#108 1962 German Grand Prix

2021-09-02 00:00

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#1962, Fulvio Conti, Translated by Giulia Montemurro,

#108 1962 German Grand Prix

The German Grand Prix, which will take place on the Nürburgring circuit, coincides with a technical event of great interest, which directly concerns t

The German Grand Prix, which will take place on the Nürburgring circuit, coincides with a technical event of great interest, which directly concerns the possibility of Ferrari's recovery against the unstoppable superiority so far shown by the English Formula One single-seaters, winners of all the Grand Prix held in the first half of the season, that is to say at Zandvoort (B.R.M.), Monaco (Cooper), Francorchamps and Aintree (Lotus), with the only parenthesis represented by Porsche at Rouen. But in Germany there should be at least one example of a new Ferrari, which has been considerably modified in its chassis, bodywork (thinner and more penetrating) and engine. The engine is still of the six-cylinder V type, but with four valves per cylinder and no fewer than twelve carburettors (or rather, six double-bodies), capable of reaching the fateful goal of 200 horsepower. With this car, the Modenese company is perhaps playing its last card of the year (something new is in the pipeline for 1963) to try to regain the supremacy that has slipped from its grasp in the face of the English offensive. And the seriousness of Ferrari's intentions was confirmed by the presence at Nürburgring of its complete official team, Phil Hill, Baghetti, Bandini and Ricardo Rodriguez, except for the absence of Mairesse, still convalescing from the injuries he had suffered a month and a half earlier in the dreadful accident at the Belgian Grand Prix. However, the task of beating the British single-seaters seems very difficult, considering the characteristics of the Nurburgring circuit, where agility and handling are determining factors for success. And these qualities are precisely the most striking characteristics of the Lotus, B.R.M, Cooper and Lotus.


Finally, there is the unknown of the Porsches, who are racing in front of their public, and on a track that has greatly contributed to the development of the new 8-cylinder Stuttgart cars. With these premises, the German Grand Prix is of exceptional technical interest, an interest that seems to overtake the same events for the climb to the world drivers' title, which has in Jim Clark - the great revelation of this year - in Graham Hill, Phil Hill, Surtees and McLaren the men with the best chance of final success. This is, however, naturally linked to the efficiency of their respective mechanical means, and this is especially true for the title holder Phil Hill, to whom Ferrari should entrust its new single-seater. The race will take place on Sunday 5th August 1962 on fifteen laps of the circuit (of 22.810 metres), for a total of 342.150 kilometres. The sixth race of the 1962 World Championship is held at the Nurburgring, considered by many drivers to be one of the most prestigious tracks. The track is difficult and full of corners and few people really know it, but to win at the Nurburgring is a big dream for the drivers. Another factor that makes the German race an uncertain one is the unpredictable weather, so much so that it often rains on only part of the track. This year, the attention and expectations for this Grand Prix are greater than in the past years, as three new cars will be lined up on the grid: Ferrari, back on the track after skipping two Grands Prix because of the Italian workers' strikes, will present a lower and lighter single-seater; Brabham will finally be able to run with Jan single-seater bearing his name and, finally, for the first time the Gibly-B.R.M., designed by Len Terry and produced by Gibly Engineering, will compete.

