1975 Italian Grand Prix
- Sunday, September 7, 1975
- Gran Premio d'Italia
- F1 World Championship
Monza, Italy, September 7th
There was a strange air of resignation about the place as the teams assembled in the paddock at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix. The chances of Lauda and Ferrari being beaten for their respective World Championships were so remote as to be non-existent and a Ferrari win on the fast Monza track seemed a foregone conclusion. There were a few minor changes in the teams, but nothing to get excited about, with Crawford taking over the number two Lotus, Renzo Zorzi an Italian F3 driver having a go in one of Frank Williams’ cars and Merzario driving the Copersucar Fittipaldi as Wilson Fittipaldi still had his arm in plaster; for the rest the personnel were as in Austria, except that there was no Surtees entry, the team having withdrawn from Formula One until such times as their conditions improve.
It was almost a foregone conclusion that Lauda would be setting the pace with the works Ferrari, but nobody envisaged him having a dominating lead of more than 1 1/2 seconds over the nearest Cosworth V8 car by the time the first practice session had finished. It seemed as if everyone had given up and were merely going through the motions of being competitors to the two Ferraris, but in fact there was a lot of hard trying going on and some pretty desperate breakages among some of the teams. The McLaren team were in such a shambles after an hour of practice that it seemed unbelievable and they were smiling, knowing they had reached rock-bottom and things could only improve. Fittipaldi had not been going long before his Cosworth engine blew up and he had to abandon the car on the far side of the circuit. Barely had he got going in the spare McLaren than Jochen Mass came into the pits with his Cosworth V8 blown up and as his car was wheeled away to have a new engine installed, Fittipaldi bounced himself off the far chicane and bent the right front corner and crinkled the monocoque of the spare car. From a thriving team they were reduced to spectators in less than an hour. Depailler was going well in his Tyrrell and the two South American Brabham drivers were beginning to get to grips with the situation, even though they both suffered spins in their attempts to challenge the speed of the Ferraris. For the general run of the entry it was the old, old story of “too much of this”, or “too much of that” or “not enough of the other”, but the facts were that everything was looking pretty normal with the usual car/driver combinations being in the front half of the field and the rest in the back half.
Circuit - Monza
Permanent road course
Jean-Pierre Jarier (Alpine A442-Renault), 1m29.6, 144.161 mph, Sports Cars, 1976
First Race1922 Monza Voiturette