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The 1972 United States Grand Prix was the 12th and final round of the 1972 Formula One season, held on October 8, 1972. Jackie Stewart, in a Tyrrell-Ford, recorded his fourth and final Grand Chelem. Teammate François Cevert was second, and third was Denny Hulme in a McLaren-Ford.


BackgroundEdit

Frequently in the past, teams would give the final round of the season a miss, saying that it was not worth the effort to cross the pond. But with two races, just a short distance apart, skipping the finale was less of an option. And, just to make sure, the USGP was offering a then-unheard-of prize fund of $275,000, including $50,000 to the winner. So the race actually had a record 31 Formula 1 cars entered (larger fields had been previously attained with Formula 2 cars added).


Entry listEdit

The full entry list for the 1972 United States Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 005 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
2 France François Cevert United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 006 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
3 France Patrick Depailler United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 004 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
4 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom STP March Racing Team March 721G Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
5 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom STP March Racing Team March 721G Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
6 United Kingdom Mike Beuttler United Kingdom Clarke Mordaunt Guthrie Durlacher Racing March 721G Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
7 Belgium Jacky Ickx Italy S.p.A. Ferrari SEFAC Ferrari 312B2 Ferrari 001/1 F12 3.0 F
8 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Italy S.p.A. Ferrari SEFAC Ferrari 312B2 Ferrari 001/1 F12 3.0 F
9 United States Mario Andretti Italy S.p.A. Ferrari SEFAC Ferrari 312B2 Ferrari 001/1 F12 3.0 F
10 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 72D Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
11 Australia Dave Walker United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 72D Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
12 Sweden Reine Wisell United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 72D Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
14 United Kingdom Peter Gethin United Kingdom Marlboro BRM BRM P160C BRM P142 V12 3.0 F
15 United Kingdom Brian Redman United Kingdom Marlboro BRM BRM P180 BRM P142 V12 3.0 F
16 New Zealand Howden Ganley United Kingdom Marlboro BRM BRM P160C BRM P142 V12 3.0 F
17 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise United Kingdom Marlboro BRM BRM P180 BRM P142 V12 3.0 F
18 New Zealand Chris Amon France Equipe Matra Sports Matra MS120D Matra MS72 V12 3.0 G
19 New Zealand Denny Hulme United Kingdom Yardley Team McLaren McLaren M19C Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
20 United States Peter Revson United Kingdom Yardley Team McLaren McLaren M19C Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
21 South Africa Jody Scheckter United Kingdom Yardley Team McLaren McLaren M19A Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
22 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood United Kingdom Brooke Bond Oxo Team Surtees Surtees TS9B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
23 Australia Tim Schenken United Kingdom Team Surtees Surtees TS14 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
24 Italy Andrea de Adamich United Kingdom Ceramica Pagnossin Team Surtees Surtees TS9B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
26 France Henri Pescarolo United Kingdom Team Williams-Motul March 721 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
27 Brazil Carlos Pace United Kingdom Team Williams-Motul March 711 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
28 United Kingdom Graham Hill United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Brabham BT37 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
29 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Brabham BT37 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
30 Brazil Wilson Fittipaldi United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Brabham BT34 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
31 United Kingdom Derek Bell Italy Martini Racing Tecno PA123/3T2 Tecno Series-P F12 3.0 F
33 United States Skip Barber United States Gene Mason Racing March 711 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
34 United States Sam Posey United Kingdom Champcarr Inc. Surtees TS9B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F

Practice Overview Edit

A huge entry of 31 cars turned up and actually got down to practice. Some of the team owners were curious about the entry, as the organizers had only posted prize money (no starting money, but 30th place was guaranteed $6,000) for first through 30th places. The race officials simply decided that 31st place would receive 30th place prize money, also, upping the total purse to $281,000.

