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The 1974 Italian Grand Prix, otherwise known officially as the XLV Gran Premio d'Italia, was the thirteenth round of the 1974 FIA Formula One World Championship, and the last race of that season to be staged in Europe.[1] Staged on the 8th September at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, the race would see home heroes Ferrari fight for the win, only to be denied by a double retirement after half-distance.[1]

It had been an excellent start to the weekend for the tifosi, for Niki Lauda claimed pole for the sixth race in succession.[1] Teammate Clay Regazzoni was down in fifth, the Swiss racer split from his teammate by the Brabham trio of Carlos Reutemann, Carlos Pace and John Watson.[1] Title rivals Emerson Fittipaldi and Jody Scheckter claimed sixth and twelfth respectively, while Vittorio Brambilla was best of the Italian drivers in thirteenth.

Lauda immediately leapt into the lead of the race at the start, as the rest of the top ten heading into the first chicane in grid order behind the Austrian.[1] Minor changes at the back of the field saw the order shuffle, while Jean-Pierre Beltoise dropped out before the end of the opening tour with a complete electrical failure on his BRM.[1]

The #11 Ferrari of Regazzoni became the centre of attention after the opening lap, as the Swiss racer picked off the Brabhams one by one to join teammate Lauda at the front of the field.[1] Their advantage grew as the Brabham challenge fell apart, Reutemann out with a gearbox failure, Pace in the pits for new tyres and Watson spinning out of fifth.[1] Their demise promoted Ronnie Peterson, Fittipaldi and Scheckter into the top five, the former two deciding to work together in order to catch the leaders.[1]

The top four slowly concertinaed over the following laps, running as a quartet from lap twenty five onwards.[1] A stalemate soon settled despite the charge, for the Ferraris were quick enough down the straights to keep the Ford Cosworth engined cars at bay despite the the lack of slipstream.[1] Yet, all was not well with Lauda's #12 car, and when a plume of smoke began trailing from his car, the Austrian was out of the fight.[1]

Regazzoni was left to fend off the Lotus and McLaren alone, only for his engine to expire in an eerily similar way ten laps later.[1] His disappearance broke the hearts of the tifosi lining the circuit, as Peterson and Fittipaldi were left to duel for the victory, half a minute clear of third placed Scheckter.[1]

The twelve lap scrap ended with Peterson triumphant, the Swede sweeping home to claim Team Lotus' second win of the season.[1] Fittipaldi and Scheckter completed the podium, allowing them to close the gap in the Championship standings to Regazzoni as the four way fight headed to the Canada.[1] Fourth went to Italian racer Arturo Merzario, Pace recovered to fifth, while a very quiet day for Denny Hulme bagged the Kiwi sixth.

BackgroundEdit

Three weeks after taking on the sweeping Austrian curves of the Styrian mountains, the F1 circus rolled into Monza for the final fight of the European season.[2] Monza itself stood as it had since 1972, the only major change being an additional row of catch fencing at the second chicane.[2] The entry list was relatively unmodified too, with only some minor shuffling of race numbers among the small "garagistas".[2]

The big draw at the Italian Grand Prix were, unsurprisingly, the Ferrari team, with the tifosi swarming to Monza in hopes of seeing their heroes take another step towards their first title since 1964.[2] What did come as a shock was the fact that Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo only entered two drivers, albeit two of the title challengers Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzoni.[2] Their compliment of cars remained the same too, just the one spare shared between the two, although the team did bring three spare engines along in hopes of avoiding their flop in Austria.[2]

Title rivals McLaren were likewise unchanged ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, with their trio of Emerson Fittipaldi, Denny Hulme and David Hobbs using the teams usual four car compliment.[2] There were changes to the cars themselves, the two Team Texaco-Marlboro sponsored chassis losing their skirts, largely due to the fact that there was no way to prevent them from wearing away.[2] Various solutions were presented since Austria but were rejected on the grounds of both feasibility and regulations.[2] The Yardley sponsored car of Hobbs ran as usual, without skirts, with the team bolstered by the news that Mike Hailwood was recovering well after his huge crash in Germany.[2]

Lotus came to Monza with Ronnie Peterson and Jacky Ickx as usual, although they decided to enter two 76s with a 72E as the spare, a reversal of their usual strategy.[2] Rivals Tyrrell came with their three gleaming 007s for Jody Scheckter and Patrick Depailler, which remained unchanged once again.[2] BRM, meanwhile, had been busy completing a fourth P201 to bring François Migault up to spec, as he and teammates Henri Pescarolo and Jean-Pierre Beltoise tried out the Bourne squad's newest V12 engine.[2]

A very happy Brabham effort rolled into Monza fresh from Carlos Reutemann's morale boosting victory at the Österreichring, with both himself and Carlos Pace in action for the factory team.[2] John Watson continued on in the Hexagon of Highgate BT44, although his strong form prompted Bernie Ecclestone to provide them with factory support, essentially meaning there were three works Brabhams in the field.[2] These were bolstered by two entries by Italian privateers Scuderia Finotto, although it was doubtful as to whether either Carlo Facetti nor Jean-Louis Lafosse would arrive, and the Finnish BT42 of Leo Kinnunen.[2] A seventh BT42 was also added just before the weekend, with Ian Ashley entered for British privateers The Chequered Flag.

