#105 1962 Belgian Grand Prix

2021-09-05 00:00

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#1962, Fulvio Conti, Translated by Carola Buzio,

#105 1962 Belgian Grand Prix

The Belgian Grand Prix is held on 17th June 1962 on the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps. It’s one of the most anticipated events of this championship. In


The Belgian Grand Prix is held on 17th June 1962 on the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps. It’s one of the most anticipated events of this championship. In fact, the track in Spa puts to the test the new engines that have to maintain the highest gears for a considerable period of time. During the first two races of the season, Ferrari was seriously struggling. This is because the Italian chassis is not as reliable as the English ones. The Italian team is considered to be the favorite on the Belgian circuit, a track that allows to reach an average speed of over 200 km/h. The team from Maranello has more powerful engines compared to Lotus and B.R.M. The organization of the Grand Prix, in order to attract more spectators on the qualifying day, adopts the same registration system that was used in Monaco. The maximum number of participants is limited to nineteen drivers, of which sixteen are officially invited by the organization itself. However, this system fails. A few days before the Grand Prix, the number of participants in the race weekend is drastically reduced. Among the absentees are Porsche, late with the updates of their car due to workers’ strikes in their factory, and Lola. The team decides to enroll only one car in the race (Surtees’), Lewis and Marsh. The Belgian Grand Prix is held at the infamous and yet spectacular 14.1 kilometers track in Spa. It’s located between Francorchamps, Malmedy and Stavelot. It’s one of the most eagerly awaited events for Grand Prix racing fans. This year everyone is looking forward to the Belgian Grand Prix with keen anticipation because it’s the first time that the new British V8 engines are used to their maximum and with high gears for a substantial amount of time. On paper, the entry list is supposed to have sixteen invited drivers. The others have to qualify in order to start the race. However, given that a number of people don’t show up to the event, there is no need to do a qualifying session on Saturday. The two Porsche are among the cars that aren’t present at the event. An internal strife, within the German factory, is still holding up their active racing programme. The private B.R.M. owners, Lewis and Marsh, aren’t present as well. Bowmaker enter only one Lola for this race. After arriving in Spa, Scuderia Ferrari is unable to check in at the hotel. The reason being the previous year's bill that hasn’t been paid. The sports director, Eugenio Dragoni, has to pay personally. After this mishap, the team based in Maranello arrives at Spa with four 120-degree V6 engined cars. 


Hill, Mairesse, Baghetti and Rodríguez are driving the four Italian cars while it was Bandini’s turn to sit in the pits and watch the race. Three cars have new front wishbones with easily adjustable base pivots and wider rear wishbones. Rodríguez is the only one to use a rear rollbar. The cars are virtually the same as last year. In fact, the new chassis, which has the forward-assembled gearbox, isn’t used. In addition, there is no sign of the new 4-valve cylinder heads. The two B.R.M. don’t bring any upgrade after the practice sessions in Monaco. Graham Hill has a new engine at the back of his usual car, after the massive blow-up in the previous race. It has a low-level exhaust system. Ginther has the new car with the 6-speed Colotti gearbox and a redesigned bellhousing after Monaco. Lotus’ drivers, Clark and Taylor, drive the Coventry-Climax V8 engines cars but with a difference. One engine has the new carburetor layout while the other has the old layout. Furthermore, Clark has the sleek monocoque chassis. On this fast circuit, there are lots of expectations on this chassis to deliver a good result for the team based in Hethel. Cooper arrive in Spa after winning in Monaco. The team finishes the second Coventry-Climax V8-engined car off with the 6-speed Cooper gearbox. Maggs is using this brand-new car. Bowmaker are using only one Lola-Climax V8 that has a long sleek nose cowling. Surtees is driving it, fresh from his International 2000 guineas win in Mallory Park. UDT-Laystall have two Lotus 24. Ireland has the Coventry-Climax V8-engined car while Gregory is at the wheel of the V8-engined B.R.M. Going back to this weekend, the two drivers mentioned before win on Whit-Monday and boost their morale. Rob Walker have completely rebuilt the Coventry-Climax V8-engined Lotus 24. After the crash in Monaco, the car needs a new chassis frame and new suspensions. Once more, Trintignant is driving the old 4-cylinder Lotus. It’s the same car that Graham Hill drove in Mallory Park. Previously, it had been lent to Bianchi and the Equipe National Belge. Brabham is driving the bright green Lotus-Climax V8. Siffert is at the wheel of the Lotus-Climax 4-cylinder. Campbell-Jones has the Emeryson-Climax 4-cylinder. Completing the list, Beaufort drives a private Porsche 4-cylinder. At the very last moment, Seidel decide to enter a Lotus-B.R.M. V8 for Gurney to drive. This car is borrowed from Lotus. There is no sign of Bonnier.


