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The 1972 Spanish Grand Prix was held on May 1, and was the third race of the 1972 Formula One Season. Emerson Fittipaldi in a Lotus led most of the way for a solid victory over the Ferraris of Jacky Ickx and Clay Regazzoni.


BackgroundEdit

Normally the teams looked forward to returning to Europe, but the race at Jarama had always been marred by poor organization and official incompetence. In particular, the memories from 1970 of local police forcibly removing drivers from the starting grid, and the inability of the course marshals to put out the flaming cars of Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver for most of the race, was of concern.

The organizers assigned the car numbers roughly corresponding to the final 1971 standings, which meant that most teams had wildly dissimilar numbers.

  • Brabham: While driving in the Thruxton Formula 2 race, Carlos Reutemann crashed and suffered a broken ankle that was to keep him out of racing for about two months. Wilson Fittipaldi, older brother of Emerson, had already contracted to run the team's old BT33 on a rental basis, and made his debut here. Graham Hill debuted the new BT37, which was the first design effort of Ralph Bellamy and Gordon Murray. The BT37 was a very basic and simple design, with a front radiator and boxy monocoque. It was intended to keep the team competitive, while allowing for experimentation and modifications for the 1973 design, already under development. And while it wasn't pretty, it did the job well enough.
  • BRM: The team had two examples of their brand new P180s on hand for Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Peter Gethin. The cars were very angular, and looked similar to Lotus 72s (but with the water radiators moved to the extreme rear, instead of the sides) and leaving only a sharp wedge point at the nose. The rear of the car was completely covered by bodywork, channeling the air to the radiators and the rear wing. The intent was for a better handling car through a lower polar moment of inertia, but the car needed development. A distinguishing feature was a hole in the front cowling, where the steering wheel and drivers gloves could be seen sticking up. After driving the car in practice, Beltoise opted to use the spare P160B, but as the team only had one spare car, Gethin was stuck with the new model. Reine Wisell rejoined the team for this race, as there was no rental driver for the fifth car. Alex Soler-Roig retired from Formula 1 after this race, focusing on touring car racing until his retirement became complete at the end of 1972.
  • Ferrari: Clay Regazzoni was at the wheel of a brand new chassis. The team tried both the full-width noses used at Kyalami, and the conventional ones, and opted for the latter, which provided more grip in the corners. All of the cars had had the oil coolers moved to either side of the gearbox, and new rear wings moved slightly further back.
  • Lotus: The cars had the rear wings moved back about 12cm, putting them in cleaner air for greater efficiency. The team arrived in better spirits and with more confidence since before the 1970 Italian Grand Prix, after victories in both the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch, and the Daily Express International Trophy at Silverstone. The only fly in the ointment was the performance of Dave Walker, who was never less than two seconds behind Emerson Fittipaldi's pace, and whose only finish in the top six so far was a fifth at the Brazilian Grand Prix, an event with only 12 starters.
  • March: Both drivers now had examples of the new 721X model, with Ronnie Peterson driving the newest car, and Niki Lauda using the one seen two weeks earlier at Silverstone. The cars were notable for having a more rectangular monocoque, Tyrrell-style full width noses, large engine air boxes, inboard rear suspension and an in-house custom Alfa Romeo-Porsche hybrid gearbox that was mounted ahead of the rear axle. This was another attempt at a lower polar moment of inertia, but both drivers were unhappy with the handling, and found gear shifting to be much harder than with the previous Hewland units. And the mechanics were finding the car difficult to adjust or repair.
    • Frank Williams turned down an option on the 721X model, feeling that it relied too much on unproven technology. Ron Tauranac was working with the team again, and the cars appeared with Tauranac-designed air boxes that prevented most dirt and grit from entering the engines.
    • Rolf Stommelen's Eifelland car arrived, finished in a sharp blue/white color scheme. The absence of high speed corners at Jarama meant that the car's questionable aerodynamics were less of a disadvantage here.
    • Mike Beuttler's sponsors wanted to buy a 1972 car from March, but also refused a 721X. Supposedly in the space of nine days, the factory took a 722 Formula 2 chassis and front suspension, added fuel tanks and a strengthened rear bulkhead and pickup points, grafted a Ford Cosworth engine on the back with the suspension from the original 721, and added the radiators from a 721X. They even managed to retain the wheelbase and track of the Formula 2 car. The car was called a 721G, and was delivered to Jarama less than a week after completion. The car had teething troubles, and failed to qualify in Spain, but later turned out to be light, nimble, reliable and fast. It eventually was deemed such an improvement that it formed the basis for all March Formula 1 cars for the next several years. What is also notable is that including the 721G, the Eifelland car and Carlos Pace's 711, the March factory was assisting with five separate models this weekend.
  • Matra: Chris Amon's main car showed up about 35 kg lighter, and with some slight revisions to the bodywork, the car was both smarter looking and quicker on the track than in recent memory.
  • McLaren: No changes to the regular cars, but the team had the new (but unsorted) M19C as a spare.
  • Surtees: John Surtees was absent from the race, having accepted an invitation to compete in the Formula 2 Japanese Grand Prix, amid rumors that the Japanese were going to request a Formula 1 date in the future. Tim Schenken was driving the latest chassis.
  • Tyrrell: Other teams were surprised to see nothing new from Tyrrell other than four-pot brake calipers on François Cevert's car.


