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#103 1962 Netherlands Grand Prix

2021-09-08 01:00

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#1962, Fulvio Conti, Translated by Carola Buzio,

#103 1962 Netherlands Grand Prix

On Saturday 24th February, as usual, pushed by Eugenio Dragoni’s advice, the new sporting director (a middle-aged Milanese man who’s an industrialist

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On Saturday 24th February, as usual, pushed by Eugenio Dragoni’s advice, the new sporting director (a middle-aged Milanese man who’s an industrialist in the cosmetics area, previously secretary for Scuderia Sant Ambroeus) calls to replace Romolo Tavoni, who was fired a few months before, Ferrari gathers journalists and friends in Modena for the usual event before the start of the competitive activity. And this time, the invitation is accepted by even more people than the previous years: many come from England, France and Belgium. Ferrari recently had a serious fall due to a few important men leaving the factory, and clearly everyone is curious to discover the new situation of the factory from Modena, apart from the manufacturing innovations. None of the participants have the feeling that the internal crisis - if there ever was one – hasn’t been solved (not by chance, Ferrari admits to the press that the company structure, at that time, is simpler than it was in the recent past: he’s still the manager, helped only by two other people, Ermanno Dalla Casa, who has an administrative role, and Federico Giberti, who’s a production manager.) This is unequivocally proven by the many cars prepared for the upcoming season: the Formula 1 cars, a few rear-engine Sport models and the Berlinetta Gran Turismo 3000 prototype.

 

Let’s talk about Formula 1 cars: compared to 1961 their structure isn’t changed (rear engine), but the chassis’ wheelbase has been elongated by a few centimeters, the rear suspension was modified and the car has a different weight distribution. The two types of 1.5 liters engines are still the well-known V-shaped six cylinders (respectively with an opening angle of 65 and 120 degrees), which can be used depending on the type of circuit where the cars will race. In this regard, the 26-year-old Ferrari engineer Mauro Forghieri, new technical director of a team that can boast the experience of Rocchi, Salvarani, Farina, Bellei and Maioli, has more than a few doubts. Forghieri wastes no time in discussing with Ferrari about the choice of the Dino 156 that won the 1961 World Championship, which in his opinion was wrong, because he considered it too obsolete for the new challenges that Ferrari would have to face in 1962. Forghieri also speaks to Gian Paolo Dallara, a member of his team, about this issue: the two young engineers agree that the Dino 156 are too wide in the rear and didn’t have stiffening pipes, which would affect the road holding due to the chassis torsion.

 

"Don’t you dare modify the chassis adjustments".

 

Says Ferrari to the young Forghieri who, almost fearful, replies:

 

"But Commendatore, if it rains, we have to make adjustments...".

 

The engineer doesn’t have time to finish his sentence, because he’s given an equally abrupt answer. But the issue with the engines is also interesting, because the torque power - which is too high – is set aside over the years in favor of the horsepower to win the rivalry against Maserati, which is going on since the start of the ‘60s. Going back to the presentation of the Sports models, the new two-seaters feature a new type of rear engine. Lastly, the new Berlinetta Gran Turismo still has the classic 12-cylinder, 2953 cubic centimeters engine and 300 horsepower, but presents a new aerodynamic car bodywork with a truncated tail. This is the car that will be driven by Ferrari’s clients, not by the drivers of the official racing team. A car that is faced with quite a few difficulties in the first months of its life. Deriving from the 250 Berlinetta produced in 1959, this was designed by Giotto Bizzarrini, who resigned without finishing the project. This is tested for the first time by Stirling Moss in Monza in September 1962. But shortly after, during a test on the Autostrada del Sole, they discover that the car has a serious design flaw: Willy Mairesse has a severe accident between Bologna and Firenze. This leads Forghieri to analyze it and to find out that the car’s issue lies in the rear: the back bridge, which is held only by two semi-crossbows and a spring-strut axle for each side, is not secured enough and, in the wide turns, it moves making the car swerve dangerously.

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This is a dramatic situation since the car - as mentioned before - has already been homologated. The winning idea will be assembling a really thin Watt diagram anchored to the transfer box: this way, the springs would remain there, without having any function, in line with the sporting regulations. The drivers’ formation, announced at the conference-debate that took place after the visit to the factory in Maranello, is the following: the first is the World Champion Phil Hill; then Giancarlo Baghetti, Lorenzo Bandini, Ricardo Rodríguez, Olivier Gendebien, Pedro Rodríguez, Mike Parkes and Willy Mairesse. Speaking of Giancarlo Baghetti, on Tuesday 26th February the international jury for the Tazio Nuvolari Prize considered him the best driver amongst the new recruits for 1961. The prize, established a few years earlier by Unione Italiana Giornalisti dell'Automotive to honor the memory of the great driver from Mantua, is assigned every year to a young driver who particularly stood out during the previous season, and consists in a small golden turtle, emblem that Nuvolari had adopted for himself. Many representatives of the Italian, French, English, German and Austrian press participated to the voting, and they all unanimously agreed on Baghetti. The prize will be given to the young Milanese driver, who will race for Ferrari in 1962, before the start of the season. The year before, the prize was won by Bruce McLaren, a driver from New Zealand. On Wednesday 7th March, further surprising news reach the journalists: Ferrari will participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with seven new experimental cars. The announcement is surprising since, in the sport’s environment, the presence of the Italian manufacturer at the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will accept only experimental and Gran Turismo cars, was being questioned. Meanwhile, in February Giorgio Billi, the young Earl Giovanni Volpi di Misurata and Jaime Ortiz Patiño, along with Ferrari’s historical staff, gather in the office of a renowned lawyer from Bologna, to create the Automobili Turismo and Sport Serenissima joint stock company, with an initial capital of 60.000.000 lire. The headquarters of this Scuderia are established in Bologna, in Via Altabella 17 and, according to the structure of the establishment plan, Giorgio Billi will be President of the board of directors, while the Earl Giovanni Volpi di Misurata will be vice-president. Jaime Ortiz Patiño, lawyer Felice Valenza, Professor Alberto Tripiccione, engineer Carlo Chiti and the accountant Girolamo Gardini will all be members of the board. The board of directors will use a technical committee made up by engineer Giotto Bizzarrini, Carlo Chiti, Fausto Galassi, Girolamo Gardini, Enzo Selmi and the accountant Romolo Tavoni, all of them also being shareholders of the company. The goal of this group is to build a Formula 1 car, take part in the 1963 World Championship and build a Gran Turismo Road car. A few years later, Alfonso Galvani will tell a few small anecdotes about the premises of the new A.T.S. headquarters:

 

"They are located in a central area, and we settled at the last floor of a building which is still property of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro. The spaces are really wide, there are at least six or seven rooms which then have a really big terrace, and in that space we immediately set up the technical office, the department in which the future cars will be designed".

 

Meanwhile, in the motorsport environment, questions arise about the reasons of the establishment of the new A.T.S. Serenissima. People wonder if the company was created following a feeling of revenge harbored by many people, including Chiti, that were removed from Maranello a few months before. The Tuscan engineer will clarify:

 

"It has been said that the real reason of me leaving Ferrari is related to the birth of A.T.S., which occurred a few months later: it’s all wrong. When I left Maranello, I had no idea of what the future had in store for me. A further witness of the levity I took the situation with is Girolamo Gardini, one of the founders who set the scene for A.T.S., convincing Giovanni Volpi di Misurata and Jaime Ortiz Patiño, who are old acquaintances, to create an organization that could bring back what we left. But even before this opportunity, there was one proposed by the Leto di Priolo brothers who had the idea of establishing a sporting car factory. We didn’t join them because we thought that the Volpi-Patiño combination seemed to provide better guarantees. They were later joined by the well-known Florentine industrialist Giorgio Belli, whose name I suggested".

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Giorgio Billi will also remember which were the reasons behind the project:

 

"Behind it all there is a certain sporting hatred, especially between Carlo Chiti and Ferrari, since both him and the Commendatore had strong personalities: both wanted to be the best. This led to us focusing our work on the Formula 1 car rather than on the Gran Turismo, to prove to Ferrari that we are better than him. But the difference was in a small detail: Ferrari already have a structured team, meanwhile, on our side everything is new and still under construction, even if the designers’ team is very valid and prepared".

 

And Alfonso Galvani thinks the same:

 

"One thing is for sure: there is a feeling of conceit, it isn’t coming from me, but from Chiti and his followers, because they wanted to prove that they were destined to win. Perhaps, this is the aspect on which they underestimated Ferrari. The Commendatore knew exactly who to surround himself with: history taught us that he didn’t crumble despite some important people left his company, in fact, he worked towards new and prestigious goals".

 

Ultimately, the A.T.S. Sporting Director Romolo Tavoni, recalls the first contact that brought the project to life:

 

"Due to the letter to Ferrari, we found ourselves sacked within half an hour, but we all needed to work and we hoped to keep doing it in our area. While Della Casa and Giberti were rehired by the Commendatore, the remaining six of us, including myself, have been contacted by the Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata that offered us to found the new Scuderia Serenissima. He had already found another business partner in Jaime Ortiz Patiño, whose family was one of the most relevant in the tin industry, but he was looking for a third one. Initially, an offer was made to the Leto di Priolo brothers but we didn’t reach an agreement, then Chiti mentioned his friend Billi, who got rich thanks to multiple-headed machinery that produced stockings with great production rates. At that point the Florentine industrialist accepted the offer with enthusiasm and on 17th February 1962 Automobili Turismo Sport Serenissima was born, with its headquarters in Altabella street. On my side, but also on Bizzarrini’s and Galassi’s, it isn’t determination that drive us: we need to work, and it’s nice to work in another Emilian Scuderia, on the other hand, for Chiti and maybe a few others the fact that they parted ways with Ferrari is still an open wound".