This year the German Grand Prix gathered a large entry including all the factory teams and almost all the private-owners, except for the UDT-Laystall. It seems that the AvD does not want to know about Mr Ken Gregory and his green cars, but would like his drivers: Ireland and Masten Gregory. The Grand Prix scene is certainly still full of interest, because three newly designed Grand Prix cars are present at this meeting: the Ferrari, lighter and lower, the Brabham, designed by Ron Tauranac and Jack Brabham, the new Gilby-BRM, designed by Len Terry and built by Gilby Engineering. The Scuderia Ferrari turned up in full force, having partially recovered from the strikes, journalists and storytellers, or perhaps because Enzo Ferrari liked the Nürburgring and could talk business with the Germans. The leader, Phil Hill, has the car he raced at Aintree, with the 6-speed gearbox in front of the rear axle and the clutch in the back. Baghetti on the other hand has a very normal car with a 120 degree engine, like the one used in previous races this year, while Rodriguez drives an even older model with a 65 degree V6 engine, which is actually a 1961 car. When he learned that he would have to drive this older model, he was not very happy, which may explain his subsequent brilliant performances that completely ruined any technical statistics. The fourth driver was finally Bandini and he was entrusted with a brand new car, in his first appearance. Next up there are the two Lotus cars, Clark in the Lotus 25 and Taylor in the Lotus 24, who raced at Aintree. Gurney and Bonnier were driving flat-eight Porsches, Gurney having the newest one despite also having a spare car. The Cooper team, consisting of McLaren and Maggs, has the two Cooper Climax V8s and CT Atkins' 4-cylinder car as a spare. B.R.M. has and for its drivers, Graham Hill and Ginther, the three cars it had at Aintree, of which the spare was only used for practice.


Lola team also had its three cars entered by Bowmaker, with Surtees who could choose between the brand new car he tested at Aintree and the one he had been using all over the season, while Salvadori drove his usual car. The new Lola was fitted with a 5-speed Colotti gearbox in place of the original 6-speed, there was enough to do to accommodate the new chassis without having the complication of a new gearbox. Jack Brabham finally made a public appearance with the long-awaited Brabham-Climax V8, using a 6-speed Colotti gearbox. Team Rob Walker once again completely rebuilt his Lotus 24 with Climax V8 engine, using a new chassis and suspension after the Rouen accident, while Trintignant tried his luck again. Dutchman de Beaufort finally had his Porsche painted orange, as well as undergoing the usual mechanical overhaul after each race, while Lewis has his 4-cylinder Cooper-Climax that looked a little worn. The Swiss team Ecurie Filipinetti entered three racers: Siffert with his 4-cylinder Lotus-Climax, Heinz Schiller with the new Lotus-BRM V8 and climbing expert Heini Walter with Schiller's 4-cylinder Porsche. The SSS Venezia team participated with one car, Vaccarella with his 4-cylinder Porsche, and Keith Greene with his new Gilby-B.R.M. V8 with Colotti 6-speed gearbox. The rest of the field included Burgess with the Anglo-American team's Cooper-Climax 4-cylinder, Bianchi with the Maserati-powered ENB, Chamberlain with his old Lotus 18, Shelly with Dalton's Lotus 18, Collomb with the ex-Surtees Cooper-Climax 4-cylinder and Seidel with the Lotus-B.R.M. V8. There is one non-starter for the trials, AE Marsh, whose B.R.M. V8 is still unable to run, but that is a long story.

Due to the challenges of the Nürburgring and the notorious bad weather in the Eifel mountains, the practice allowed for Grand Prix cars proved to be insufficient. Too much time was taken up by supporting events such as practice runs for GT races, saloon races, Go-Kart races and demonstrations. On Fridays, therefore, there is an hour and a half of practice in the morning and an hour and a quarter in the afternoon; the two sessions, however, are too close together to allow for modifications or repairs. On Saturday there was only one practice session of an hour and a quarter. If the race car is in good condition, this is probably enough time, but at the slightest problem things go completely haywire, especially if the car breaks down somewhere far away on the circuit, because many hours can pass before it is recovered. One would think that a race of the importance of the German Grand Prix would justify as much time as possible for testing, especially since the Nürburgring is 22.8 kilometres per lap and the drivers and cars have to adapt to the circuit a lot. Friday morning practice started at 11:00 a.m. The new Brabham-Climax is still being refined in the pit and the Ferrari team cars have just arrived, so none of them are basically ready for this first outing. To set a lap time, when you set off for the opening lap, you go from the pits to the Sudkehre, or South Curve, go up behind the pits, make a hairpin turn through a doorway, pass the timekeepers with your hand up and start off again passing through the pits, make the South Curve, go up behind the pits and go towards the Hatzenbach woods and the fields of Flugplatz, to make a complete lap.