Hesketh decided to drop to a single car entry in Italy, leaving them with just their star driver James Hunt to cater for.[2] Shadow were unchanged having rebuilt their wrecked spare car to support Tom Pryce and Jean-Pierre Jarier once again.[2] Surtees had a two car compliment as they seemed to be on their way out F1, fielding Derek Bell and F2 regular José Dolhem, in their now sponsor-less cars.[2]

Frank Williams' Template:Iso Marlboro-CON were on the up as they let Arturo Merzario and Jacques Laffite loose at the wheels of their pair of FWs once again.[2] Lola decided to field Rolf Stommelen once again as Guy Edwards' wrist continued to be troublesome, the German partnering team boss Graham Hill as they had in Austria.[2] Unfortunately for the latter effort, their team was split in two by F.O.C.A., who in allocating the garage spaces decided to put Hill's car with the "garagistas" on the grass verge on the pit entry, meaning his crew had to work under a gazebo and hope it did not rain.[2]

Into the "garagista" field itself and the Ensign of Mike Wilds had been repainted to its original green/yellow livery as the team removed the last remaining traces of Teddy Yip's involvement from the team.[2] Chris Amon, meanwhile, decided to make his return with more revisions to his self entered creation, while Tim Schenken would race as usual for Trojan.[2] With Ashley's backers refusing to use the Token there was no place for it on the grid, reducing the "garagista" compliment's political weight, while the Maki had yet to be rebuilt after Howden Ganley's horror crash at the Nürburgring.[2]

As Championship leader Regazzoni was the only one of the four title pretenders to score in Austria, the Swiss racer would head to Monza with an inflated five point lead, with just three races to go. Scheckter remained in second, while Lauda was eight points back in third, still a point ahead of Fittipaldi. Race winner Reutemann was still mathematically in the hunt, having overtaken Peterson, although with a 23 point deficit to Regazzoni the Argentine would need a miracle to take the crown.

In the International Cup for Manufacturers' it was still advantage Ferrari, although McLaren-Ford Cosworth had managed to reduce the gap to four points courtesy of Hulme's late podium. Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth were still within striking distance, albeit now fourteen points behind, while Lotus-Ford Cosworth were officially out of the fight in fourth. Elsewhere, Hesketh-Ford Cosworth climbed up the order, and looked set to take the fallen giants BRM, while Lola-Ford Cosworth and Iso-Marlboro-Ford Cosworth held station at the foot of the table.

Entry listEdit

The full entry list for the 1974 Italian Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entreat Constructor Car Engine Model Tire
1 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 72E Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
2 Belgium Jacky Ickx United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 76 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
3 South Africa Jody Scheckter United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 007 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
4 France Patrick Depailler United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 007 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
5 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi United Kingdom Marlboro Team Texaco McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
6 New Zealand Denny Hulme United Kingdom Marlboro Team Texaco McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
7 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Brabham BT44 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
8 Brazil Carlos Pace United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Brabham BT44 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
9 Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck United Kingdom March Engineering March 741 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
10 Italy Vittorio Brambilla United Kingdom March Engineering March 741 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
11 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312B3-74 Ferrari 001/11 3.0 F12 G
12 Austria Niki Lauda Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312B3-74 Ferrari 001/11 3.0 F12 G
14 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise United Kingdom Team Motul BRM BRM P201 BRM P200 3.0 V12 F
15 France Henri Pescarolo United Kingdom Team Motul BRM BRM P201 BRM P200 3.0 V12 F
16 United Kingdom Tom Pryce United States UOP Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN3 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
17 France Jean-Pierre Jarier United States UOP Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN3 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
18 United Kingdom Derek Bell United Kingdom Team Surtees Surtees TS16 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
19 France José Dolhem United Kingdom Team Surtees Surtees TS16 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
20 Italy Arturo Merzario United Kingdom Frank Williams Racing Cars Iso-Marlboro FW Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
21 France Jacques Laffite United Kingdom Frank Williams Racing Cars Iso-Marlboro FW Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
22 New Zealand Chris Amon New Zealand Chris Amon Racing Amon AF101 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
23 Finland Leo Kinnunen Finland AAW Racing Team Surtees TS16 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
24 United Kingdom James Hunt United Kingdom Hesketh Racing Hesketh 308 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
25 United Kingdom Mike Wilds United Kingdom Team Ensign Ensign N174 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
26 United Kingdom Graham Hill United Kingdom Embassy Racing with Graham Hill Lola T370 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
27 West Germany Rolf Stommelen United Kingdom Embassy Racing with Graham Hill Lola T370 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
28 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom John Goldie Racing with Hexagon Brabham BT44 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
29 Australia Tim Schenken United Kingdom Trojan-Tauranac Racing Trojan T103 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
31 Italy Carlo Facetti Italy Scuderia Finotto Brabham BT42 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
32 France Jean-Louis Lafosse Italy Scuderia Finotto Brabham BT42 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
33 United Kingdom David Hobbs United Kingdom Yardley Team McLaren McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
35 United Kingdom Ian Ashley United Kingdom The Chequered Flag Brabham BT42 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
37 France François Migault United Kingdom Team Motul BRM BRM P201 BRM P200 3.0 V12 F
Source:[3]

