Red, white and blue - 1960s flashback

By the 1960s, the British lead on all fronts but the tragic death of Jim Clark leaves us lost for words

Stirling Moss at Monaco 1960

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Stirling Moss claims the first Formula 1 world championship GP win for Lotus in Rob Walker’s Type 18 at Monaco. He repeats the feat a year later, beating the ‘Sharknose’ Ferraris, before Innes Ireland finally scores a breakthrough victory for the works Team Lotus at Watkins Glen. Lotus becomes dominant.

Stirling Moss on crutches


Moss’s career is cut short on Easter Monday when he hits the St Mary’s bank at Goodwood. He recovers but chooses to retire from frontline racing. A month after Moss’s crash, Colin Chapman wheels out the first full monocoque F1 car at Zandvoort. Jim Clark leads the Dutch GP before clutch trouble sidelines the Lotus 25.

Graham Hill in South Africa


In a dramatic climax to the season in South Africa, Graham Hill clinches the first and what will be only F1 world championship for BRM. Clark looks set to win for Lotus, only for an oil leak to thwart him. Hill will go on to win a second world championship for Lotus in 1968 and also the Indianapolis 500 in a Lola in 1966.

Paddy Hopkirk in Mini at Monte Carlo Rally,


Paddy Hopkirk and Henry Liddon become the first British crew to win the Monte Carlo Rally, in a landmark victory for the BMC-entered Mini. The success makes Northern Irishman Hopkirk a household name and helps establish the Mini as an iconic symbol of Britain during the Swinging Sixties.

John Surtees with Jim Clark and Graham Hill


John Surtees becomes the first world champion on both two and four wheels after claiming the F1 title in a thrilling three-way shootout with Jim Clark and Graham Hill in Mexico City. Surtees’ title glory for Ferrari adds to the seven world motorcycle championships he claimed for MV Agusta between 1956 and ’60.

Jim Clark in the Lotus Indy 500 1965


Clark and Lotus dominate the Indy 500 to score the first win at The Brickyard for a rear-engined car. In what is considered the greatest season for a single driver the Scot wins six consecutive grands prix to win his second world championship, and adds the European Formula 2 and Tasman Series titles, plus sports and saloon car race wins.

Lotus 25 Colin Chapman Zandvoort 1967


At its third attempt, Ford breaks Ferrari’s grip on the Le Mans 24 Hours, its ‘kitchen sink’ approach with the GT40 resulting in a 1-2-3 finish and a controversial formation finish. Chris Amon and Bruce McLaren are proclaimed the winners from Ken Miles and Denny Hulme. Ferrari will wait five decades for its next win at the great race.

Le Mans 24 hours GT40 1966


Five years on from the Lotus 25, Chapman again wheels out a game-changer at Zandvoort. The Lotus 49 is the first F1 car to use its engine as a fully stressed member – and that engine is the new Cosworth DFV V8. Clark prevails on the car’s debut, scoring the first of the DFV’s 155 world championship GP wins.

Jim Clark 1968 Germany


On April 7 at a relatively minor Formula 2 race at Hockenheim in Germany, Clark is killed when his Lotus 48 crashes into trees. The cause remains a point of speculation. “What can I or anyone else say?” writes Denis Jenkinson. “Mere words are inadequate to express our feelings.” For many, the sport can never be the same.