Lambert’s team-mate in the self-styled London Racing Team was none other than Max Mosley, now president of motor racing’s international governing body. “I wasn’t far behind them when the accident occurred,” he remembers. “I saw Clay upside down where he’d come to rest, a hand just emerging from beneath the car. After the accident there was a lot of criticism of Clay’s driving, but I don’t really recall him being particularly outrageous. The fact is that this accident was a bit like the Luciano Burti/Eddie Irvine collision in this year’s Belgian Grand Prix. But in somewhat less robust machinery.”
Nevertheless, Regazzoni was vilified by some sections of the media, particularly in the UK, where Lambert’s distraught father bombarded the press with lengthy critiques of Regazzoni’s behaviour. He even offered to go wheel to wheel with him in Formula Fords in what seemed to be an embarrassingly confused bid to avenge his son’s death. A sad and painful postscript to an extremely unfortunate racing accident, these events cast a shadow over Regazzoni’s reputation for some time, however unfairly.
Clay flirted with Ferrari’s F2 programme in 1969, but the 1.6-litre V6-engined Dino 166s were less than reliable and he reverted to Tecno mid-season, and stayed with the Pederzanis to win the 1970 European F2 Trophy. But by the time he clinched that title, at Imola in September, he’d already won the Italian GP — and secured a place in Maranello’s F1 squad for the foreseeable future. He recorded one win, three seconds, two fourths, three (consecutive) fastest laps, one pole and never qualified lower than sixth during a memorable eight-race F1 intro during the second half of 1970.
The next two years, however, were to be a relative, winless disappointment, partnering Jacky Ickx. His consolation was sharing the winning Ferrari 312PB sports prototype with the Belgian in the Monza 1000Km and Kyalami Nine Hours.
He then tangled memorably with Stewart’s Tyrrell-Ford on the last lap of the ’72 German Grand Prix. JYS:”I was right on his tail going down through the forest after the North Curve. At the bottom of that hill there’s a right-hander, followed by a left, which leads out towards Flugplatz.”