The first practice session is held on Friday evening under warm and dry conditions. The time to beat is obviously 4 minutes. Last year, Phil Hill’s Ferrari ran in a 3'59"3 during practice. During the race, Ginther, in the other Ferrari, set a time of 3'59"8. The circuit lap record is still held by Brabham, who was driving the 2.5-litre Cooper-Climax. It was 3'51"9, set during the race in 1960. Beforehand, during practice, he was able to go even faster and set a time of 3'50"0. However, it doesn’t count as a record because it wasn’t done during the race. When the circuit is open for practice, Phil Hill is the first driver to go out on track. He’s immediately followed by Clark, who is not far behind, and by McLaren. B.R.M. aren’t as confident as in the previous race. They have some work to do on both cars after only a very brief run. Hill’s brakes aren’t working properly while Ginther has issues with the fuel lines. It’s Trevor Taylor’s first time in Spa-Francorchamps. Despite this, he is settling in nicely during practice. Soon after, he laps in 4'10"0. In the meantime, Maggs is having a go in the V8 Cooper. However, he doesn’t get far into practice. An ignition issue ends his session. The mechanics have to go out and rescue him. Surtees is in trouble too. The V8 Coventry-Climax engine starts to give up. Therefore, he has to stop his Lola at Stavelot before the crankcase breaks. Afterwards, the Brit gets a lift back to the pits thanks to Ireland and his Lotus. The two UDT-Laystall are doing all right. Although, the drivers are not too sure about the handling at high speed. In the meantime, Gregory is faster than McLaren in the Cooper. There are some real high-speed practice laps halfway through the session. At the same time though, reliability is playing a big part in practice. Many teams seem to be in trouble. Ginther’s B.R.M. is leaking oil while Clark’s Coventry-Climax V8 is damaged after a dowel in the camshaft driving mechanism broke. The lap times soon begin to slow down. Mairesse is the first to set a time of 4'03"5. Graham Hill immediately reacts to it with a time of 4'03"0. Despite this, he isn’t happy at all with the balance of the car after stopping in the B.R.M. garage. Ferrari also begin to set quick lap times. Phil Hill sets a time of 4'03"6 while Mairesse runs in 4'03"3. Ferrari remove the Perspex covers off the engine as well as the brake-cooling duct in order to reduce drag. Everyone is convinced that their engines aren’t venting properly at high speed. Thus, Ferrari remove the Perspex covers over the carburetors as well as taking off the Perspex brake-cooling scoops. 


Their goal is to reduce drag. So far, the smooth surface of the Masta straight is wavy and bumpy after a hard winter. As practice goes on, Phil Hill breaks the 4 minutes barrier, just like he did last year. It’s nice to see Ferrari’s team leader being happy with the handling of the car. At the same time though, he merely wants more speed from the Italian cars. After trying to do so, he sets a time of 3'59"8. The British is the first driver to set a time under 4 minutes. Meanwhile though, Taylor is steadily running away. As a result, Lotus’ driver sets a much quicker time: 3'59"3. It was a splendid effort despite it being his first time on this high-speed circuit. Given that Taylor is also under the 4 minutes barrier, it gives some indication of what might be expected from Clark, after getting a new engine. Shortly before the end of the free-practice session, McLaren and Maggs have some minor issues with the gear selector. They aren’t serious though and Maggs is able to run again. Brabham’s car is not ready before the start of the practice session and, as a result, can’t even set one lap time. In addition, also Gurney’s car isn’t ready to drive. With only two cars that set a lap in less than 4 minutes, the pace isn’t as quick as expected. Reliability issues have been frequent. Therefore, one has to wait until the next practice session that is scheduled on Saturday afternoon. Once again, the track conditions are perfect, not too hot or too cold and completely dry. Brabham arrives on Saturday with the Lotus-Climax V8 while Hill’s B.R.M. has the vertical stub exhausts. McLaren’s gear-selector issue is fixed and the four Ferrari have the carburetor intakes covered with a lattice. Clark doesn’t have a car to drive yet, given that the new engine is reaching Spa via road transport. At 3:00 p.m., the practice session starts. McLaren is the first to drive smartly out of the pits. Surtees is quick to follow, given that his team has a spare engine to use. UDT-Laystall’s drivers swap cars. The numbers are not changed in order to prove something. A couple of minutes into the session, the Ferrari drivers Phil Hill and Baghetti are out on track. As the Italian driver goes out of the pits, Ferrari’s mechanics realize that didn’t fasten the engine cover. But it was too late, since Baghetti, who’s unaware of what is going on, is already out on track. This soon changes. As he goes up the Eau Rouge, the engine cover blows up. 


