#139 1965 Italian Grand Prix

2022-05-08 00:00

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#1965, Fulvio Conti, Translated by Alessia Andreoli,

#139 1965 Italian Grand Prix

By winning the World Championship and also in Indianapolis, Lotus confirms that it is today the fastest and most versatile Formula 1 car. Part of thei


By winning the World Championship and also in Indianapolis, Lotus confirms that it is today the fastest and most versatile Formula 1 car. Part of their success is certainly thanks to Jim Clark, but Colin Chapman, Lotus’ owner, director and designer, is also to be credited. Like Ferrari in Italy, Chapman’s name in England has now become the symbol of motorsport. Colin Chapman is a humble-looking man. He is thirty-six years old, medium height, he is starting to get bald and has a moustache at the carabiner. He has an iron will and an inexhaustible energy, concealed in the polite and elegant manners so common to the English people. His programs - like his ambition - know no limit. In four years, from 1962 to 1965, his small craft house became a complex modern industry, connected to Ford among other things. Lotus cars does not come out of its assembly lines enough to meet the demand of enthusiasts; and Ford does not produce enough Cortina-Lotus 1500 for the ordinary market. From his headquarters in Hornsey, North London, Colin Chapman is preparing to move to the Essex countryside, in a former military aviation camp. The move to the new formula, next season, does not scare him: either Ford or B.R.M., the rival house, will provide him with the engine, so far built by Coventry-Climax, which, however, announced his retirement from competitions. With the B.R.M., Chapman is indeed studying a car for the next edition of the Indy 500, spurred by this year's huge gains. His parents wanted him to become a scientist, and they sent him to university in London to study chemical engineering. The young man graduated in 1951, at the age of twenty-two, without failing a single exam, and assumed a profitable job in a laboratory of an oil company.


But the passion of motors, ultivated since he was a child, overwhelmed him. Colin Chapman began repairing cars for friends and acquaintances, retouching sports models and gran turismos, overhauling racing cars, all in his free time. In 1953, gathering all his savings, he opened a workshop. He worked there for half a day, for the other half background in the lab, from where they didn't want to let him go. But in 1951, he took the big step, resigned from the oil company, and produced his first car, a Lotus with an MG engine. He did well, and after a few months he took part in a competition for the first time, with the Lotus Mark VI, the progenitor of a numerous series of beautiful cars. At first, there were only disappointment and bitterness. The best placement was achieved in 1957 by a then unknown driver, Graham Hill, in an English race: sixth place. Colin Chapman was so excited that he offered Hill a good contract: but the driver refused and moved to B.R.M. instead. Three years later a promising twenty-year-old young man, Jim Clark, joined Lotus, and the victories started followed one another. It is widely known that in 1962 Clark lost the world title at the last Grand Prix, the South African one, after having led the drivers' standings for a long time. But Colin Chapman did not lose heart: in seven years, alone, he had beaten famous teams such as Cooper and almost reached B.R.M. For some time, his style as a designer aroused violent controversy. Focusing more on the chassis than on the engine, Chapman produced cars of extraordinary shape, but of slim balance. He was accused of having no respect for human life, of searching for fatal accidents, and after a while the rumours started spreading. Colin Chapman will work for the future on the technical formula that has made him the genius of British motorsport. At the age of thirty-six, Colin Chapman has, as an engineer, a lifetime ahead of him. His name, like that of Ferrari, is destined to enter the sports legend, consecrating his name to success. In truth, the Lotus are just as safe as the other racing cars. About him, Stirling Moss said:


"He will always be able to beat his rivals, albeit to a very narrow extent, at the same engine power. No other engineer in the world has his ability to make the most of the structure and shape of cars".


Trento-Bondone, Cesana-Sestriere, Freiburg-Schauinsland are called the victories of Ludovico Scarfiotti in the European Mountain Championship. Three races, three convincing successes achieved at the wheel of a car, the Dino-Ferrari, which seems to have been designed and built specifically for uphill racing, having such a high manoeuvrability and road holding. Scarfiotti has not yet managed to outrank in the championship standings his most dangerous opponent, German driver Mitter, the first driver for Porsche. Nevertheless, it now seems to be just a matter of time, not even a month to be precise, as the next competition, the Ollon-Villars, will take place on Sunday, August 29, 1965. Is this a too optimistic prediction? Maybe, but the results really speak for themselves.


The Italian driver now has 27 points, with a 4-point gap from Mitter, while Hans Herrmann, the main representative of Abarth, still has 22 points, having not been able to participate in the Freiburg race because his 2000 Sport was not perfectly tuned: it is a new model finished a few days ago in the Corso Marche plant. If it was impossible for Herrmann to hinder the Dino and Scarfiotti, Mitter gave his best, pushing both himself and the car to the limit. The Stuttgart House had taken care of the vehicle with extreme attention and meticulousness. The only thing he could do was keeping the gap under control (less than two seconds). A difficult year for the German, who came to reap the legacy of Edgard Barth and suddenly has to face not only the historical and well-known rivals of Abarth, but also the Dino, and as if this were not enough, led by a man like Scarfiotti. The latter, for his part, is giving another demonstration of his skill in the current European Championship (which he already won in 1962), leading in the alpine hills, on difficult and relatively little-known routes, the Dino being as reliable as it had been on all the main circuits of the world. The Ollon and Gaisberg competitions still have to be held in the Mountain Championship. The final ranking will be the sum of the five best placements: the Dino-Scarflotti team only has to hold on. If bad luck does spare Ferrari, they will go for another prestigious laurel, and Ludovico will go for another Cup, to add to those that already fill a room in his apartment in Porto Recanati, in the Marche region. Meanwhile, in Karlskoga, Sweden, on Monday, August 9, 1965, Jim Clark loses his invincibility record in this sporting season, in the Formula 2 race called Kanonloppet. The new World Champion, who came off the track in the convulsive early stages of the race, resumes racing, his Lotus having apparently not suffered any damage. Instead, on the seventh lap, the engine, damaged, stops, forcing the Scotsman to withdraw. The critics who for a long time have argued that Clark's successes was thanks to the valuable help of luck, among them the Australian driver-builder Jack Brabham, will have been a little sick. Just Brabham, quite ironically, imposed himself in the Swedish race, thus demonstrating that to win, at least once, he needed Jim to be out of the race. What about Clark? He was extremely philosophical about the first defeat, showing that he was not bitter at all. After all, the Kanonloppet, despite being a very well-known competition in Scandinavia, has no importance outside the local scope. 


