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The 1973 Canadian Grand Prix, otherwise known as the XIII Labatt's Canadian Grand Prix, was the fourteenth and penultimate round of the 1973 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at Mosport Park on the 23rd of September 1973.[1] The race is primarily known for being the first Grand Prix to feature a Safety Car, which created a lot of chaos for the timekeepers when Howden Ganley was incorrectly considered to be the race leader.[1]

Jackie Stewart had been declared as World Champion at the previous race in Italy, meaning it was the second placed fight between François Cevert, Emerson Fittipaldi and Ronnie Peterson that came to the fore.[1] First blood was drawn by Peterson in this fight, the Swede taking pole position from Peter Revson, while Fittipaldi and Cevert shared the third row.[1]

A rain coated Mosport Park greeted the field on raceday, with Peterson slithering away from the line fastest, ahead of a quick starting Jody Scheckter.[1] Fittipaldi moved into third ahead of a surging Stewart, with Carlos Reutemann and Peter Revson completing the top six.[1]

The early stages saw one man demonstrate his abilities, with young Austrian racer Niki Lauda climbing from eighth to first over the first three laps, before duly driving clear of the rest.[1] Peterson was left to fend off Scheckter over the following laps, although the Swede would crash on lap seventeen while the South African fell behind Fittipaldi and Carlos Pace.[1]

Lauda's lead lasted until lap 20, when his BRM burned through his wet tyres, leaving Fittipaldi with the lead.[1] Then, Scheckter and Cevert came together and blocked the road, leading the officials to call-out a bright yellow Porsche 914 to control the field.[1] Unfortunately the pilot of the Safety Car, Eppie Wietzes, pulled out in front of Howden Ganley, as several drivers pulled in to change tyres.[1]

The effect of this intervention was to hand Jackie Oliver the lead for Shadow, with Revson second and Jean-Pierre Beltoise in third, a lap clear of most of the field.[1] Old race leader Fittipaldi, meanwhile, was down in fourth, and at the restart managed to gain his lap back, before beginning a thrilling charge to regain the lead.[1]

The Brazilian racer was mesmerising behind the wheel catching Beltoise and Oliver hand over fist after Revson grabbed the lead.[1] Oliver and Beltoise ultimately resisted the Brazilian until the penultimate lap, by which stage Revson was thirty seconds clear.[1] Indeed, many believed that Fittipaldi had taken the lead on that lap, with Colin Chapman throwing his hat into the air in celebration, only to see the chequered flag waved at Revson instead.[1]

The official lap charts were released three hours later, and revealed that Revson had actually completed 81 laps around Mosport before he crossed the line.[1] Fittipaldi was listed in second ahead of Oliver and Beltoise, while Stewart was a composed fifth, one lap down. Ganley, meanwhile, briefly believed he had won the race, having been just ahead of Revson when the chequered flag was thrown, and was therefore disappointed to discover he had been classified in sixth.[1]

BackgroundEdit

The Canadian Grand Prix had found a very worthy home at Mosport Park as the F1 circus rolled into North America for its annual visit, with around 40,000 people expected to come through the gates on race day.[2] The circuit itself, meanwhile, had become increasingly bumpy as the promoters tried to simply keep the venue afloat, although the pit complex was considered to be among the best on the American continent.[2] The C.S.I. and Grand Prix Drivers' Association, meanwhile, had agreed to send the new "pace" car across the Atlantic, meaning a bright yellow Porsche 914 would be sat at the end of the pitlane throughout the weekend, with ex-F1 racer Eppie Wietzes at the wheel.[2]

The big news ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix concerned the line-up at BRM, who arrived with four drivers for their three cars.[2] Joining Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Niki Lauda in the trio of P160Es would be Peter Gethin, promoted back to the team after being dropped at the end of 1972.[2] Out therefore went Clay Regazzoni, having been judged to have under-performed throughout the season, although the Swiss driver would only be told he had been dropped as the cars were unloaded into the paddock.[2]

The only other team not using Ford Cosworth engines in Canada would be Ferrari, although they arrived with only one car, which would have to survive both North American races.[2] Arturo Merzario was the man pencilled in at the wheel, as Jacky Ickx and Ferrari mutually agreed to terminate his race-by-race contract after a rather poor showing in Italy.[2] The Belgian was therefore left to hunt for a new race seat, while Ferrari themselves looked set to limp across the line at the end of another dismal season.[2]