If the car is not warmed up or needs adjusting, you can drive around the 'starting circuit' for as long as you like, each time going through the gate and up the straight behind the pits until you are ready to start. Taylor started in the Team Lotus car and completed a short lap of the South Bend, when a valve head broke and destroyed the brand new engine, so his car returned to the paddock and spent the rest of the day with a spare engine, the one from Clark's win at Aintree. Last year, in practice, Phil Hill managed to tune himself and his Ferrari for a full lap and recorded 8’55"2, but that was an outstanding result and no one else went under 9 minutes. In the race, when Moss ran away from the entire Ferrari team, he came close to 9 minutes in the 4-cylinder Lotus, and in following him Phil Hill fell well short, with a final record time of 8’57"8, so given the form the British V8 cars had shown this season, laps under 9 minutes would be the order of the day. During Friday morning Graham Hill was closest to this time, clocking 9’01"8, but everyone was experimenting with suspension, modifying springs or raising mounts to get more ground clearance, as many of the cars were scraping their underbody at the bottom of some of the tight corners. There was a lot of activity in and out of the pits, trying this and that, and at one point Graham Hill was black-flagged because an observer in the woods thought he saw oil coming out of the B.R.M., but it was quite dry when Hill stopped. In the afternoon things starts The entire Ferrari team goes out on track but in a very disorganised manner. Meanwhile Brabham manages to get the turquoise car running, but he has only done half a lap when the oil pressure disappears due to broken bearings.

Apparently he is not the only one to have problems, because Lewis also broke a half-shaft on his first lap and was stuck in an isolated area of the circuit. Shelly does not take to the track because his car has ruined the magneto and, without Lucas' help, the Bosch racing service is fitting him with a coil ignition system. Seidel has not been practising, having broken the gearbox of his Lotus-B.R.M. in the morning, but Ecurie Filipinetti brings out all three of his cars, with Heini Walter trying a Grand Prix race for the first time. The two factory Porsches seemed to be going strong, which should come as no surprise given the long testing period at the Nürburgring.  Surtees meanwhile runs with the Lola. It seems almost impossible for Clark to do a complete lap, and when he stands still for half a lap, it is thought that something strange is happening to the steering so he retires, albeit briefly, as all is well and he can resume racing after a few relaxing kilometers. Despite this, his lap time was 8’51"2, but this was not enough, Gurney really felt in tune with his car and lapped in 8’47"2. Meanwhile Graham Hill has tuned his B.R.M. well and laps in 8’50"2. Surtees also dropped to 8’57"5. These are the times that were expected thanks in part to the progress in engines and chassis compared to last year. McLaren is even almost under Bogey's time in the Cooper V8, having clocked 9’00"7, so it is only a matter of time before he joins the select group of outriders. At the climax of the activity, a completely unnecessary incident occurred that had been in the picture for some time. Porsche in fact allowed a German television company to fix a large camera on the back of de Beaufort's car to carry out 'speed filming' on the circuit.


They had already done this last year with Moss's Lotus and the results had been so bad that permission to do this during practice was not justified. Graham Hill is on the track with the last BRM and, unbeknownst to him, he is not far behind de Beaufort, while behind the B.R.M. there are also McLarens and Maggs with Coopers, but all out of sight. On the steep descent towards Fuchsrohre, the camera mount breaks and the big camera falls off the back of de Beaufort's Porsche, who does not immediately notice. Shortly afterwards Graham Hill comes down the hill at 140 mph and finds this large object lying on the road. Unfortunately, there is no hope of avoiding it and, as the B.R.M. passes over it, the oil radiator and pipes break, spilling oil onto the road and the car's rear tyres. Inevitably Hill finds himself spinning into bushes and trees. By a miracle the car remains intact, although the right rear wheel and suspension are blown off bringing the car to a halt, with Graham shaken and bruised. While all this was going on, McLaren was at the top of the hill, but seeing the dust and general disorder in the forest he slowed down, crossed the oil slick and stopped seeing the B.R.M. in the bushes. At this point Graham Hill comes down signalling that he is OK, allowing McLaren to start, without realising what had caused the accident. Before the marshals or flagmen appeared, Maggs approached the top of the hill; at this point all the dust and foliage had settled and everything seemed normal, so he dived down the hill, unaware of what had happened. At full speed he then hit the oil and a moment later found himself spinning wildly, bouncing off hedges and trees but fortunately ending up against the security fence and some thick bushes. Like Hill, he is shaken but unhurt, while the Cooper is bent in all directions, although nothing is broken.

