#127 1964 German Grand Prix

2021-08-14 00:00

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#1964, Fulvio Conti, Nicoletta Zuppardo,

#127 1964 German Grand Prix

On Wednesday, July 15, 1964 Enzo Ferrari returns, for the first time since September 1939, to the Alfa Romeo headquarters at Portello. "I entered the


On Wednesday, July 15, 1964 Enzo Ferrari returns, for the first time since September 1939, to the Alfa Romeo headquarters at Portello.


"I entered the old courtyard on Via Gattamelata and, almost trembling, I looked around. Few things had changed. However, I felt a more impersonal air, which clouded my emotion a little".


The reason for the visit stemmed from Enzo Ferrari's desire to thank in person the president of Alfa Romeo, Giuseppe Luraghi, who in the spring had allowed him to use the new experimental track at Balocco in the Vercelli area, which the Milanese company had just completed. Ferrari needed to test the cars for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but the track at Monza was unfit for use due to modernization work. Luraghi did not give him time to finish his sentence. The president of Alfa Romeo expresses his happiness at having been able to do something for Ferrari, which with its cars contributes to the growth of Italian motoring.


"Ferrari, you always stay in your workshop and in your country, but if you tried to go around the world, as I do, you would soon realize the notoriety you enjoy everywhere".


Ferrari had known Luraghi since 1946, when he was the central director of Pirelli; in the immediate post-war period he had asked the tire company for a contribution of 15.000.000 lire for the development of the 4500 single-seater that would have raced against supercharged cars and, after obtaining it, he had learned that the company's number one, Piero Pirelli, had wanted to be reassured that Ferrari had not asked for a sum less than what was needed for fear of rejection. Ferrari, in the emotion of the moment missed the opportunity to test the ground for a possible partial transfer of its business to Alfa Romeo. The Modenese manufacturer had broken off negotiations with Ford fourteen months earlier and refused, six months later, the request to resume relations. At this time, no other car manufacturer seemed willing to buy his company. The idea of mentioning something to Luraghi flashes through his mind, but he prefers to overlook it. Five years later he would be sorry. On Sunday, July 19, 1964, is held on Solitudering, near Stoccarda, the 14th Solitude Gran Prix. It is a motor race out of the championship, but managed on the rules of Formula 1. The heavy rainfall, that has made the track slippery and dangerous and has delayed the departure, makes the competition difficult to run. This means that the drivers have difficulty controlling their single-seaters, so that Graham Hill and Innes Ireland go out of track: the two compatriots report no damage, but their cars are not suitable to race. Also Lorenzo Bandini is forced to retire, because of an accident of which he was protagonist together with the Australian Jack Brabham, the New Zealand Chris Amon, and the Dutch Gerhard Mitter and Joachim Diel.


Fortunately, all four are unhurt - except for Bandini, who has a little injury on the hand - but it is a big emotion for the public to see five vehicles (a Ferrari, a Brabham and three Lotus) bumping into each other within a few moments. The other agonistic motive of the race is the engaging duel between Surtees and Clark, that gives to the Lotus the opportunity to demonstrate to be good on the short distance; for what concerns the Ferrari, it is a defeat with honor. After this event, there is always more waiting for the German Gran Prix, competition that will have a very important role on a technical level for some reasons. First of all, on the circuit of the Nurburgring there will be the debut of the new Japanese single-seater 12-cylinder Honda, whose appearance at the Formula 1 testing has been ofetn announced and then postponed, until the last positive trials on the circuit of Zandvoort, done by the American driver Ronnie Bucknum under the direction of a group of Japanese technicians leaded by the designer. So it will be a long-awaited debut preceded by a long preparation. Someone says that to this participation can be attributed a meaning of commercial propaganda that probably goes beyond the Japanese Company’s intentions, that until now was dedicated only to motorcycle races, bringing home great results. But Formula 1 competitions are a very different thing, that requires long years of preparation and experience: for this reason it is unthinkable that there will be an incredible debut for the new Honda, still struggling with development problems. The vehicle seems not to present any new technical solution, but follows the design concept of the European Formula 1 single-seaters: engine on the back, very thin bodywork and parallelogram suspension. However, it has been adopted a a V12 engine (all the English and Italian cars have a V8), powered by the same number of carburetors (while European constructors have passed to direct injection), which delivers 230 BHP at 13.000 rpm. The real news is in the cross-section arrangement of this engine, which covers a very short lenght.