One further seat change came at Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth, with Ken Tyrrell deciding to field three cars as he went to battle with Colin Chapman's Team Lotus effort in the International Cup for Manufacturers.[2] Patrick Depailler had been set to use the older 005, which had served as the spare for Jackie Stewart and François Cevert, only for the Frenchman to crash during a Formula Two race, leaving him on the sidelines.[2] Tyrrell therefore called upon Chris Amon to sit in the spare car for the weekend, the Kiwi having left the now folded Tecno effort after a difficult season.[2]

As for Lotus, there was little of note despite some journalists claiming that Emerson Fittipaldi had fallen out with the team after the Italian Grand Prix.[2] He, however, would continue to partner Ronnie Peterson in North America, with the two still considered as equal number ones within the team.[2] The Norfolk squad had three cars with them for the final two races of the season, with the spare once again carrying Peterson's number.[2]

McLaren-Ford Cosworth decided to up the ante when they crossed the Atlantic, having gained a huge following thanks to their CanAm exploits in recent seasons.[2] They would therefore field Formula 5000 Champion and CanAm star Jody Scheckter in their third car, with the South African carrying his familiar number of #0 after claiming the F5000 title.[2] Some were still critical of young Scheckter for causing the pile-up at Silverstone, although the McLaren team had no concerns as he lined up alongside G.P.D.A. president Denny Hulme and Peter Revson in their trio of M23s.[2]

Elsewhere, Brabham were one of the few teams to arrive with updates for their cars, with Carlos Reutemann and Wilson Fittipaldi receiving new rear wings, a design that looked very similar to the ones used on Dan Gurney's old Eagle efforts.[2] Young Brabham designer Gordon Murray had seen this design and decided to modify it to fit the BT42, with hopes that the unique shape could increase lower drag without decreasing the aerodynamic effects.[2] The third semi-works effort of Rolf Stommelen would also receive the update, although the German would have to wait to try it out in practice.[2]

At Surtees there were no major concerns, Mike Hailwood happier after a return to form in Italy, while Carlos Pace hoped to claim another surprise podium.[2] The mismatched March trio also made it across the Atlantic, Jean-Pierre Jarier piloting the works car, Mike Beuttler the "semi-works" effort and James Hunt the "Hesketh-March.[2] The latter's car had been rebuilt around a new monocoque after his accident at Monza, although there were no new updates as designer Harvey Postlethwaite focused on designing Hesketh's first self-built challenger.[2]

The only North American based F1 team in the world arrived in good spirits for their "home" double, Shadow having completely rebuilt their two works cars.[2] Jackie Oliver and George Follmer therefore sported the latest suspension design for the DN1, although the American team's plan to bring a third car had been foiled by a lack of transporter space.[2] Third driver Brian Redman would therefore miss out on an F1 return, although the privateer effort of Graham Hill and Embassy Racing would be in action.[2]

Completing the field were the Iso-Marlboros of Frank Williams Racing Cars, and the lone Ensign effort.[2] Rikky von Opel would be at the wheel for Ensign, who surprised a fair number of people by making the trip over the Atlantic, while Howden Ganley and Tim Schenken would pilot the two Iso-Marlboros.[2] Designer Ron Tauranac had been busy overseeing the development of updates for the "Williams Specials" since joining the team, with Schenken optimistic ahead of his first Grand Prix start since the 1972 United States Grand Prix.[2]

Fourth place in Italy had been enough for Stewart to be proclaimed as World Champion at Monza, the Scot becoming only the third triple Champion in F1 history. Fittipaldi, meanwhile, had moved back into second after his podium finish, relegating Cevert to third, while Peterson closed in on the runner-up spot with victory. Elsewhere, Revson had moved clear of teammate Hulme in their private duel for fifth, with no other changes to the order as the season entered its final throes.

The Lotus-Ford Cosworth one-two in Italy allowed them to close up the gap to arch-rivals Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth. With just the two North American races to go, the Norfolk squad were only three points behind, with eighteen left in play. They were now the only two capable of taking the International Cup for Manufacturers, McLaren-Ford Cosworth too far back to challenge, although they were content with being confirmed in third. Ferrari looked set to complete another poor season in the top five, entertaining hopes of beating Brabham-Ford Cosworth to fourth, although the Italian effort was hardly secure, with BRM, March-Ford Cosworth, Surtees-Ford Cosworth and Shadow-Ford Cosworth all within striking distance.

