engine broke.
The teams convened at the very bumpy Brands Hatch circuit, in the suburbs southeast of London. The abnormally large number of accidents at Charade, plus the retirement of Helmut Marko due to his eye injury, meant that a reduced number of cars would be appearing, so none of the entries were facing a failure to qualify.
- Brabham: All three cars had the modified rear suspension that appeared on Carlos Reutemann's car in France.
- BRM: The rash of accidents in France had hit BRM particularly hard, and even with the enforced retirement of Helmut Marko, the team was very short of cars. Jean-Pierre Beltoise had his P160C rebuilt, and the team had three other P160Bs running. One of those was for Peter Gethin, and a third was used by Jackie Oliver, due to his reputation as a 'Brands specialist'. But the need for a spare left both Howden Ganley and Reine Wisell out in the cold. Wisell in particular thought that he had the option of either a BRM or Lotus drive, and wound up without any drive at all.
- Connew: Peter Connew was a former draftsman and designer for Surtees, who quit after a falling out with John Surtees. He then decided to create his own F1 car, which was built over the winter of 1970-71. This car was never intended to be anything other than a test vehicle, and construction on the second car commenced. After more than a year of construction (and searching for funding), and after having been entered in France (but the transporter broke down), the car was finally present at Brands, with François Migault behind the wheel and powered by a used Ford Cosworth engine purchased from McLaren. The car looked well built and attractive in the red and yellow colors of their sponsor, but everything was still chronically underfunded.
- Ferrari: Clay Regazzoni was still nursing his broken wrist, and Mario Andretti was at a USAC event, so Ferrari gave the second car to one of their prototype drivers, Arturo Merzario. The cars themselves were unchanged.
- Lotus: Lotus had planned to field a third car at home (possibly for Reine Wisell), but what was turning into the annual Cosworth engine shortage thwarted those plans.
- March: Niki Lauda was driving a brand new chassis, and the car he drove in France was now being used as the test car for possible 1973 developments.
- Matra: Chris Amon had his old MS120C as a backup, and would up using it in the race after a crash in the MS120D.
- McLaren: The M19C that Brian Redman crunched in France had not been fully repaired, so Peter Revson was using the original M19A, and the team was without a spare. Denny Hulme had crashed heavily the previous weekend in the Road America CanAm race, and was still very stiff and sore.
- Surtees: Mike Hailwood's car had a new design of rear wing.
- Tecno: The car had a new rear suspension, designed by Ron Tauranac on a freelance basis. The single cross member and vertical dampers had been replaced with more conventional parts to provide greater wheel movement.
- Tyrrell: Jackie Stewart was entered in the repaired 005, with François Cevert in his usual 002, and Stewart's old 003 as the spare. Stewart wound up using 003 in the race, as he crashed 005 in almost exactly the same manner as Cevert had in France, leading the team to believe that there was a problem with either the inboard front brakes or the suspension.
- Williams: Frank Williams joined the ranks of constructors, with a new car called the Politoys FX3. The team had not planned to enter it yet, but Henri Pescarolo's accident damaged the old 721 so severely that the team decided to go ahead and run it. Pescarolo himself was still feeling rather sore from his two major accidents in the past month. The car was a basic kit car with a Ford Cosworth engine, designed by Len Bailey with some assistance from Ron Tauranac, and was clearly a work in progress. While the car was officially described as Politoys being the manufacturer, by tracking backwards from the 1979 FW07, the team later counted this as the first of the "FW" cars.
The full entry list for the 1972 British Grand Prix is outlined below:
|4||17||Chris Amon||Matra||75||+1 Lap||17||3|
|5||18||Denny Hulme||McLaren-Ford||75||+1 Lap||11||2|
|6||6||Arturo Merzario||Ferrari||75||+1 Lap||9||1|
|7||3||Ronnie Peterson||March-Ford||74||Out of fuel/Accident||8|
|8||27||Carlos Reutemann||Brabham-Ford||73||+3 Laps||10|
|9||4||Niki Lauda||March-Ford||73||+3 Laps||19|
|10||33||Rolf Stommelen||March-Ford||71||+5 Laps||25|
|11||11||Jean-Pierre Beltoise||BRM||70||+6 Laps||6|
|13||31||Mike Beuttler||March-Ford||69||+7 Laps||23|
|Ret||2||François Cevert||Tyrrell-Ford||60||Flat tire/Accident||12|
|Ret||23||Andrea de Adamich||Surtees-Ford||3||Accident||20|
|DNS||34||François Migault||Connew-Ford||Cracks in chassis||27|
First race and championship point for Arturo Merzario.
Standings after raceEdit
- Pritchard, Anthony (1973). The Motor Racing Year No4. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.. pp. 90-98. ISBN 0-393-08677-1.
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