Motorsport has thousands of fans in Sicily, perhaps more than in any other Italian region. They are important people from Palermo and the centres of the province, as well as shepherds and peasants of the most remote villages of the Madonie region. The former, rich and less rich, have - so to speak - a valid justification: they own a car. Typically, these are powerful and fast cars, or at least models built perhaps by the local mechanic, and, lacking a super-performance, adorned with visible stripes and coats of arms. But what about the others, those who usually go on foot or on horseback? Perhaps it is a natural instinct, a curiosity that dates back to the beginning of the century, when the first editions of the Targa Florio took place, it is a fact that everyone loves engines, and looks at the cars with a special attention, that most of the time was only for representatives of the fair sex. And when a car race passes on the road in front of their houses, they are really enthusiastic about it. It is enough to attend a Targa Florio once to realize it, to even be baffled. Another proof that Sicilians seriously love motor racing can be found simply by having a look at the competition calendar. Dozens of races, may they be long or short, take place throughout the year. They have their ideal summit in the Targa Florio, which gathers hundreds of thousands of people along the winding and winding path. Lately another event has been a great technical and spectacular success: Enna's Motorsport August. It began with the first trophy of the Automobile Club of Sicily, it continued with the Southern Motorcycle Grand Prix and that of Pergusa for Formula 3 cars, it will end on Sunday, August 15, 1965, with the most awaited test, the Mediterranean Grand Prix. Formula 1 will be on stage, main character Jim Clark, the new World Champion, on his debut on an Italian track after winning the title. Together with the Scotsman, there will be valuable drivers, like Brabham, Siffert, Rindt, Bonnier, Colin Davis, and perhaps Dan Gurney. The Ferraris and, of course, Surtees and Bandini will be missed. Instead, Baghetti will be on track, for whom bad luck does not necessarily have to end badly. Before Formula 1, Gran Turismo will be held, and the Ferrari-Ford duel will be repeated. On the one hand, Nino Vaccarella, at the wheel of Le Mans, on the other hand, the Americans Bob Bondurant and Sears with the Cobra, which this year won - for the first time in its history - the world championship category. The Pergusa circuit is not new to Clark; last year he was beaten by Siffert after a good battle.


On Sunday he will be rightfully the tipped to win, and it could not be otherwise after his sensational season, culminating in the victory in the German Grand Prix at Nürburgring. There will also be a particular theme in Enna's competition, the rivalry between the Scot and Brabham. The latter, one of the fiercest supporters of the thesis stating that Jim was just winning out of sheer luck, overtook his rival in the Swedish race, inflicting him the first defeat of the season. Clark, however, did not lose in a direct fight, he lost only because he had to withdraw on lap seven due to a problem with the Lotus engine. Now they will face each other again, Clark will do his best to prove him, if he has not yet been convinced, that good luck is just an ingredient in his success, and nothing else. Instead, he is sorry for the absence of the Ferraris, that took part to two of the previous editions of the event with Bandini and Surtees. The reason is understandable, though: after a year of very little satisfaction, the Modenese factory preferred to let technicians, mechanics and pilots work on the preparation of the Italian Grand Prix, scheduled for the first week of September. It will be a test of pride, the attempt to achieve on this friendly track the first victory of the season, over Lotus and its formidable driver. An arduous undertaking, which takes time and a lot of care. Going to Sicily would have meant diverting too many people from the most important task being carried out. With or without Ferrari, sportsmen from half of the island will travel to Enna on Sunday. There is Clark, there is Vaccarella, the local idol, the rector of Palermo, who has made newspapers all around the world talk about him, for having been able to combine his passion for studying and teaching and the one for motors. They would also go for less, after all. This year people began to disassemble the car to the Englishman Whitemore, of Ford, who lost a wheel and went out of the track, after making sure he was safe. No, don't think badly. Obviously, everyone wanted to take home a piece in memory. This is the program. Formula 1 cars will complete 60 laps of the track (4.797 kilometres long), or 287.865 kilometres. The start will be at 4:30 p.m. The Gran Turismo will start at 1:00 p.m., with 105 laps to go, over a distance of over 500 kilometres. On Sunday, August 8, 1965, during the Pergusa Grand Prix reserved for Formula 2 cars, the driver Mario Casoni takes off the road, seriously injuring a soldier and a photographer on duty and drowning with his car into the lake around which the ring of the racetrack is built. 


On the evening of August, 15, Casoni wins the 5° City Cup of Enna, the international speed race for GT cars. It is held only twenty-four hours before the 4th Mediterranean Grand Prix reserved for Formula 1 cars. For Casoni it is a revenge on bad luck, while in Formula 1, Swiss driver Siffert succeeds not only in the amazing achievement of beating the fabulous Clark, but also doing it with a less powerful car than its opponent’s. During the races on August, 15, there are three other incidents like the one Casoni had the week before, all of them happening at more than 210 km/h and ending up with a big scare, but luckily very little damage to people. During the test for the GTs, in which the average speed is over 200 km/h, Nino Vaccarella plays his supporting part very well, heading for a victory, when suddenly he has an accident. A little more than a third of the race has just taken place and Vaccarella is fighting with the other top drivers, namely Piper, Casoni, Seras, Latteri and Bondurant. Vaccarella is just behind the American's Ford Cobra waiting for the right time to overcome everyone else with his Ferrari Le Mans, he, who had been the fastest during the free practice. At the northwest turn, on the thirty-fourth lap, Vaccarella speeds up to overtake Bondurant; perhaps he is pushed on one side, anyway, he ends up off the road in a ruin of dust and metal sheet. At the Enna hospital, where he will be hospitalized, the biggest apprehension is about a suspected cervical fracture, but luckily this is ruled out by repeated radiographic examinations: no fractures, only bruises. Basically, nothing. Meanwhile, the other two Ferrari Le Mans left in the race, those of Casoni and Piper, are fighting for the top two positions, leaving Bondurant's Ford Cobra and Seras the consolation of the place of honour. In the Formula 1 car race, two more accidents take place. The first involves Englishman Mike Spence, who with his Lotus-Climax ends up in the lake, fortunately, getting away with a bath; the second one involves the New Zealander driver Chris Amon, who ends up beyond the external safety net and lands in the lawn below. Both of them come out unscathed from the scary adventures. On the ring, meanwhile, the infernal carousel unleashed by Clark, Siffert, Hulme, Gardner and Ireland is going on, every lap full of surprises. One after the other they manage to take the lead, but they only keep it for a very short time, so that the race remains open until the 50th lap. 


It is at this stage that Siffert repeats the same endeavour as last year and creates a huge gap, taking advantage of the fact that he entered the northwest curve in a better way, earning a considerable advantage over Clark, which he will then be able to preserve until the end, making the World Champion's angry and continuous attacks vain. Baghetti and Biscaldi are forced to withdraw due to mechanical problems. On the third lap Biscaldi, among other things, is hit in one eye by a pebble projected by a car ahead of him. Rindt, the Austrian champion, and Rees, who had won the Formula 2 Grand Prix eight days before, also withdraw. The previous speed records are also broken during this competition. The new lap record is set by Clark in 1'15"8, at an average speed of 227.854 km/h (previously the record belonged to Mike Spence in 1'15"9); the new record on the track is set by Siffert at the average of 224.051 km/h, improving the one he himself had set last year. Jo Siffert is a regular of the Sicilian events, and his most resounding victories were achieved on the Sicilian slopes: he won the Syracuse Grand Prix and the last edition of the Mediterranean Grand Prix, managing to prevail over current World Champion Jim Clark. During the award ceremony, the Swiss driver stated that he would have been equally happy for the second place: he had started, in fact, with this aim in mind. However, when along the race he saw that the car was performing perfectly, he played all the cards to beat Clark again. Siffert says Clark managed to overtake him in the corner while in the straight he managed to get back to the lead.