At the German Gran Prix the real battle will still be between the usual protagonists of the World Championship: Clark on Lotus, Graham Hill on B.R.M., Gurney on Brabham and Surtees on Ferrari. If we analyze the last competitions, we can come to the conclusion that it is materialising a sensible balance of values and performance among the four mentioned brands and the Ferrari, that even if it did not manage to prevail during the last five championship races of the season, is however equal to the English single-seaters, especially now that the development of the 158 V8 is complete. Jim Clark will run with the new Lotus 33 and Spence with the 33 which gave him the victory at the Solitude. A third vehicle, 25 type, is instead given to Mitter. There are no relevant news for what concerns the Coopers and B.R.M.s, while the Brabham has the new Climax engine, different from the previous one because of the tighter headboard that makes it more suitable for this new streamlined vehicle. For all this reasons, the sixth race of the Formula 1 World Championship seems uncertain and open to every prediction, even if it is obvious that the result will largely depend on the condition and the class of the drivers, and the knowledge that they have about the circuit. For example, it is clear that the Nurburgring is not congenial for the World Champion Jim Clark, while it is for Surtees, last year’s winner. Among the others, Graham Hill appears fearsome for his will and performance, while Gurney is back in the spotlight because of his new Brabham. It is then right to mention Jack Brabham, on the vehicle built by himself, Lorenzo Bandini on the wheel of the second Ferrari, and Ginther with his B.R.M.


It is possible that the world ranking can have a final settlement, unless Surtees manages to move up a lot of positions and come closer to the actual leaders of the ranking, Clark and Graham Hill, who have respectively 30 and 21 points, in front of Ginther, Arundell and Brabham with 11 and Gurney with 10. The Ferrari is the one to watch, because the World Championship for Makes has enedend and now it can dedicate itself to the Formula 1 races. The Lotus team is still without Arundell, even if he is now on the mend, so Spence is called to be the team mate of Jim Clark, who in Germany will run with the Lotus 33, externally similar to the tested Lotus 25, but incorporates all the changes introduced to the previous models during this season. As a matter of course, the Lotus 33 has a V8 Coventry-Climax engine, with Lucas injection, a ZF five-speed gearbox of the last model which has proven to be trouble-free in this season, Girling disc brakes, and 13-inches alloy wheels with Dunlop wide tread tyres. Spence will run with the previous Type 33 that Clark crashed in Aintree, then rebuilt and used by the Scottish driver to win the recent Solitude Gran Prix, while Mitter borrows the changed Type 25 that Clark used for the majority of the races of this season, until now. The Owen Racing Organisation intends to make the three BRMs run, together with the two 1964 monocoques and the 4wd car, but this one is not ready and the subscription is retired, leaving Grahm Hill and Ginther with the two 1964 previous cars, with the last type of six-speed gearbox; the last 1964 car crashed in Solitude, and required a complete reconstruction.


The Jack Brabham’s Racing Organisation subscribes the owner himself and Gurney, with the two Brabham-Climax that have runned for all the season; Brabham’s car has the rear part completely new, welded on the frame after the debacle of Solitude. The SEFAC of Modena, or Scuderia Ferrari as we know it, subscribes Surtees with one of the new cars with V8 engine, and Bandini with a car with V6 engine. The Cooper Car Company Ltd subscribes its two official drivers, McLaren and Phil Hill, with the two 1964 cars that start to seem of second hand, and the Parnell Racing Team brings its two Lotus 25 with B.R.M. engine for Hailwood and Amon. The ace of the motorcycle does not feel very well after that he hardly fell at the oriental German Gran Prix on a MZ motorcycle, and still shows a big bump in the head and a nasty cut. Amon’s car required an extensive reconstruction after the Solitude’s accident; more in the detail, the frame’s riveted pontoons required a straightening and a patch with reveted pieces. Rob Walker puts an end to Bonnier’s passage from a Brabham car to a Cooper, subscribing Edgar Barth on the 1963 V8 Cooper-Climax and Bonnier on the 1963 V8 Brabham-B.R.M. The Scuderia Centro-Sud subscribes Baghetti and Maggs on their two BRMs, while the other participants are private owners: Anderson (Brabham-Climax V8), Siffert (Brabham-BRM V8), Trintignant (BRM V8), de Beaufort (Porsche 4cyl) and Pilette (Scirocco-Climax V8). To complete the list, as announced, there is the subscription of the Tokyo’s Honda Motor Co Ltd, and the new V12 vehicle driven by Bucknum.