To get some shoddy footage, the lives of two drivers were endangered and two cars demolished, but the almighty TV racket seemed to be able to get away with it. When everyone returned to the pits and the various stories were pieced together, there was a real shambles and practice ended rather abruptly. The next day, Saturday, practice started 15 minutes late and the rain began to fall, completely disrupting an interesting plan concocted by Colin Chapman and Jim Clark. Usually practice starts with all the drivers lined up in the pits and ready to go; then it's off in a group to the South Bend, back through the gate and off for a timed lap, so that the first few laps are quite crowded until the field widens out, at which point the corners can be marked with rubber or oil. While everyone did the 'starting circuit' lap, Jim Clark did the full one, which meant that his first lap would not be timed by the official timekeepers, but by Chapman timing it from behind the pits. In this way, the entire circuit was completely cleared and Clark could do a proper lap, knowing that he wouldn't have to overtake anyone and that he wouldn't find oil tracks anywhere. Unfortunately, however, the organisation blocked the start of practice and when Clark started the rain had already begun to fall.  Nevertheless, he carried out his plan and lapped in 9 minutes 13 seconds according to Lotus times on the wet track. They were more than satisfied with this result, because it meant that the combination of Clark and the Lotus 25 could cope adequately with the wet track, but it was a pity that practice did not start at 11:30 a.m., as planned, because then Clark could have lapped in the dry and cool. Everyone else lapped the circuit, but with the light drizzle there is no hope of going fast, and as a session to define the starting grid on Saturday morning was a complete waste of time.


Each driver has to complete five laps to qualify and both Taylor and Brabham have their work cut out for them all during this final session. Taylor's car has been fitted with a spare engine, while Brabham's has one built overnight from the remains of the engines he and Taylor destroyed. Taylor completes his laps not in the best of ways as the engine is running badly, not having been checked since he won at Aintree. Instead Brabham finishes his five laps very cautiously as the engine has been sealed with Mr Holt's Wondarweld. He does five slow laps and then starts for the sixth a little faster, only to run out of petrol halfway through the lap. Phil Hill, in despair, makes a slightly faster time in the wet than the previous day in the dry, but all the Ferraris seem to be hopelessly out of shape as Rodriguez sets the fastest lap the previous afternoon in 9’14"2, a very fast time considering the car and the general set-up, but not as fast as de Beaufort, who had done a splendid 9’12"9. Maggs uses the spare Cooper with a four-cylinder engine, so his time in the wet is what counted for the starting grid. B.R.M., on the other hand, goes back to the usual two cars, as it seems impossible to maintain three cars for very long. On the other hand, there is some movement among the private owners: Walter tries the Lotus-B.R.M., Lewis completes his five laps safely, while Seidel tries to hold his gearbox together with glue without success. Keith Greene is quite satisfied with his Gilby-B.R.M. for the first time in a race, although there are still things to be fixed. The sun comes out at the end of practice drying the track, so after lunch Hermann Lang does a lap of the circuit in a 1939 Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix with a 3-litre engine with two-stage supercharging, running on a mixture of nitro and benzene. At the end of the lap it passes the grandstands and the pits at a speed that amazes everyone.