"I didn’t expect to win, I don’t know how he managed to get into his head: but when I found myself there, I stayed there".


Although there are still three races to be held, namely the Italian, the Mexican and the United States Gran Prix, the Formula 1 World Championship for both drivers and manufacturers is already destined to Jim Clark and to Lotus respectively, having shown absolute superiority this year. Although there is still a certain curiosity to see whether the uninterrupted series of victories from the Scot will continue, now the interest is beginning to focus on the new race formula that will come into force from 1966. This formula involves the use of single-seater with three-litres-displacement engines in case they don’t have a compressor, or a one and a half litres displacement if supercharged. The first reason for the increasing interest therefore lies in the return of the possibility to use a compressor. Such a possibility, nevertheless, at least for the time being, is quite remote, since it is not very easy to obtain sufficient power, once the 1500-cc compressor engine has been discarded, only the three litres engine with natural power is left. This will mean, in principle, to unleash the double of the power available on the current Formula 1 cars, i.e. at least 400 horsepower. This power, applied to cars that will weigh less than 800 kilos on the track, gives a result of not even 2 kilos per hp, with the immediate prospect of the slippage of the drive wheels, if these are only two. For this reason, the automakers are actively studying the four-wheel drive arrangement, which involves considerable technical difficulties and a significant weight increase, due to the presence of three differentials and transmission shafts. 


English Coventry-Climax, which is benefitting from the successes achieved and is now engaged in other activities, has already announced that they will not build engines for the new Formula 1; this could keep many British contenders out of the competition, even though probably it won’t be the case. In fact, we can rely on the presence of B.R.M. already, and it has been said that Ford could intervene so as not to leave Lotus out, or searching for another type of engine. On the Italian side, there will be, as always, Ferrari: it is thought that a 12-cylinder engine with direct injection has already been prepared, taking advantage of the previous experiences with the 6- and 8-cylinder ones; but what seems most interesting is that the four-wheel drive solution is being thoroughly studied (as is doing B.R.M.). However, the hypothesis that gave the automatic transmission solution for granted should not be considered. In addition, Ferrari will no longer be the only Italian brand in Formula 1, because the comeback of Maserati is confirmed: a limited one, but still sympathetically awaited. The Modenese House has in fact restarted from the experience with the 12-cylinder engine developed at the end of the 2500 cc formula season, which was subsequently brought to three litres, and will provide it to Cooper. Starting from this collaboration between engine manufacturers and racing car manufacturers, the talking could go further, since there are other engines in Italy suitable for competitions, such as the Serenissima ones, with 8 cylinders, and the 12-cylinder Lamborghini. 


In short, the new formula, which had initially aroused perplexity and controversy, could also be extremely interesting, thanks to the possibility of the participation of some German brand, and of course of the Japanese Honda, which is setting up a 24-cylinder engine. The Austrian Grand Prix for sports cars and prototypes finishes on Sunday, August 22, 1965, with a clear dominance from Ferrari, which sees two of its cars cross the finish line first. The drivers who have the credit for this victory are the Austrian Jochen Rindt, a young man, just 23 years old, whose technicians believe is destined to become a great driving champion (this year he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in pair with Master Gregory), on the Ferrari 250 GT, and Englishman Mike Parkes, at the wheel of a Ferrari 4400. The winner's time on the distance of 320 kilometres is 2 hours 2'53"0, at an average speed of 156.31 km/h. It took Parks 2 hours, 3’34"0 to complete the race. Englishman Frank Gardner on Lotus comes third, Chris Amon on Bizzarrini-Grifo comes fourth and Innes Ireland on Ford-Cobra comes fifth. About 20.000 people are attending the race, with a growing enthusiasm for the electrifying duel between the two English and the Austrian drivers, that is taking place right in front of them. According to the prediction, it shall be an English driver to win the race. The tipped to win is, in fact, Mike Spence, who with his Lotus had recorded the best times during practice. But the car performance did not correspond to the hopes of the driver, who, after leading for 25 laps, was forced to stop at the pits due to mechanical problems. This way Parkes takes the lead and keeps it until lap 50, when he in turn has to stop at the box to change tires. Rindt takes advantage of this situation and takes the lead without being threatened. A short time after, however, the Austrian driver is out of the race, and in a rather dramatic way: another car hits him, starting skidding fearfully. It is only thanks to his sang freud if Rindt manages to get back on track and maintain the lead until the end of this exciting race. The last thirty laps are the most electrifying, because they give rise to a fight between three drivers: Rindt, Gardner and Parkes. The circuit lap record is set by Parkes at lap 75 with a time of 1'10"5, averaging 163.480 km/h, clearly breaking the one set by American Dan Gurney in 1964. A week later, on Sunday, August 29, 1965, Ludovico Scarfiotti, at the wheel of the Dino-Ferrari, secures the 1965 edition of the European Mountain Championship by winning the Villars-sur-Ollon uphill car race in record time. 


There is only one race left - Gaisberg - but the most fearsome opponent of the Italian driver, German driver Gerhard Mitter (who finished second), could only equal him in the ranking, at most, but not take the first place away from him. Scarfiotti, who now has 34 points, after winning all of the four races he participated in, has in fact more victories. On the eight kilometres joining in a succession of Ollon curves in Villars, Scarfiotti sets a time of 4'09"8 at an average speed of 116 km/h. The previous record belonged to Swedish driver Jo Bonnier, who had set it two years ago with a time of 4'23"0 and an average speed of 109.5 km/h. In the slower of the tests (two consecutive ones take place), Scarfiotti records a time of 4'10"5. Therefore, an overall time of 8'20"3 and an overall average of 115.228 km/h. A brilliant performance, which albeit excellent Mitter, with his Porsche, could not really threaten: the German, who the day before had been indicated as Scarfiotti's great opponent, achieves an overall time of 8'25"5. In third place comes Giampiero Biscaldi on Ferrari (8'39"1) and fourth is Herbert Demefez on Abarth: the Italian sets the time of 8'44"4, which is, 0.2 seconds better than the Swiss Charles Voegele, on Brabham. Sixth (8'48"5) comes English driver Peter Westbury, on Ferguson. On the Ollon hill, which has a maximum difference in height of 675 meters, 8.44% as an average slope and 11.5% as a maximum slope, Jim Clark had some difficulties. The organizers had offered the Scotsman 17.000 Swiss Francs to take part in the race: 30.000 spectators wanted to see the new World Champion at the wheel of his Lotus-Forti, the winning car in Indianapolis, specifically adjusted for this test in the mountains. Jim’s performance, though, was rather mediocre: he finished the race in 4'45"3, a time quite far away from the top ones. It must be said, of course, that Clark is not a man suited for races like this, which require very different skills from those needed in a Formula 1 Grand Prix or in Indianapolis. Almost at the end of a particularly lively competitive season, motoring will spring into action on Sunday, September 12, 1965, in Monza, traditionally one of the most interesting days. In fact, the 36th Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix will be held on the famous Lombard track, i.e. the most important annual test that the international calendar entrusts to Italy. 