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

Four qualifying/practice sessions were to be staged across the afternoons of Friday and Saturday at Monza, split by a half hour break each day to allow stranded cars to be recovered.[2] Both days therefore saw three hours of on track running, and with glorious sunshine throughout both days, the only issue for the teams would be temperatures.[2] As for a target time, general tidying up at Monza had seen the exit to the second chicane effectively quickened, meaning Ronnie Peterson's circuit record of 1:34.80, set en route to pole in 1973, was well within the sights of the Aces.[2]

ReportEdit

Given it was the home race for Ferrari there were no surprises when Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzoni sprinted out of the pits ahead of the rest of the field at the start of Friday's running, much to the joy of the tifosi lining the circuit.[2] They duly set the pace in the opening stages, getting within sight of Peterson's old record almost instantly, with most of the fans content that their drivers would walk qualifying.[2] Unfortunately for them two of the three "factory" Brabhams joined the fray, and it soon became clear that Carlos Reutemann and Carlos Pace were out to fight the scarlet cars.[2]

Come sessions end it was Reutemann who had set the best time of the session, the Argentine racer clocking a 1:33.64, the only man to break into the 1:33.00s before the break.[2] Lauda was closest just falling shy of the barrier by 0.02s, with the rest of the field scattered between 1:34.00 and 1:40.00.[2] An otherwise uneventful session saw Patrick Depailler run with an extra pair of side-mounted radiators to aid cooling, a decision that appeared fruitful as teammate Jody Scheckter spent the session battling an overheating issue on his Ford Cosworth engine.[2]

Having been denied the quickest time in the first session of the weekend, Lauda was instantly back out on circuit as the second Friday session opened, and soon dipped under the 1:34.00 mark.[2] Teammate Regazzoni and the two Brabhams soon joined him, with a furiously quick battle for pole developing between the quartet.[2] The session long exchange saw them all pull clear of the next fastest car of Emerson Fittipaldi, as Reutemann ended the day with provisional pole, a 1:33.27 the result of his Ferrari beating exploits.[2]

Elsewhere, there was almost nasty moment at Curva Grande, for Hans-Joachim Stuck suffered a front wing failure on the exit, and just managed to keep his March in a straight line before a relatively low speed impact with the barriers.[2] A badly bent front end was the result, meaning the March mechanics were in for a busy night, although Stuck himself was completely unmarked.[2] Away from his accident the afternoon was full of Grand Prix cars on full opposite lock, as drivers fought to find every hundredth of a second they could.[2]

Overnight on Friday a huge thunderstorm broke over northern Italy, with Monza getting a complete soaking to wash away all of the rubber laid down across Friday.[2] That said, the track was completely dry when the field hit the circuit on Saturday afternoon, with Stuck among the first to go out, only to breakdown half a lap later in the repaired March.[2] The only other major incident of the session saw David Hobbs get out of shape under breaking for the first chicane, bouncing off both barriers to write off his Yardley McLaren and effectively end the session prematurely.[2]

It took most of the session for the pole fight to resume, with Pace getting among the 1:33.00 club with the first of the ultra quick laps.[2] Teammate Reutemann decided to focus on race pace, as had become the trend for him under the watchful eye of Bernie Ecclestone on a Saturday, meaning he could only look on as Lauda, Pace and Regazzoni closed in on his overnight pole time.[2] Then, in the moments before the session was called to an end, Lauda flashed across the line to record a 1:33.16, snatching pole with one session to go.[2]

