1973 Italian Grand Prix

Gran Premio d'Italia

Sunday, September 9, 1973
Round:
13
Weather:
Hot, dry and sunny
Laps:
55
Fastest Lap:
Stewart, 1m35.3
Country:
Italy
Circuit:
1973 season:
Report

Stewart's Championship

The Italian Grand Prix produced the first Team Lotus one-two result for some six years, but the race around Monza's famous, if "chicane" bedevilled track, will be remembered as one of Stewart's classic races. An early pit stop with a flat tyre on his Tyrrell cost him just over a minute and dropped him to 19th place. The Scot refused to accept defeat and with the vainest possibility that he might still that day be able to clinch the World Championship he demonstrated every ounce of his incredible and unmatchable skill to carve back through the field, sending the lap record flying as he went. His reward was fourth place overall which was indeed good enough for the Championship title, as Peterson won the race inches ahead of Emerson Fittipaldi. Last year we, along with ten of thousands of fans, were disappointed with the effect of the two "chicanes" added by the organisers at the request of the GPDA in an effort to slow the cars down. We felt that one flat out blind a year was worthwhile and when we looked at the "chicanes" they seemed to add as much of their own danger as they had taken away by reducing the outright top speed. So when the Monza 1000 Kms sports car race was run earlier in the year, without the "chicanes" and with about eight GPDA members competing without complaint, there seemed some glimmer of hope. But the 1973 Italian Grand Prix was run with the "chicanes" and was poorer for it. The most ridiculous aspect of the affair however is that at least 50 per cent of the drivers consider the "chicanes" more dangerous than the slip-streaming, but the balance of power in the GPDA is held by the pro-"chicane" people. Quite what the constructors think about these additional corners we don't know but they must realise it's a costly business Hunt's March was written off against one, a couple of other cars were quite badly damaged and several others finished up with a collection of bent wheels and suspension components.

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