The race is valid for the World Championship for Drivers, but since the title is now firmly in the hands of Jim Clark, who has won all the races he participated in, it is not that aspect that will draw the fans’ attention on the Grand Prix. In a way, indeed, the race must be considered as an isolated episode in itself. The premises are the technical situation of the competing teams, the track of the Autodromo of Monza, with its characteristics that are different from any other circuit, and the very same halo, almost of invincibility, that surrounds the formidable Clark. This sport is a perfect fusion of mechanical elements and human factors. Sometimes the former prevail over the latter, or vice versa (perhaps this is the case with Clark), but ultimately the conditions for superiority flourish when the car-driver balance is perfect. Indeed, pure matter is fragile, subject to a quantity of imponderable factors that can annihilate even the best skills of a man. This is the primary uncertainty in motor racing, punctually present in each test. The competitive elements of this Italian Grand Prix are quickly outlined: Surtees and Graham Hill face Clark in the ultimate challenge for one of the most coveted goals; if the Scotsman is truly worthy of the few great champions of the past, he will also have to prove it in Monza, on that track that saw his predecessors triumphing and conquering the most prestigious title. But the drivers who have most tenaciously countered his attempts for victory during this season, even if they have so far had to bow to Clark's superiority, are determined to interrupt his favourable series of victories, to show everyone that there are no supermen nor super-cars. The discussion automatically moves to the technical level. As you know, Formula 1 as we know it (1500-cc engines, minimum car weight: 450 kilos) is about to change radically, after five years of interesting progress (the power, for example, have increased from 180 to almost 400 horsepower). During this period Ferrari, B.R.M. and Lotus interchanged in the lead. But it is Lotus that closes the 1500 formula era with the better results, albeit, considering that Colin Chapman's team - one of the most brilliant designers of recent years - uses engines built by a specialized company (Coventry-Climax), while Ferrari is completely autonomous, this resulting in greater effort. Now, considering that the initial equity of all the cars that started this season was probably only broken by Jim Clark's great class, given that sometimes one right change is enough to reverse all the ranking, the Italian Grand Prix could offer fans some big news, and the chance to witness a race without the usual undisputed ruler, but uncertainty and fights up to the last kilometre. 


The higher hopes are especially entrusted to Ferrari: the technicians of the Maranello team finally had a few weeks of tranquillity to work hard, free from the (too many) sporting appointments that, during the season, have fully absorbed the resources of the factory's racing department. Ferrari's effort for the occasion is important: four cars equipped with 12-cylinder and 8-cylinder engines aligned in Monza, with Surtees, Bandini, Vaccarella and Ludovico Scarfiotti driving them. An imposing line-up, therefore, which preludes a massive attack on the British teams. In addition to the Ferrari men, the new World Champion Clark with Lotus and the perennial runner-up, Graham Hill on B.R.M., the usual drivers are participating, all of them real masters: Stewart (B.R.M.), Spence and Geki (Lotus), Ginther and Bucknum (Honda), Gurney, Hulme and Baghetti. The 36th Italian Grand Prix will have 76 laps around the track overall, 5750 meters long, for a total of 437 kilometres. The race record belongs to John Surtees on Ferrari, with an average speed of 205,631 km/h; the lap record belongs to the same driver in 1'38"8, that is, 209.511 km/h. With no major Grand Prix race since the German Grand Prix at the beginning of August, the factory teams have had plenty of time to prepare themselves for the annual high-speed race at Monza, on the 5.75-kilometre road circuit. A very full entry is received and Lotus, Brabham, Ferrari and Centro-Sud field three-car teams, the Ferrari one actually being a four-car team on paper, but three in reality. From Maranello come three 12-cylinder Ferraris, numbers 0007 and 0008, that were at the Nürburgring, and 0009, a brand new one; and these are accompanied by 0006 which is the last of the V8 Ferraris. Surtees, Bandini and Scarfiotti are entered on the 12-cylinder cars, though the last-named does not appear and Surtees thus has two cars at his disposal. The 12-cylinder engines have been improved with new cylinder heads having a different inlet-port angle, so that the long intakes, with Lucas fuel-injectors in them, are no longer vertical but inclined slightly outwards. Apart from improved brake callipers, as on the 12-cylinder cars, the V8 which Vaccarella drives is seemingly unchanged. In the official entry list Surtees is entered under number 2, and Scarfiotti under number 8, but in both practice sessions Surtees drives both cars and makes his fastest laps in number 8, which is the latest car. 


Jack Brabham makes arrangements with the Automobile Club of Milan for Baghetti to drive his car, and form the third member of the team, along with Hulme and Gurney, the American having a 32-valve Coventry-Climax V8 engine in his car. Similarly, Colin Chapman agrees to lend his third Lotus to the young F3 driver Giacomo Russo, who races under the pseudonym of Geki. Clark has Lotus R11, with 32-valve Coventry-Climax engine, Spence has R9, with a flat-crank 16-valve Climax engine, and Geki has old R6, with an early Climax V8 in it. Although the B.R.M. team has three cars with them they keep the third one as a spare for Graham Hill, who is driving 2516, while Stewart has 2517. The spare car is 2515, rebuilt after its crash at Clermont-Ferrand, and all three are using the latest type of V8 engine and have short exhaust pipes, finishing within the tail of the car, instead of the normal ones that protrude, this shortening presumably being in the interests of power at high rpm. The Cooper team also has three cars, as they have used at previous races, the spare car having a Hewland gearbox instead of the heavy Cooper gearbox; McLaren and Rindt being the drivers. Honda comes with two cars and Bucknum is back as partner to Ginther, the two of them having spent a lot of time in Japan doing testing. The cars are basically the ones used all season, but the engine/gearbox unit has been rotated forwards, about the rear mounting, and this allows the engine part of the unit to be lowered some 2.5 to 3 inches, improving the handling enormously. This lowering of the engine only affects the car’s centre-of-gravity by a small amount, but on the modern Grand Prix car every inch counts. Honda’s new engine position means that the exhaust pipes from the front bank of cylinders can no longer run underneath the crankcase, and they are spread out on each side, around the crankcase, and then under the gearbox/final-drive unit, to join together into the lower tail-pipes. This tilting of the engine is such that the rear-most camshaft housing is now the highest point of the unit, and the air intakes point slightly forwards. The repositioning also means some adjustments to the rear suspension, but the principle remains unchanged. Private teams make up the rest of the entry, Bonnier and Siffert with the Walker cars, Ireland and Attwood with the Parnell cars, Frank Gardner with the Willment Brabham, and Gregory, Bussinello and Giorgio Bassi with the Centro-Sud B.R.M. cars. The only non-starters are Anderson, who does not consider it worthwhile rebuilding his Brabham-Climax after his crash at Nürburgring, and Raby who has sold his Brabham-B.R.M.


