1 Nicholas Teto March 24, 2007 History Dr.

Dowling Formula One: 1970s A variety of series and classes fall under the motorsports umbrella. At its pinnacle is Formula 1 (F1), the global racing series that blends technology with the best that the sport can muster. Running a variety of tracks from the tight city streets of the famed Monte Carlo in the tiny principality of Monaco to the desert gem in Bahrain, the series is the ultimate test of man and machine as complex systems and a virtually endless budget produce the fastest race cars on the planet. The public’s fascination with this worldwide adventure compels us to look at some of its roots. In retrospect, 1970s were one of the series’ most significant decades. The decade is perhaps best remembered for the economic downturn that fused with oil embargos to cripple Europe’s economic engines. In the case of Formula 1, it was the evolution of the sport that changed its face and nature. The previous decade, the 1960s, had saw the proliferation of technology into the sport. This also coincided, and would have a greater impact, with the advent of sponsorship into Formula 1. This injection of a new revenue source into the sport would ultimately evolve into the modern speeding billboards complete with a livery of the company/team’s colors and massive marketing campaigns where applicable. The winds of change were first ushered in by the Lotus team after the support of automobile manufacturers had waned. The Lotus team adorned the colors of Imperial Tobacco and its Gold Leaf brand at the Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama

2 From several different perspectives, the dominant story of the 1976 season was a definitive moment in this decade of motorsports. The combination of man, moment and machine was Niki Lauda at the 1976 German Grand Prix in his Ferrari. A native of Austria, Lauda’s season was going well in his pursuit to defend the title. As August dawned for the 10th of 16 rounds, Lauda was the points leader and won the most recent race at Brands Hatch in mid-July. The next circuit was the Nürburgring in Nürburg, Germany. A venue of rare character, the Nürburgring was a mammoth 14-mile long track, with a multitude of tricky corners. The track was situated near a mountain range, narrow and little room for error. Many consider the track to be the most challenging purpose-built race track in the world. This point is exemplified by what three-time F1 champion Jackie Stewart, who gave the track the moniker of “The Green Hell.” Prior to the race, the venue came under heavy scrutiny for the necessity for the track to be upgraded to current safety specifications and its incompatibility with the growing demands of television. Lauda’s assertion for a driver boycott due to inadequate safety was quelled as the other drivers voted in favor of racing. Without further ado, round ten of the season went ahead as scheduled. In a tragic coincidence, Lauda was involved in a terrible crash on the second lap of the race. Following a pit stop for dry tires, Lauda’s Ferrari suffered a rear suspension failure at the Bergwer corner. The car went off course before careening back onto the track and collecting other cars in the aftermath. His car now ablaze, fellow drivers came to Lauda’s aid struggling to pull him out of the car. This was a pure act of heroism as Arturo Merzario, Guy Edwards, Brett Lunger and Harold Ertl saved another competitors life, instead of the track marshals who would normally assist in the event of a crash. Also, the crash showed how antiquated the

3 circuit and procedures as both fire engines and ambulances could not respond to the accident in a timely fashion. The crash marked the death knell for the circuit’s future on the Formula 1 calendar as the storied layout was abandoned after the 1976 race. In a miraculous display of bravery and determination, Lauda overcame the injuries to race again, not only in the same season, but just six weeks later. The injuries included part of an ear being burnt off and damaged his tear ducts, which affected his vision in future races. Despite missing two races, Lauda barely missed out on a repeat title by one point to rival James Hunt. For Lauda to survive the crash was sufficient to show his fighter mentality. But to defy all odds and nearly win the championship while recovering from injuries that rightfully could end a career, the 1976 season remains prominent three decades later. Lauda would go on to compete in F1 through 1985 and win two more championships. The gratifying 1977 championship season featured a personal victory for Lauda, the German Grand Prix checkers at its new home in Hockenheim. "I'd seen too many people fried in racing cars at that stage. When you've driven past Bandini, Schlesser, Courage and Williamson, another shunt like that was simply too much. It was a personal decision..." Chris Amon who retired after Lauda’s crash In a rare appearance at Dijon-Prenois in France, the F1 drivers put on one of the best races in its history. While the record book that day shows Jean-Pierre Jabouille scored the first Grand Prix victory for Renault, it was the race going on behind Jabouille that was the talk of the town. In a spirited display of driving and pure talent, two warriors battled for supremacy, albeit for second place. The final 3 laps of the 1979 French Grand Prix made the race a candidate for one of the best races of the 1970s.