 

A version that is confirmed by Bizzarrini as well:

 

"We founded A.T.S. because all of us are experts in that area, and we found ourselves unemployed overnight. We are a close-knit group of friends, besides being former colleagues. We met on the day following our dismissal and asked ourselves: What are we going to do now? That’s when Gardini, who previously was Ferrari’s commercial director, thought about creating a new Scuderia".

 

On the day A.T.S. Serenissima was founded, we also chose the area in which the new factory would be established. Having discarded the hypothesis of building it in Lavino, we opted for an area near the Cippo 78 of the state highway n°64 (Porrettana), right before entering the town of Sasso Marconi: it’s a terrace of 12.000 square meters in Pontecchio Marconi that was bought in March. A strategic choice, considering that they have the possibility to test the new cars uphill on the winding turns that lead to the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. The project will be carried out by the Florentine architects Fabbri and Martelli. Giorgio Billi will remember:

 

"I bought that terrace, however this led to the start of a negotiation with Guglielmo Marconi’s wife, because the well-known inventor’s mansion overlooked the terraces on which our factory was going to be built. I was convened to her house with the cardinal archbishop of Bologna Giacomo Lercaro. The lady pointed out, during a lively conversation, that the terrace of her house overlooked a rural landscape that had inspired Marconi himself in his inventions, and she didn’t want that quietness to be spoiled by the construction of big sheds. We were considered crazy. At that point, a long negotiation started with both the family and with the major of Sasso Marconi and we agreed to build just half of what we had planned".

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An episode that also Alfonso Galvani remembers well:

 

"The Marconi family wanted to keep a situation of quietness and calm. This was right from their point of view. There surely was tension, not only because the factory had to be built in front of them, but also because inside of it we would have to run long engine tests, with all the acoustic consequences this would cause. The terrace was chosen because there were facilities to modernize the area and, at the same time, the city hall was happy to host a racing car factory, since Emilia-Romagna is known to be the land of motorsport. In fact, this would have brought great fame to the region, especially since Carlo Chiti is a really influential personality and not only in the automotive industry. In the end, we found the right agreement".

 

In August 1962 the first brick of the factory is laid symbolically. An event that gathers the most important officials of the Italian government. Among these there are the Undersecretary for Industry and Trade Cervone, the cardinal archbishop of Bologna Lercaro, and the director of Fiat Allegra, apart from the drivers Sanesi, Perdisa, Bordeu, Venturi and even Juan Manuel Fangio.

 

"The laying of the first brick was attended by many eminent personalities. I have to say that Fangio showed appreciation for A.T.S., to the extent that we tried to hire him, but we didn’t find an agreement. Later, he also tried the car and he was positively impress: after all, it’s a car that introduced many innovations, despite the fact that it was designed in only four months. The Formula 1 car is really coveted, since many team members come from Ferrari".

 

The birth of Automobili Turismo Sport Serenissima immediately creates a remarkable interest in the sport. Not by chance, in a short time, people start talking about an interest shown by Stirling Moss towards this new team. But this assumption will be quickly contradicted, because on 10th March 1962, Enzo Ferrari meets Stirling Moss in Maranello. Displeased by Phil Hill’s behavior, Ferrari tries to recruit Stirling Moss. He has always liked him as a driver because he reminds him of the colleagues he had known really well in the 30’s. A first meeting took place in the fall of the year before, when Ferrari asked him to try the first model of what would later be the 250 GTO on the circuit in Monza. During winter, Ferrari and Moss write some letters to each other. And there also were a few phone calls, always about technical matters related to the 250 GTO. But when Moss goes to Maranello in March, the manufacturer offers him to be involved in the Formula 1 World Championship, behind the wheel of a Ferrari enrolled by Rob Walker’s team. Ferrari is willing to see him on a 156 F1 painted with British colors, just to have Stirling Moss driving his car. Crossing the gates in Maranello Stirling Moss is apprehensive, since he heard many stories about how this great man kept people waiting, and other things like that. Instead, Enzo Ferrari welcomes him in his office, after a short antechamber, and is very polite. The two spoke in French, with no need for interpreters. 

 

"You must tell me which car you want for the next season and I will build it with six, eight or twelve cylinders".

 

But Stirling Moss replies:

 

"I'm sorry. If you can give me a car painted in dark blue with the flag of Great Britain on the sides and take care of its maintenance, I will drive it for you".

 

Enzo Ferrari accepts the proposal without hesitation. They reach an agreement that satisfies both of them: they also chose the debut race, the Daily Express Trophy in May, a race which isn’t valid for the Championship but that will let the British driver to get to know the new car.

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After this brief period of adjustment, among announcements, negotiations and presentations, with the 12 Hours of Sebring, scheduled for Saturday 24th March on the circuit of the little city in Florida, the motorsport international season begins, even though a few races had already been held, like those in Brisbane and in Daytona Beach. But Sebring has another level of importance and a tradition of its own, so it can be said that only with this race the competitive activity comes back with great style. It’s also necessary to say that this 12 Hours race no longer creates the interest it used to create in the past, although it’s still valid for the Word Championship.  Because this year the International Sporting Commission had the great idea of passing the world title from the Sport cars to Gran Turismo, and breaking down the title itself into three categories, respectively for 1000 cc, 2000 cc and 3000 cc. At the end of the year, we’ll have three different manufacturers that will be World Champion, downgrading the prestige that came from winning the championship to the winning car’s Manufacturing company. The 3 Hours of Daytona Beach, held the month before, was valid for the championship (only for the 3000 cc class) and it was Stirling Moss, driving a Walker’s Ferrari Berlinetta, who brought the first points to the manufacturer from Modena, but only a few noticed that, because the British champion finished fourth after three sport cars: these are things that don’t have an impact on people, because they only care about who finished first. These regulations and the inflation of the world titles don’t help the clarity and the interest of a sport that is already a good source of never-ending controversies. Both the Gran Turismo and the Sport cars will be competing at the 12 Hours of Sebring, but the latter are excluded from the leaderboard of the Sportscar World Championship. Right before leaving for Sebring, Ferrari tested the GTO that was modified in the meantime in Monza: in presence of Enzo Ferrari, Lorenzo Bandini manages to complete a lap beating Stirling Moss’s time, set in September 1961, proving that the ideas that Mauro Forghieri had, who’s present that day, weren’t wrong. Some may wonder what interests people the most: the race itself, the competition between the fastest cars or the events that lead to the award of points for the three titles? The deployment of the cars and the drivers at the race in Sebring is heterogeneous but a few prominent names are missing, for example someone from Ferrari. 

 

The team from Maranello thought more appropriate not to officially register to the race, both for the high cost of the trip, without acceptable financial guarantees by the American organizers, and for the mild interest that the new regulations of the constructors’ championship raise in the sport cars manufacturer (in the 3000 GT class, Ferrari can relax, as the clients will provide points for them). However, many unofficial three-liters cars of the Italian factory will participate in the race, as well as the new 3458 cc rear-engine 8V, driven by Moss and Innes Ireland, meanwhile Phil Hill and Gendebien will drive a Berlinetta Gran Turismo, just like Carlo Mario Abate and Nino Vaccarella, and the Rodríguez brothers will drive the North American Racing Team’s 6-cylinders 2400. Instead, Maserati debuts with two brand new 12-cylinders 3000, assigned to the Americans Hansgen-Thompson and Bonnier-Graham Hill. The 12 Hours will start at 10 a.m., with the simultaneous start of the Gran Turismo and the Sport cars. On Friday, during the official practice session, it’s the youngest of the Rodríguez brothers that sets the best time on the stopwatch but the result of the Mexican, who drives in the North American Racing Team colors, has a limited value considering the length of the race, which will bring the winning team to complete, at the end of the 12 hours, 1800 kilometers. This concerns those who aspire to the overall victory, which isn’t restricted only to teams that have new cars, meanwhile amongst the 3000 cc Gran Turismos there shouldn’t be any doubt about the success of the Ferrari 12-cylinders, whose duo that won the most titles are – as mentioned before - PhiI Hill-Gendebien and Abate-Vaccarella and the two young men from Scuderia Serenissima. In Sebring, in the hours before the race, many enthusiasts come from all over Florida and California: the interest for the 12 Hours of Sebring has risen greatly thanks to the announcement of the participation of some motorsport champions who, until a few days before, weren’t registered for the race; despite an incessant rain which compromises the activities on Friday, the race will be attended by 30.000 people. On Saturday 24th March 1962, after the rain of the day before, the weather is gray and windy, but the track is dry. 