Practice was divided into three parts, a long four hour session on Friday, two hours on Saturday morning, and 90 minutes on Saturday afternoon. On Friday it was obvious that the Goodyear cars had the advantage, as the only Firestone car in the top eight was Clay Regazzoni in sixth. The Tyrrells and McLarens were the teams to beat, with Jackie Stewart setting the pace with a 1:40.481. Peter Revson was less than 5/100s behind, with Denny Hulme in third and François Cevert in fourth. Even their third drivers got in on the act, with Patrick Depailler in 11th and Jody Scheckter in a very impressive eighth. The Ferraris were sixth, 10th and 12th. On the other hand, of six Marchs entered, the fastest was Carlos Pace in 16th, driving last year's 711. Ronnie Peterson was having all sorts of mechanical troubles, and wound up 26th. Tim Schenken just sat and watched, as John Surtees and Mike Hailwood were taking turns, sorting out the new Surtees TS14. They promised Schenken that he would have all Saturday to get familiar with the car.

Saturday greeted the drivers with fog and rain. No one came within 15 seconds of their Friday time, and those times made up the grid. Peterson was fastest at 2:05.288, and seemed to believe that the problems had been fixed. The only other drivers to lap under 2:10 were Graham Hill, Carlos Reutemann and Jacky Ickx. Both Tyrrell and McLaren experimented with wet settings, should there be rain on Sunday. John Surtees' strategy blew up in his face, as Schenken could only manage 1:57.674, while trying to familiarize himself with the new car in terrible conditions. Since that time was well outside of the 110% limit, Surtees had to file an appeal with the stewards. The appeal was granted, and Schenken started the race 31st.

Qualifying ResultsEdit

Pos No. Driver Constructor Lap Gap
1 1 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford 1:40.481
2 20 United States Peter Revson McLaren-Ford 1:40.527 +0.046
3 19 New Zealand Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford 1:41.084 +0.603
4 2 France François Cevert Tyrrell-Ford 1:41.445 +0.964
5 29 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford 1:41.692 +1.211
6 8 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 1:41.951 +1.470
7 18 New Zealand Chris Amon Matra 1:41.979 +1.498
8 21 South Africa Jody Scheckter McLaren-Ford 1:42.058 +1.577
9 10 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford 1:42.400 +1.919
10 9 United States Mario Andretti Ferrari 1:42.482 +2.001
11 3 France Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford 1:42.521 +2.040
12 7 Belgium Jacky Ickx Ferrari 1:42.597 +2.116
13 30 Brazil Wilson Fittipaldi Brabham-Ford 1:42.766 +2.285
14 23 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood Surtees-Ford 1:43.204 +2.723
15 27 Brazil Carlos Pace March-Ford 1:43.319 +2.838
16 12 Sweden Reine Wisell Lotus-Ford 1:43.543 +3.062
17 16 New Zealand Howden Ganley BRM 1:44.075 +3.594
18 17 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM 1:44.240 +3.759
19 25 Italy Andrea de Adamich Surtees-Ford 1:44.279 +3.798
20 33 United States Skip Barber March-Ford 1:44.280 +3.799
21 6 United Kingdom Mike Beuttler March-Ford 1:44.369 +3.888
22 26 France Henri Pescarolo March-Ford 1:44.433 +3.952
23 34 United States Sam Posey Surtees-Ford 1:44.525 +4.044
24 15 United Kingdom Brian Redman BRM 1:44.925 +4.444
25 5 Austria Niki Lauda March-Ford 1:45.290 +4.809
26 4 Sweden Ronnie Peterson March-Ford 1:46.142 +5.661
27 28 United Kingdom Graham Hill Brabham-Ford 1:46.313 +5.832
28 14 United Kingdom Peter Gethin BRM 1:46.599 +6.118
29 31 United Kingdom Derek Bell Tecno 1:47.023 +6.542
30 11 Australia Dave Walker Lotus-Ford 1:50.600 +10.119
31 24 Australia Tim Schenken Surtees-Ford 1:57.674 +17.193

GridEdit

RaceEdit

ReportEdit

During the 15 minute warmup session just after lunch, a head gasket blew on Bell's Tecno, so the team told him to not push the car, and hope that others retired before he did. And Amon came in, complaining that the engine was on 11 cylinders, but as this was Matra's final F1 race, they did not have the parts to attempt a repair. So Amon lined up at the back of the grid.

