Italian Grand Prix

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Ronnie Peterson and Emerson Fittipaldi completely dominated the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in the John Player Lotus 72s, the two team-mates taking the lead as they left the starting grid and finishing the 55-lap event less than a second apart with the Swede in front. It was Team Lotus’ sixth Grand Prix win of the 1973 season, three each having been scored by both drivers, and it was the first occasion that Lotus cars have finished first and second in a Grand Prix since Jim Clark and Graham Hill at Watkins Glen in 1967. Carlos Pace qualified his Surtees TS14 (left) fifth fastest ahead of Jackie Stewart’s Tyrrell, but suffered a serious tyre failure while running just behind the leading group and was forced to retire when another helping of Championship points seemed to be a possibility for the Brazilian. There were two Ferrari entries for the Italian Grand Prix, and the Italian team had enticed Jacky lckx back into one of their cars. But neither the Belgian nor Merzario looked really competitive, the Italian retiring on the second lap with damaged suspension after clipping a chicane kerb, while lckx soldiered on to eighth place. Seen chasing the Ferrari in the lower picture is Mike Hailwood’s Surtees which had the first trouble-free run of the 1973 season and finally finished just out of the Championship points in seventh place.

Jackie Stewart confirmed his third World Championship at Monza. after a determined drive up through the field following a pit stop to change a wheel after a tyre had started to deflate. The Scot was lying fourth behind Peterson, Fittipaldi and HuIme when he felt the tyre start to go flat and pulled into the pits on his eighth lap. He resumed in 19th position an proceeded to carve back through the field to finish fourth ahead of his Elf Team Tyrrell number two Francois Cevert, setting a new Formula On lap record for the Monza circuit installed with two chicanes. His Tyrrell is seen above at the Parabolic Curve during his worthy drive. The works Brabham BT42 of Argentinian Carlos Reutemann finished in sixth place after a steady race, his team mates Wilson Fittipaldi retiring with an oil leak while Rolf Stommelen was delayed by a stop to secure a loose plug lead. Braking for the chicane on the back section of the Monza circuit third place winner Peter Revson keep his McLaren M23 just ahead of Arturo Merzario (Ferrari), Francois Cevert (Tyrrell), Carlos Pace (Surtees) and Mike Beuttler (March), Revson lost touch with the Lotus leaders after Denny Hulme had hit one of the chicane kerbs quite violently pitching his McLaren into the air an forcing his American team-mate to brake hard. In the closing stage Revson was also troubled by brake fade, but he still clung to a comfort able advantage over Jackie Stewart at the finish.

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