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At the start, Moss-Ireland’s Ferrari immediately takes the lead, initially driven by Ireland; then, Hansgen’s Maserati, Pedro and Ricardo Rodríguez’s Ferrari and McLaren’s Maserati. After the first hour of racing Nino Vaccarella, has to retire his Maserati 3000 due to a broken gearbox. At the end of the second hour, a serious accident occurs to the American driver Ernest Grimm: he gets burned by splashes of boiling oil coming from the engine of his Maserati. Grimm is immediately helped and is transported on the ambulance to the mobile clinic for the first treatment. In the meantime, the Rodríguez brothers take the lead of the race, chased by Moss, who occasionally overtakes them. After the fourth hour the Mexicans permanently take the lead but at 3.30 p.m. they stop due to transmission problems and Moss-Ireland find themselves leading the race, followed by Bonnier-Bianchi. The Rodríguez brothers, after leaving their car, go back racing with the Americans Grossman and Constantine’s and the French Tavano’s Ferrari. The positions don’t change up until the seventh hour of the race, when there’s a plot twist: Moss’ and Ireland’s Ferrari gets disqualified for an unauthorized refueling. From what has been announced, they filled the tank after seventeen and a half laps and not after 20 as the regulations say. Moss doesn’t seem to be convinced by the rightness of the action: he claims that he stopped at the box not to refuel, but for a brake and tire check, and a member of the crew, who forgot about the rule that forbids the early refueling, opened the tank and filled it. What’s still unclear is the fact that the disqualification was only announced at 5.30 p.m., three and a half hours after the mistake. The two drivers’ protests are useless: the race stewards are adamant. After Moss’ car is disqualified, Bonnier-Bianchi’s Ferrari jumps to the front. This is how Ferrari triumphantly starts the agonistic season dominating the 12 Hours of Sebring, taking the first two places of the general ranking, respectively with Joakim Bonnier-Lucien Bianchi (on a sport model) and Phil Hill-Gendebien (driving a Gran Turismo). But the success of the Italian cars could have been even more solid if the impetuous Mexican brothers, Pedro and Ricardo Rodríguez, didn’t knock out two cars, especially if a misunderstanding didn’t cause the exclusion of Moss-Ireland from the race. The elimination of the two favorites prevents the previous record from being improved, but this doesn’t detract from the win obtained by the Italian cars, which turns out to be unbeatable both with the sport models and with the Berlinetta Gran Turismo. The only car that proves to be able to engage the Ferraris is McLaren-Penske’s Cooper Maserati, as long as they are many, and once at the box they don’t deceive the crew. After the race, Joakim Bonnier confesses that his Ferrari had a gearbox problem from the start of the race and the lever kept disengaging from the direct drive mechanism:

 

"I didn’t believe I could finish the race in these conditions. On the other hand, if I stopped at the box to get the car fixed, I would have lost too much time. So, Bianchi and I - that replaced Graham Hill, who was my designated teammate, at the last moment - decided to keep going, paying attention to the lever and making sure it didn’t disengage".

 

After this first success, Ferrari also dominates and wins in Brussels, where both the Lotus and the B.R.M. are impressive; too bad that a series of mechanical issues compromises their performances. Stirling Moss, with his indisputable class, doesn’t fail to put on a show with a private Lotus that, on this occasion, has a V8 engine. Moss’ car has some problems with starting the car in the first heat, however he bounces back thanks to his extraordinary ability, completing the first hundred kilometers of the race behind Graham Hill. Unfortunately, Moss in the second heat, after setting a lap record, is forced to retire at the tenth lap. The former motorcycling World Champion Surtees and Hill get stuck after mechanical failures and have to quit the race as well. Graham Hill, after winning the first race driving his B.R.M., gets disqualified because he couldn’t start the car on his own and he got helped by the mechanics. The same goes for Marsh, who’s driving a B.R.M. as well. With the best drivers out, Bonnier with the Porsche and Ireland with the Lotus stand out. The two, with a prudent drive, regularly complete the three races without worrying Willy Mairesse’s Ferrari which, throughout the competition, can use all of its exceptional power. In the opening race of the Formula 1 Grand Prix Ferrari dominates confidently, winning with Willy Mairesse. The team from Modena only sends one car to Belgium, giving it to a medium class driver, with the clear goal of winning without making big efforts. The test of the car from Modena is more than satisfying, from all points of view, because Ferrari is the only car that provides excellent performances: speed, power and road holding.

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Therefore, the Ferrari technicians are extremely satisfied with this first success that provides interesting indications about the performance of the car designed in the garages of Maranello. Of course, this is the first positive result of the season, and only the next races can tell if the Italian six-cylinders will continue to dominate on the British cars. On Easter Monday, according to the old tradition, the Pau Grand Prix will be held on the short and troubled 2.760 meters circuit which, in the last three years, saw the victories of Trintignant, Jack Brabham and Jim Clark. But in 1962, there will be Formula 1 cars and drivers that haven’t been seen for quite a while in an initial stage of the championship’s Grands Prix: Ricardo Rodríguez and Lorenzo Bandini on Ferrari, Brabham, Trintignant, Clark and Trevor Taylor on Lotus; Bonnier and Heimrath on Porsche; Marsh and Lewis on B.R.M.; Bianchi on Maserati: Burgess and Collomb on Cooper; Vaccarella on Lotus. These fourteen drivers are qualified by right; others will be able to qualify during the official practice like Siffert and Kunkhe on Lotus, May and Shiller on Porsche, Caillet on Cegga-Maserati, Tarano on Cooper. As you can see, the young Bandini will debut driving Ferrari. Bonnier, on his side, will still drive the 1961 Porsche, which has a four-cylinders engine, way less powerful than the six-cylinder Ferrari. Moreover, the characteristics of the Pyrenean’s city circuit mainly puts the focus on the agility and stability of the car, rather than on the engine power, and just like the circuit in Monte Carlo it’s designed to highlight the driver’s qualities. This makes the predictions of Monday’s race very uncertain, that could still give interesting indications on the car’s efficiency in preparation for the upcoming trials. The Pau Grand Prix isn’t valid for the Drivers’ world championship, which this year starts at the end of May in Zandvoort. Another important thing on the technical side, is the presence of two B.R.M.s with the new 8 cylinders engine but with the original chassis. As mentioned before, they will be driven by Jack Lewis and Tony Marsh: the latter is considered one of the young drivers of the new generation, along with Baghetti, Bandini, Rodríguez and May. In fact, this year there are many new drivers that will race in the Grands Prix, and a lot of people expect to discover a new Fangio or a new Moss and revive their interest in car racing. 

 

While waiting for these new drivers to rise, it’s the forty-four-year-old French Maurice Trintignant on Lotus who wins the 22nd edition of the Pau Grand Prix, reserved to Formula 1 cars but not valid for the World Championship. Trintignant wins deservedly leading the race for eighty-four laps, from the sixteenth lap to the end, always showing great confidence. With today, Trintignant reaches his third success in the Pau Grand Prix. An excellent second place conquered by Ricardo Rodríguez with his Ferrari: the Mexican prevails by a few centimeters on Tony Marsch (B.R.M.), defending like a champion until the final stint of the British. The placement of the other Ferrari driver competing in the race, the young Lorenzo Bandini, who’s in his rookie season on car from Modena is honorable as well. The race is held on 100 laps of the twisty track, along the avenues of the city in the Pyrenees. A large crowd is there. Sixteen drivers at the start. First in line is the British Clark (Lotus), who was fastest in the practice sessions, Rodríguez (Ferrari) and Bonnier (Porsche). The latter takes the lead when the starter flag drops; followed by Rodríguez (Ferrari) who, during the first lap, overtakes the Swede. Vaccarella (Lotus) has some problems at the start and runs with a little delay. In the opening laps Trevor Taylor (Lotus) already stops at the box and Jack Brabham, who’s on Lotus as well, retires. Meanwhile, Jim Clark brings himself behind Rodríguez and the two gain, in a short time, tens of meters from the group made up by Bonnier, Trintignant, Bandini and Lewis (B.R.M.). In the battle for 1st place, Rodríguez and Clark are wild and they both beat the previous lap record at the fourth lap, with a lap time of 1'33"4 (with an average speed of 106.381 km/h). Right after, the British overtakes the Ferrari driver. In the meantime, Trintignant comes back and on the thirteenth lap engages Rodríguez and manages to beat him and, after three more laps, he’s leading the race. During the twenty-fourth lap Clark stops at the box and retires due to gearbox issues as Bonnier overtakes Rodríguez. Trintignant, free from his most dangerous opponent, keeps gaining ground and halfway through the race he leads with an advantage of twenty-one seconds on Bonnier, thirty on Rodríguez, thirty-one on Lewis and a minute and twenty-four seconds on Bandini. All the other drivers have been lapped at least once. Then Trintignant slows down (it looks like the reason is an unhoped-for inconvenience with the gearbox) and on lap sixty Bonnier finds himself at five seconds from the race leader. 

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The alarmed French reacts, but there’s almost no need for that, because a few moments later Bonnier’s Porsche, clearly too stressed during this furious chase, suddenly breaks down. And since Rodriguez is twenty-three seconds behind, Trintignant has nothing to worry about and can head comfortably towards the victory. However, the final stage of the race is revived by the very lively battle that lights up between Rodríguez and Lewis: the two face the last twenty laps a few meters from each other, but the attempts of the British to overtake the young Mexican are pointless. They end the race really close to each other, and the Ferrari beats the B.R.M. with an advantage of just a few meters. Trintignant completes the victory lap receiving an enthusiastic ovation from the audience, which hasn’t seen the French driver win a Formula 1 race for a long time. Furthermore, Trintignant also improved the record of the Pau Grand Prix by almost one kilometer. The two Ferrari are clearly defeated at the Pau Grand Prix: this is the news that caused quite a stir in the world of motorsport. The victory is conquered by the French champion Maurice Trintignant, who won on this track for the third time: he had already triumphed in 1958 and in 1959. Only the Mexican Rodríguez tried to prevent the French from winning for most of the race, but his gap to the winner at the finish line is still a clear sign of the situation, even though it’s not catastrophic. However, it’s not to blame the engine for Ferrari’s defeat, but the drivers’ bad physical condition that didn’t allow to use fully the resources provided. Because a top-class driver needs a good fatigue resistance to be able to excel. This is shown by the fact that Maurice Trintignant, at age forty-four, didn’t provide a spectacular end of the race, he got out of the car and asked for water with a loud voice instead, his face worn out by fatigue. Bandini’s performance as well wasn’t how they expected it to be: the young Italian has suffered his Ferrari debut more than they thought, he endured emotion and fatigue, also caused by the great heat of the city, and he got out of the car with a pale face at the end of the race. Meanwhile in Goodwood, on Monday 23rd April 1962 Stirling Moss has a severe accident during the race for the Glover Trophy. The driver is rushed to Chichester hospital, in southern England, where his conditions are serious. The first news after the unfortunate event gave the impression that Moss wouldn’t survive. Later, the situation appears to be less tragic, even though it’s not a secret that the driver is in serious conditions. The last bulletin during the evening, around midnight, reports:

 

"The patient has a quite serious head injury, many abrasions and two fractures, one in the rib and one in the left leg. The head wound needs further exams in a neurosurgical center and, for this reason, Stirling Moss will be transferred to the Atkinson Morely hospital in Wimbledon. The journey to Wimbledon - near London - will be done on a special ambulance".