Due to rain showers in the area, the cars were lined up promptly at 2 p.m., and at the flag, Stewart shot into an immediate lead ahead of Hulme. But behind them, Regazzoni had tried a suicide run up the inside of the track, causing several drivers to take avoiding action, and leaving Reutemann and Revson with damaged bodywork, and Emerson Fittipaldi with a slowly deflating rear tire. Several teams complained about Regazzoni's start, but the marshals basically said 'It's Ferrari, we can't do anything'. At the end of lap 1, Stewart came by almost two seconds ahead of Hulme, followed by E. Fittipaldi, Scheckter, Ickx, Regazzoni, Andretti, Reutemann, Cevert, W. Fittipaldi and Ganley. At the end of the lap, Bell was already falling behind the field, and Revson made a pit stop for bodywork repairs. On lap 2, Reutemann also came in for a new nose cone. On lap 3, Stewart went by with a 5 second advantage over Hulme, and Scheckter had got past E. Fittipaldi for third, having a brilliant debut race.

E. Fittipaldi was dropping back, and on lap 6 he stopped for a new rear tire. The team then noticed suspension damage from the Regazzoni incident, but had to choice but to send him back out. Stewart was just dominating things, and after the chaos of the start, Cevert started picking up places, seemingly at will. Bell was the first retirement on lap 9, due to overheating, and after another pit stop, E. Fittipaldi joined him, due to damage from the collision with Regazzoni. Cevert had worked his way past all three Ferraris (and Regazzoni was dropping back to due his front wheels having been knocked out of alignment) and by lap 20, had also passed Scheckter to work on Hulme. Other drivers making excellent progress included Peterson, who had had almost no practice due to two blown engines, but was now finding his car handing perfectly, and had got past Andretti and Regazzoni; and Depailler, who out of nowhere was suddenly pressuring the Ferrari trio.

Andretti was experiencing handling problems, due to a strange decision to run different tire compounds on each side of the car. He was soon holding up a group of W. Fittipaldi, Hailwood and Depailler. Meanwhile, Regazzoni was losing power, due to a broken exhaust pipe. Possibly related to the fun and games at the start. Peterson had gotten by Ickx, but the Belgian would not give up without a fight, and the two were almost nose-to-tail for several laps. On lap 30 Cevert passed Hulme for second, and the Tyrrells were 1-2, with Depailler's third car in 10th. Scheckter was all by his lonesome in fourth, then was the Ickx-Peterson duel (Ickx having repassed Peterson), followed by another battle between W. Fittipaldi and Hailwood, who had moved a few seconds ahead of Andretti, followed by Depailler. Retirements along the way included Schenken (rear suspension on lap 23), de Adamich (front suspension on lap 26) and Reutemann (engine on lap 32). The BRMs were having a miserable race, all four lapping near the back of the field before Redman's engine blew on lap 35, Beltoise suffered a broken distributor on lap 41, Ganley's engine let go on lap 45, and finally Gethin's motor quit on lap 48.

On lap 40, a rain shower moved across the north end of the circuit, just past the pits. A group of Scheckter, Hill and Buettler (Scheckter had just lapped the other two) came on the shower just as warning flags were starting to be waved, and all three spun on the wet pavement. While Hill and Buettler got going again quickly (but Buettler was passed by Posey), Scheckter had stalled his car, and it was more than a lap later when he got the car restarted. So Scheckter found himself having to re-pass the same cars, this time for position, as he had lost 11 places while stalled. One of the beneficiaries of this was Revson, who had battled back from being almost a lap down after the first lap, and now found himself in ninth place. Which became eighth when W. Fittipaldi's engine blew. A brief battle between U.S. drivers netted Revson seventh ahead of Andretti, and then he moved into the top six by slipstreaming past Hailwood. Which all came to nothing on lap 55, as a main ignition wire inexplicably cracked, leaving him suddenly without any electrics. Hailwood then moved back into the top six, but with two laps to go suffered a broken suspension when Buettler moved out to lap Lauda without checking his mirrors, bumping Hailwood into the guard rail.