This causes the driver to crash into the iron safety barrier. The car is damaged but Baghetti is luckily unscathed. Afterwards he says that, regarding the incident, the first thought that came to his mind was that a wheel had come off. As a last-minute entry, Campbell-Jones arrives with an Emeryson and joins the second practice session. Compared to yesterday, B.R.M. is in a much better state. Graham Hill begins lapping round the track. Quite early into the session, the British manages to set a lap time of 3'58"0. As expected, he’s in great shape. Shortly after, the B.R.M. driver further improves his best time by setting a time of 3'57"0. According to him, this lap time is good enough. His car is using a different axle ratio compared to yesterday. However, it’s still not quite right. In fact, the B.R.M. is still not going as fast as expected down the Masta straight. Taylor is out in the Lotus-Climax V8 and is lapping almost as quick as yesterday. Although it’s still unknown whether Lotus’ cars could take pole position, since Clark hasn’t set a lap time yet. Gregory is going very fast at the wheel of the UDT Climax V8. He is getting close to 4 minutes with his last timed effort. This is being credited to the B.R.M. V8-engined car. McLaren is getting along nicely with the Cooper as is Maggs, who has previously set a lap time of 4’05"6. After the chaos of Monte Carlo, practice seems to go very calmly. Halfway through the session, there is a considerable calmness since there are no cars on track. Brabham’s mechanics take a look at the gearbox of the Lotus. McLaren is left stranded at Stavelot after running out of fuel while Ferrari are sitting and waiting. At last, the Lotus-B.R.M. V8 entered by Seidel arrives. Gurney is finally able to drive. The car though is far from ready. Ferrari’s drivers then decide to go out on track. Phil Hill goes out of the pits to have a proper go to try and set the fastest lap. He is then able to do so by setting a lap time of 3'59"6, which is quite quick compared to last year. At the same time though, this indicates some strange progress from the factory based in Maranello. After this attempt, the British Ferrari driver goes back to the pits. He is only complaining about having insufficient speed. Despite this, the mechanics look gloomily at the oil all over the rear wishbones. Willy Mairesse then sets the best lap of 3'59"8. In the meantime, McLaren’s Cooper is retrieved and refueled, ready to go out on track again. Despite the setback, the New Zealand driver is in good shape and sets a time of 3'58"8, which is under 4 minutes.  


Ireland, at the wheel of the Climax V8-engined UDT car, is also going well and manages to break the barrier of 4 minutes. Despite this result, the British is not impressed with the handling of the Lotus 24, and neither is Brabham, who is running pretty slowly. After being a racing driver for a long time, de Beaufort has been taking things much more seriously. His driving is improving enormously compared to the past. His best time of 4'07"7 is faster than those set by Bonnier and Gurney last year. The times are set driving almost identical cars. In addition, de Beaufort’s lap is faster than Brabham’s and Trintignant’s, who are driving the Climax V8-engined cars. Gurney is going slowly around the track in Spa, at the wheel of the white V8Lotus-B.R.M. Occasionally, the car goes up to 9.000 RPM in fourth gear. The American driver, after a few laps, decides that the car isn’t really race-worthy. Just before the end of the session, Jimmy Clark is forced to stand by the fence and watch the other cars go around the racetrack. Lotus’ driver only manages to set a time of 4'09"2 before the engine blows up. By switching numbers, the mechanics are able to give Taylor’s car to Clark. This gives Clark the opportunity to do a few laps and try improving his current position. The British driver then sets a lap time of 4'04"9, without having to risk his team-mate’s engine. On the way back to the garage, after the end of the second practice session, the car gets stuck in between two gears at the same time. Practice isn’t too exciting. There are six cars that went below 4 minutes. In addition, four drivers go below last year’s fastest race-lap. Things look fairly good for an entertaining race. There are three different constructors on the front row of the grid. Ireland and Mairesse have set the same time. Hence, they roll the dice to decide who starts from the second row. Campbell-Jones’s Emeryson has a damaged gearbox. Therefore, the British borrows an old Lotus from a German friend. On Saturday night, Clark’s Lotus is fitted with a new engine. Taylor’s car has one good gearbox assembled on his car. Baghetti’s Ferrari is fixed. Gurney decides to not start the race at the wheel of the Lotus-B.R.M. V8, which was prepared in a hurry. Hill’s B.R.M. has the low-level exhaust pipes on again. Cooper seems quite confident going into this race. The Belgian Grand Prix is always impressive enough to stand on its own without having the need for a show leading up to it. 