The practice starts on Friday morning, and a number of drivers seems to have difficulties: Amon does not manage to complete a full lap because of a persistent ignition error that then turns out to be a problem of candles. The Honda lives a ominous debut, because the entire morning is spent to disassemble and inspect the water pump, even if later will emerge that the radiator is defective. Revson is the author of an head-tail that takes him out of track and damages the nose of his Lotus against a tree, fortunately without severe damages, while Brabham is forced to stop because of the failure of his engine. Graham Hill manages to do a certain number of laps, recording also the fastest lap in 8’44"4. This is not only under the exhisting lap record of 8’47"0, established by Surtees in 1963, but also under the 8’45"8 established by Clark during the 1963 German Gran Prix’s practice. Various improvements on the circuit of Nurburgring showed at the start of the year that the speed would have been higher, but starting with 8’44"0 is very surprising. Surtees is not so far; the Britishman records a time of 8’45”2, while Gurney turns in 8’47”8. Instead, Clark surprisingly exceeds the 9 minutes because he passes most of the time to fix his Lotus and make it work well. Nobody does surprising laps, even if everyone except for Mitter, Pilette and de Beaufort tests the new vehicles. During the pause, before the next session of practice, the Brabham mechanics do an incredibly fast change of engine on their master’s car, while the Parnell mechanics patch the front hood of Revson’s Lotus, and others change springs, gear ratios, anti-roll bars, tyres and so on.


In the afternoon, Graham Hill does a lot of experiments with various settings, but ends recording a slower time than the one in the morning. Lorenzo Bandini, instead, amazes everyone recording a time of 8’42”6 and Surtees does not establish a distant time from this, running a lap in 8’43", but he asks himself if the car with V6 engine is more suitable for the Nurburgring, after he took on track an old V8 car, without completing a lap. So the Britishman is forced to a long walk to return to the boxes. Meanwhile, the new Lotus starts to go better and Clark is close to the exhisting lap record. During the next minutes, Gurney shows the real forward steps done by the Brabham team relating to the car development, and he is little slower than Surtees, before Brabham himself manages to go under the 9-minutes threshold. Spence does not manage to be excessively fast, while Amon is the author of some very fast laps: his best time is of 8’54"0. The Honda is not impressive, because on the engine work nine cylinders instead of twelve, and it does not manage to reach 12.000 or 13.000 rpm on the straightline. Mitter is unable to practice, because Colin Chapman would not let him take the reserve Lotus until Clark had not been sure of the new car, and because he is 5 seconds slower than Bandini, it is obvious that Clark is not sure of his car. Theoretically Bandini seems to have recorded a great time, but actually this is a false impression, because fast drivers know exactly where they could have recovered, after the development of their cars. Until now, the weather has been too hot to allow the motors to work at full efficiency, but the Saturday morning is quite cold, and the sky threatens rain.