Entry listEdit

The full entry list for the 1973 Canadian Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entreat Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
0 South Africa Jody Scheckter United Kingdom Yardley Team McLaren McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
1 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 72E Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
2 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 72E Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
3 Belgium Jacky Ickx Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312B3 Ferrari 001/11 3.0 F12 G
4 Italy Arturo Merzario Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312B3 Ferrari 001/11 3.0 F12 G
5 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 006 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
6 France François Cevert United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 006 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
7 New Zealand Denny Hulme United Kingdom Yardley Team McLaren McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
8 United States Peter Revson United Kingdom Yardley Team McLaren McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
9 West Germany Rolf Stommelen United Kingdom Ceramica Pagnossin MRD Brabham BT42 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
10 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Brabham BT42 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
11 Brazil Wilson Fittipaldi United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Brabham BT42 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
12 United Kingdom Graham Hill United Kingdom Embassy Racing Shadow DN1 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
15 United Kingdom Mike Beuttler United Kingdom Clarke-Mordaunt-Guthrie Racing March 731 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
16 United States George Follmer United States UOP Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN1 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
17 United Kingdom Jackie Oliver United States UOP Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN1 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
18 France Jean-Pierre Jarier United Kingdom March Racing Team March 731 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
19 United Kingdom Peter Gethin United Kingdom Marlboro BRM BRM P160E BRM P142 3.0 V12 F
20 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise United Kingdom Marlboro BRM BRM P160E BRM P142 3.0 V12 F
21 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom Marlboro BRM BRM P160E BRM P142 3.0 V12 F
22 New Zealand Chris Amon Italy Martini Racing Team Tecno PA123/6 Tecno Series-P 3.0 F12 F
23 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood United Kingdom Brooke Bond Oxo Team Surtees Surtees TS14A Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
24 Brazil Carlos Pace United Kingdom Brooke Bond Oxo Team Surtees Surtees TS14A Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
25 New Zealand Howden Ganley United Kingdom Frank Williams Racing Team Iso-Marlboro IR Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
26 Australia Tim Schenken United Kingdom Frank Williams Racing Team Iso-Marlboro IR Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
27 United Kingdom James Hunt United Kingdom Hesketh Racing March 731 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
28 Liechtenstein Rikky von Opel United Kingdom Team Ensign Ensign N173 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
29 New Zealand Chris Amon United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 005 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
Source:[3]

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

Practice/qualifying would be staged across Friday and Saturday, divided into three sessions, each two hours in length.[2] Friday would be the busier of the two days, hosting two sessions, while Saturday's running would be delayed by a dense fog, which also had the effect of making the circuit damp until the final half hour.[2] As for target times the top teams would be targeting the circuit record at Mosport Park, which had been set by Peter Revson during his hunt for pole in 1972.[2]

ReportEdit

As usual for the first practice session of a Grand Prix weekend, the earlier run on Friday afternoon saw most of the teams gradually bring their cars up to speed.[2] Issues would arise up and down the pitlane, with Denny Hulme losing a large amount of time with a gearbox change, Peter Gethin suffering a misfire, while the two Jackies Stewart and Oliver both hit clutch trouble.[2] On circuit Arturo Merzario had a nasty moment in the Ferrari, losing the backend on the flatout turn three and flying through the catch fencing.[2] His Ferrari would be dragged back to the pits with very chewed up bodywork, although the chassis and mechanical parts remained remarkably intact.[2]

Away from the stragglers and it was an impressive start for Ronnie Peterson, with the Swede ending the session fastest with a 1:14.646, a time that made it look as if he was the only one really trying.[2] Others to impress included Carlos Reutemann, who ended the day third fastest just behind the #0 of Jody Scheckter, which was frequently seen drifting through Mosport's sweeping curves, the South African racer ultimately ending the session with a 1:15.179.[2] Record holder Revson and François Cevert were also up among the pace setters.[2]

The afternoon session saw a near universal increase in pace as temperatures climbed, the only man not in action being Merzario who was having his Ferrari re-panelled.[2] Others in trouble before the end of the day included Rikky von Opel in the Ensign, which simply looked slow, while Tim Schenken, Peter Gethin and Chris Amon slowly got up to speed in their new cars.[2] Elsewhere, the mechanical issues disappeared at McLaren, Tyrrell and Shadow, allowing Hulme, Stewart and Oliver to get some serious laps in, while Peterson took time in his spare car to get that up to speed.[2]

