1971 Austrian Grand Prix
- Sunday, August 15, 1971
- Grosser Preis von Osterreich
- F1 World Championship
This year as I approached the frontier it was all very different, it was late at night, the rain was pouring down, the previous Grand Prix had been won by Stewart with a Tyrrell when everyone had expected Ickx to win it with a Ferrari and when I arrived at Zeltweg the rain was still pouring down and there was none of he animation and excitement of last year. Everywhere there was a feeling that Stewart and the Tyrrell car was all set for another victory, which would be his fourth in a row and the sixth this season so that points scoring or no points scoring the Scot would be the undisputed World Champion driver for 1971. Stewart’s last three victories were achieved with so little apparent effort, with Cevert backing him up in second place with the number two Tyrrell car in two of the races, that the ELF Team Tyrrell had got everyone thoroughly depressed, and Matra withdrew from the Austrian race in a desperate hope to improve their cars in the lull this would give them.
Although Ferrari had three entries and the three 1971 cars, only Ickx and Regazzoni arrived in the rain, Andretti still playing “ducks and drakes” with European racing and USAC racing. In weight of numbers BRM were very strong, having four 1971 cars and a 1970 car with them, Siffert being joined by Ganley and Gethin on the new cars and the Austrian Dr. Marko joining the team with the 1970 car. Gethin had been released prematurely by the McLaren team for his contract was due to end after the Italian Grand Prix and BRM were taking him on for the Canadian and American Grand Prix events anyway, so he joined them for the Austrian race by general agreement and this meant that Oliver could take over Gethin’s 1971 McLaren, in support of Hulme. The STP-March team had undergone a shuffle both in drivers and machinery, for though Peterson still led them with his usual 711 model, Galli’s car was still using an Alfa Romeo engine and the original Alfa Romeo-engined car was converted to a Cosworth power unit and this was hired out to Niki Lauda, a 22-year-old Austrian driver who has been showing promise in Formula Two racing. Beuttler was driving a March 711 as usual for the Clarke-Modaunt combine and Pescarolo was driving for Frank Williams.
In the Surtees team the Stommelen supporters had been complaining that the young German’s usual car was no good so John Surtees gave him his own car and took the latest one for himself, hoping this would allay any suspicions that there were any differences between the two TS9 cars they have been racing all season. The Lotus team and Tauranac’s Brabham team were unchanged and like the Tyrrell Team all was amicable in their ranks. A last minute entry was Bonnier with his old McLaren.
Permanent road course
Jacky Ickx (Alfa Romeo T33TT/12), 1m35.81, 138.011 mph, Sports Cars, 1974
First Race1969 Austrian Grand Prix