 

At the bedside of the injured are his father and his mother; the latter witnessed the race from the grandstand. But what had actually happened? On Monday 23rd April 1962 the 100 miles race is held for the Glover Trophy, reserved to Formula 1 cars. Moss is driving a Lotus Climax, with a new engine.

 

"I feel great today".

 

He says to his mechanics right before the start. But since the opening laps his car shows signs of not performing and the driver remains alert. After stopping at the box, Moss starts to chase vehemently the first positions, gaining ground on every lap. The disaster happened on the thirty-fifth lap, at the Saint Mary’s turn. The champion’s Lotus runs at 150 km/h; while the car was getting close to the turn, the audience realizes with terror that Moss isn’t slowing down: a few moments later the dark green racing car goes off track, bounces on the lawn, goes back on the track, spins - luckily without overturning - and then crashes against a protective wall. A rescue team immediately runs towards the Lotus’ wreckage, but the efforts to free Moss from his car are vain: he’s prisoner of the car’s broken body, the driver can’t move, and the rescuers are not able to break the crumpled metal. However, one of the doctors is able to medicate through a gap in the steel stack Moss’ head wound, which is bleeding copiously. 

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But minutes go by as they try to help him concretely, while the champion, conscious of what is happening, passes out from time to time. Finally, in the meantime, a fireman arrives with big shears and starts to tear the metal sheets. Thirty minutes passed from the incident. Once the car is opened and the bleeding body of the driver is brought out of the car, it’s laid on the ambulance rapidly but with care. The champion understands and is conscious, his hands are shaking but he’s smiling: before they could close the ambulance’s door, he speaks to a race commissioner:

 

"Tell my mom I’m okay and that she doesn’t have to worry".

 

What were the technical causes of the incident? At first, the hypothesis is a brake failure, but Surtees almost instantly denies this possibility stating that, in that turn, there is no need to brake because the deceleration is obtained using the gearbox. The most relevant explanation is the hypothesis of a failure in the linkages of the gas pedal, that caused it to get stuck and prevented the driver from slowing down the engine and the car. In this situation, the skill and experience of the driver played a fundamental part in not turning the accident in a tragic run towards death. The circuit of Goodwood unwinds along southern England, near the coast. Thousands of people attend the Grand Prix, not only for the racing competition, but also for the warm and sunny day. But even before the start of the race, a misfortune appalles the spectators with instants of terror. People are enjoying parachute jumps, but one of the parachutes opens only partially. No one has the hope that the man will survive: the paratrooper, called Miller, gets away with a broken arm and a few bruises. Later, during the race, Moss faces a scary adventure while he’s chasing the drivers in front, causing even more emotion in the spectators. This is the fourth incident that involves the British driver in the last two years. In July 1960, during a practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix, he suffered serious back and leg injuries. About ten months later, in August 1961 on the circuit of Goodwood, the same of today’s scary adventure, Stirling’s Ferrari swerves as a result of a puncture; the driver is able to control the car after going off track. Last month in Melbourne, during the Sandown cup, the driver crashed into another car at 150 km/h, this time without serious injuries. For the record, it’s fair to say that the race is won by Graham Hill on B.R.M., who covers the 100 miles distance in 59’55"1. Behind him McLaren (Cooper), Ireland (Lotus) and Salvadori (Cooper). The fastest lap went to Surtees on Lola and Moss on Lotus in 1'22", with an average speed of 189,570 km/h. 

 

After just five days after the Goodwood race, which was dramatic due to Moss’ accident, the Formula 1 drivers and cars are back in England, at the 200 Miles of Aintree, a 4800 meters racing track near Liverpool. However, unlike on the race of Easter Monday there aren’t only English cars in the competition: in fact, we also see the seasonal debut of the World Champion Phil Hill and Giancarlo Baghetti, both at the wheel of the new Ferrari. According to the results of Pau Grand Prix, won by Trintignant on Lotus, some would say that the British constructors succeeded in catching up with the Italian cars, thanks to the new 8-cylinder engines built by B.R.M. The race in Aintree, which isn’t valid for the world championship, could give more precise information about this matter, since this race will see, apart from the two Ferrari drivers, many drivers amongst the best ones: Graham Hill and Richie Ginther on B.R.M., Bruce McLaren and Tony Maggs on Cooper, Jim Clark and Trevor Taylor on Lotus, and John Surtees on Lola. It looks like the British constructors have recovered the ground they lost in the technical area against Ferrari, and they did it by developing the new 8 V-shaped cylindered engines made by Coventry-Climax and B.R.M., that are assembled on all the English cars. We’ll see if the strength balance is restored. The circuit in Aintree is three miles long and has a very lively layout, with seven turns, of which four are really tight. However, on Saturday 28th April 1962, the battle between the Italian and English Formula 1 cars is won by the latter. Jim Clark on his Lotus wins the 200 miles, ahead of the New-Zealander Bruce McLaren on Cooper, the World Champion Phill Hill and the Italian Giancarlo Baghetti, both on Ferrari. The race is tight: the circuit and the very fast pace put a strain on the cars, forcing Ginther (B.R.M.), then Brabham, Ireland and Gregory (both on Lotus-Climax) and lastly Graham Hill (B.R.M.), who’s running in second place, to retire due to mechanical issues. Twenty-seven drivers show up at the start. 

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Jim Clark takes the lead, while Hill’s and Baghetti’s Ferrari lose precious time due to the speed of the start. At the end of the first lap, Hill goes by the grandstands in fifth position, while Baghetti in ninth place. As time passed, all the Italian cars gain a few positions and, halfway through the race, Hill runs in fourth position and Baghetti in seventh. Behind Clark, who has never been seriously threatened, the battle for the podium is on. Graham Hill has a high-paced race and is forced to withdraw with five laps to go due to an oil sleeve failure. The second position is taken by Bruce McLaren’s Cooper, who manages to contain the comeback of Phil Hill and Giancarlo Baghetti’s Ferraris, while the latter, with a consistent and regular race, succeeded in conquering the fourth position. The following week on 6th May, the curvy road circuit of Madonie hosts the forty-sixth edition of the Targa Florio, the oldest race of the world, and one of the classics of motorsport. The race, which is valid for the Gran Turismo World Championship for the 1300 and above, draws the main reasons of interest from the presence of many new cars, driven by internationally renowned names. The great Sicilian race represents a complicated technical test for engines, brakes and cars’ transmission; from the competitive point of view, it’s always a tough race. In this year’s edition, 63 crews enter the competition, assuring to the forty-sixth Targa Florio many tight and unpredictable races in every class, in particular relating to the confrontation between Ferrari, Porsche and Maserati. For the overall victory the battle will be between the drivers of the Ferrari official team Phil Hill-Gendebien, Mairesse-Rodríguez and Baghetti-Bandini, and the duo Colin Davis-Carlo Mario Abate on the new Maserati 12 cylinders of Scuderia Serenissima. The Ferrari drivers are the favorites, but the Anglo-Italian team fights for the win. Other high relevance drivers are Scarfiotti-Govoni on Osca 1500 Sport, Porsche’s official drivers (Bonnier-Gurney, Herrmann-Linge and Strahle-Bahln, of which the first ones will be driving an experimental vehicle which could actually fight for the absolute win). Then Vaccarella-Graham Hill, also on Porsche, Balzarini-De Leonibus from Turin on the new Abarth-Simca 1300, and lastly Ada Pace-Todaro, Simon-Tavano, Lualdi-Vorbaum and Scarlatti-Ferrara, all on Ferrari.

 

The history of this classical race, which was born at the start of the century, is reminiscent of the names of all the great drivers from the past, from Cagno to Nazzaro, from Ceirano to Boillot, from Masetti to Sivocci, Costantini, Materassi, Divo, Varzi, Nuvolari, Brivio, Villoresi, up to the post-World War II winners: Villoresi, Biondetti, Cortese, Bonetto, Maglioli, Taruffi, Moss, Musso, Barth, Bonnier, Trips and Gendebien. The last two, the triumphant duo from 1961 who drove a Ferrari, also established a new record: an average speed of 103.433 km/h in the race and an average of speed 107.841 km/h on the 72 km lap. Will these records be improved? It’s possible, due to both the new progress achieved by the 1961 cars and the fierce fight between the drivers of the major teams. The interesting aspects of the Targa Florio are many, starting from the expectations towards the two young Ferrari drivers, Giancarlo Baghetti and Lorenzo Bandini, who are for the first time on the same car. In the Formula 1 races held so far in Pau and in Aintree, the two youth from Milan have been overshadowed, especially Bandini who probably paid the emotional price of his first race at the wheel of a car from Maranello. And we will also see what the drivers with more experience will be capable of doing. The duo Davis-Abate, at the wheel of a 3 liters Maserati, is to be followed closely: a car which, speaking of absolute power, is even ahead of the Ferraris. But the biggest danger for the Italian cars comes from Porsche which, despite the lower displacement, have such manageability skills that, on a circuit like the one of the Madonie, could compensate the engine power difference. On Sunday 4th May 1962, for the first time in fifty-six years, a driver is happy to win the Targa Florio for the third time. Olivier Gendebien attains this achievement, which will surely be in the motor racing history. Before him, this ambitious record was missed by drivers such as Mosetti, Costantini, Nuvolari, Varzi, Villoresi, Biondetti; all of them, for one reason or another, couldn’t cross the Cerda finish line as winners for three times and be awarded the Targa. In this regard, it must be said that at the beginning of the century, in the first years of this race, the Florio family had raffled a gold plaque of great value, which would be awarded to whoever won three times. And after Gendebien arrived, everyone wondered if the Belgian driver would receive this famous plaque. 