There is practice for three and a half hours on Friday and Saturday afternoons, which is more than enough, for the Monza circuit does not take much learning, engine power being all-important. On the first afternoon Surtees starts off in car number 2, but the engine goes sour and he switches to number 8, but there is no sign of Scarfiotti. The Lotus team has all three cars out, but Spence and Clark both try the third car, as well as driving their own cars, and Geki has to spend all afternoon standing around and never gets a drive. Baghetti is more fortunate and drives the works of Brabham, but does not seem to master the Hewland gearbox with its gate-less gear-lever. Gurney is in trouble with oil leaking out all over his 32-valve Climax engine, but Clark is fairly happy with his. However, it is Surtees who sets the pace, in the newest flat-12-cylinder Ferrari, with a best time of 1'37"0. Bucknum’s Honda is going well and makes third fastest time, only one-tenth of a second behind Clark, but Ginther’s Honda engine is off-colour and will not give the power it is supposed to. Graham Hill and Stewart are well satisfied with their B.R.M.s, and after everyone has been going round for an hour or more there is a long pause, and nobody seems to want to go out. As there is 200.000 lire for FTD all the fast drivers sit back with the idea of having a serious go in the last half-hour. Unfortunately, while they are waiting it begins to rain, and then a steady downpour sets in for the rest of the afternoon, so fast lap times are out of the question and results are decided on the early part of the afternoon. Gurney goes out in the rain as the Brabham mechanics are still unable to sort out the oil leak, and in fact are still trying to locate its true source; Stewart also goes out in the rain, to find out what it is like, this being his first visit to Monza. Apart from that, practice ends prematurely to all intents and purposes, and early darkness falls on a wet and gloomy paddock. On Saturday Italy is back to normal and bright sunshine keeps the track dry and speeds high. Throughout the afternoon there is a great deal of activity, and everyone is circulating as hard as they can go; especially as there are another 200.000 lire for the fastest practice time, and 100.000 lire for the second fastest. John Surtees is the fastest in the first round of official free practice of the 36th Italian Grand Prix. With a time of 1'37"0, the Ferrari driver even sets the new track record, beating by 0.3 seconds his own previous record, driving the car equipped with a 6-cylinder injection engine in the official tests of the Italian Grand Prix two years ago. 


Surtees achieved this exceptional limit by driving the car equipped with a 12-cylinder engine with which he was enrolled in the race. Ludovico Scarfiottl, on the other hand, will not take part in the Grand Prix: the leaders of the Maranello team have decided to preserve the Italian driver for the last test of the European Mountain Championship which will take place on Sunday, September 19, 1965. The car with which Surtees is expected to run on Sunday is the latest version equipped with a 12-cylinder engine output from the Maranello workshops: some girls reported problems with the power supply, but the mechanics were unable to solve this inconvenience in time to allow Surtees to return to the track. The free practice has been bothered by bad weather. Around 4:00 p.m., in fact, it began to rain and with the wet track no one was able to make useful qualifying times anymore. The driver who was most heavily affected by the rain was Geki Russo, who didn’t have time to try out the official Lotus that was intended for him. Colin Chapman, wanting to fine-tune the car perfectly, had it drive first by Clark and then by Spence. When the time came to entrust it to the young Italian driver, the rain compromised everything. Geki will then have to wait until tomorrow to debut on the English car. World Champion Jim Clark, who arrived at the racetrack last minute after fine-tuning Lotus’ three cars, had little time to compete with Surtees. In a few laps, on his car equipped with an 8-cylinder 32-valve engine, he still managed to get the second-best time of the day: 1'37"8. American driver Bucknum’s performance was surprising: on the 12-cylinder Honda, he was just 0.1 seconds slower than the Scottish driver. Behind the top three, Italian driver Lorenzo Bandini got the same 1'38"4 time (on the 12-cylinder engine Ferrari), and also the two B.R.M. drivers, Graham Hill and Stewart. In addition to this it is a requirement that everyone should lap in a time no slower than 15% over that of the second fastest time. While this is not very arduous a requirement it does mean that as the top drivers get faster, the tail-enders have to speed up as well, and the harder the works drivers try the harder the private-team drivers have to try. The Honda team are in trouble, for Ginther’s engine breaks something inside before he has done any laps, and Bucknum’s gearbox goes wrong later in the afternoon, so that the Japanese mechanics have long hours of work ahead of them. 


Gurney’s oil leak cannot be cured, and while he and Hulme are circulating together Stewart comes out of the pits, catches them, passes them, and goes back into the pits again. Later he has a bit of a flurry with Surtees and outbreaks him for the south turn each lap. Graham Hill is doing an immense number of laps and trying all he knows, making quite fair lap times in the process, but they cannot approach Stewart’s times, done with very little apparent effort. In the middle of the afternoon there is a concerted rush by a number of fast drivers and during this Clark does a fantastic time of 1'35"9, compared with the 1964 lap record of 1'38"8 and the fastest practice lap in 1963 of 1'37"3, both by Surtees with Ferraris. Nobody else breaks 1'36"0, but Surtees and Stewart are in the 1'36"0 bracket. Surtees goes out with Bandini and gives him a tow to try and improve his position on the grid, and Hulme endeavours to do the same for Baghetti, slip-streaming at Monza being all important. While the works drivers are out battling for the 200.000 lire the private team drivers take every opportunity to tuck in behind and profit from the superior speed of the works cars, Ireland, Attwood and Siffert making noticeable advances by this method. Conditions are ideal all afternoon and there is activity right up to 6:30 p.m., Graham Hill flogging round to the bitter end. The general tempo of the second afternoon is such that everyone is well within the required qualifying time and all twenty-three cars are accepted for the start, even the inexperienced Bassi in the third of the Centro-Sud B.R.M.s. Clark, Surtees and Stewart will start from the front row in the XXXVI Italian Grand Prix, with Graham Hill and Bandini behind them. This decided the best lap times achieved by the individual drivers, confirming the forecasts of the past few days, indeed the scale of values that the racing season for Formula 1 cars has been outlining from race to race.  New World Champion Jim Clark, who on Friday had made only a few laps, interrupted by the first rain slushes, on Saturday - with perfect environmental condition - got even with two short series of very fast laps, culminating in the time of 1'35"9, which corresponds to the average speed of 215.849 km/h. The exploit by the Scottish Ace made it clear that the Clark-Lotus team is indeed the best of this season of Formula 1500 racing; as much as the Grand Prix events could establish a different ranking, it is still necessary to acknowledge the commitment, we would like to say, Clark's dedication to the cause he committed to. 