Air temperatures were on the rise throughout Saturday, and as the second and final session of the day started hotter than it had been at any other point all week, hopes of a pole fight came to an early end.[2] Lauda and Ferrari were delighted for the Austrian's pole, although Regazzoni tried his hardest to try and beat the two works Brabhams.[2] Unfortunately for the tifosi, the Swiss racer's efforts were in vain, for John Watson recorded a 1:33.63 to join the sister cars of Reutemann and Pace in the top four.[2]

Whether the Northern Irishman could have challenged the front row ultimately became academic, however, as a mistake at Lesmo saw the newest Brabham BT44 ripped apart in spectacular fashion.[2] On full attack Watson had turned into the first Lesmo curve, only for his left rear wheel to fail and snap the car sideways, sending the BT44 across towards the barriers.[2] The car duly obliterated itself on the Armcos, sending bits of Brabham across the run off area, with concern all around for Watson as dust shrouded the scene.[2] Yet, miraculously, the Ulsterman was unhurt amid the wreckage, and calmly climbed out of the car before walking back to the pits.[2]

Amid the excitement out front, the fight to qualify was almost lost, although in truth those who were likely to qualify already had done earlier in the day.[2] Still, Henri Pescarolo had to put together a late lap in his BRM to make the grade, edging out fellow Frenchman José Dolhem by just 0.01s.[2] Also out were Carlo Facetti, Derek Bell, Mike Wilds, Chris Amon and Leo Kinnunen.[2]

Qualifying ResultsEdit

The full qualifying results for the 1974 Italian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap
P1 P2 P3 P4
1 12 Austria Niki Lauda Ferrari 1:33.88 1:33.53 1:33.16 1:34.86
2 7 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford Cosworth 1:33.64 1:33.27 1:35.40 1:33.93 +0.11s
3 8 Brazil Carlos Pace Brabham-Ford Cosworth 1:34.80 1:34.06 1:33.53 1:33.70 +0.37s
4 28 United Kingdom John Watson Brabham-Ford Cosworth 1:35.31 1:34.99 1:34.08 1:33.63 +0.47s
5 11 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 1:34.02 1:33.80 1:33.73 1:33.80 +0.57s
6 5 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:34.15 1:34.84 1:33.94 1:34.27 +0.79s
7 1 Sweden Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:35.53 1:34.24T 1:35.44T 1:36.36 +1.08s
8 24 United Kingdom James Hunt Hesketh-Ford Cosworth 1:35.45 1:34.54 1:34.58 1:34.34 +1.18s
9 17 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:35.92 1:35.76 1:34.88 1:34.56 +1.40s
10* 4 France Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:34.56 1:35.43 1:35.59 1:35.17 +1.40s
11 14 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM 1:35.78 1:36.09 1:35.68 1:34.62 +1.46s
12 3 South Africa Jody Scheckter Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:36.43 1:34.70 1:34.88 1:35.55 +1.54s
13 10 Italy Vittorio Brambilla March-Ford Cosworth 1:35.70 1:42.47 1:34.76 1:35.06 +1.60s
14 27 West Germany Rolf Stommelen Lola-Ford Cosworth 1:36.03 1:35.23 1:34.84 1:34.94 +1.68s
15 20 Italy Arturo Merzario Iso-Marlboro-Ford Cosworth 1:37.08 1:35.31 1:36.20 1:35.02 +1.86s
16 2 Belgium Jacky Ickx Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:37.10 1:35.79 1:35.19 1:37.13 +2.03s
17 21 France Jacques Laffite Iso-Marlboro-Ford Cosworth 1:36.33 1:36.02 1:36.56 1:35.22 +2.06s
18 9 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck March-Ford Cosworth 1:37.05 1:36.84 1:35.23 +2.07s
19 6 New Zealand Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:35.63 1:36.12T 1:35.73 1:39.00 +2.47s
20 29 Australia Tim Schenken Trojan-Ford Cosworth 1:36.65 1:36.27 1:36.13 1:35.72 +2.56s
21 26 United Kingdom Graham Hill Lola-Ford Cosworth 1:37.71 1:35.95 1:35.92 1:35.82 +2.66s
22 16 United Kingdom Tom Pryce Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:36.79 1:36.68 1:36.58 1:36.27T +3.11s
23 33 United Kingdom David Hobbs McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:36.31 1:38.04 1:36.38 1:43.55 +3.15s
24 37 France François Migault BRM 1:36.85 1:37.01 1:36.46 1:36.36 +3.20s
25 15 France Henri Pescarolo BRM 1:39.13 1:37.46 1:36.85 1:36.64 +3.48s
DNQ 19 France José Dolhem Surtees-Ford Cosworth 1:45.25 1:37.41 1:36.84 +3.68s
DNQ 31 Italy Carlo Facetti Brabham-Ford Cosworth 1:39.69 1:37.33 1:37.30 +4.14s
DNQ 18 United Kingdom Derek Bell Surtees-Ford Cosworth 1:37.38 1:39.02 1:37.32 1:37.60 +4.16s
DNQ 25 United Kingdom Mike Wilds Ensign-Ford Cosworth 1:38.10 1:38.14 1:38.94 1:37.38 +4.22s
DNQ 22 New Zealand Chris Amon Amon-Ford Cosworth 1:38.21 1:40.35 1:39.61 1:38.54 +5.05s
DNQ 23 Finland Leo Kinnunen Surtees-Ford Cosworth 1:40.32 1:42.66 1:55.28 +7.16s
WD 32 France Jean-Louis Lafosse Brabham-Ford Cosworth Withdrawn
WD 35 United Kingdom Ian Ashley Brabham-Ford Cosworth Withdrawn
Source:[2][4]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.
  • Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.
  • * Depailler's official qualifying time was recorded as a 1:34.561 in order to separate him and Jarier on the grid.