Of course such a car has nothing in the way of brakes, tyres or road-holding compared to modern Grand Prix cars, but it certainly has an engine and that V12 in a Colin Chapman-designed chassis would have made a great racing car. Although testing was over, the work was not finished as the mechanics and team leaders prepared for the race, while the drivers attended a meeting of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association to discuss their problems and the cameras. At Brabham the 'hack' engine was removed to fit a new one that was due to arrive on Saturday evening, while the Ferrari team looked at their new lightweight car and realised that not everything was perfect, there was still much work to be done. The rain falls intensely again during the course of the night and does not seem to stop even as the sun rises. Sunday's activities started at noon with a 6-lap GT race, when a large crowd arrived, despite the weather, because with Gurney and the Porsche in pole position on the grid there was every chance of a German victory. The race was supposed to start at 2 p.m., over a distance of 342 kilometres, or 15 laps, but as the cars came out of the pits, heavy rain fell on the circuit preventing the cars from starting. The start had to be officially postponed and it was close to 3 p.m. before there was any hope of a start. Most of the cars drove around the 'starting circuit' to familiarise themselves with the situation, and then they were allowed to do a complete lap of the circuit to see the conditions, as many depressions were flooded and banks of earth ended up on the road. Although the track crew tried to clean up, the track is still terribly slippery, so the reconnaissance lap was a wise precaution. Back in the pits, the tanks were filled again, although some marshals tried to prevent this for some strange reason, and eventually a wet starting grid was formed.


Chamberlain, Shelly and Seidel are excluded because they have not done enough practice, and for a while Trevor Taylor is also excluded, as the timekeepers have recorded him for only four laps, but Chapman convinces them that he has done five, so he is allowed to start, but from the back of the grid. The Brabham team meanwhile completed the installation of the new Climax V8 engine and Surtees chose to drive the old Lola-Climax V8, while the Ferrari team kept the same cars used in practice. The following day, the session started fifteen minutes late due to heavy rain falling on the circuit. In such situations, the rules require the cars to line up outside the pits, ready for the start, and then drive the first lap as a group to dry out the main track and leave a little grip on the asphalt. As the drivers race around the starting circuit, Jim Clark heads out onto the actual track to set a qualifying time. However, the timekeepers don't keep track of the lap time, as the rest of the drivers haven't yet taken to the track; Chapman does, however, timing the entire lap from the pit lane. The Lotus team's idea was to record a time unattainable by their rivals, as there was no traffic to slow Clark down or debris that could damage the car, but during the lap the organisation postponed the start of practice by fifteen minutes and heavy rain began to fall. Despite this, Clark followed the plan devised with Chapman and finished the tricky lap in 9'13"0. The session started at 11:45 a.m., but it turned out to be a waste of time, as the rain prevented them from setting good times and few tried to improve their performance; therefore it was Gurney who started from the first position, followed by Graham Hill, Clark and Surtees. At the end of the practice, the rain stopped falling and the track dried quickly, just in time for Hermann Lang to drive a lap of the track in a Mercedes-Benz dated 1939, leaving all those present amazed.

Porsche's excellent performance brings 360.000 German spectators to the Nurburgring, hoping to see the Stuttgart team succeed on their home track. The departure of the Grand Prix is scheduled for 2:00 p.m., but just as the cars are arranged on the starting grid, a heavy downpour starts and the race is postponed for an hour. At 3:15 p.m. the situation seems to have improved and the race can start. The drivers tried to keep themselves and their equipment dry for as long as possible and Clark was so busy trying to keep his glasses from fogging up that he forgot to turn on the carburettor and start the engine, and just as the start flag was being waved, he stood in his box, waiting for the carburettors to start working. In the meantime, Gurney ably defended first position over Graham Hill, with Surtees in third and Phil Hill in fourth. Clark wasn't the only one to experience a difficult moment, as Taylor, in fact, found himself in an unfortunate situation too, with his engine not running properly and often not on all eight cylinders, until halfway through the lap, when suddenly the engine returned to full power and caught the driver by surprise, so much so that he lost control of the single-seater, which slammed into a tree. The general conditions of the track, after only one lap, are very bad, with the track only wet at times and heavy banks of fog disturbing some corners and making the race very dangerous. Due to the adverse weather situation the drivers are forced to pay maximum attention while driving around the circuit, and this makes the times much higher.