As we said, the Lotus driver has had the title of World Champion in the bag for a month, and could therefore have stayed in his farm in Scotland; and instead, he is here to put it all out of it. Suffice it to see how he reacted when the speakers announced, at the beginning of today's practice sessions, that Surtees had improved the time he got on Friday. Without beating around the bush, Clark slipped back into the #24 car, and after a few laps the best performance was his. And five minutes before the practice ended, he still wanted to do a couple of laps to test new drainpipes that Lotus builder Colin Chapman wanted to try. As always, Clark will still be the man to beat on Sunday. Meanwhile, John Surtees has given a demonstration of the great progress made by the 12-cylinder engine, settling in second place in the time rankings just 0.2 seconds behind Clark. Surtees had some problems with the car that at first was entrusted to him (the #2 one); then he took the wheel of the #8, with which Scarflotti was supposed to run (but on Thursday Ferrari had decided to give up deploying a fourth car, sacrificing the European mountain champion 1965) and with this car he got the excellent time of 1'36"1. In third place comes the young Stewart (B.R.M.) in 1'36"6. Then follow Graham Hill (B.R.M.) in 1'37"1, Bandini (12 cylinders Ferrari) in 1'37"2, Bucknum (Honda) in 1'37"3 and gradually all the others. It is to be noted, confirming the great technical progress made by the manufacturers, that as many as eleven drivers improved the official record on the 5750-meter lap achieved last year by Surtees in 1'38"8 at an average speed of 209.514 km/h. As always, however, the outcome of the tests has a barely indicative value; it is clear that on Sunday the fight for victory will be limited to the five or six drivers that stood out during the free practice, but what their final position will be is impossible to predict. However, one has the impression that the equity amongst the cars is today such as to ensure a very hard-fought race and that the fight between Clark and Lotus can have exciting developments; the Ferrari men have confidence that it can be solved in their favour. Surtees has meticulously prepared himself and the 12-cylinder engine provides a perfect performance. But beware of Jackie Stewart, who is Scottish, like Clark. On Sunday morning the skies clouds and rain begins, turning into a deluge that envelopes the Italian track, but by mid-day the rain has gone, the air clears and the sun dries everything. 


Even the distant Alps can be seen quite clearly, a rare occurrence in September. The race is due to start at 3:30 p.m. and runs for 76 laps, a distance of 437 kilometres, and well before time the 23 competing cars are wheeled out onto the track. The Lotus team are unchanged, Clark having the 32-valve Coventry-Climax engine, and Geki has practised on the Saturday afternoon with satisfying results. The Brabham team are not so happy as Gurney’s 32-valve engine cannot be cured of its oil-leaking tendencies and it is removed from Gurney’s car and an old engine substituted. Surtees is using the latest of the 12-cylinder Ferraris, but as he goes out to the starting grid the hydraulic mechanism of the clutch operation begins to give trouble. The other Ferrari team drivers are in the cars used in practice, as are the B.R.M. drivers, but Rindt is driving the spare Cooper as his own car has broken a valve towards the end of practice. After an all-night session the Honda mechanics have got both engine units reassembled, and they join the others on the grid. The clutch operation on Surtees’ Ferrari appears to have corrected itself and the whole field is lined up on the dummy-grid. At the signal to move forward onto the proper starting grid all 23 cars are in order, with engines running and 1st gear engaged; a pause on the starting line for Clark, Surtees and Stewart in the front row, and then down goes the Italian flag. Clark spins the Lotus wheels and makes smoke like a dragster, and Surtees gets away slowly, his clutch playing-up again, while Graham Hill does a meteoric start from the second row and shoots between Clark and Surtees with inches to spare. The whole field makes a magnificent sight and sound as they surge forward, the total of 200 tiny cylinders working away at peak power. Everyone at the start waits eagerly while the scream of the exhausts disappears towards the woods at Lesmo, and then they go singing down the back straight. Suddenly they are with us again, pouring out of the South Curve in a solid mass, with Clark and Stewart side-by-side, the Lotus a few inches in front of the B.R.M., but right behind come Hill, Bandini, Siffert, Spence, Gurney and the rest, with poor Surtees in 14th position, his clutch having slipped throughout the opening lap. By the end of the second lap the field has divided into two groups, the first led by Clark, with Hill, Stewart, Bandini, Siffert, Spence and Gurney all in a collective slipstream, and the second group led by McLaren, with Ireland and Ginther inches behind, followed by the rest. 


Surtees is in this lot, but now the clutch has gone completely solid and he is changing gear without it, but at least he can start serious racing and in no time at all he leaves the second group and chases after the leaders. Clark and the two B.R.M. drivers are sharing the lead and Gurney is hanging on grimly, using their slip-stream to make up for his shortage of power. Bandini, Spence and Siffert are being sucked along, the Swiss driver doing a skilful bit of manoeuvring on the opening lap to get in amongst the works drivers. Surtees makes a remarkable recovery and by the sixth lap he is up with the leading group and working his way in amongst them. The pace is more than Siffert or his car can be expected to keep up, and he begins to slip back, but he is way ahead of all the other runners, who are still in a pretty solid bunch, the Parnell cars fighting it out with the works Coopers and Hondas. Clark and Stewart continue to share the lead, but even so Hill and Gurney are close enough to be touching all the time and Surtees is occasionally in between them. With a clear track Surtees has caught the leading group with ease, they being busy fouling each other up, but once with them he cannot hope to get away, for everyone's in everyone else’s slip-stream. At ten laps the situation is unchanged and Clark crosses the line mere inches ahead of Stewart, with Surtees third, and next lap the crowd shrieks with delight for the red nose of the Ferrari is actually in front of Stewart’s dark green B.R.M. and Clark is now third. However, by the time this fact has been noted the lead has changed once more and Stewart is in front again, where he stays for the next six laps, but it is a precarious lead for the others are in a bunch all round him at times. Meanwhile the rest of the field is chopping and changing positions as much as the leaders, and Bucknum has his Honda at the head of the pack, with McLaren’s Cooper alongside. Vaccarella, Bonnier and Gardner have lost contact with this group and are racing in a tight trio, and the Centro-Sud cars are bringing up the rear, though they are one short as Bassi has retired, soon to be followed by Baghetti, who is fumbling gear-changes and over-revving the engine of his Brabham until it breaks. Bucknum’s Honda engine now shows signs of failing, no longer pulling maximum RPM down the back straight, and he pulls into the pits to investigate, and Ireland takes command of the group, with Geki right behind him. 