Indeed, the Swede was one of the few to truly enjoy a trouble free run on Friday, and was dancing both of his cars around Mosport at an incredible rate.[2] Peterson would ultimately end the day fastest, a 1:13.697 deemed to be slower than Revson's circuit record, although he was over a second clear of the rest.[2] Revson himself would end Friday second quickest, narrowly edging out temporary teammate Scheckter, while Reutemann and Niki Lauda completed the top five.[2]

After the usual rush to repair the cars overnight on Friday, the teams and drivers awoke to find Mosport covered in fog, which was dense enough for the Grand Prix Drivers' Association call for a delay.[2] The fog did slowly lift, however, prompting the organisers to allow cars to circulate one at a time for four laps, before coming back in to let the next car through.[2] As this was getting underway the fog completely lifted, leaving just a damp, but quickly drying track, prompting the organisers to start the session properly with an additional half an hour.[2]

The first two hours of the session were a write-off, with the circuit too damp to really push properly.[2] Indeed, there were still enough wet patches surviving into the final minutes that prevented anyone from challenging Peterson, although the Swede still ended the day fastest with a 1:14.593.[2] His teammate Emerson Fittipaldi was the only man to make a serious improvement, climbing to fifth with a 1:15.053, despite the damp conditions, with Cevert joining him on the third row in the dying seconds of the session.[2]

Qualifying ResultsEdit

The full qualifying results for the 1973 Canadian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap
P1 P2 P3
1 2 Sweden Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:14.646 1:13.697 1:14.593
2 8 United States Peter Revson McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:15.786 1:14.737 1:15.513 +1.040s
3 0 South Africa Jody Scheckter McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:15.179 1:14.758 1:15.386 +1.061s
4 10 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford Cosworth 1:15.483 1:14.813 1:15.833 +1.116s
5 1 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:16.066 1:15.836 1:15.053 +1.338s
6 6 France François Cevert Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:15.753 1:15.721 1:15.118 +1.421s
7 7 New Zealand Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:35.893 1:16.592 1:15.319 +1.622s
8 21 Austria Niki Lauda BRM 1:16.727 1:15.400 1:16.798 +1.703s
9 5 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:16.799 1:16.279 1:15.641 +1.944s
10 11 Brazil Wilson Fittipaldi Brabham-Ford Cosworth 1:17.793 1:16.112 1:16.159 +2.415s
11 29 New Zealand Chris Amon Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:19.147 1:16.228 1:16.738 +2.531s
12 23 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood Surtees-Ford Cosworth 1:17.049 1:16.290 1:20.078 +2.593s
13 16 United States George Follmer Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:17.902 1:16.358 1:17.425 +2.661s
14 17 United Kingdom Jackie Oliver Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:59.910 1:17.928 1:16.436 +2.739s
15 27 United Kingdom James Hunt March-Ford Cosworth 1:19.607 1:17.709 1:16.584 +2.887s
16 20 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM 1:16.623 1:17.017 1:17.234 +2.926s
17 12 United Kingdom Graham Hill Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:19.188 1:17.686 1:16.740 +3.043s
18 9 West Germany Rolf Stommelen Brabham-Ford Cosworth 1:16.846 1:16.995 1:17.280 +3.149s
19 24 Brazil Carlos Pace Surtees-Ford Cosworth 1:18.082 1:17.126 1:17.028 +3.331s
20 4 Italy Arturo Merzario Ferrari 1:19.245 1:17.350 +3.653s
21 15 United Kingdom Mike Beuttler March-Ford Cosworth 1:19.728 1:17.383 1:18.002 +3.686s
22 25 New Zealand Howden Ganley Iso-Marlboro-Ford Cosworth 1:18.268 1:17.579 1:19.557 +3.882s
23 18 France Jean-Pierre Jarier March-Ford Cosworth 1:19.084 1:18.021 1:17.721 +4.024s
24 26 Australia Tim Schenken Iso-Marlboro-Ford Cosworth 1:18.682 1:18.402 1:19.039 +4.705s
25 19 United Kingdom Peter Gethin BRM 1:24.547 1:18.498 1:20.986 +4.801s
26 28 Liechtenstein Rikky von Opel Ensign-Ford Cosworth 1:18.682 1:20.423 1:19.367 +4.985s
WD 3 Belgium Jacky Ickx Ferrari Withdrawn
WD 22 New Zealand Chris Amon Tecno Withdrawn
Source:[2][4]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.

