1964 Italian Grand Prix

Gran Premio d'Italia

Sunday, September 6, 1964
Dry and overcast
Fastest Lap:
Surtees, 1m38.8
1964 season:

From the Motor Sport Archive

Victory through strength
Monza, Italy, September 6th.

This year there were no arguments or discussions about how the Italian Grand Prix was to be run, for right from the start it was decided that it should be on the 5.75-kilometre Monza road circuit, with no question of using the banked track, so that the Grand Prix teams knew that sheer engine power was going to be the main requirement. Before the race Ferrari were working hard on their new flat-12-cylincier engine and B.R.M. were doing the same with their revised port layout V8 engine, and Alf Francis was reviving the V8 A.T.S. The Japanese Honda team had given the Austrian Grand Prix a miss in order to get their V-12 engine working properly and Lotus, Cooper and Brabham had to rely on Coventry-Climax to do something about combating the opposition in the power race.

The Monza track being a permanent circuit, in use for racing or testing at all times, B.R.M. and Honda were there well before the official practice started to try out their cars. For the first practice, on Friday afternoon, Ferrari fielded four cars, having three drivers entered for the race, Suttees with the choice of two Vg-engined cars, and Bandini and Scarfiotti with the V6-engined cars, the new flat-12 not being quite ready. Because of slight doubts about starting the engines, the V8 cars were carrying an additional 6-volt battery to supplement the main ones. Team Lotus had their two Type 33 cars, Clark in the latest one and Spence in the other one, both using the new Mercedes-Benz sliding spline shafts, but the outer ends were strengthened where they were welded to the universal joint, this overcoming the weakness that showed up at Zeltweg. The Type 25 that Clark has often used in the past was there as a spare, and all three cars had been put back to normal specification after the jumble of the Austrian race. Like Ferrari, the Lotus cars were using larger spherical ball joints on the suspension links at the rear, the weaknesses that Zeltweg showed up having caused some rethinking in Maranello and Cheshunt. The Brabham team comprised Brabham himself and Gurney, with the same two cars they raced in Austria, and the B.R.M. team had their new car (described elsewhere in this issue) for Graham Hill as well as one of the earlier 1964 cars for him, and a 1964 car of the earlier pattern for Ginther. The Cooper team travelled direct from Zeltweg to Monza and were a bit short of material, but managed to get both their 1964 cars in working order, but had replaced Phil Hill with John Love, to Support McLaren. The Honda had been very badly bent at Nürburgring and it had meant building a new car, using some of the undamaged components. No major changes were made to the layout, except that the engine was fitted with a Japanese system of fuel-injection, on the lines of the Lucas system, running at relatively low pressure and injecting into the inlet ports.