The 1971 winners

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

In the jargon of motor racing there are numerous clichés that are often made in jest, but which are only too true. Saying such as “the name of the game is winning” or “finishing first isn’t everything, but it’s better than being second”, or “it’s the name in the Golden Book that is important”, and recently a well-known racing motor-cyclist from Derby said: “It’s first under the linen that counts”, meaning the first under the chequered flag. This fellow, John Cooper by name, but no relation to previous well-known John Coopers, achieved enormous acclaim by reason of beating World Champion Agostini on two occasions, riding a British BSA three-cylinder. There were people who were quick to point out that Cooper’s bike was 750 c.c. against Agostini’s 500-c.c. MV Agusta and it was to these people that the bespectacled Cooper made his classic remark. He also won a much-publicised race at the American Ontario Speedway, using the power of his 750-c.c. BSA to nip by his Japanese two-stroke opposition as they accelerated from the last corner. Once again there were those who decried Cooper’s win because he was on the biggest and most powerful motorcycle and once again his classic remark was most appropriate.

This season there have been numerous drivers in Grand Prix racing who have made a good impression and have had their supporters praising them loudly, but they did not win a Grand Prix. Some of those who did win a Grand Prix or Formula One race caused their opponents to say, “Yes, but…”, either because some luck came into the results, or there was not much opposition or the chap who was second had led for most of the race. The Italian Grand Prix at Monza was a splendid case in point when all the drivers who had made the running were out-smarted by Gethin to the last corner. Never has John Cooper’s remark been so appropriate, “It’s first under the linen that counts.” For this reason I am reviewing the 1971 Grand Prix and Formula One season with photographs of all the drivers who achieved something during the season, and as most of the photographs of them during races have shown them completely covered up in a Bell-Star helmet and face-mask, so that readers have had to take our word for who is in the car, I am portraying them all bare-headed and bare-faced.

You only have to look at the list of achievements under each photograph to see who was the 1971 Champion driver, the points gathered in Championship events being of little importance when “the name of the game is winning” and personally, if a World Championship was acclaimed by points total gathered from consistent second or third places I would not be too impressed, though I would appreciate his consistency. The six Grand Prix victories by Stewart show that he is not only a Grand Prix driver, but a successful one, and the other ten drivers depicted are successful to a lesser degree. There were other drivers who did great things and one day very soon must surely win a Grand Prix, high on the list being Peterson, while Emerson Fittipaldi cannot be far away from winning another Grand Prix. He won the United States GP in 1970. Schenken is another drier who has made good progress and when he wins a Grand Prix it will be no surprise, but when others like Wisell, Pescarolo, Beltoise or Oliver win a Grand Prix it will be a surprise.

Two of this year’s winners will regrettably never be able to win another race but their names are indelibly written in the Golden Book, these being Rodriguez and Siffert, both natural “chargers” and winners that caused no surprise. Their deaths in minor races, Rodriguez in a sports-car race in Germany and Siffert in the end-of-season event at Brands Hatch, were black spots on the 1971 scene, but the racing world does not forget Courage, Rindt and McLaren or those that died before them, like Clark and Bandini, nor will they forget the “Mexican Bandit” and the “Crazy Swiss”.

New names to the winners’ list are Cevert and Gethin, the former having worked hard and conscientiously all season as number two to Stewart, the fruits of his work giving him victory in the United States Grand Prix when Stewart ran into trouble. A victory for Gethin seemed to be on the cards quite a time ago but with the McLaren team he got nowhere; his change to the BRM team saw him up with the competitors and he thoroughly deserved his last corner victory at Monza. His victory in the minor Brands Hatch race was an unhappy one, the race being stopped after Siffert’s accident, and though it was almost certain that Fittipaldi would have got by had the race run its full distance, “it’s first under the linen that counts”. D. S. J.

You may also like

Related products