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However, the plaque no longer exists. The war, the decline of the Florio family’s splendor compared to its golden age at the beginning of the century, made the famous plaque disappear. Anyhow, Olivier Gendebien will receive an eye-catching trophy and he can be greatly satisfied with the record he set, which will remain memorable in the history of motorsport. Immediately after the end of the race, Gendebien, excited by this victory, shows the intention of returning to Sicily again next year, and possibly to win again.

 

"Sicily brings me luck. I won the Giro di Sicilia in 1951, ahead of a champion like Piero Taruffi; then I participated in the Targa seven times, obtaining two victories in 1958 with Musso, in 1961 with Trips, and now with Mairesse and Rodríguez. I finished third twice. What can I say, I really like the Targa and it really is the most beautiful race in the world".

 

However, the triumph of the driver is also the triumph of the Italian cars. Ferrari achieves a resounding success overcoming the rivals Porsche, who are also looking for revenge for the defeat suffered in extremis last year. Ferrari has confirmed a perfect efficiency to the race with the old car, albeit retouched, that won last year. The 196 S test entrusted to Bandini and Baghetti has been positive as well. It’s a real shame that the new 2600, which would have been assigned to the World Champion Phil Hill and Gendebien, misses the race because it would give rise to an interesting duel. There is no confirmation from Porsche - even if Gurney is affected by an unfortunate accident suffered during the tests - and it ends up taking away all interest in the race. The colors of the manufacturer from Stuttgart are defended only by the experimental car that Vaccarella brings to third place together with Bonnier. However, it’s a car that needs to be reviewed, as well as Scarfiotti’s Osca, which also aroused so much hope during practice and in the first laps of the race. Once, - and this is the only difference - the victory of the Targa Florio had a worldwide echo and an unparalleled propaganda value. Today things have changed, the interests and attention of the audience turned elsewhere rather than to the result of a race, which is commented by a rather small group of fans. For a while now the car ceased to represent something almost fabulous: those who still don’t have one, can safely put the car among the achievable dreams as the events of a race certainly don’t affect this choice. Ferrari is something else; it’s a car for high speeds, for highways. But from the small economy car to Gran Turismo, there’s still a long way to go. And yet, races like Targa Florio and cars like Ferrari can still be useful, even for the design of popular vehicles. 

 

It isn’t the only raison d’être of a speed race, but for sure it isn’t a negligible aspect. The car that won the Targa has nothing in common with normal touring cars, but the relationship has remained as it was thirty or forty years ago, and the progress made is and will always be somewhat the results of that technology, which has been pushed to the limits of the imaginable and which race cars represent. It was said that the Ferrari’s success on the Madonie circuit was expected. It was expected because only the manufacturer from Modena continued to improve, perfect and renew their vehicles also for Sport and large displacement Gran Turismo categories. The British gave up (their interest now seems to be focused only on Formula 1 cars), Porsche only focus on medium displacements, Maserati now dedicate to this area an almost marginal part of their activity. Instead, for many years Ferrari’s programs have been directed on each of the most demanding aspects of motor sport: it’s a great effort, which not everybody seems to realize; but at the same time the results continue to comfort this courageous vision of the world’s largest factory of race cars. The car driven by Ricardo Rodríguez, Willy Mairesse and Olivier Gendebien is a 2400 type with a six-cylinder rear engine, which is basically the same as last year, but brought to an almost perfect level of efficiency. The new 8-cylinder model of 2800 cubic centimeters didn’t participate in the race, as it was badly damaged in the accident happened during a test to the world champion Phil Hill: without this setback, the success of the cars from Modena would have been massive, and they probably would have beaten the average speed record of the Targa Florio, just as the lap record was broken thanks to Mairesse. Once again, a Ferrari (Scarlatti-Ferraro’s) is first in the Gran Turismo, collecting other points for the Constructors’ world championship. As for the overall second place - Baghetti and Bandini - there is nothing to do apart from being pleased about the excellent race. However, we must not forget that they are particularly unlucky, as Giancarlo Baghetti says at the end of the race:

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"On the third lap, uphill, I spun and hit a curbstone. In short, the back of the hood came off and I had to tie it up to be able to continue. I lost a lot of minutes. Finally, Bandini and I had to recover several positions to finish second. It was the first road race we did and I am really satisfied".

 

Bandini and Baghetti only have to wait with confidence and see them at work in the next editions: moreover, the Targa Florio, for its traditional harshness, is not a race that can be won on the first try. Gendebien won three times, but he participated seven times. It’s rather peculiar what happens during the Targa Florio between the new Ferrari sporting director, Eugenio Dragoni, and the reigning World Champion, Phil Hill. During the tests before the race, the American driver asks the director to change the ratio between the third and fourth gear, which in Hill’s opinion is too long. But Dragoni insists on not wanting to change the gear ratios, arguing that a World Champion should know how to drive. It’s a clash between the two. In the following days there are only admirable comments for the superb success of Ferrari in the forty-sixth edition of the Targa Florio. And it’s natural. It’s well known that the cars from Modena could win the difficult Sicilian race, which has always been held on the difficult circuit of Madonie, but perhaps no one expected such a massive superiority. On the day before, Porsche – that already won in the Targa - seemed to be very fearsome for their maneuverability and road holding; the new 12-cylinder Maserati of Colin Davis-Abate is considered a difficult opponent. And yet everything works perfectly for the cars of the team from Maranello, which had to give up one of the entered cars: the new 8-cylinder 2800 of Phil Hill-Gendebien, which was badly damaged in a scary car accident that happened to the World Champion. Thus, Gendebien contributed to the team success, alternating behind the wheel with Ricardo Rodríguez and the fellow countryman Willy Mairesse. According to tradition - determined by the difficulty of a track that doesn’t allow both cars and drivers to breathe for a second - the selection is very strict. Among the most famous who are out of the race, there are Gurney and Maglioli on Porsche; Colin Davis on Maserati (he went badly off track but fortunately is uninjured); Scarfiotti on Osca 2000. And it’s also a pity that an irreparable mechanical issue prevented the start of the Abarth-Simca 1300 of Balzarini-De Leonibus. Basically, Ferrari seems to be unbeatable in the races of the sport category this year as well. 

 

We will see at the end of next month, in the 12 Hours of Le Mans, if some other team - starting with Maserati, which seems to have created a car which has a great potential - will effectively oppose the cars from Maranello. However, the next goals concern Formula 1: in three Sundays the drivers’ World Championship will start with the Dutch Grand Prix, in Zandvoort. And since it looks like, from the events of the beginning of the season, that the British manufacturers have closed the gap that separated them from Ferrari at the end of last year, for the latter it’s likely that it won’t be easy both in sports and gran turismo races. Once the Targa Florio is archived, the British sports environment welcomes with great satisfaction the news that the motor sport champion Stirling Moss left for the first time his hospital bed, spending a couple of hours talking with friends and doctors. And they also talk about a slow but steady recovery, as the medical bulletins confirm. In the early hours of Friday 18th May 1962, the medical bulletin confirms that the famous British driver keeps improving but informs that there are still moments of partial unconsciousness. After that, however, the doctors talk about the possibility of a permanent paralysis, which is going to be at least partial: Moss could not regain the complete use of the arm and left leg. In other words, the accident happened in Goodwood could end the career of the British champion. Therefore, the British driver won’t be able to fulfill the agreement made with Ferrari. On Saturday 12th May 1962, Enzo Ferrari gives a Dino 156 to the UDT-Laystall Racing Team, to participate in the BRDC International Trophy held at Silverstone. Innes Ireland, who drives the Dino 156, crosses the finish line in fourth place, and at the end of the race confirms the impressions that Forghieri expressed a few months before about the lack of quality of the chassis. Ireland explains to the engineer that the engine is powerful, but the torque is not the best, because it starts with a pace that is too high and forces the driver to overly use the gearbox (which is also considered valid), while the chassis doesn’t receive any good comment. 

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Back in Maranello, a slightly fearful Forghieri - together with Vittorio Jano, Rocchi and Salvarani - comes back to ask Ferrari to make the necessary changes to improve the car’s behavior. In the same period Enzo Ferrari, who had never stopped dating Fiamma Breschi (Luigi Musso’s former girlfriend) asks her to marry him: the two are in a car, heading to Bologna. Not sure if she understood well, the girl asks him to repeat what he just said. In the recent months, Ferrari’s letters to the young girl started to be more and more about feelings and much less about work situations. Naturally Fiamma noticed, but she didn’t expect a proposal.

 

"Will you marry me?"

 

Ferrari repeats, but Fiamma remains silent.

 

"Why can’t we do that?"