This weather is perfect for the engine power and Surtees immediately takes advantage of the good conditions. The Britishman, in fact, is the first to go under the 8’40"0 limit, with a time of 8’32"9; a shocking effort, because some time ago a 9-minutes lap on the Nurburgring seemed impossible. Clark is still busy with the development of his new car, but manages to record a time of 8’42"2; this indicates that things are constantly going better, while Graham Hill cannot manage to do a lot of improvements compared to his time on Friday. Not long after these laps have been done, a splash of rain gets the circuit wet, and everyone who did not already have a good lap, enters the track, obviously recording slower times. The Honda is still in difficulty, being unwilling to start and then rarely running with all the 12 cylinders. Before Bucknum can complete a lap, the engine breaks down and the vehicle has to be towed. When the car pits again, starts the installation effort of another engine and a complete transmission. Also Ginther does not manage to come back to the finish line after he left the boxes, because he changes inadvertently a lower gear instead of an higher one, and the valve and the slippers of the B.R.M. were tangled. The fourth and last session of practice takes place at lunchtime, and the pause is not long enough for the Japanese mechanics to allow the Honda engine’s sostitution, neither for the B.R.M. mechanics to install another engine instead of the one broken by Ginther. Even if wet at the start, the track is soon dried and Surtees, not happy to have passed the 8’40"0 in the morning, records a time of 8’38"4. Also Gurney demonstrates to have no intention to stay behind, recording a time of 8’39"3, while Graham Hill is a lot slower and, before he can do something good, does what Ginther already did in the morning, with the same terrible results.


So it is easy to think that the frame, wringing, put the gear selectors out of phase regarding the lever in the cockpit, because there is no guide for the lever to slide. However, no matter what it is, it means that another B.R.M. mechanics’ team should have got to work and change an engine. McLaren is author of a time under 9 minutes, so as Siffert, while Anderson is less lucky, because the left lower arm radius comes off the frame and tears the assembly of the welding. At the end of the practice, Mitter will manage to do some laps with the reserve Lotus, and with only two flying laps records a time of 9’14"1. Near the end of the practice, de Beaufort hardly tries with his old Porsche to qualify, but he is author of a terrible accident at the curve of Bergwerk. Even if he is immediately taken to the hospital, his conditions are very critical. He will die the next Monday; it is an unhappy death for the great and lovely Dutchman, who runned mostly for fun, alwaus in form of amateur. While nobody understands the gravity of the accident, among the drivers on track, Clark still improves and equals Surtees’ time, with a time of 8’38"8. The final analysis of the four session of practice proposes a remarkable starting grid, with the first three drivers under 8’40"0, the first six all under the exhisting lap record and the first eleven drivers all under 9 minutes. Compiling the list of the qualifying times, the organizers discover that the Honda did not complete its mandatory minimum of five laps. The embarassment is deviated by an extra session of practice at the end of the afternoon, in which Ronnie Bucknum and Gerard Mitter complete their share of laps, but the times will not be timed.


The Honda is ready with the new engine, with a clearer sound and definitely 12 cylinder, and also Ginther’s car is completed. Mitter tests the Lotus 25, and also Bonnier exits, with Walker’s Brabham-B.R.M., to do more practice. So, the long day ends with everyone’s satisfaction. Sunday, August 2, 1964, is a relatively quiet day, and the German Gran Prix starts at 2.00 p.m., so that everyone can have sufficient time for the preparation. The weather conditions are almost perfect, with a fresh and cloudy sky and a dry track, when the cars line up on the grid. In this circumstance, the recommended fictitious starting grid is not used, because the starter has not experience with this procedure, neither he has ever watched a similar start, and he is not willing to start experimenting it in this phase. Anyway, on the big starting area of the Nurburgring the fictitious grid’s system would not have offered a lot of advantages. When the start is given, Clark almost hops abroad the flag, but Surtees manages to take the front part of the vehicle in front of the one of the Scottish driver while they pass in front of the boxes. Anyway, it is Bandini the one who takes the command of the race at Sudkehre. Meanwhile, the Honda slowly shoots from its position at the end of the grid, because Bucknum has no intention to be too involved in his first race with his new car, since this is a test for the Honda team. From the practice times it seemed that Clark would not have freed from Surtees very easily, if not entirely, and, even if the Scottishman’s Lotus guides the head of the race during the first lap, the Ferrari is very near when both arrive on the Tiergarten’s peak, and then over the boxes; also Gurney is not far, followed by Graham Hill, Brabham, Phil Hill, Bandini, McLaren, Ginther and Amon.