GridEdit

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 ______________ 1
2 Ronnie Peterson
Peter Revson ______________
Row 2 ______________ 3
4 Jody Scheckter
Carlos Reutemann ______________
Row 3 ______________ 5
6 Emerson Fittipaldi
François Cevert ______________
Row 4 ______________ 7
8 Denny Hulme
Niki Lauda ______________
Row 5 ______________ 9
10 Jackie Stewart
Wilson Fittipaldi ______________
Row 6 ______________ 11
12 Chris Amon
Mike Hailwood ______________
Row 7 ______________ 13
14 George Follmer
Jackie Oliver ______________
Row 8 ______________ 15
16 James Hunt
Jean-Pierre Beltoise ______________
Row 9 ______________ 17
18 Graham Hill
Rolf Stommelen ______________
Row 10 ______________ 19
20 Carlos Pace
Arturo Merzario ______________
Row 11 ______________ 21
22 Mike Beuttler
Howden Ganley ______________
Row 12 ______________ 23
24 Jean-Pierre Jarier
Tim Schenken ______________
Row 13 ______________ 25
26 Peter Gethin
Rikky von Opel ______________

RaceEdit

Sunday proved to be a miserable day in Canada, being cold, dark and, most importantly, wet, although many were buoyed by the absence of the fog which had delayed the race twelve months earlier.[2] The warm-up session on Sunday morning therefore had added significance as drivers acclimatised themselves to a full wet Mosport Park, with Ronnie Peterson damaging his spare chassis after sliding into the Armco barriers.[2] Fortunately his race car was fighting fit and ready, meaning the Swede would still line up on pole position to await the fall of the starter's flag, which fell an hour later than planned after a cloud burst.[2]

ReportEdit

The start was finally greeted by a wall of spray from the twenty six starters, with everyone bar Jean-Pierre Beltoise opting for full "wet" tyres.[2] The Frenchman therefore began to slither backwards down the order as he fought for grip, although everyone in the pack made it safely through the first corner.[2] Leading the charge was Peterson from Jody Schectker, although most eyes were on the third placed car of Niki Lauda, who swept around the outside of Emerson Fittipaldi to claim third.[2]

At the end of the opening lap it was still Peterson leading from Scheckter and Lauda, with Fittipaldi ahead of Jackie Stewart and Carlos Reutemann.[2] Peter Revson paid for his poor start by dropping to seventh, and was under attack from François Cevert and Jackie Oliver, while Wilson Fittipaldi led the next clump across the line with several drivers fanning out across the circuit to get out of the spray.[2]

The next three laps were all about one man, and not just because of his easy to spot bright red helmet.[2] Indeed, Lauda was absolutely flying around Mosport in the wet, aided by the well known prowess of Firestone tyres and the BRM P160E's around soaked circuits, and on lap three decided to dive past Scheckter into the first corner.[2] Come the end of the next lap the Austrian scythed past Peterson to lead a Grand Prix for the first time in his career, before escaping up the road at over three seconds a lap.[2]

Lauda was putting together one of the best wet-weather performances in F1 history, having built a fifteen second advantage by the end of lap ten, and had lapped eight of the back markers.[2] Peterson and Scheckter were powerless to keep him in sight, instead entering a duel for second, just ahead of an equally hard fought battle between Fittipaldi and Stewart.[2] The latter fight was soon to become a truel as Carlos Pace charged up the order, while Oliver avoided countless spins in the lower reaches of the order to move into seventh, with the Brit looking comfortable and matching the pace of Peterson.[2]

But, while there were impressive performers, there were also numerous others who were putting together dismal displays at best.[2] The hydrophobic G.P.D.A. President Denny Hulme, for example, was limping around at the back of the field after an early puncture, only ahead of Arturo Merzario because the Ferrari had lost its nose cowling.[2] Peter Gethin's return was already over, the victim of an oil pressure problem, while Beltoise in the sister car was still at the back after starting on "Intermediates".[2]

Back with the leaders and Lauda was still pulling clear at a rate of knots, although with the rain stopped and the circuit drying his BRM was beginning to chew through its Firestones.[2] Behind came Peterson, who had finally dropped Scheckter, while a rare mistake by Stewart saw him spin out of the top six and behind teammate Cevert.[2] That released Fittipaldi to attack the #0 McLaren, the Brazilian duly passing with ease, while Pace followed him through in his flying Surtees.[2]

The pattern of the race was now quickly evolving, for the circuit was drying incredibly fast while the curbs remained incredibly damp.[2] Peterson was the victim of this development, for he bounced off a curb and smacked the barriers, retiring from second place with rear suspension damage.[2] Pace's pace, meanwhile collapsed, prompting him to stop in the pits to demand a set of slick tyres, followed in two laps later by Lauda with a melted set of wets.[2]