 

The manufacturer from Modena insists. Fiamma answers, and for the moment Ferrari doesn’t insist:

 

"You’re confusing me".

 

On Sunday 20th May 1962, the thirteenth Formula 1 World Championship begins in Zandvoort with the Dutch Grand Prix. In the previous months the Formula 1 races not valid for the world title have been useful to give a rough estimate of everyone’s potential ahead of the new challenging season. And it has been observed that the British have made tangible progress during winter break. Most of the credit for this recovery must be given to the new Coventry-Climax’s and B.R.M.’s V8 engines because, in terms of chassis building, British engineers have been at the forefront for years. Twenty drivers are entered in the race, and among them there are Phil Hill, Baghetti, Rodríguez in a Ferrari; Bonnier, Gurney, De Beaufort and Ben Pon (the latter being an unknown Dutch driver) in a Porsche; McLaren and Maggs in a Cooper; Clark, Taylor, Brabham, Trintignant, Ireland, Gregory and Seidel in a Lotus; Graham Hill and Ginther in a B.R.M. The circuit in Zandvoort, sculpted through the dunes on the North Sea, is 4193 meters long. Jim Clark in a Lotus holds the lap record at an average speed of 138.060 km/h. In 1961 the race is won by the late Wolfgang von Trips. On Sunday the Naples Grand Prix will also be held at the Circuit in Posillipo, even though it will be completely overshadowed by the interest towards the world championship race. Twenty drivers will be at the start of the Neapolitan race, including two Ferrari drivers: Lorenzo Bandini (who conveniently wasn’t put against Baghetti) and Willy Mairesse, who start as the favorites against a group of somewhat valid driver, like the British Burgess (Cooper), Parnell (Lotus), and Campbell (Emerson), Switzerland’s Siffert (Lotus) and Italy’s Vaccarella (Porsche), Gavoni (Emerson), Wal Ever (Cooper), and Carlo Mario Abate, finally at the wheel of a Formula 1 car; the Lotus-Climax entered by Scuderia Serenissima. In this first Grand Prix, Ferrari presents a car that is almost identical to the one lined up in the previous season with a 220-hp engine, even though they announced the production of a four-valve engine. However, the invention hasn’t been completed yet and therefore it is not presented by the team based in Maranello. The first big surprise of this season comes from Lotus, which will race with the ground-breaking 25, which is characterized by a new aluminum chassis with steel supports which make the car lighter, and a 180-hp engine. This car, driven by Jim Clark, makes the Lotus 24 presented in Brussels look obsolete. Narrower than the previous car, with front and rear suspensions bolted to the respective parts of the car, and the Coventry-Climax V8 positioned behind the driver’s seat and easily reachable by mechanics, Lotus appear as Ferrari’s main rival. Besides, the V8 engine of the British manufacturer has an updated carburation system which uses four valves assembled horizontally according to Weber’s configuration. Great changes are made by Cooper on McLaren’s car: equipped with a Coventry-Climax V8 and a Weber carburetor, it stands out among other cars because of the exhaust pipes pointing downwards, instead of upwards. 

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Brabham enters this Grand Prix privately with a Lotus 24 powered by a Climax V8, which is the most modern car on track, before Chapman presents his new monocoque. The 1962 Dutch Grand Prix is considered to be important for three main reasons: first of all, it’s the first round of the World Championship. Secondly, it takes the important name of Grand Prix of Europe, and lastly, it’s awakening a lot of technical interest which hasn’t been seen in a while at a Grand Prix race. The greatest drivers of the Grand Prix world are here, as well as some average drivers whose presence can only be justified by the Dutch Royal Automobile Club. All the best teams are entering the race, however, serious private owners with first-class vehicles, such as Lewis and Marsh with their B.R.M.’s V8, have been turned down in favor of inexperienced or mediocre drivers with obsolete cars. Since the field is limited to 20 cars, this cannot be justified, and the FIA should take measures about it. Ferrari enroll Hill, Baghetti and Rodríguez, all three of them with 120-degree engine V6 cars, which apparently are the same they used last year but with a modified rear suspension on Hill’s car, which implies a wider track, while the gearbox is equipped with a new casing for the 6-speed internals. The 4-valve cylinder engine and the centrally placed gearbox haven’t been completed yet. All three cars have transverse struts on the rear suspension, which were previously used to prevent the rear wheel from steering. The most outstanding entry is Colin Chapman’s brand-new car - which will be driven by Clark - and it makes the Lotus 24, which appeared in Brussels, look obsolete which also resulted in a number of unsatisfied customers. Once all thoughts of small-diameter tubes and space frames are discarded, the new Lotus 25 has a chassis formed by two long boxes and is made from just 16 aluminum sheets fixed together. These are just wide enough for the driver to sit in and are joined by a similar box behind the driving seat, the instrument panel, the floor and a square-tube framework at each end. These boxes carry petrol so that the chassis and petrol tanks are one and the same thing; the boxes are approximately 10 inches deep and 6 inches wide. The front suspension is bolted to the front and the rear suspension to the back, while the V8 Coventry-Climax engine sits behind the driver, readily accessible and not covered by frame tubes or similar structures. 

 

The monocoque chassis also forms the lower half of the body, while the top half features a windscreen which is merely a cover over all the mechanisms and the driver. Front and rear suspensions are identical to the Lotus of the previous Grand Prix just as the ZF gearbox with its rubber universal-joint drive shafts. This riveted monocoque structure, like an aircraft, makes for a more rigid car with less weight and improves the engine assembling, accessibility and servicing. The V8 Coventry-Climax engine has an improved carburetor layout with the four double-choke Webers assembled horizontally and lined up, improving inlet passages and the throttle connection. With Clark on this new car, the previous Lotus V8 will go to Trevor Taylor: this is his first race with such a powerful car. Coopers are considered to be dull compared to Lotus. McLaren is entering a brand-new car with V8 Coventry-Climax engine, with the new Weber layout and featuring an improved chassis compared to the 1961 Cooper, with a lighter and smaller chassis frame, modified rear wishbones, and it also had an anti-steer strut, apart from the new Cooper 6-speed gearbox. While everyone else directed the two exhaust pipes of the Climax V8 up in the air, Cooper point theirs down at the ground. The second Cooper is a 1961 4-cylinder for Tony Maggs to drive. Brabham’s car is entered privately with the new V8 Climax-engine Lotus 24, which is identical to the latest produced cars, until Chapman produced his monocoque car seemingly out of the blue. Ireland will drive UDT-Laystall’s number one car, a new Lotus 24 with V8 Climax, as the one tried out in Silverstone by Masten Gregory: this car, like Brabham’s, also has the new carburetor layout. As a stopgap, until their V8 B.R.M.-engine car is completed, Gregory will drive one of UDT’s old Lotus 18 chassis with 4-cylinder Climax engine. Rivalling the Lotus 25 for the lead in technical innovations are the two Porsche for Bonnier and Gurney. These are the long-awaited flat 8-cylinder air-cooled cars, and while the engine hasn’t been changed from those seen on test last year, they are assembled in entirely new chassis frames. The width of the chassis is dictated by the horizontally positioned 8-cylinder engine, and it’s a tubular spaceframe, but the suspension brings an innovation, since it features torsion bars. On the front, a narrow fork pivots on the chassis and twists a longitudinal torsion bar, which is assembled alongside the upper part of the chassis.

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The fork extends inwards to form a Lotus or Maserati-type rocker arm and the inner end compresses a Koni shock-absorber and it’s also linked to a tiny anti-roll bar with an authentic Lotus style. The bottom fork is an obtuse triangle similar to the Lola, while steering is by rack and pinion. At the rear, the complex double-wishbone layout used on the 4-cylinder cars has been replaced by a very simple double-wishbone layout, with the top one turning a longitudinal torsion bar. All four torsion bars have screw adjustments at their ends to control the height of the suspension. They maintained Porsche bolt-on wheels and fitted Porsche disc brakes. The main fuel tank has the shape of the driving seat and is integrated with another tank inside the nose of the car, alongside the oil tank, while an oil radiator is the most forward assembled unit. The 8-cylinder engine, with its four overhead camshafts, is assembled directly behind the driver and is paired to a 6-speed gearbox that extends out the back of the car. The engine has separate finned cylinder barrels wrapped in a fiberglass pipeline and a fiberglass horizontally assembled fan above the engine which blows air downwards. From the inlet camshaft a belt activates a small Bosch dynamo built within the air-cooling duct, while Bosch coils look after the sparks for the sixteen plugs. Four large exhaust pipes stick out the back of the car and little attempt has been made to design a body: the aluminum fairings are little more than covers for the mechanism. In addition to the two factory Porsche, there are two 4-cylinder cars driven by the Dutch de Beaufort, who borrows his old Porsche from Seidel, and Ben Pon who has been loaned a factory 4-cylinder Porsche with Bosch fuel injection and horizontal cooling fan. These two are entered by de Beaufort’s Ecurie Maarsbergen, just as Seidel who, since he doesn’t have a Porsche, borrows the factory Emeryson-Climax. Going back to more serious competitors, B.R.M. present two cars: the 1962 V8 which Graham Hill was so successful with in Goodwood and in Silverstone, and a 1961 chassis modified to receive the V8 engine, for Ginther to drive. This latter car is built for Ashmore, but after Ginther damages his 1962 model in Silverstone, the factory borrows the customer’s car. Both cars have Lucas fuel-injection and are running as in previous races, being satisfied with the results they have obtained so far. 