At 3.15 p.m. the start of the German Grand Prix was given. The rain continued to fall and the drivers tried to keep themselves and their equipment dry for as long as possible. Clark is so busy trying to keep his goggles from fogging up that he even forgets to turn on the fuel pumps after starting the engine, and just as the flag drops his engine shuts down with the carburettors running dry, leaving him furiously waiting for the floatation chambers to fill up again, while everyone else quickly pulls away. Starting last, Gurney precedes Graham Hill and Surtees on the back straight, although Phil Hill is well placed, having made a splendid start from the fourth row, passing many on the outside as they pulled away. The entire field of 26 starters crossed the circuit, with Gurney and the Porsche always in the lead, which must have gladdened the hearts of the 360.000 spectators who had come to watch the spectacle. Meanwhile, Taylor continued to have problems, his engine not running well at all and often unable to make use of all eight cylinders, and it was only a little more than halfway through the first lap, on a bend, with the engine sputtering, when he suddenly switched off, ending up off the road and in the bushes, bending the front end over a tree. He was not, however, the only one to find himself in trouble, because a little further on Trintignant suffered the breakage of the gear selector, mounted that morning on a brand new fork due to the wear of the old ones. It was an exact repetition of Ireland's problem at the start at Aintree. An idea of the conditions on this first lap can be given by the leader's time of 10’42"9.


Gurney is closely followed by Graham Hill (B.R.M.), Phil Hill (Ferrari), Surtees (Lola), Bonnier (Porsche), McLaren (Cooper) and Rodriguez (Ferrari). Setting the pace is Ginther (B.R.M.) with Brabham (Brabham) ahead of the rest of the racers, all except Taylor and Trintignant, while Collomb pits at the end of the grid. Throughout the second lap Graham Hill chased Gurney, but could not get past, the road being so slippery and unpredictable that it was a problem to attempt any pushing tactics. After mistiming the start, Clark passed 17 cars on the first lap which he finished behind Brabham, passing him and closing in on Ginther on the second lap. Gurney and Graham Hill stood side by side as they came relatively slowly to the finish line from the uphill curves of the Tiergarten.  Hill's time for the lap is 10'21"8, a Porsche Carrera time in the dry, which gives an idea of how difficult the conditions are. The two cars came down the South Bend very close together and, when they arrived behind the pits, the B.R.M. was in the lead, to the delight of the British but not the Germans, who were very quiet at the moment. Behind them the situation has changed considerably, because Surtees now has the Lola behind him, while there is a small gap before McLaren arrives with Bonnier, Phil Hill and Rodriguez at his side. Trintignant came limping into the pits and the Walker mechanics removed the broken selector that jammed the gearbox in 3rd gear; the unhappy Frenchman thus limped off again to try to complete the minimum number of laps to qualify for the starting prizes.


After overtaking Gurney, it looked like Graham Hill might get away, but Gurney thought otherwise along with Surtees who was right behind them. Graham Hill is tormented by his fire extinguisher, which has fallen off the clip and is rolling around on the cockpit floor, hitting his heel every time he brakes, but there is no time to duck and put it back. By lap three the three leaders had pulled away from the others and the fourth placed McLaren left the others so that Bonnier was engaged in a duel with Phil Hill and Rodriguez, while Clark was closing in on them, having quickly eliminated Ginther. After the bad start, the Lotus 25 was in eighth place and had a fantastic pace, considering the very wet track. While it rains constantly on the plateau of the start area, in other parts of the circuit it stops raining or rains even harder. It is these erratic conditions that make the track so difficult, especially in the wooded parts. At the end of lap four, the time when everyone still in the race qualifies for their starting money, the pits became surprisingly crowded after the leaders had passed, with Graham Hill, Gurney and Suttees still in a tight group. McLaren was now alone, but Clark was between the two Ferraris of Rodriguez and Phil Hill, and in passing between them he pulled away from Bonnier, who had fallen behind. Bandini, with the new Ferrari, does not go well at all and finds himself in the middle of the group, pursued by Maggs and Baghetti; on the fourth lap he goes off the road at the Karussel bending the nose and damaging the radiator, so much so that, while restarting, he manages to reach the pits, where he retires. Salvadori also pits, from 21st position, to retire with a gearbox problem, just as Schiller retires in the Swiss-owned Lotus-B.R.M. due to a drop in oil pressure; after a while Trintignant also completes his fourth lap and gives up.