At 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, under warm skies, the cars are fueled and warmed up for the start of the race. Lotus are still having troubles fixing the fuel-filler cap on Taylor’s car. The mechanics are trying to break the filler neck and fit a spare tank in a rush. Ferrari’s mechanics are still aware of the mistake they made with Baghetti during practice. Therefore, they decide to fit small security straps to the top of the engine cover. Lola’s mechanics are squeezing the last half-gallon of gasoline into the rubber fuel tanks of Surtees’ car, since it’s going to be a long race. In addition, the V8 Climax engine has a high-fuel consumption. After the drivers do a whole parade lap in different open cars, while racing cars are being prepared on the grid. The drivers gather. They are told to behave well and not jump the flag. It’s a beautiful start. The engines are running with one minute to go, the track is completely clear with 30 seconds to go and everyone starts beautifully. All 19 cars are streaming down through the Eau Rouge bridge in a roar of noise and smoke. Up the steep climb, the order is: Graham Hill, McLaren and Taylor, with Mairesse close behind. At Malmedy, McLaren is leading the race. While at Stavelot, Graham Hill is back in the lead. However, the top-5 drivers are very tightly bunched, during the 1st of 32 laps, before heavily braking for the hairpin at La Source. Down past the pits, the order is: Graham Hill, Taylor, McLaren, Clark and Mairesse. They are closely following each other and anyone of them could easily take the lead of the race. Clark, after a very good start, is in 4th position. He’s worth watching. Ireland, Phil Hill and Rodríguez are in a close fight behind Mairesse. Then, there are Maggs, Gregory, Surtees, Ginther, Brabham and De Beaufort. The latter is leading the rest of the drivers, apart from Campbell-Jones who stops in his pit box. From the confused and excited reports on the telephone system around the circuit. At the end of the 2nd lap, the top-5 drivers are still really close when braking for the hairpin. The order is: Taylor, McLaren, Mairesse, Hill and Clark. The B.R.M. seemingly begins to slow down. The car enters the pit area before going out on track again. In the meantime, the top-5 are breaking away from the rest of the group. Further back, Ireland is leading the two Ferrari while Maggs is ahead of Surtees and Gregory. Ginther and Brabham are dropping back. Baghetti is missing, only to reappear long after everyone had gone by. The latter stops in the pits while the mechanics work on the engine. After his car got fixed, he goes out on track again. 


Meanwhile the battle for the lead of the race continues. After the 3rd lap, Taylor still leads the race. There are numerous battles going on between the first five drivers. Ireland is overtaken by the two Ferrari but is still hanging onto them. Surtees is leading the rest of the group even though he is already quite far away from the leaders. At the end of lap 4, the great crowd is cheering on. Mairesse has taken the lead of the race, after overtaking Taylor going down the hill to the Eau Rouge. The order now is: Mairesse, Taylor, McLaren, Hill and Clark. Almost nothing separates Ferrari, Lotus, Cooper, B.R.M. and Lotus. They are all bunched together and running at over 130 kph. On lap 5, Taylor is back in the lead. On lap 6 and 7, Mairesse is ahead of everyone. In the meantime, Graham Hill is fighting with McLaren for third place. The only consistent thing about this leading group is that Clark is always in 5th place. He is obviously sitting back and watching the others. At the same time, he’s getting to know this high-speed circuit as he had very little practice before the race. On lap 8, Clark’s plan is revealed. He moves up from 5th to 2nd within a few seconds, even though the others are still pushing. Hill is having a hard time since the injection system isn’t working properly when opening up or using the throttle to change gear. Therefore, Mairesse gets close to him on the inside at the hairpin. Then McLaren dives on the inside to overtake the Ferrari driver as they cross the Eau Rouge bridge. Despite this, Hill is still part of the group. On lap 9, Clark takes the lead even though Taylor, Mairesse, Hill and McLaren are close behind him. On lap 10, the Cooper and B.R.M. swap positions. Mairesse has Hill’s Ferrari and Taylor’s Lotus alongside him while he’s trying to chase Clark past the pits. This terrific battle almost overshadows the rest of the field. Baghetti withdraws from the race, on lap 4, due to an ignition issue. Ireland stops in the garage. The Lotus-Climax V8 is behaving in a strange way. Afterwards, he tries to do an extra lap but is forced to stop again. Later they find out that a rear wishbone is detaching from the chassis. Back to the front of the group, Mairesse sets the fastest lap of the race in 3'57"4. The top-5 though are still close together and lapping at the same pace. As Mairesse takes the lead of the race, Clark sets a time of 3'57"0. 