GridEdit

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 1 ______________
Niki Lauda 2
______________ Carlos Reutemann
Row 2 3 ______________
Carlos Pace 4
______________ John Watson
Row 3 5 ______________
Clay Regazzoni 6
______________ Emerson Fittipaldi
Row 4 7 ______________
Ronnie Peterson 8
______________ James Hunt
Row 5 9 ______________
Jean-Pierre Jarier 10
______________ Patrick Depailler
Row 6 11 ______________
Jean-Pierre Beltoise 12
______________ Jody Scheckter
Row 7 13 ______________
Vittorio Brambilla 14
______________ Rolf Stommelen
Row 8 15 ______________
Arturo Merzario 16
______________ Jacky Ickx
Row 9 17 ______________
Jacques Laffite 18
______________ Hans-Joachim Stuck
Row 10 19 ______________
Denny Hulme 20
______________ Tim Schenken
Row 11 21 ______________
Graham Hill 22
______________ Tom Pryce
Row 12 23 ______________
David Hobbs 24
______________ François Migault
Row 13 25 ______________
Henri Pescarolo 26
______________

RaceEdit

If Saturday had been hot, Sunday afternoon could only be described as baking, prompting Goodyear to withdraw their newest tyres, meaning many of the top drivers would have to use a harder, slower, tyre.[2] The usual pre-race warm-up also caused chaos, having been cancelled, reinstated, and then cancelled again within the space of fifteen minutes, upsetting those who had been forced to use the slower sets of Goodyears.[2] Fortunately, these issues did not affect the start procedure, and so twenty five drivers lined up on the grid awaiting the start at 3:00pm local time.[2]

ReportEdit

Had the start of the race been in any other country, Niki Lauda would have been penalised for jumping the start as he pulled off the line before the starter even began to raise his flag.[2] Instant justice seemed to be delivered, however, as the Austrian made a mess of things and spun his rear wheels.[2] That should have allowed Carlos Reutemann to challenge the Austrian into the first chicane, only that the organisers had decided that the first lap of the race would ignore it, on the grounds of safety, meaning #12 Ferrari could escape into the lead on the inside of Curva Grande.[2]

Before the race the twenty five drivers had been pulled aside and told that there would be no overtaking on the opening lap on the grounds of safety, a rule which everyone seemed to have obeyed.[2] Indeed, it was grid order as the field streamed into Parabolica behind Lauda, although that was about to change when Jean-Pierre Beltoise dropped out with an electrical failure.[2] The BRM pulled off to the side of the circuit creating a gap between the top twelve and the rest, meaning the field had split into two groups before the race had really got going.[2]

Lauda himself, meanwhile, had already built a sizeable lead at the front of the field, causing the thousands of Ferrari fans lining the circuit to jump into the air, believing that the fight was already won.[2] Behind, Reutemann was doing his best to keep in the Austrian's tow, dragging teammate Carlos Pace with him, while John Watson fended off Clay Regazzoni, Ronnie Peterson and the rest of the top twelve.[2] Behind them came Jean-Pierre Jarier at the head of the Beltoise blocked group, as the second of the BRMs came to a disappointing stop, this one with François Migault at the wheel.[2]