Graham Hill completed his third lap in 10'12"2, marking the fastest lap of the race, although the leaders were still struggling, lapping 1 minute and 20 seconds slower than they would have done in the dry. On lap five, Gurney had a loose battery in his bracket and, as he lowered himself to put it back, he went wide in a corner, allowing Surtees to move into second place and, seeing Gurney slowing down, thought the Porsche had exploded. Clark is now well clear of the Ferraris and at the end of the lap Phil Hill stops to change his visor, dropping back behind Bonnier. Towards the end of the now reduced field, Burgess is battling with de Beaufort, but Brabham is leading the privates with Maggs first among those with 4-cylinders, driving very well to stay ahead of Baghetti, and at the same time closing in on Brabham. By the end of lap six everyone seems to have settled down, as Graham Hill is 3 seconds ahead of Surtees, who is 7 seconds ahead of Gurney, and 17 seconds pass before McLaren passes, with another 7 seconds between him and Clark, as the Lotus 25 continues to push furiously and gain on everyone, Graham Hill included. This apparent slowdown is only temporary, because over the course of the next lap the top three get back on track and find themselves neck and neck again, not that Graham Hill wanted that, but Surtees and Gurney don't give up and settle for second and third place. It's still raining while Graham Hill is having some difficulties concentrating  since the other two drivers behind him are trying to push him into a mistake. Clark is now close to take McLaren while further back Maggs has disposed of Brabham and is about to pass Phil Hill. With this wet track the drivers of the 4-cylinder cars, due to the lack of power, have a lot less issues than those with the 8-cylinder engines.


The Gilby-B.R.M. V8 is going quite well too until, at almost half distance, a bracket on the chassis locating the gear-change rod between lever and box  tears away. Greene pits and his mechanics temporary repair his car but he has not gone far before the right front lower wishbone mounting brakes and he comes to rest with the wheel leaning drunkenly. Anyway the car is still drivable so he wisely stays out until the race is over. On lap 8 Clark overtakes McLaren, the Cooper driver thinks that if the Scotsman wants to drive that fast in the wet he has to let him go and just wish him good luck. Clark is still gaining about five seconds per lap on the leaders and, with seven turns still to go, he is surely going to reach them. Meanwhile Maggs passes Phil Hill so, at this time, the Ferrari has used up its rear shock-absorbers so it is handling appallingly, after being perfect fo the first few laps. After nine laps the B.R.M. and the Lola are still close while the Porsche has the third place in sight; Clark is now only 14 seconds behind them and he is dangerously driving in the wet but manages to be the master fo the situation, he almost loses the car on lap eleven but nothing happens and he is lucky to continue the race. Until now it seems he drove in an inspired trance but, after almost crashing, he has decided to settle in a well deserved fourth place. After challenging so hard his luck, the driver is aware that it is time to settle down and let the top three go even though he is near to Jim Clark. Meanwhile Baghetti pits without Burgess on his tail, he has lost a lot, de Beaufort is close since the Cooper spins. After 10 laps Lewis gives up with ineffective front shock-absorbers.