4 The short and fast circuit was conducive to passing and it is something that Gilles Villeneuve and René Arnoux took full advantage of. The first corner was one of the premium passing opportunities and Arnoux used the out braking maneuver on Villeneuve in turn 1 to put Renault cars first and second in their home grand prix to the delight of the crowd. Now it was Villeneuve’s chance to steal the crowd’s thunder and put his red Ferrari, the pride of Italy into second. He refused to give up going into the first turn and locked the brakes up hard before successfully passing Arnoux going into the chicane. As they began to come upon the lapped Arrows machine of Jochen Mass, Arnoux capitalized by driving underneath Villeneuve in a final bid for second. Villeneuve locked up again trying to prevent Arnoux from passing, but it was to no avail as Arnoux stuck his Renault to the inside. As the two exited the corner they were side-by-side, neither willing to give an inch to their comrade. They banged wheels coming out of the corner, but both were able to maintain control, with Renault now showing the way. Arnoux even went off the track surface briefly and went back on still in the lead. Villeneuve saw this mistake and exploited the opportunity by diving to the inside to make the pass for second. Unfortunately, it seemed as if he had ruined his chance by going over the rumble strips on the upcoming lefthander, thus handing Arnoux second again. Villeneuve came back with full a vengeance on the next right-hander to draw even Arnoux and pass him down the straightaway. Villeneuve held on for the remaining third of a lap to prevail for the runner-up position in ahead of Arnoux, who nailed down the final podium position for Renault. History: Without it, you have no future.

5 The seventies Accidents GP races: 144 Estimated racing kms: 759.000 Accidents in races: 47 Injuries, drivers: 9 Fatalities, drivers: 3 Fatalities, officials: 2 Fatalities, spectators: 6 (The spectators killed had all penetrated prohibited areas.) Technical newbies Slicks (1971) Six wheeled car (1976) Turbo Engines (1977) 'Wingcar' and skirts (1977) Radial tires (1977) Year 1970 1970 1970 1971 1971 1971 1972 1973 1973 1973 1974 1974 1974 1975 1977 1978 Deadly crashed F1 Drivers Name Bruce McLaren (NZ) Piers Courage (GB) Jochen Rindt (A) Ignazio Giunti (I) Pedro Rodriguez (MEX) Jo Siffert (CH) Joakim Bonnier (S) Roger Williamson (GB) François Cevert (F) Nasif Estefano (RA) Peter Revson (USA) Silvio Moser (CH) Helmuth Koinigg (A) Mark Donohue (USA) Tom Pryce (GB) Ronnie Peterson (S)

Cars 1970: Safety bladder fuel tanks 1972: Safety foam in fuel tanks; no magnesium sheet less than 3mm thick; 15W red rear light; headrest; minimum cockpit dimensions; combined electrical cut-off/extinguisher external handle; FIA/spec/FT3 fuel tank. 1973: Crushable structure round fuel tank; no chrome plating of suspension parts.

Safety regulations Circuits Drivers 1970: Considerations 1968: on circuit design Recommendations on published: track seat harnesses, fireverges minimum 3m.; resistant clothing, double guardrails; shatter-proof visors. spectators at least 3m. Behind fencing; 1971: Max. 5 seconds barrier between pit for driver evacuation lane and track; track from cockpit. width, surface, and gradient change 1972: 6-point harness regulations; straw Drivers' Code of bales banned; Conduct published. mandatory FIA inspections. 1973: International medical card & 1972: Circuit Safety examination for all Criteria published; drivers. debris fence specifications. 1975: FIA standard for fire resistant 1973: Catch fences; clothing.

Organization 1971: Personnel, equipment and duties specified in race super-vision, marshalling, signals. 1973: Fire service regs. 1975: Medical service; resuscitation centre; obligatory rescue exercise. 1974: 2x2 staggered starting grid with 12m length per car. 1978: Grid 14m per car. 1979: FIA-appointed


1974: Self seal breakaway fuel coupling 1976: "Safety structures" around dashboard and pedals. 1977: Pedal box protection defined. 1978: Bulkhead behind driver and front roll bar defined. 1979: Bigger cockpit opening; 2 mirrors; improved extinguisher system.

rescue equipment; starting grid dimensions.

1977: Helmets must be to FIA-approved standards.

permanent race starter.

1974: Catch fences + 1978: License sand. qualification requirements. 1975: Marshal posts service roads 1979: Life support system (medical air) 1977: Gravel arrester obligatory. beds defined.

Regulations (engine - weight) 1970-1971 500 cc with compressor or 3000 cc without one Minimum weight: 530 kg 450 hp at 10000 rpm-540 kg (1970 Tyrell 001) 1972 1500 cc with or 3000 without compressor Minimum weight: 550 kg 450 hp at 10000 rpm-560 kg (1972 Lotus 72D) 1973-1980 1500 cc with or 3000 cc without compressor Minimum weight: 575 kg 500 hp at 12000 rpm-580 kg (1975 Ferrari 312T) 500 hp at 11000 rpm-610 kg (1977 Renault RS01 turbo) 510 hp at 12000 rpm-585 kg (1979 Ferrari 312T4) http://www.f1technical.net/articles/25

Stafford credentials Fred Neergaard – NHIS credentials Loudon testing for Jeff Buttell


Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.