There would be a difference of opinion over which tyre should be used as the circuit dried, with Lauda's pit crew deciding to bolt on a set of Intermediates, while countless others slithered out on slicks.[2] Fittipaldi duly took over the lead and refused to stop, joined by Oliver in a his flying Shadow, with which he had already passed Scheckter and Pace.[2] Beltoise, meanwhile, was up into the points having started on the inters, while Lauda was passing car after car at the back of the field, chasing down an equally quick Revson.[2]

The pitstops continued to come over the following laps, with Fittipaldi, Oliver and Stewart coming in on successive laps.[2] The former and the latter would stop on lap 32, just as Scheckter tried to dive past Cevert for seventh, in a move that could at best be described as optimistic.[2] With little to no control Scheckter smacked into the side of the Tyrrell and bounced off the Armco barrier, while Cevert smacked into it head on, before his car bounced back towards the circuit.[2]

The Frenchman was immediately out of the cockpit and running towards Scheckter's bent McLaren, aiming to give the South African racer a more personal whack for taking him out of the race.[2] Fortunately for Scheckter the marshals got to him first and managed to restrain the furious Frenchman, whom suddenly found that his leg hurt.[2] To be on the safe side the officials scrambled two ambulances to the scene, with a flatbed also on its way to drag Cevert's car off the circuit.[2]

Under the new rules agreed by the G.P.D.A. and the FIA, the appearance of the course vehicles meant that the safety car had to be deployed, with a bright yellow Porsche 914 quickly sprinting onto the circuit from the front of the pit lane.[2] Unfortunately the officials had lost track of who was leading amid the pitstops (which were not a common feature of Grand Prix racing in 1973), and duly decided that Howden Ganley was the lead car.[2] However, the Kiwi had been circulating outside of the top ten while the stops were ongoing, and while Fittipaldi had stopped, Beltoise had flashed past the pits to inherit the lead, a fact later proved by the official lap chart produced after the race.[2] The third, and at the time most popular, option for race leader was Oliver in the Shadow, with many of the teams' lap charts showing the Brit in first position.[2]

As it turned out, it was Fittipaldi who became the biggest victim of this confusion, as Oliver and Revson gained an entire lap by escaping the pits before the safety car picked up Ganley.[2] They duly caught up the back of the crocodile to join the de jure race leader Beltoise, who had pitted later after lining up behind the safety car, but had lost relatively little time.[2] Fittipaldi, meanwhile, was sat weaving behind the incorrectly chosen Ganley at the front of the crocodile, with a ten lap procession developing as Cevert's car was dragged away from the circuit.[2]

When the field were finally released most eyes were on Ganley, who suddenly believed that he must be the race leader, and so had to drive like the aces that now populated the lower orders.[2] It was a mesmerising display by the Kiwi, who was now lapping three seconds faster than he had in practice, while also keeping his Iso-Marlboro ahead of both Fittipaldi and Stewart.[2] Unfortunately his resistance was ultimately futile as his Firestones began to fade, although it still took the two World Champions eight laps to elbow the "Williams Special" out of the way.[2]

At the back, meanwhile, Oliver had taken the lead from Beltoise, with Revson following him through, while many thought Fittipaldi was now in second.[2] Indeed the Brazilian believed he was now in a fight for the lead, and began setting fastest lap after fastest lap to catch up to the back of Oliver, although all was not well with the Shadow.[2] Indeed, Oliver crawled to a stop in the pits on lap 46 with a jamming throttle, found to be caused by mud caught in the throttle slides, meaning he lost a huge chunk of time to the charging Fittipaldi, causing the fans around the circuit to explode in excitement.[2]

Oliver was soon back in action but, on the official lap chart, down to third behind Revson and Beltoise again.[2] With four laps to go the black-gold Lotus was in the mirrors of the black Shadow, with the fans sprinting to the fences to watch as the Brazilian moved closer and closer to the race win.[2] Oliver himself, meanwhile, was catching up to the back of Beltoise, who was somehow keeping his intermediate tyres intact on the now bone dry circuit, while Revson was thirty seconds up the road, believed to be in third by McLaren and the fans.[2]