A few moments later de Beaufort is alongside Baghetti and his Ferrari but the Dutchman makes a mistake and goes by the red car braking for the South Turn sinning wildly. De Beaufrot is now a long way back so Burgess can go by and continue to chase Baghetti. The first three places seem to be fixed, there is no chance to pass and the slippery road  makes impossible to do anything risky without pushing each other out of track. But Surtees is still hoping though that Graham Hill makes a mistake, behind Gurney hopes the same for the both drivers ahead. Clark is still in fourth but he is slowly dropping back. As the leaders start their last lap, they are close, Surtees has the chance to put the Lol's front wheel alongside the B.R.M.’s rear tyres but there is no chance to pass, once they are approaching the corner, the other time they have to change direction or there's a care they are lapping and so on. Graham Hill crosses the finish line after more than two and a half hours in wet conditions, Surtees and Gurney are right behind him. Clark is in fourth place followed by McLaren who has kept himself ahead of a pressing Rodriguez with his old car. Burgess has been able to pass Baghetti on the last lap but the Italian car is too fast and is able to pass him back on the final straight. The race comes to an end while the rain is still falling down. Soon it is run  a five lap race for saloon cars by the end of which it is almost dark. The Nurburgring is not Brabham's luckiest circuit, last year he made a poor debut with the first Climax V8 engine, this year he had a similar race. The 1962 German Grand Prix has been a peculiar race with six different drivers in the first six positions and three different 8-cylinder engines in the first three.


By winning the German Grand Prix at the wheel of a B.R.M., Graham Hill consolidated his position as leader of the classification valid for the world drivers' championship, while Surtees and Dan Gurney, at the wheel of a Lola and a Porsche respectively, crossing the finishing line almost at the same time as the winner, proved that the Nurburgring was a circuit suitable for small and manageable cars. The 25 competitors had to wait seventy minutes for the race director to give the go-ahead: a heavy downpour seemed to make the rough and difficult circuit impracticable, while vast banks of thick fog hung over the hills and depressions along which the track runs. This was Graham Hill's second success this year. After the sixth race the Scottish driver Jim Clark still holds the second place with a gap, as said, of seven points, despite having scored three victories. In spite of the slippery asphalt, due to the bad weather conditions, Graham Hill's B.R.M. turned out to be the most manageable and the fastest on a track tormented by bends and demanding gradients. Basically, the German Grand Prix was the triumph of the English cars occupying the positions of honour, with the exception of the third place gained by Gurney at the wheel of the German Porsche. Ferrari went back to a period of crisis in which the world title was nothing but a pale mirage, with Phil Hill who hadn't been collecting points for three races by now and the English teams with a clear advantage: for Maranello team the best driver was Rodriguez, while Bandini went off the road and Phil Hill was obliged to retire because of mechanical troubles.


A beautiful race was the one run by John Surtees who arrived second with the prestigious Lola. At the end of the race the rain didn't stop beating on the circuit until late in the evening, while the mechanics left the Nurburgring with the cars, to go to the hotels and then, the next day, start again in preparation for the Italian Grand Prix. In the evening, in the presence of the British group, including Colin Chapman, Graham Hill and Bruce McLaren, engineer Mauro Forghieri boards an unpressurised DC3, piloted by a hero of the Battle of Britain, John Cobbs, heading for Great Britain. The aim of the trip is to land at Gatwick airport, after 2 am on Monday 6 August 1962, to meet up with Colonel Ronnie Hoare. Back in London, the two only have time to take a shower and have breakfast before driving to Brands Hatch, where Forghieri is supposed to see Mike Parkes - an engineer from Rootes Group - in action on behalf of Enzo Ferrari, in order to hire the test driver. Forghieri and Hoare set off, but often stopped to allow the Colonel - a relative of Queen Elizabeth, and Ferrari's trusted person in the British market - to have a gin tonic. The two arrive at the circuit later in the afternoon. Mike is there in a Ferrari GTO and a Sport 246 SP. From that first meeting a long-lasting friendship is born between engineer Mauro Forghieri and Mike Parkes, who will become a Ferrari test driver and driver, after the engineer from Modena positively reports to Enzo Ferrari.


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