1971 Spanish Grand Prix
- Sunday, April 18, 1971
- Gran Premio de Espana
- F1 World Championship
Barcelona, April 18th.
For the second time in the current Formula One, the Spanish Grand Prix was held on the remarkable circuit in the Montjuich Park in the heart of Barcelona, the first time being in 1969, when front and rear aerofoils were at their greatest height and lots of them fell off, some right in front of officialdom, so that an instant rule was passed which banned high aerofoils and movable ones. Consequently the lap record was considered by some to be an ultimate, they feeling that the new aerofoil rules were stunting progress. That was nonsense, of course, and two years of development and progress in engine-power, brakes, road-holding and handling have more than made up for any advantages that the high aerofoils might have given. The 1969 lap record was left at 1 min. 28.3 sec. by Rindt with a Lotus 49, and practice in 1971 was barely half-way through before anyone who was anyone in Grand Prix racing was way below this figure, and everyone was there to have a go, right from the moment that practice began on the Thursday evening before the race.
As the paddock gate was opened the cars and drivers came out one by one and set off for practice, and it was a sight to enthral any regular racing enthusiast, let alone the thousands of locals who probably had not seen or heard a Grand Prix car engine since 1969. Amon (Matra V12), Andretti (Ferrari flat 12), Stewart (Tyrrell V8), Rodriguez (BRM V12), Regazzoni (Ferrari flat 12), the Lotus 72 cars, the March 711 cars, the Surtees cars, they were all there, and were all ready to go, all that is except Gethin whose McLaren M14A was in the paddock with leaking fuel tanks. The way the numerous 12-cylinder cars moved away up the hill from the pits, with the relatively flat-sounding V8s intermingled with them, was stirring stuff and started the whole meeting off on a keen note, like the first bull into the ring being a real brave one. Some were really ready to go, like Amon with the first of the 1971 Matras, and Stewart with last year’s Tyrrell which he was using as a spare car having a brand-new Tyrrell car all ready for him whenever he wanted it, this being the third car from the Tyrrell team.
Montjuich Park, Barcelona, Catalunya
Temporary street circuit
Ronnie Peterson (Lotus 72E-Ford), 1m23.8, 101.169 mph, F1, 1973
First Race1933 Penya Rhin Grand Prix