Team Lotus is now in a good position. Their top driver is leading the race while the other one is in 2nd place. Clark and Taylor are being very friendly and are preparing to work together. Therefore, it’s up to Trevor Taylor to drive cleverly, hold back Mairesse, McLaren and Hill while Clark runs away from the others. Yet, one thing is to say this, and another is to actually do it. In fact, Mairesse is actually fighting Taylor. The latter though manages to retake the lead on the climb back from Stavelot and stay in front of Mairesse and Hill’s Ferraris. On lap 12, Clark is on a stride and sets a time of 3'56"9 and then a lap of 3'56"7. In the meantime, Hill’s B.R.M. leaking is getting worse and, as a result, the race is over. On lap 13, there is a gap of 10 seconds between Clark, in first position, and Hill, in 5th place. Yet it starts to reduce when the leader starts to lap the drivers at the back of the group at over 130 kph. Despite this, no one else is close enough to take the lead away from Clark. The two Ferrari drivers, Phil Hill and Rodríguez, are running very close. They are constantly overtaking each other even though it seems to be unnecessary. Within the same lap, Surtees retires. The fuel tanks are not venting properly. As the race goes on, UDT-Laystall have a good look at Ireland’s car. The mechanics then decide to call Gregory into the pits before his car’s chassis breaks. Brabham, who isn’t happy with his Lotus, is getting chased by de Beaufort. Walker are in the unusual position of not being in the picture. Trintignant, who’s driving the V8, is 13th. His engine isn’t running at its best. Bianchi is in the back, at the wheel of the well-used 4-cylinder Lotus. On lap 15, Clark goes laps in 3'55"6 (at an average speed of 215.449 kph). The race average has gone from just over 210kph to over 212kph, almost equal to last year’s best lap. On the 16th lap, halfway through the Grand Prix, the race order is: Clark, Taylor, Mairesse, Graham Hill, McLaren and the two Ferrari drivers, Rodríguez and Phil Hill. A long way behind is Maggs. Ginther is further behind while the remaining drivers have been lapped. Surtees is among them since there was a delay during his pit stop. Brabham speeds up a little after seeing de Beaufort’s Porsche in his mirrors. Further behind, Trintignant, Siffert and Bianchi are slower while Campbell-Jones is doing some fast laps here and there. For a moment, it looks like everyone is settling down. Taylor seems to have won the battle against Mairesse but that soon changes. 


On lap 18, the fiery Belgian attacks again and the battle resumes. Clark is 10 seconds ahead of the battling duo. So far, he’s completely mastering the situation, setting his own pace. The 2nd place is very much in doubt. Mairesse has no intention of surrendering to Taylor and accepting 3rd place. Graham Hill and McLaren are running 4th and 5th, respectively. The Ferrari drivers are following each other closely. On lap 20, the Cooper loses oil pressure. McLaren switches off his Cooper and brings it to the side of the track before the rods begin to fly off. Apart from the two Ferrari closely running in 5th and 6th position respectively, the rest of the group is scattered. Thus, all interest lays in the battle for 2nd place. It seems as if there was more at stake than just the 2nd place. Taylor is preventing Mairesse from closing the gap to Clark. At this point of the race, the latter is 2 seconds faster for each lap than the duo. On lap 21, Mairesse is in 2nd place, with Taylor hanging on. By the end of the next lap, Clark only gains 1 second over the duo behind. Taylor then gets past Mairesse’s Ferrari for 2nd place. This is a pretty cutthroat battle due to inexperience and exuberance. The average speed is still over 130kph. On lap 24 and 25, Taylor leads the race. Mairesse though is right behind the Lotus driver. Almost nothing separates them. One driver grew up in the tough school of Formula Junior while the other comes from Rally. Yet, both seem to be struggling a little while fighting hard for that 2nd place. On lap 26, chaos begins. Taylor is in the lead as they leave the very fast left-hand turn at Blanchimont, just before the Club House and La Source. However, at over 100 kph, the two touch. The Lotus tears down a telegraph pole and crashes into a ditch. Instead, the Ferrari catches fire and lands upside down. Fortunately, both drivers are thrown out of their cars. Taylor shakily escapes the incident. On the other hand, Mairesse receives treatment for slight burns and many cuts and gashes. While this is going on, Maggs retires due to a broken gearbox. Then, Ginther’s car has some troubles at the far end of the circuit after having a gearbox issue. The American driver has no power in the rear wheels and is forced to retire. In the middle of everything, Surtees has to slow down in order to avoid the incident. 