On the penultimate lap the entire race came to a head, as Fittipaldi pulled of a daring dive to pass both Oliver and Beltoise for the lead, sending the fans into orbit.[2] Moments later and Oliver slithered past the BRM, but the damage was done and Fittipaldi clear, with the Lotus pitboard telling him one lap to go.[2] A little over a minute and a half later and the Brazilian came sweeping past the pits as Colin Chapman chucked his hat into the air to celebrate victory, but the chequered flag was nowhere to be seen.[2]

Indeed, it was another half a minute before the flag did flutter, appearing to be shown to Ganley who had Revson right up behind him.[2] It quickly became clear that the flag had been intended for the American, who was quickly handed the victory laurel, while countless numbers of fans and team personel scratched their collective heads.[2] Almost everyone believed that it was Fittipaldi who had won with Oliver and Beltoise a close second/third, while Frank Williams briefly entertained hopes that it was Ganley who was the race winner.[2] It took three hours for the official presentation on the podium to begin, with the timekeepers taking all of that time to reconstruct the lap chart.[2]

The final result saw Revson declared as the race winner, the American having actually completed 81 laps when the chequered flag was shown.[2] This had been corrected on the official lap chart but did not affect the order, leaving Fittipaldi, the "moral" race winner in second, two seconds ahead of Oliver.[2] Beltoise was classified in fourth, and listed as having made a stop, while Stewart and Ganley were a lap down in fifth and sixth, although the latter maintained that he had won by being shown the chequered flag first.[2] The post race confusion rather overshadowed the efforts of Lauda and Pace, who had both stunned the field in the wet, although completed the race with respective gearbox and wheel failures.[2]

ResultsEdit

The full results for the 1973 Canadian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 8 United States Peter Revson McLaren-Ford Cosworth 80 1:59:04.083 2 9
2 1 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford Cosworth 80 +32.734s 5 6
3 17 United Kingdom Jackie Oliver Shadow-Ford Cosworth 80 +34.505s 14 4
4 20 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM 80 +36.514s 16 3
5 5 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 79 +1 Lap 9 2
6 25 New Zealand Howden Ganley Iso-Marlboro-Ford Cosworth 79 +1 Lap 22 1
7 27 United Kingdom James Hunt March-Ford Cosworth 78 +2 Laps 15
8 10 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford Cosworth 78 +2 Laps 4
9 23 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood Surtees-Ford Cosworth 78 +2 Laps 12
10 29 New Zealand Chris Amon Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 77 +3 Laps 11
11 11 Brazil Wilson Fittipaldi Brabham-Ford Cosworth 77 +3 Laps 10
12 9 West Germany Rolf Stommelen Brabham-Ford Cosworth 76 +4 Laps 18
13 7 New Zealand Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford Cosworth 75 +5 Laps 7
14 26 Australia Tim Schenken Iso-Marlboro-Ford Cosworth 75 +5 Laps 24
15 4 Italy Arturo Merzario Ferrari 75 +5 Laps 20
16 12 United Kingdom Graham Hill Shadow-Ford Cosworth 73 +7 Laps 17
17 16 United States George Follmer Shadow-Ford Cosworth 73 +7 Laps 13
18* 24 Brazil Carlos Pace Surtees-Ford Cosworth 72 Wheel 19
NC 18 France Jean-Pierre Jarier March-Ford Cosworth 71 +9 Laps 23
NC 28 Liechtenstein Rikky von Opel Ensign-Ford Cosworth 68 +12 Laps 26
Ret 21 Austria Niki Lauda BRM 62 Transmission 8
Ret 0 South Africa Jody Scheckter McLaren-Ford Cosworth 32 Accident 3
Ret 6 France François Cevert Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 32 Accident 6
Ret 15 United Kingdom Mike Beuttler March-Ford Cosworth 20 Engine 21
Ret 2 Sweden Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford Cosworth 16 Accident 1
Ret 19 United Kingdom Peter Gethin BRM 5 Oil pump 25
WD 3 Belgium Jacky Ickx Ferrari
WD 22 New Zealand Chris Amon Tecno
Source:[5]
  • * Pace was still classified as he had completed 90% of the race distance.
  • Jarier and von Opel, in contrast, could not be classified as they both failed to complete 90% of the race distance.

MilestonesEdit

  • First World Championship race to feature a Safety Car.
  • March entered their Fiftieth Grand Prix as a constructor.
  • 99th and final start by Jackie Stewart.
  • François Cevert made his 46th and final start.
  • Jody Scheckter became the first driver to race a car using #0 as its race number.
  • Lotus claimed their 65th pole position thanks to Ronnie Peterson.
  • Second and final Grand Prix victory for Peter Revson.
    • This would also be the last win for an American-born driver.
    • Also Revson's eighth and final podium finish.
  • Revson's victory was the eighth for a McLaren chassis.
  • Emerson Fittipaldi claimed his twentieth podium spot.
    • Fittipaldi's fastest lap was the 60th powered by a Ford Cosworth engine.
  • Jackie Oliver made his second and final visit to the podium.