 

Finally, there is the Bowmaker-Yeoman team of Surtees and Salvadori with Lolas and they both have Coventry-Climax V8 engines, with Colotti gearboxes; Surtees will use the car he has already raced with, and Salvadori has a Lola chassis previously used with a 4-cylinder engine, identical to the rear wishbones apart from small modifications. The total of 20 cars should be completed by Trintignant with a Walker Lotus but their new Lotus 24 with V8 Climax engine is not ready: the Lotus 21 is still not back from New Zealand and the 4-cylinder they borrowed for Pau is taken by UDT as a spare. When they learn that Trintignant can’t come, although they initially refused Jack Lewis and his V8 B.R.M., the Dutch organizers suddenly panic and on Thursday evening they call him saying he can enter after all. B.R.M. aren’t ready so Lewis comes in a great rush with his 1961 Cooper-Climax 4-cylinder and can’t make it in time for the first practice day. The British team’s superiority is clear from Friday already, when they dominate the practice session, while Lotus and Ferrari struggle because of the strong wind. The team based in Maranello also has some problems with its drivers, since Baghetti and Rodríguez have never raced in Zandvoort and they don’t know the track. B.R.M. have already been to Zandvoort two weeks before to try their cars and set some excellent unofficial lap times, therefore, when practice began on Friday morning, they are already ahead of everyone else in terms of car adjustments. Despite the sunny weather there’s a strong, cold wind blowing down the final straight, which is hampering the drivers. Ferrari don’t find themselves in an ideal situation, since two of their drivers have never seen the circuit in Zandvoort before and the cars are more or less the same as the year before, thus they have little hope of improving on their times from 1961, which were just under 1'36"0. However, Graham Hill is in good shape and soon goes below the previous year’s fastest times and not far from the lap record, set by Moss and his 2.5-litre Lotus-Climax in 1960, which is 1'33"8. Ginther is at his heels, but not as fast. Apart from Brabham, Seidel and Lewis, everyone is out on track and the pit lane is crowded by many interesting cars coming and going, that it’s difficult to know which way to turn, while the air is full of beautiful noises. 

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If it’s not a Climax V8 or Ferrari V6 going by, it’s certainly the deep rumble of a B.R.M. V8 or the entirely new noise of the flat-8 Porsche. Cooper are doing final adjustments to the Weber carburetors on their new car, and they’re also adjusting the new 6-speed gearbox. Ferrari are altering rear-wheel camber angles, Porsche are worried because their drivers don’t look satisfied with their exciting new cars, Parnell is sorting out Surtees’ V8 Lola-Climax - this is Lola’s first race in Zandvoort - and Salvadori is practicing with a Cooper-Climax as his V8 Lola is still being finished. The new Lotus tackles the bumps wonderfully but still requires a few minor adjustments, so Clark decides to try his old V8 Lotus to compare the two cars. There’s so much activity and interest in the pits that two hours went by in the blink of an eye and the first practice session is already over, with Graham Hill who’s two seconds faster than anyone else, with a time of 1'33"3. At 3:30 p.m. it all starts again, and this time Brabham joins in with his vivid green Lotus-Climax V8 and Seidel with the dark green Emeryson. All the excitement and activity continue tirelessly, and the sound of really exciting racing engines fill the air all afternoon. This is true Grand Prix practice, with all the best and latest innovations concerning car design, four different types of engines: Ferrari V6, B.R.M. V8, Climax V8 and Porsche flat-8; and six different point of view on chassis design: Ferrari, B.R.M., Lotus, Cooper, Lola, Porsche and Emeryson. Not everyone is happy: Trevor Taylor did only one lap and his V8 Climax engine has a valve-gear issue and chewed up its camshaft, and Gregory had barely started before a piston broke. The new Porsche engines look fine, but the drivers are far from happy with the handling, and they seem unable to take into account that it’s a brand-new and non-tested chassis and suspension, which still needs to be developed. Gurney is eventually able to have a proper go and he drives in a rather wild and untidy 1'34"7, two seconds faster than the time he set last year with the old 4-cylinder car. Bonnier isn’t any close to this performance. The Cooper V8 Climax engines have a nice and clean carburetion out of the corners and McLaren is running, but Jimmy Clark is much faster in the new Lotus, in spite of mediocre carburetion. He manages to go down to 1'33"6, but Graham Hill already overshadows this result with a time of 1’32’’6 before putting the car in the garage, while it’s still in one piece. Inside Ferrari, Phil Hill is keeping his leadership, since he’s more than 1 second faster than his young teammates, and Innes Ireland is making UDT-Laystall very happy by lapping in 1'34"1 in their V8 Lotus-Climax. 

 

In the Lola pits there’s a bad feeling: the cars aren’t right, and they are trying to make improvements, but Surtees’ best time is 1'35"0, which is equal to Ferrari’s, and this is their first real race with the V8 Lola Grand Prix cars. Practice ends at 5:30 p.m., but there hasn’t been an interesting day of Grand Prix practice in a while, with speeds and performances that have been making progress in leaps and bounds all day. Seven drivers have improved the 1961 lap record of 1'35"5, set by Jimmy Clark with what at the time was the new Lotus 21, now obsolete. The final practice session is on Saturday afternoon for a further two hours of racing, but this time it’s not sunny and rain is impending, while the inevitable wind is even stronger and colder. Some of the teams have enough time to practice and are happy with putting in a few laps, while others are either in trouble or trying to make improvements. Clark starts off in the new Lotus but there is a terrible noise coming out of the gearbox therefore it’s quickly removed and inspected, while Trevor Taylor goes on track with a 4-cylinder Lotus-Climax 24 that Lotus have with them as a spare. Neither Porsche nor Ferrari are showing much improvement, but Brabham is putting in some good laps and Lola is just getting on track while Surtees is becoming fast enough to worry Graham Hill. However, the number one B.R.M. is still being worked on and, by the time it’s ready, Surtees had set a new fastest time of the day with a lap in 1'32"5, which refutes his theory that the handling of the Lola isn’t very good. McLaren is putting in some really fast laps when a shaft breaks and he is forced to come back riding on the tail of Maggs’ car. We’re getting to the end of the afternoon when Graham Hill goes out with the B.R.M. V8; though he does a series of laps close to 1'33"0, he can’t get close to the time set by Surtees in the Lola-Climax. Just as practice finished it began raining and everyone went back to their garages to prepare for the race. With five different types of cars in the first two rows at the start, the 1962 European Grand Prix had the prerequisites to be an interesting race. In the front row we see: the Lola-Climax V8, the B.R.M. V8, the Lotus-Climax 25 V8, followed by the Lotus-Climax 24 V8 and the Cooper-Climax V8, just behind them there are Porsche and Ferrari. Colin Chapman had flown Taylor’s damaged V8 engine back to Coventry and built another one, and UDT-Laystall had also flown to England to collect a spare engine for Masten Gregory’s car.

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On Sunday 20th May 1962 tension rises inside Lotus at lunchtime, because there is smoke coming out of the engine of Taylor’s car, also due to low oil pressure. Then, on the warm-up lap an exhaust pipe on Graham Hill’s B.R.M. breaks down and, being unable to change it, the British driver is forced to line up on the starting grid anyway. At 3.15 p.m. all twenty cars are lined up on the starting grid and the Dutch Grand Prix is ready to start with a five-minute delay. After a five minutes delay, everyone is ready: one glorious roar from all the multi-cylinder engines and the whole field gets away with a perfect start. Even though Surtees started on pole position, Clark is best placed to cut into the first corner, and so he does, leading Graham Hill and Gurney who followed the Lotus closely. This order is kept through the opening lap, they are followed by Surtees, Phil Hill, Ireland, McLaren, Rodríguez, Taylor, Brabham and then the rest of the group, with Ginther way at the back, his B.R.M. V8 engine not working properly. On lap 2 the first quartet is the same but behind them Ireland is now leading McLaren and Phil Hill, while Taylor overtakes Rodríguez and Ginther drops even further back. On lap 3, Clark already has a 2.5 second lead over Hill’s B.R.M., and Gurney maintains his third position firmly until he is joined by a group of seven cars led by Surtees, all battling for the fourth place. At the back of the field the Dutch Pon spins into the sand and retires, and on the next lap Rodríguez spins in the middle of the group and Brabham hits one of Ferrari’s wheels, severely crumpling the front of his Lotus. Brabham’s car goes back to the pits to retire while Rodríguez is struggling to get his car out of the sand, a maneuver that will take two laps. While the first three places remain the same, the battle for fourth place continues, with McLaren now taking the lead and Taylor battling Surtees. Once far from the crowd, McLaren obtained the fourth place, but Taylor is now challenging Ireland, only to spin on lap 9 and drop behind Phil Hill, while on the same lap the top left front fork on Surtees’ Lola breaks making him crash into the safety fence at high speed, escaping uninjured. On the 10th lap the order is: Clark, Graham Hill, Gurney, McLaren, Ireland, Phil Hill, Taylor, Baghetti, Gregory, Maggs, Bonnier, and Lewis, the rest of the group following along. Ginther’s engine is still not working properly, with Salvadori’s engine not at its best too, and Seidel keeps going in and out of the pits with his Emeryson. 