Entry listEdit

The full entry list for the 1972 Spanish Grand Prix is shown below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 003 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
3 France François Cevert United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 002 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
2 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom STP March Racing Team March 721X Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
24 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom STP March Racing Team March 721X Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
4 Belgium Jacky Ickx Italy S.p.A. Ferrari SEFAC Ferrari 312B2 Ferrari 001/1 F12 3.0 F
6 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Italy S.p.A. Ferrari SEFAC Ferrari 312B2 Ferrari 001/1 F12 3.0 F
7 United States Mario Andretti Italy S.p.A. Ferrari SEFAC Ferrari 312B2 Ferrari 001/1 F12 3.0 F
5 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 72D Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
21 Australia Dave Walker United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 72D Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
8 United Kingdom Peter Gethin United Kingdom Marlboro BRM BRM P180 BRM P142 V12 3.0 F
10 Sweden Reine Wisell United Kingdom Marlboro BRM BRM P160B BRM P142 V12 3.0 F
19 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise United Kingdom Marlboro BRM BRM P160B BRM P142 V12 3.0 F
25 New Zealand Howden Ganley United Kingdom Marlboro BRM BRM P160B BRM P142 V12 3.0 F
28 Spain Alex Soler-Roig United Kingdom España Marlboro BRM BRM P160B BRM P142 V12 3.0 F
9 New Zealand Chris Amon France Equipe Matra Sports Matra MS120C Matra MS72 V12 3.0 G
11 New Zealand Denny Hulme United Kingdom Yardley Team McLaren McLaren M19A Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
20 United States Peter Revson United Kingdom Yardley Team McLaren McLaren M19A Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
12 Australia Tim Schenken United Kingdom Brooke Bond Oxo Team Surtees Surtees TS9B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
15 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood United Kingdom Brooke Bond Oxo Team Surtees Surtees TS9B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
26 Italy Andrea de Adamich United Kingdom Ceramica Pagnossin Team Surtees Surtees TS9B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
14 France Henri Pescarolo United Kingdom Team Williams-Motul March 721 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
29 Brazil Carlos Pace United Kingdom Team Williams-Motul March 711 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
16 Germany Rolf Stommelen Germany Team Eifelland Caravan March 721 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
18 United Kingdom Graham Hill United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Brabham BT37 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
22 Brazil Wilson Fittipaldi United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Brabham BT34 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
23 United Kingdom Mike Beuttler United Kingdom Clarke Mordaunt Guthrie Durlacher Racing March 721G Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F

Practice OverviewEdit

Qualifying Edit

There were 26 entries for 25 possible spots on the grid, so one car would go home early.

Qualifying ResultsEdit

Pos No. Driver Constructor Lap Gap
1 4 Belgium Jacky Ickx Ferrari 1:18.43
2 11 New Zealand Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford 1:19.18 +0.75
3 5 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford 1:19.26 +0.83
4 1 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford 1:19.33 +0.90
5 7 United States Mario Andretti Ferrari 1:19.39 +0.96
6 9 New Zealand Chris Amon Matra 1:19.52 +1.09
7 19 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM 1:19.57 +1.14
8 6 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 1:19.71 +1.28
9 2 Sweden Ronnie Peterson March-Ford 1:19.86 +1.43
10 23 Sweden Reine Wisell BRM 1:19.89 +1.46
11 20 United States Peter Revson McLaren-Ford 1:20.11 +1.68
12 3 France François Cevert Tyrrell-Ford 1:20.50 +2.07
13 26 Italy Andrea de Adamich Surtees-Ford 1:20.79 +2.36
14 22 Brazil Wilson Fittipaldi Brabham-Ford 1:20.83 +2.40
15 15 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood Surtees-Ford 1:20.97 +2.54
16 29 Brazil Carlos Pace March-Ford 1:21.00 +2.57
17 16 Germany Rolf Stommelen March-Ford 1:21.04 +2.61
18 12 Australia Tim Schenken Surtees-Ford 1:21.06 +2.63
19 14 France Henri Pescarolo March-Ford 1:21.24 +2.81
20 25 New Zealand Howden Ganley BRM 1:21.43 +3.00
21 8 United Kingdom Peter Gethin BRM 1:22.43 +4.00
22 28 Spain Alex Soler-Roig BRM 1:22.57 +4.14
23 18 United Kingdom Graham Hill Brabham-Ford 1:22.59 +4.16
24 21 Australia Dave Walker Lotus-Ford 1:22.74 +4.31
25 24 Austria Niki Lauda March-Ford 1:24.96 +6.53
DNQ 23 United Kingdom Mike Beuttler March-Ford 1:25.48 +7.05