StandingsEdit

With Jackie Stewart already declared as World Champion it was the fight for second that became the focus, although a strong result for Emerson Fittipaldi in Canada had effectively ended it. The Brazilian would head to Watkins Glen with a seven point advantage over François Cevert, meaning the Frenchman had to win the finale and see Fittipaldi fail to score. Ronnie Peterson was now too far back to challenge, but could take third away from Cevert, while race winner Peter Revson was secure in fifth.

Far more interesting was the battle for the International Cup for Manufacturers', as Lotus-Ford Cosworth snuck back ahead of Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth by a single point ahead of the finale at "the Glen". Those two would headed State side as the only two teams capable of taking the Cup, with McLaren-Ford Cosworth already secured in third place. Elsewhere, Brabham-Ford Cosworth looked set for fourth, while BRM climbed ahead of a fading Ferrari team for fifth.

Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts +/-
1 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart 71
2 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi 54
3 France François Cevert 47
4 Sweden Ronnie Peterson 43
5 United States Peter Revson 36
6 New Zealand Denny Hulme 23
7 Belgium Jacky Ickx 12
8 Argentina Carlos Reutemann 12
9 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise 9 ▲3
10 United Kingdom James Hunt 8 ▼1
11 Brazil Carlos Pace 7 ▼1
12 Italy Arturo Merzario 6 ▼1
13 United States George Follmer 5
14 United Kingdom Jackie Oliver 4 ▲6
15 Italy Andrea de Adamich 3 ▼1
16 Brazil Wilson Fittipaldi 3 ▼1
17 Austria Niki Lauda 2 ▼1
18 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni 2 ▼1
19 New Zealand Chris Amon 1 ▼1
20 Netherlands Gijs van Lennep 1 ▼1
21 New Zealand Howden Ganley 1 ▲1
International Cup for Manufacturers
Pos. Team Pts +/-
1 United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 83 (87) ▲1
2 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 82 (86) ▼1
3 United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 55
4 United Kingdom Brabham-Ford Cosworth 18
5 Italy Ferrari 12
6 United Kingdom BRM 12
7 United States Shadow-Ford Cosworth 9 ▲2
8 United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 8 ▼1
9 United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 7 ▼1
10 United Kingdom Iso-Marlboro-Ford Cosworth 2
11 Italy Tecno 1

ReferencesEdit

Images and Videos:

References:
  1. 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 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 'GRAND PRIX RESULTS: CANADIAN GP, 1973', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2016), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr234.html, (Accessed 09/03/2017)
  2. 2.000 2.001 2.002 2.003 2.004 2.005 2.006 2.007 2.008 2.009 2.010 2.011 2.012 2.013 2.014 2.015 2.016 2.017 2.018 2.019 2.020 2.021 2.022 2.023 2.024 2.025 2.026 2.027 2.028 2.029 2.030 2.031 2.032 2.033 2.034 2.035 2.036 2.037 2.038 2.039 2.040 2.041 2.042 2.043 2.044 2.045 2.046 2.047 2.048 2.049 2.050 2.051 2.052 2.053 2.054 2.055 2.056 2.057 2.058 2.059 2.060 2.061 2.062 2.063 2.064 2.065 2.066 2.067 2.068 2.069 2.070 2.071 2.072 2.073 2.074 2.075 2.076 2.077 2.078 2.079 2.080 2.081 2.082 2.083 2.084 2.085 2.086 2.087 2.088 2.089 2.090 2.091 2.092 2.093 2.094 2.095 2.096 2.097 2.098 2.099 2.100 2.101 2.102 2.103 2.104 2.105 2.106 2.107 2.108 2.109 2.110 2.111 A.R.M., 'Canadian Grand Prix: Revson beats the confusion', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport, 01/11/1973), http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/november-1973/50/canadian-grand-prix, (Accessed 07/03/2017)
  3. 'Canada 1973: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1973/canada/engages.aspx, (Accessed 09/03/2017)
  4. 'Canada 1973: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1973/canada/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 07/03/2017)
  5. 'Canada 1973: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1973/canada/classement.aspx, (Accessed 07/03/2017)
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