Formula One – 54 laps of Osterreichring – 5.911 kilometres per lap – 319.194 kilometres – Very Hot.
A clear-cut Team Lotus demonstration faltered on lap 49 when Fittipaldi retired while in the lead, due to a fuel pipe to the metering unit of his Cosworth V8 coming adrift; this left his teammate Peterson to lead the remainder of the race, finishing ahead of Stewart (Tyrrell) who was never able to challenge the black and gold cars. The Lotus pair were on the front row of the grid but in the opening stages Hulme got his McLaren between them until he was delayed by a plug lead coming adrift. After dealing with Reutemann (Brabham), Carlos Pace (Surtees) closed up on Stewart, having him in his sights with three laps to go, when fuel pick-up trouble caused his engine to cut out intermittently, but he already had a new lap record to his credit, and managed to struggle home third a few yards ahead of Reutemann. Ferrari made a reappearance with a modified car for Merzario, which ran well to finish seventh; there was no sign of lckx at the meeting.
Of the other front runners Revson (McLaren) burnt his clutch out at the start, Cevert hit the back of another car in the opening laps and damaged his Tyrrell’s radiator, and Lauda did not take part due to his injured wrist sustained in his Nurburgring accident. Hunt (March) retired after 3 laps with a broken control rod to the metering unit of his Cosworth V8 engine.
(Full report next month.)
1st: R. Peterson (Lotus 72/6 -Cosworth V8) 1 hr. 28 min. 48.78 sec. 214.85 k.p.h.
2nd: J. Stewart (Tyrrell 006/2 -Cosworth V8) 1 hr. 28 min. 57.79 sec.
3rd: C. Pace (Suttees TS14A/05 -Cosworth V8) 1 hr. 29 min. 35.42 sec.
4th: C. Reutemann (Brabham BT42/3 -Cosworth V8) 1 hr. 29 min. 36.69 sec.
5th: J. P. Beltoise (BRM P160/07 V12) 1 hr. 30 min. 10.38 sec.
6th: G. Regazzoni (BRM P160/09 V12) 1 hr. 30 min. 27.18 sec.
7th: A. Merzario (Ferrari), 8th: D. Hulme (McLaren), 9th: G. van Lennep (Williams), 10th: M. Hailwood (Surtees), 11th: H. Ganley (Williams).
Fastest Lap: C. Pace (Surtees) in 1 min. 37.29 sec. 218.72 k.p.h. (new record)
23 starters – 11 finishers
Ronnie Peterson drove a superb race to calmly and easily win the Austrian Grand Prix. Peterson showed what a true sportsman he is by beckoning Fittipaldi into the lead in the early stages so that the Brazilian would gain more points in the World Championship. Fate, however, decided otherwise and the No. 1 JPS Lotus retired a few laps from the end. In the picture Denny Hulme is close behind Peterson. while part of the 150,000 crowd cover the hillside behind.