This is still anybody’s race, just as is the leading group’s, and both Parnell cars are going splendidly, Attwood being in the thick of things. This group are urging themselves along at a higher rate than any of them would have gone on their own, with the result that they are slowly catching Siffert, who is completely on his own, having lost his tow from the works cars at the front of the race. Bucknum’s Honda does a few more laps but then returns to the pits and retires. For lap after lap Stewart and Clark share the lead, with Hill snatching it once or twice and Surtees ever present in second or third place, while Gurney and Bandini are obviously being towed along, and Spence begins to drop back. For a time it looks as though the situation is becoming settled, with the two B.R.M.s in front and Clark (Lotus) sitting just behind them while Surtees has dropped back a few yards and is with Gurney and Banditti. Even so the time interval covering this group of six cars is only one and a half seconds, and they are still in a tight bunch on the corners. By thirty laps, which is not even halfway, there is no question of the issue being settled, though it is obvious that it lies between the two B.R.M.s and the Lotus, for Gurney and the two Ferraris are now keeping up only by the grace of the slip-stream and the Ferrari of Surtees is beginning to show signs of weakening. At the back of the field Vaccarella, in the lone V8 Ferrari, is quite unable to get rid of Bonnier, in Walker’s Brabham-Climax V8, and Gardner in Willment’s Brabham-B.R.M. V8, the three of them having a good race together. At 33 laps the leaders catch up with this trio, to lap them, and there is a lot of dodging in and out, during which Clark goes back into the lead. On the next lap, as Surtees passes the stands Ferrari’s clutch slips violently and the car slows, to crawl round for the rest of the lap and retire at the pits. Clark and Stewart finish that lap side-by-side, as Graham Hill and Gurney, but Bandini drops back a bit, for seeing the other 12-cylinder Ferrari fall by the wayside he decides to settle for a finish in fifth position rather than risk a retirement. He has never been higher than fifth even at the height of the battle, so he has nothing to lose and has no idea of what has gone wrong with his team-leader’s car. Spence is in sixth position and too far back to be any danger, so it is quite a wise decision that Bandini takes. Gurney is still hanging on grimly, needing all the draught of the three cars in front of him to make up for his lack of horsepower, and this leading quartet are now in sight of lapping the mid-field mob. 


Although they have caught Siffert there is no question of getting rid of him and sometimes Ireland has the lead, sometimes McLaren, and quite often Siffert, while Ginther, Attwood and Hulme are still in the thick of it, but Rindt has dropped back. As the leaders catch this lot, Siffert’s gearbox breaks and his fine run comes to a sudden end, but the rest battles on and for a lap and a half the traffic is thick and heavy, with the slower cars tucking in behind the works cars to get a tow. Clark comes out of this lot in the lead, but next lap Stewart is back in front and on lap 50 Graham Hill is in front. Amidst all this fracas Geki drops out when his crown-wheel and pinion breaks, due to all the oil leaking out of the final drive, Hulme retires his Brabham with deranged front suspension, and Gardner’s Brabham-B.R.M. breaks suddenly and he coasts into the side of the track. McLaren and Ireland are using Gurney’s slip-stream and unwittingly they cause him to lose contact with the leaders, for on his own he can only just hang on to the leading trio, but, with the Cooper and the Parnell Lotus worrying at his tail and distracting his attention and concentration he begins to slow just sufficiently to lose the draught from the faster cars. Clark leads on two laps and then Hill leads on two laps, but this is only as they cross the finishing line, for the lead is changing all round the circuit. Then Clark leads again and on lap 58 Stewart crosses the line first, with Hill and Clark in tow. McLaren and Ireland have caused Gurney to fall back quite a way to a distance of more than two seconds. For a few laps it looks as though stalemate has been achieved, with Clark following the two B.R.M.s, all three nose-to-tail, or else Clark is having a breather before making his final attack. It is quite obvious that he cannot get away from the Bourne cars, and equally they cannot get away from him, but the question is whether he can out-trick them or whether their team-driving can keep Clark back in third place to the finish. Scotsmen being the nationalistic race that they are, Graham Hill probably has fears that Clark and Stewart might put country before team and fix the Sassenach. All down the field the pace is telling, and Ginther gives up when his Honda engine loses rpm, as well as having clutch trouble, and Vaccarella’s V8 Ferrari breaks a valve, and he does two complete laps before he realises it. On lap 63, as the leading trio crosses the line Clark is seen to have dropped back a little, and next time round the two B.R.M.s are on their own. 


Clark has stopped on the far side of the circuit with trouble in the electrical system, which affects the fuel-injection pressure pump. By a coincidence Spence runs into trouble at the same time, his alternator packing up and the ignition system failing through lack of amps. After a time, they both get going again, to limp round to the pits and retire, and the B.R.M. team are left in full command. Gurney is now third, 20 seconds in arrears, followed by Bandini 45 seconds farther back, the remainder having all been lapped. Ireland is leading McLaren, they losing contact with Gurney, and Attwood is a little way behind them, the two Parnell cars going as never before, but having just recorded that fact Ireland goes by spluttering. He is getting low on fuel and the last few gallons are not feeding properly, and after a splendid race he has to ease right off and limp slowly round, hoping to finish. The B.R.M. triumph is magnificent, the two cars sounding perfect and all their rivals who have fallen by the wayside have to watch the two bottle-green cars circulate in close company, complete masters of the Italian Grand Prix. In the closing laps Graham Hill begins to assert his number-one position and as they ease off slightly it is Hill who is crossing the line first, as is only right and proper. On lap 74 they virtually dead-heat across the line, but at the end of lap 75 Stewart appears out of the south turn on his own! There is only just time to realise this before Hill appears, and the two cars start their last lap, now some distance apart, instead of beside each other. Going into the south turn they are together, with Hill on the outside, and he moves out just a bit too far and gets sideways on as his wheels hit the loose gravel on the track edge. He does not spin, as many people think, but merely gets crossed up, which makes him lose contact with his young team-mate. Thus, they finish, with Stewart really crowning his first Grand Prix season with a splendid victory, Graham Hill second, to hammer home the B.R.M. victory, and a rather angry Dan Gurney third, 20 seconds in arrears. Angry because had he not got stuck with McLaren and Ireland when he lapped them, he might have stayed with the B.R.M.s to the finish, and taken second place when Hill made his error of judgement. A very popular Bandini finishes fourth, the only other driver not to be lapped, and five others follow him in, poor Ireland limping slowly round, unable to do anything about his trouble. 


According to the regulations, Clark, Spence, Vaccarella, Businello and Ginther are all classified as finishers, having completed more than 51 laps, even though they all retired. The 36° Italian Automotive Grand Prix has brought to the fore a new champion, Jackie Stewart, who, in his first year in Formula 1, had already proven to possess the skills to become a champion. He only needed the consecration of a great victory, and he was crowned in Monza, with full credit. It is known that in motorsport success comes if the skills, the human abilities, are coupled with a higher performance of the vehicle. In the most important Italian race, the young Scottish driver had at his disposal a car - the B.R.M. - which in all likelihood is the most efficient Formula 1 car of 1965 (Clark won the World Championship filling with his huge class the slight yield gap between his Lotus and the rival car); but the technical superiority would not have been enough without the great talent of the twenty years old driver. It can be said that the way was paved for him, because of the withdrawal of Surtees and Clark, and finally because of the only mistake made by Graham Hill (also on B.R.M.), two laps from the end, when he wanted to overcome at all costs his teammate, but was forced to haggle the parabolic curve, losing contact with Stewart. But it would be free to argue that it was pure luck. First of all because the Scotsman has consistently remained in the top positions, attacking on several occasions, and not being intimidated by the etched competition of his most experienced opponents. Had the race, rather than on time, been played on points, lap by lap, Jackie Stewart would have been first with an even clearer lead: overall he has kept the lead for 39 laps, against Clark’s 19 laps, Graham Hill’s 17 laps and just one lap for Surtees. This is just out of curiosity, but it is rather interesting, if nothing else, to highlight the commitment and merits of the winner of this exciting Italian Grand Prix. It was a magnificent fight for over half the race, with half a dozen cars - Lotus, B.R.M., Ferrari, Brabham - in tumultuous fight at 210 km/h, and Clark, Graham Hill, Stewart, Surtees surpassing each other all the time, with a relentless determination. And there’s Gurney and Bandini who didn't give up. Until a certain moment, it seemed that each of those drivers, of those flops, had the opportunity to win; actually, the situation was so balanced, that only an unpredictable event could have broken it. As it actually happened when the clutch on Surtees’ Ferrari broke, and later Jim Clark’s engine run out of power too. 