He is then given the OK by Lotus’ pit crew to continue. Taylor is standing next to the wrecked cars. The race is pretty much over at this point. Clark has to bring the Lotus home to win the race. It was an incredibly intelligent and brilliant race by the British. Graham Hill, at the wheel of the B.R.M., finishes second. It’s a stroke of luck after the disappointment in Monaco. The two dueling Ferrari drivers are fighting for 3rd place. This battle is not over yet. It’s going down to the last corner. Phil Hill forces his way on the inside of Rodríguez at the hairpin that leads down the hill. The American gets across the finish line to finish ahead of the Mexican by a few inches. Surtees finishes another Grand Prix with the Lola-Climax V8 in 5th place. This is a result that must encourage the team. Poor Brabham is lapped twice by Clark in the monocoque Lotus 25. De Beaufort finishes in 7th place, not far behind Brabham. This result speaks volumes because it shows that the Dutchman has improved in terms of performance. The two Walker and Siffert finish the race at the end of the field. It is originally believed that the very fast Spa-Francorchamps circuit was hypothetically more favorable to the superior engine power of Ferrari. If this turned out to be true, the Italian team could have been in a position to rebalance the championship. Above all, they count on Ferrari's qualities of resistance to distance while the same couldn’t be said for the new cars from England. Instead, it’s clear that the English have improved in this regard as well. From now on though, we must not delude ourselves about the power difference between Ferrari’s engines and the B.R.M. and Coventry-Climax ones. At least, Lotus, B.R.M. and Cooper can fully exploit the horsepower provided by their engines. On the other hand, it seems to be one of the current difficulties for the cars from Modena. The situation, although not critical for the Italian team, raises more than one concern. There are still many world-championship races on the calendar. However, if things don’t change, the supremacy of the English cars threatens to leave no margin to Ferrari. 


The hope is that the team from Maranello will field the new cars, that are currently being prepared at the factory, as soon as possible. Luckily, nothing is compromised as far as the world ranking is concerned. The tenacious Graham Hill is in 1st place with 16 points, followed by the World Champion Phil Hill, with 14. McLaren and Clark are 3rd and 4th respectively, seven points behind the championship leader. The Scuderia Ferrari driver is leading because of his consistency, in terms of results, in the three races held so far. He either finished 3rd or 2nd so far. Meanwhile, McLaren is losing ground on the other rivals while Jim Clark is progressing. He’s a driver who seems to be following Stirling Moss’s footsteps. The young British driver is brilliant and is showing an unequivocal class. Lotus owes it to him if the B.R.M.- probably the best Formula 1 car of the moment - is still unbeaten. There are two new significant records, for the current Formula 1, set by Clark: an average speed of over 312 kph and 218.449 kph on the lap, with a net gain of respectively six and almost four kilometer per hour on the averages that were set last year. As for the other drivers, Baghetti practically wastes an opportunity due to a mechanical failure. Hindsight, it was better that way. After the accident on the eve of the race, the morale of the young Milanese driver was shaken. Trevor Taylor and Willy Mairesse’s behavior was extraordinary up until the moment of the dramatic collision that put both out of the race. Mairesse is notoriously at ease on very fast tracks. In Spa, he was competing in front of his audience and on a track that he knows perfectly. Taylor, on the other hand, is this year’s revelation. He is the typical British driver. Without the accident, the two would have probably finished 2nd and 3rd. For three weeks, Formula 1 will take a break. At the same time though, drivers and technicians will not rest. Next Saturday, they are called to drive at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s a grueling endurance test for sports cars and gran turismo cars. In this area, Ferrari know no rivals this year. On the circuit in Sarthe, the team should enhance its superiority as well as the conquest of the world title for brands.


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