 

The situation is far from stable: Clark is having trouble selecting gears due to his clutch not working properly and he’s only a second in front of the B.R.M. and McLaren is closing on Gurney, but for a brief moment there is the interesting situation between four different cars in the first four places: Lotus, B.R.M., Porsche and Cooper, all with 8-cylinder engines. As they go behind the pits Gurney stops because his gear-lever went out of its mounting, and at the end of lap 11 Graham Hill is right on Clark’s tail, and as the Lotus leaves the 180-degree Tarzan turn it slows and Hill passes by. Clark’s clutch doesn’t grip and, just like Gurney, he goes around the circuit and then is forced to stop at the pits. When Surtees goes back to the pits, he reports what happened and, as a consequence, Parnell calls Salvadori in and withdraws the car due to the risk of another breakage. In the meantime, Lotus’ mechanics are under Clark’s car trying to sort out the clutch adjustment and Porsche’s mechanics are working on Gurney’s cockpit putting the gear-lever back into its socket. At the moment, Graham Hill remains unchallenged and is drawing away steadily from McLaren, with the cracked exhaust pipe on the BRM that has little effect on its performance. Things now are settling down and Rodríguez is close to Baghetti, but still has a gap of two laps, and Ginther’s BRM is beginning to run. The leader is now on lap 17 and Gurney rejoins the race, his Porsche sounding healthy, and as Graham Hill hits lap 20 Clark rejoined the race too. By this time only seven cars are on the same lap as the leader: McLaren being 12 seconds behind, Phil Hill 23 seconds behind, after overtaking Ireland, who’s 31 seconds behind, and then Taylor with a gap of 42 seconds, followed by Baghetti, Gregory and Maggs; the other drivers are lapped. This is too much for Bonnier, so he stops at the pits to complain about the rear-end of the car but nothing is wrong with it, so he’s sent on track again, but now he’s two laps down the leading group. The situation changes once more when McLaren stopped on the track with a gearbox shaft broken, just like during practice, so Phil Hill now finds himself second, 25 seconds behind Graham Hill, and things settle down again. By lap 30, the B.R.M. has a 31 second lead and is lapping steadily at 1'38"0, but Trevor Taylor is closing rapidly on Ireland and down at the end of the field Ginther is beginning to recover many positions. Taylor passed Ireland relatively easy, and this seemed to give him confidence to try and catch Phil Hill, leaving Ireland behind quickly.

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Gregory got lapped by Graham Hill, so he took the opportunity to use the B.R.M. as a pacemaker and, by running behind for many laps, he has now closed up on Baghetti. On the 40th lap, which is half of the total distance, Graham Hill is racing alone at 1'39"0 and is 34 seconds ahead of Phil Hill, who’s driving the red Ferrari, but Taylor reduces the gap between his Lotus and the Ferrari from 12 to 7 seconds and is still gaining ground. By this time only Ireland and Baghetti are on the same lap as the first three drivers, and it obviously isn’t long before the Italian is lapped. On lap 37 Lewis stops suddenly as his engine refuses to start again; he walks back to the pits and then returns to the car and, when he presses the starter, the car is able to continue, since it cooled down, allowing the driver to rejoin the race. He goes back ahead of Clark, who is running last, if we exclude Seidel who’s barely running. Gurney’s efforts come to an end: a bracket broke in the gear-change line between the gear-lever and the gearbox. On the 50th lap, Baghetti is lapped by Graham Hill, who is still driving a flawless race and his car is sounding perfect. On lap 55, Gregory goes onto the grass and retires with a broken gearbox, but all eyes are now on Taylor since he manages to close the gap to 5 seconds, and while the lap time appears to be the same, it’s measurable over five laps and by lap 60 it’s down to 3 seconds. Furthermore, Ginther is catching Maggs, for the sixth place. We’re now on lap 61 and Taylor is right behind the Ferrari when Ireland conquers the fourth position, only to go off track through the safety fence at the hairpin at the end of the pits straight. A rather dazed and puzzled Ireland staggered away from the car miraculously uninjured. This little moment of excitement overshadowed the fact that Taylor overtook Phil Hill and got the second place with no trouble at all. This puts him 27 seconds behind the leading B.R.M. and Graham Hill is happy to keep it like this, his pit staff keeping him fully informed about the situation. On lap 70, with only 10 laps to go, Ginther sees Maggs and envisages overtaking him and, at the same time, Taylor is closing up to lap both of them. On lap 72 the Lotus tries to pass by the B.R.M. as they brake for the Tarzan turn, then attempts to overtake them but fails once again and, as they go into the hairpin behind the pits, Taylor tries to get by on the inside, almost losing the car. Ginther isn’t going to lift his foot off the pedal and moves over as he is busy trying to pass Maggs, so it’s up to Taylor to find his way past. 

 

On the next sharp right-handed corner, the Lotus almost touches the B.R.M. when Ginther’s engine stops momentarily, but this is enough for the Lotus’ nose to hit the B.R.M.’s tail and this leads to Ginther spinning off into the sand, leaving Taylor with a slightly crumpled nose cowling. This ends the excitement for the day, and there certainly is plenty of it, but that’s nothing compared to the joy of B.R.M. when Graham Hill comes back as the winner of the European GP, followed by Trevor Taylor, who had literally shone in the closing stages of the race, and Phil Hill in third place, with his Ferrari losing oil during the last ten laps of the race. After crossing the finish line, the mechanics of Ferrari quickly reach Phil Hill’s car, which has been losing oil for almost ten laps. The British cars proved to be better than the Italians, especially Ferrari, which have complained about a bad chassis on this slow track. The Dutch Grand Prix, first round of the season valid for the Formula 1 World Championship, is won by the British Graham Hill, driving a B.R.M. The British victory is emphasized and reinforced by the second place obtained by Trevor Taylor’s Lotus-Climax preceding the American Phil Hill, who is the defending world champion and number #1 of Ferrari. After the results of the official practice of the Dutch Grand Prix, it’s impossible to give Ferrari anything but a narrow margin of chances of success in the first round valid for the 1962 Formula 1 World Championship. This margin is represented by technical reliability, which didn’t give space to any doubt after a triumphal season for the Italian cars. On the other hand, it’s legitimate to have doubts towards the British Formula 1 cars. During practice, seven drivers at the wheel of the British cars (besides Gurney with Porsche) are able to perform better than the three Ferrari drivers (Phil Hill, Rodríguez, and Baghetti). After practice, a great deal of optimism is necessary to believe that the Italian cars can do during the race what they couldn’t achieve in practice. It’s common knowledge that practice doesn’t count and that the race is always something else: technical situations are outlined by numbers which, like in this case, don’t allow ambiguities. In fact, the Dutch Grand Prix has confirmed the general predictions made ahead and confirmed that Ferrari can only rely on their reliability because many British cars suffered technical issues and it’s only thanks to this that, at the end of the day, Phil Hill and Baghetti are able to obtain third and fourth place in the final ranking.

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The Circuit in Zandvoort has almost always been strangely difficult for Ferrari, but this consideration doesn’t count much. The British progress, which is already emerging in practice, and which has been feared for a long time, has great proportions: this is the reality that must be faced. The new V8 engines of B.R.M. and Coventry-Climax are very close, in terms of power, to the Italian six-cylinder engines, and almost all British manufacturers have created more efficient chassis than the ones used the year before. In these conditions, there’s no need to judge Ferrari too strictly (motorsport can be a non-stop rollercoaster of results): the Italian manufacturer keeps battling with great courage in all categories of motor racing (Formula 1, sportscars, grand touring cars), while British manufacturers have focused their energies only on Formula 1. More appropriately, Ferrari should recognize the value of their rivals and focus on the future. The manufacturer from Modena is preparing new weapons and all it can do is hope to use them as soon as possible, because there’s no need to create false expectations for the following races of the World Championship, except for those which will be held on very fast circuits, where Italian engines can gain some advantage from the greater power available (even though not so much, to be fair) compared to British cars. B.R.M. and Graham Hill’s brilliant victory in the Netherlands brings back this manufacturer, which has been putting an effort for years to claim a place up front, on the foreground. Up until now B.R.M. has been collecting a long series of disappointments, despite building technically admirable cars. With a typically British tenacity, B.R.M. prepared a top-notch vehicle, which is equipped with a direct-injected V8 engine that has collected two victories in eight days: Silverstone and Zandvoort.

 

But progress doesn’t concern only B.R.M.: as previously mentioned, also Lotus and Cooper (to which the promising Lola should be added now) have improved their chassis; and Coventry-Climax has managed to develop their V8 launched the year before and which is assembled on all the Formula 1 cars of the British manufacturers (except for B.R.M.). Talking about the drivers, in Britain they emerging: apart from Graham Hill, who certainly isn’t the new kid, new talents such as Clark, Trevor Taylor, Maggs appear on the difficult racing scene. While Italy can only count on Baghetti and Bandini, but it will be better to wait before calling them champions. Furthermore, Rodríguez is becoming more and more dangerous with his uncontrolled impetuosity, which ends up damaging the team he is part of, and most importantly himself. Concurrently with the Dutch Grand Prix, in Italy Ferrari dominate the Naples Grand Prix, confirming the predictions ahead of it. The race is reserved to Formula 1 cars only and is valid for the Italian Drivers’ Championship. Willy Mairesse wins using the greater power of his car, especially in the uphill parts of the tortuous Circuit in Posillipo. The Belgian driver beats his teammate Lorenzo Bandini by a few seconds. The race is enlivened by the duel of the two Ferrari drivers (Bandini and Mairesse) who had already proved to be the best on the grid during practice. It’s a riveting fast-paced duel that immediately creates a huge gap to all the other drivers. The two red racing cars have no rivals, dominating the whole race from start to finish in an electrifying run. Keith (UK) and Abate (Italy) resist mildly; however, they get lapped on the forty-fourth and thirty-fifth lap respectively. Keith, from England, finishes third in a Cilby-Climax, followed by the Italian Abate’s Porsche, who debuts at the wheel of a Formula 1 car, delivering a good performance. Bandini and Mairesse share the lap record of the Circuit in Posillipo, covering its 2500 meters in 1’18’’1, at an average speed of 115.486 km/h.


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