GridEdit

RaceEdit

ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts
1 5 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford 90 2:03:41.23 3 9
2 4 Belgium Jacky Ickx Ferrari 90 +18.92 1 6
3 6 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 89 +1 Lap 8 4
4 26 Italy Andrea de Adamich Surtees-Ford 89 +1 Lap 13 3
5 20 United States Peter Revson McLaren-Ford 89 +1 Lap 11 2
6 29 Brazil Carlos Pace March-Ford 89 +1 Lap 16 1
7 22 Brazil Wilson Fittipaldi Brabham-Ford 88 +2 Laps 14  
8 12 Australia Tim Schenken Surtees-Ford 88 +2 Laps 18  
9 21 Australia Dave Walker Lotus-Ford 87 Out of fuel 24  
10 18 United Kingdom Graham Hill Brabham-Ford 86 +4 Laps 23  
11 14 France Henri Pescarolo March-Ford 86 +4 Laps 19  
Ret 1 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford 70 Accident damage 4  
Ret 9 New Zealand Chris Amon Matra 67 Gearbox 6  
Ret 3 France François Cevert Tyrrell-Ford 66 Ignition 12  
Ret 8 United Kingdom Peter Gethin BRM 66 Engine 21  
Ret 11 New Zealand Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford 49 Gearbox 2  
Ret 25 New Zealand Howden Ganley BRM 39 Engine 20  
Ret 10 Sweden Reine Wisell BRM 25 Accident 10  
Ret 7 United States Mario Andretti Ferrari 24 Oil Pressure 5  
Ret 15 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood Surtees-Ford 21 Electrics 15  
Ret 2 Sweden Ronnie Peterson March-Ford 17 Suspension 9  
Ret 16 Germany Rolf Stommelen March-Ford 16 Accident 17  
Ret 19 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM 10 Gearbox 7  
Ret 24 Austria Niki Lauda March-Ford 8 Throttle 25  
Ret 28 Spain Alex Soler-Roig BRM 7 Accident 22  

AfterwordEdit

Following the race, one of the Lotus staff was boarding a flight to London with the team's prize money. He did not know that it was illegal to remove Spanish Pesatas from Spain, and should have converted the cash to Pounds. He was arrested, and another Lotus staffer had to fly back to Madrid to pay his fine. In Swiss Francs, of course.

MilestonesEdit

Standings after raceEdit

1972 Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts
1= New Zealand Denny Hulme 15
1= Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi 15
3 Belgium Jacky Ickx 10
4 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart 9
5 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni 7
6 United States Peter Revson 6
7= United States Mario Andretti 3
7= Sweden Ronnie Peterson 3
7= Italy Andrea de Adamich 3
10 Australia Tim Schenken 2
11= United Kingdom Graham Hill 1
11= Brazil Carlos Pace 1

Only point scoring drivers are shown.

1972 Constructors' World Championship
Pos. Team Pts
1 United Kingdom McLaren-Ford 17
2 United Kingdom Lotus-Ford 15
3 Italy Ferrari 13
4 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 9
5 United Kingdom Surtees-Ford 5
6 United Kingdom March-Ford 4
7 United Kingdom Brabham-Ford 1

Only point scoring constructors are shown.

ReferencesEdit

  • Pritchard, Anthony (1973). The Motor Racing Year No4. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.. pp. 58-65. ISBN 0-393-08677-1.
V T E Spain Spanish Grand Prix
Circuits Pedralbes (1951, 1954), Jarama & Montjuïc (1967 - 1975), Jarama (1976 - 1981), Jerez (1986 - 1990), Catalunya (1991 - Present)
Catalunya2007
Races 19511952–195319541955–1967196819691970197119721973197419751976197719781979198019811982–1987198619871988198919901991199219931994199519961997199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018
Non-Championship Races 19231924–1925192619271928–192919301931–19321933193419351936–196619671968–19791980
V T E 1972 Formula One Season
Constructors Brabham • BRM • Connew • Ferrari • Lotus • March • Matra • McLaren • Politoys • Surtees • Tecno • Tyrrell
Engines BRM • Ferrari • Ford Cosworth • Matra • Tecno
Drivers de Adamich • Amon • Andretti • Barber • Bell • Beltoise • Beuttler • Brack • Cevert • Charlton • Depailler • Ferguson • E. Fittipaldi • W. Fittipaldi • Galli • Ganley • Gethin • Hailwood • Hill • Hulme • Ickx • Lauda • Love • Marko • Merzario • Migault • Oliver • Pace • Pescarolo • Peterson • Posey • Redman • Regazzoni • Reutemann • Revson • J. Scheckter • Schenken • Soler-Roig • Stewart • Stommelen • Surtees • Walker • Wisell
Cars Brabham BT33 • Brabham BT34 • Brabham BT37 • BRM P153 • BRM P160 • BRM P180 • Connew PC1 • Ferrari 312B • Lotus 72 • March 711 • March 721 • March 721G • March 721X • Matra MS120 • McLaren M19 • Surtees TS9 • Surtees TS14 • Tecno PA123 • Tyrrell 002 • Tyrrell 003 • Tyrrell 004 • Tyrrell 005 • Tyrrell 006
Tyres Firestone • Goodyear
Races Argentina • South Africa • Spain • Monaco • Belgium • France • Britain • Germany • Austria • Italy • Canada • United States
See also 1971 Formula One Season • 1973 Formula One Season • Category
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