The following lap saw Regazzoni and Peterson cruise past Watson on the brakes at Lesmo, the Ulsterman having got out of shape as his brake balance was set too far back for his liking in the spare car.[2] Emerson Fittipaldi was the next man to line up a move on the third Brabham, while James Hunt's race came to a smokey end on lap three as his Hesketh destroyed its engine.[2] Another lap passed and the abandoned Hesketh would be joined by the last surviving BRM, as Henri Pescarolo rolled to a stop with most of his new V12 engine's internal parts being fired out of the exhausts.[2]

Back with the leaders and Regazzoni claimed his next two victims on the following laps, pulling identical moves of Pace and Reutemann to claim second through Parabolica, sending the Swiss element of the tifosi into delirium.[2] Regazzoni's move on Reutemann also made it a one-two for Ferrari, although any thoughts of the scarlet cars putting on a demonstration for the home crowd were stamped on instantly, for Lauda had built a seven second lead over the rest of the field as Regazzoni worked his way through the Brabhams.[2] Indeed, it was not long before Regazzoni dragged Reutemann clear of the latter's teammates, with Watson losing ground without any confidence in his brakes, while Pace was having to drive around a delaminating rear tyre.[2]

Tom Pryce was the first man to pit on lap eight, the Brit having to stop his Shadow after it had burned through a left front tyre.[2] Moments later Watson screamed to an uncontrolled halt at the first chicane, the Brit unable to slow for the largely unloved addition to the circuit with his out of balanced brakes.[2] It took a lap for the Brabham racer to readdress the balance and get back into the fray, with Watson emerging from the pits just behind an all conquering Lauda.[2]

By this stage the field had split into a rather distinct, and disappointing pattern, with Lauda on his own, while Regazzoni and Reutemann slowly lost ground in second and third.[2] Peterson was a lonely fourth for Lotus, a few seconds ahead of Fittipaldi in the best of the McLarens, while Vittorio Brambilla had somehow got his March into sixth in front of his home crowd.[2] Indeed, the only action on circuit seemed to be surrounding Pace, whose disintegrating tyre meant he was holding up Jody Scheckter, Patrick Depailler, Jacky Ickx, Jean-Pierre Jarier, the overweight Lola of Rolf Stommelen and Tim Schenken, with some minor exchanges within the group keeping them all on their toes.[2]

Indeed, it was the two remaining Brabhams that were keeping entertainment in the race, and so when Reutemann disappeared into the pits with a gearbox failure it was down to Pace to keep hopes of a fight alive.[2] The Brazilian was, however, fighting a losing battle with his rear tyre, and ten laps after teammate Reutemann gave up, he was in the pits for a new rear tyre.[2] The stop also revealed that the vibrating wheel had broken a mount on his rear anti-roll bar, meaning he would have some wayward handling for the rest of the afternoon.[2]

The rest of the day became a story of mechanical strife, with Hans-Joachim Stuck coming in a lap after Reutemann to report that his car was handling weirdly, a fact his March mechanics proved when they discovered that his monocoque had cracked all around the engine mountings.[2] The sister car of Brambilla was still running in fifth, although the moment the Italian track announcer commented on the Italian racer's impressive progress Brambilla duly locked his brakes and spun into the barriers at the first chicane, a perfect imitation of David Hobbs' accident in practice.[2] Fortunately Brambilla was able to climb out of his cockpit uninjured, and received a standing ovation from the home crowd for his performance.[2]

Elsewhere, Ickx had slipped into the pits almost unnoticed, his throttle having broken meaning he had to retire, while the impressive Stommelen was the next of the underdogs to drop with an ill-handling Lola.[2] Ickx rejoined briefly until his throttle linkage broke completely, moments after Jarier and Jacques Laffite became the latest victims of engine failures.[2] Then, Depailler was in the pits for a new rear wheel, having smacked a curb at the first chicane and broken something on the rear of his Tyrrell, promoting Arturo Merzario, the last Italian in the field, into the pits in his Iso-Marlboro.[2]

Yet, for the fans, all of this was irrelevant, for Lauda's Ferrari suddenly started leaving a trail of blue smoke from the exhausts.[2] Teammate Regazzoni steadily closed the gap over the following two laps, and as he swept past Lauda on the thirtieth tour, the Austrian's pace collapsed.[2] It took another two laps for Peterson and Fittipaldi to catch him, and when they flashed past to steal second and third, the Ferrari crew called the #12 car into the pits to retire.[2]

Concern spread among the crowd for the health of Regazzoni's engine, with the Swiss racer himself throwing glances over his shoulder every so often to see for himself.[2] As this was going on Fittipaldi attempted to steal the show, trying a dive on Peterson into the first chicane that resulted in him slithering down the escape road with very little control.[2] As a result, Peterson was able to move back into second, although the conclusion of that fight was overshadowed by news from the race leader.[2]