At the finish, Stewart had eased off a bit, but was more than 30 seconds ahead of Cevert, with Hulme a fine third another five seconds back. One last bit of drama came when Ickx lost part of an exhaust pipe, and allowed Peterson to just nip him at the line for fourth, despite Peterson having just about worn his tires out. Despite his weird tire choice, Andretti made it to sixth, a lap down but ahead of Depailler, who just beat Regazzoni and an angry and fast-closing Scheckter. Wisell drove a very quiet and measured race to get a nice payday for 10th. Between grabbing the pole, fastest lap and a 1-2-7 finish, Elf Team Tyrrell took home over $97,000 of the $275,000 prize fund, an absolutely unheard-of sum at the time. And it was noted that Stewart had swept all three races west of the Atlantic in 1972.

ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts
1 1 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford 59 1:41:45.354 1 9
2 2 France François Cevert Tyrrell-Ford 59 +32.268 4 6
3 19 New Zealand Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford 59 +37.528 3 4
4 4 Sweden Ronnie Peterson March-Ford 59 +1:22.516 26 3
5 7 Belgium Jacky Ickx Ferrari 59 +1:23.119 12 2
6 9 United States Mario Andretti Ferrari 58 +1 Lap 10 1
7 3 France Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford 58 +1 Lap 11  
8 8 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 58 +1 Lap 6  
9 21 South Africa Jody Scheckter McLaren-Ford 58 +1 Lap 8  
10 12 Sweden Reine Wisell Lotus-Ford 57 +2 Laps 16  
11 28 United Kingdom Graham Hill Brabham-Ford 57 +2 Laps 27  
12 34 United States Sam Posey Surtees-Ford 57 +2 Laps 23  
13 6 United Kingdom Mike Beuttler March-Ford 57 +2 Laps 21  
14 26 France Henri Pescarolo March-Ford 57 +2 Laps 22  
15 18 New Zealand Chris Amon Matra 57 +2 Laps 7  
16 33 United States Skip Barber March-Ford 57 +2 Laps 20  
17 23 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood Surtees-Ford 56 Accident 14  
18 20 United States Peter Revson McLaren-Ford 53 Ignition wire 2  
NC 5 Austria Niki Lauda March-Ford 49 +10 Laps 25  
Ret 27 Brazil Carlos Pace March-Ford 48 Fuel injection 15  
Ret 14 United Kingdom Peter Gethin BRM 47 Engine 28  
Ret 16 New Zealand Howden Ganley BRM 44 Engine 17  
Ret 11 Australia Dave Walker Lotus-Ford 44 Oil pressure 30  
Ret 30 Brazil Wilson Fittipaldi Brabham-Ford 43 Engine 13  
Ret 17 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM 40 Ignition 18  
Ret 29 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford 31 Engine 5  
Ret 25 Italy Andrea de Adamich Surtees-Ford 24 Accident 19  
Ret 24 Australia Tim Schenken Surtees-Ford 22 Suspension 31  
Ret 10 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford 17 Suspension 9  
Ret 31 United Kingdom Derek Bell Tecno 8 Overheating 29  

MilestonesEdit

Standings after raceEdit

V T E United States United States Grand Prix
Circuits Sebring (1959), Riverside (1960), Watkins Glen (1961–1980), Phoenix (1989–1991), Indianapolis (2000–2007), Austin (2012–present)
CircuitoftheAmericas2012
Formula One Races 1959 • 1960 • 1961 • 1962 • 1963 • 1964 • 1965 • 1966 • 1967 • 1968 • 1969 • 1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1981–1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 1991 • 1992–1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008–2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017
Non-F1 races 1908 • 1909 • 1910 • 1911 • 1912 • 1913 • 1914 • 1915 • 1916 • 1917–1957 • 1958
See also United States Grand Prix West • Indianapolis 500 • Detroit Grand Prix • Caesars Palace Grand Prix • Dallas Grand Prix • Questor Grand Prix
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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