It is the unexpected events that at first seem unfair to those who are affected; yet, car racing also draws its charm from this. It is pointless to hide that the most scorching disappointment came from the withdrawal of outgoing world champion John Surtees. Ferrari had prepared for the Italian Grand Prix with particular commitment, aiming for a prestigious victory that, at least in part, would have compensated the bitterness and bad luck of this season. Unfortunately, the efforts from the fans and the technicians of the Maranello team were not enough to reverse the fate of the long confrontation with the English cars, even if the fourth place from generous Lorenzo Bandini is by no means despicable. Now we will talk about it again next year, with the new Formula 1, which will be much more challenging than the current one, being necessary to get more power from the engines than from the current double ones. Talking about the other protagonists of the day, there’s the usual show offered by the class of Jim Clark, who fought - as long as his Lotus held up - as if the World Championship was still to be decided. But the two B.R.M. drivers weren't easy to deal with: even if Clark had continued racing, we don't really know how he would have behaved in the decisive final stages. However, the spectacular lap record at 214.730 km/h remains to his credit. Dan Gurney, third on the Brabham, was also very good. The Italian drivers fought with changing fortunes: apart from the good Lorenzo Bandini, the best impression was the Formula 1 debut of Geki Russo, at the wheel of an official Lotus, who - before retiring due to a mechanical failure - had managed to stay with authority into the midfield. Baghetti was knocked out after just 12 laps; Vaccarella fought honestly, but without particular prominence, and the no longer very young Bussinello had the satisfaction of completing the race. But only the British riders remained in the top positions. For Jackie Stewart, a dream that has been cherished for many years has come true: winning a Grand Prix, valid for the World Championship, which is the most important event in motor racing. Stewart, the son of a garage owner in Berwich, Southern Scotland, learned to drive as a child, enjoying himself arranging customers' cars in his father's garage. In 1961 he made his debut in 1000 cc formula 3, and last year he was hired by B.R.M., which had not renewed the contract to the already successful American driver Richie Ginther. 


Within a year, Stewart made himself known on international circuits as a confident and determined driver, rightfully amongst the very few drivers who have dominated Formula 1 competitions for three or four years: Jim Clark, John Surtees and Graham Hill. The next goal will perhaps be the 1966 World Championship. The Italian sportsmen warmly applauded Stewart's victory and, after the award ceremony, they huddled around him to get an autograph, to touch his shoulder, to congratulate him. They were many, too many, and at one point the Scot driver escaped as fast as his B.R.M., to take refuge in the Dunlop bus. He sat on a small armchair in the rear panoramic sitting room, calm and relaxed. Around him are executives of the house, British journalists and Jim Clark. They are both Scottish, they are friends, they also hang out outside racing. They esteem each other and are particularly united precisely by the fact that they were born in the same land. Stewart even decorated the cockpit of his racing car with the colours of his clan: red, green and yellow, in large squares, and painted a stripe with the same colour on his white helmet. The clan, one of the most famous and oldest in Scotland, is the Stuarts. Clark and Stewart sit side by side, chat closely together, pause to toast with a glass of champagne to Jackie's success, get up to politely greet the B.R.M. owner. Then they start talking again.


"Next Saturday I will race at Oulton Park in Formula 1".


 Says Stewart, and Clark, promptly, responds:


"In England you will not win. You beat me today, don't expect too much".


And they both burst into cheerful laughter. A few quick questions to the winner, who answers without hesitation, under the benevolent eyes of his companion, who has long been used to the annoying part of celebrity. When did he realize he could impose himself?


"On the penultimate lap, when Graham Hill swerved in the parabolic curve".


How does he feel?


"I am fine and very happy".


Does he dedicate this victory to someone, perhaps to his wife?


"No, just to myself".


The big bus Dunlop travels around the European racetracks with seems to have been swallowed up in the middle of the storm. The reason? Inside take refuge Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark and Graham Hill, that is, the winner and two of the protagonists of the 36th Italian Grand Prix, while outside wait the Italian and foreign fans who are hoping to get an autograph from the new champion and his two companions at all costs. The crowd enjoyed Stewart's victory a lot. Stewart is a nice guy, with a light-hearted appearance. He is quite short, lively eyes, always with a ready answer, seems to be at ease in every situation, when he drives his B.R.M. and when he receives with a bow the compliments of Mrs Jean Stanley, owner of the British team and a thousand other industries.


"I never get too excited, but today I feel happy. I had been hoping to finish first in a Grand Prix for years, but in 1965 John Surtees, and lately my friend Jim Clark, didn't let me. Now that I have started, I just hope to continue".


A sip of champagne served in the lounge set in the Dunlop coach to celebrate the victory, a toast with Clark to the health of the common homeland, Scotland, and finally the tranquillity of the B.R.M. garage, with the pleasure of taking off the suit and wearing clean clothes. In a corner rests his white helmet, always the same for years, with the bright colours of the famous Scottish family. Speaking of suits, teams and drivers have decided to adopt the rules of the international sports car regulations that prescribe the use of fireproof clothing in racing. This is a very appropriate precautionary measure for obvious reasons. With the body protected from fire, you can also escape from very serious situations with minor damage. The suits are light blue or blue, except for Jim Clark's, who preferred it white. On Sunday, however, the Scotsman, after wearing it, still wore a light blue normal suit, just to conform to his colleagues. Meanwhile John Surtees, who according to custom brought his father, mother, and wife to Monza, and hoped, after a bad year, in a success, wanted a prestigious victory, for himself and for Ferrari, and presents himself rather dark-faced to the reporters.


"1965 is completely negative for me. In Monza, on a track that I know by heart, I was hoping to stop the bad raw. But no way. Before leaving I felt that there was something wrong with the clutch. The problem got worse as we continued, but in reality, it is as if I had not even been able to start running".


The other Ferrari man, Lorenzo Bandini, was quite satisfied with fourth place.


"I made a good comeback in the first part of the race and then I managed to stay among the only four drivers who completed all the laps".


Geki Russo is also happy, making his debut in Formula 1.


"Chapman's Lotus is a splendid car, the inconvenience that stopped me was an occasional one. I didn't want to force myself, but I think that with Clark and Chapman as teachers I could go a long way in Formula 1 too. Maybe I'll go to England".


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