For the home fans it was all over, for the #11 Ferrari dived into the pits after Regazzoni felt something go amiss with his Flat-12 engine.[2] Eager to appease the tifosi, the pitcrew sent him back out to try and retake the lead, although it was over half a lap later, as the engine imploded at Lesmo billowing the tell tail blue smoke of an oil leak.[2] Peterson and Fittipaldi were left to fight for the lead, while a lonely Scheckter was promoted onto the podium.[2]

Unfortunately, the fight for the lead never materialised, for Fittipaldi never got into a position to even try an optimistic move on the Swede during the remaining twelve laps.[2] Peterson therefore came home to claim a surprise victory for an out of form Team Lotus effort, while Fittipaldi was content enough to claim second and close the gap in the Championship.[2] Scheckter was likewise happy to have claimed third and close the gap to a single point between himself and Regazzoni, while Merzario was a jubilant fourth at his home race.[2] The final points went to Pace, who fought back brilliantly after his tyre problem, while Denny Hulme had a very quiet run to sixth and the final point.[2]

ResultsEdit

The full results for the 1974 Italian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 Sweden Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford Cosworth 52 1:22:56.6 7 9
2 5 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi McLaren-Ford Cosworth 52 +0.8s 6 6
3 3 South Africa Jody Scheckter Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 52 +24.7s 12 4
4 20 Italy Arturo Merzario Iso-Marlboro-Ford Cosworth 52 +1:27.7 15 3
5 8 Brazil Carlos Pace Brabham-Ford Cosworth 51 +1 Lap 3 2
6 6 New Zealand Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford Cosworth 51 +1 Lap 19 1
7 28 United Kingdom John Watson Brabham-Ford Cosworth 51 +1 Lap 4
8 26 United Kingdom Graham Hill Lola-Ford Cosworth 51 +1 Lap 21
9 33 United Kingdom David Hobbs McLaren-Ford Cosworth 51 +1 Lap 23
10 16 United Kingdom Tom Pryce Shadow-Ford Cosworth 50 +2 Laps 22
11 4 France Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 50 +2 Laps 10
Ret 11 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 40 Oil leak 5
Ret 12 Austria Niki Lauda Ferrari 32 Water leak 1
Ret 2 Belgium Jacky Ickx Lotus-Ford Cosworth 31 Throttle 16
Ret 27 West Germany Rolf Stommelen Lola-Ford Cosworth 25 Suspension 14
Ret 21 France Jacques Laffite Iso-Marlboro-Ford Cosworth 22 Engine 17
Ret 17 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Shadow-Ford Cosworth 19 Engine 9
Ret 10 Italy Vittorio Brambilla March-Ford Cosworth 16 Accident 13
Ret 29 Australia Tim Schenken Trojan-Ford Cosworth 15 Gearbox 20
Ret 7 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford Cosworth 11 Gearbox 2
Ret 9 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck March-Ford Cosworth 10 Engine 18
Ret 15 France Henri Pescarolo BRM 3 Engine 25
Ret 24 United Kingdom James Hunt Hesketh-Ford Cosworth 2 Engine 8
Ret 37 France François Migault BRM 1 Gearbox 24
Ret 15 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM 0 Electrics 11
DNQ 19 France José Dolhem Surtees-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 31 Italy Carlo Facetti Brabham-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 18 United Kingdom Derek Bell Surtees-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 25 United Kingdom Mike Wilds Ensign-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 22 New Zealand Chris Amon Amon-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 23 Finland Leo Kinnunen Surtees-Ford Cosworth
WD 32 France Jean-Louis Lafosse Brabham-Ford Cosworth
WD 35 United Kingdom Ian Ashley Brabham-Ford Cosworth
Source:[5]

MilestonesEdit

StandingsEdit

With Championship leader Clay Regazzoni failing to score, victory allowed Ronnie Peterson to stay in the hunt for the title, although he still needed to win both of the remaining races with the Swiss racer failing to finish above fourth in either. The Swede therefore took over Jody Scheckter's mantle of being the dark horse, for the South African had closed to within a point of Regazzoni after claiming a podium spot, while Emerson Fittipaldi moved into third and closed to within three points of the Swiss. Niki Lauda remained eight points back in fourth, and could be the first of the quartet to drop out of the fight if he failed to win in Canada.

After their double retirement at their home race, Ferrari dropped behind rivals McLaren-Ford Cosworth in the International Cup for Manufacturers' table, the British squad leaving Monza two points clear of the Italians. Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth slipped slightly further back, now twelve points off the lead with eighteen points left to fight for, meaning they could drop out of the hunt in Canada. Lotus-Ford Cosworth could theoretically catch their rivals and claim third, but needed to overcome an eleven point deficit, while Brabham-Ford Cosworth had further reinforced their fifth place in the standings.

Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts +/-
1 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni 46
2 South Africa Jody Scheckter 45
3 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi 43 ▲1
4 Austria Niki Lauda 38 ▼1
5 Sweden Ronnie Peterson 31 ▲1
6 Argentina Carlos Reutemann 23 ▼1
7 New Zealand Denny Hulme 19
8 Belgium Jacky Ickx 12
9 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood 12
10 France Patrick Depailler 11
11 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise 10
12 United Kingdom James Hunt 8
13 France Jean-Pierre Jarier 6
14 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck 5
15 Brazil Carlos Pace 5 ▲1
16 United Kingdom John Watson 4 ▼1
17 Italy Arturo Merzario 4 ▲1
18 United Kingdom Graham Hill 1 ▼1
19 United Kingdom Tom Pryce 1
20 Italy Vittorio Brambilla 1
International Cup for Manufacturers
Pos. Team Pts +/-
1 United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 61 (63) ▲1
2 Italy Ferrari 59 ▼1
3 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 49
4 United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 38
5 United Kingdom Brabham-Ford Cosworth 26
6 United Kingdom BRM 10
7 United Kingdom Hesketh-Ford Cosworth 8
8 United States Shadow-Ford Cosworth 7
9 United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 6
10 United Kingdom Iso-Marlboro-Ford Cosworth 4 ▲2
11 United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 3 ▼1
12 United Kingdom Lola-Ford Cosworth 1 ▼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 'GRAND PRIX RESULTS: ITALIAN GP, 1974', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr248.html, (Accessed 08/05/2017)
  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 D.S.J., 'The 45th Italian Grand Prix: Peterson keeps the faith again', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport, 01/10/1974), , (Accessed 08/05/2017) http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/october-1974/23/45th-italian-grand-prix, (Accessed 08/05/2017)
  3. 'Italy 1974: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1974/italie/engages.aspx, (Accessed 08/05/2017)
  4. 'Italy 1974: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1974/italie/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 08/05/2017)
  5. 'Italy 1974: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1974/italie/classement.aspx, (Accessed 09/05/2017)
V T E 1974 Formula One Season
Constructors Amon • Brabham • BRM • Ensign • Ferrari • Hesketh • Iso-Marlboro • Lola • Lotus • Lyncar • Maki • March • McLaren • Parnelli • Penske • Shadow • Surtees • Token • Trojan • Tyrrell
Engines BRM • Ferrari • Ford Cosworth
Drivers Amon • Andretti • Ashley • Bell • Belsø • Beltoise • Brambilla • Charlton • Depailler • Dolhem • Donohue • Driver • Edwards • Facetti • E. Fittipaldi • Ganley • Gethin • Hailwood • Hill • Hobbs • Hulme • Hunt • Ickx • Jabouille • Jarier • Keizan • Kinnunen • Koinigg • Laffite • Larrousse • Lauda • van Lennep • Lombardi • Mass • Merzario • Migault • Nicholson • von Opel • Pace • Perkins • Pescarolo • Peterson • Pillette • Purley • Pryce • Quester • Redman • Regazzoni • Reutemann • Revson • Robarts • Roos • I. Scheckter • J. Scheckter • Schenken • Schuppan • Stommelen • Stuck • Watson • Wietzes • Wilds • Wisell
Cars Amon AF101 • Brabham BT42 • Brabham BT44 • BRM P160 • BRM P201 • Ensign N174 • Ferrari 312B • Hesketh 308 • Lola T370 • Lotus 72 • Lotus 76 • Lyncar 006 • Maki F101 • March 731 • March 741 • McLaren M23 • Parnelli VPJ4 • Penske PC1 • Shadow DN1 • Shadow DN3 • Surtees TS16 • Token RJ02 • Trojan T103 • Tyrrell 004 • Tyrrell 005 • Tyrrell 006 • Tyrrell 007 • Williams FW03
Tyres Firestone • Goodyear
Races Argentina • Brazil • South Africa • Spain • Belgium • Monaco • Sweden • Netherlands • France • Britain • Germany • Austria • Italy • Canada • United States
See also 1973 Formula One Season • 1975 Formula One Season • Category
Italy Italian Grand Prix
Circuits Monza (1950 - 1979, 1981 - Present), Imola (1980)
Monza2000
Races 1950 • 1951 • 1952 • 1953 • 1954 • 1955 • 1956 • 1957 • 1958 • 1959 • 1960 • 1961 • 1962 • 1963 • 1964 • 1965 • 1966 • 1967 • 1968 • 1969 • 1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1986 • 1987 • 1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017


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