When the couple at the command brakes to face the Sudkehre, at lap two Surtees takes the command against Jim Clark. At the bottom of the group there is every type of problem, because Bonnier stops at half first lap with hard electrical discharges that ruin the battery, and Hailwood leaves an oil sick for a long trait of the circuit, before he stops with the engine broken. Also Mitter went very slow at the start, because he wetted some candles, so he tries to pit to do a change, so as Revson, while Anderson lost the water filler cap, losing a lot of water as a consequence, so he decides to pit to do a topping up. Meanwhile, the Honda driven by Bucknum overtakes Barth, Spence, Trintignant and Baghetti. During the second lap, Surtees mantains the command followed by Clark, but he cannot manage to detach from the Lotus and also Gurney and Graham Hill are still near, so all four go to the boxes in head formation, very closely to each other. However, the average speed decreased a lot, because of the oil fallen by Hailwood’s Lotus-B.R.M. To have a comparison, after running the lap in little more than 8’56"0, the next lap is done in 9’01"0. Until the oil will be completely dried, there will be no possibility to record very fast laps. During the second lap, Baghetti pits and retires because of a problem to the accelerator, and also Anderson pits again to see if he can improve the management of his car if the front anti-roll bar is modified. During the third lap, Gurney manages to get close to Clark; suddenly it seems that the Lotus driver has problems and, quite sure, he approaches the pits - after dropping to third place showing - signs of danger to his mechanics. Also Phil Hill retires during the first lap, because the Climax engine of his Cooper explodes, and at the start of the fourth lap McLaren passes in front of the pits with his engine showing signs of failure. He will then stop at lap four, because of a broken valve. This is not a good day also for the B.R.M., because Ginther pits after he noticed that one of the cylinders did not produce a regular force.


While Surtees barkes to run the North curve and start his fourth lap, Gurney joins him; then, the Ferrari’s driver - under pressure - brakes lately at a curve and Gurney passes inside, going at the head. But Surtees manages to stay beside him, ending the fourth lap with a few metres of detachment from him, even if the American driver’s Brabham gathered some paper, now at the entrance of the radiator. Meanwhile Graham Hill is in pursuit of Clark, and both move away from the race leaders, even if the oil on the track is getting dried and the rhythm is increasing. In fifth place, Brabham shows a good pass, managing to precede Bandini, Amon and Siffert, also Edgar Barth stops in the circuit with his Cooper’s clutch blocked, while Anderson pits again because of a broken suspension. Surtees takes again the lead of the race at lap five, but Gurney is again beside the British driver’s Ferrari when both starts lap six. The American driver takes command, just to lose it again when both are in the middle of the lap; none of them is giving up or making things easy for the other, making the audience of over 300.000 spectators, scattered along all the path, happy. At the end of lap six, both of the leaders are credited with the fastest lap, in 8’47"5, leaving Graham Hill and Clark a little behind them, while the other drivers are scattered along all the circuit, about to being doubled. Ginther’s BRM continues to not work well and is behind the Honda, that turns regularly. Gurney’s Brabham-Climax shows signs of failure, because the pressure in the water system is rising and the temperature is increasing, this indicates an internal loss of compression in the water system, even if the spectators ask themselves if it is the paper that covers the radiator to cause the overheating. However, if this were the case, the indicators of the water pressure would not have shown an increased pressure, but only temperature. Because the pressure increases, Gurney is forced to move a little back and Surtees makes a good use of his Ferrari, establishing a new lap record in 8’45"1 at his seventh lap.


Graham Hill is still in third place, but he is uncapable to face the leaders, while Clark appears over the Tiergarten belatedly, before going to the pits. There is something that does not work in the right stand of the Climax engine of the Scottish driver’s car; when the candle number three is removed, it is discovered that this has been hardly hammered by something inside the cylinder. A drain valve is open and it is now folded, hit by the piston and the intake valve, and the intake camshaft snipped his guide pin. Clark explains that his problems during the starting lap have been caused by the gearbox, because he changed the gear passing from the second to the fifth, instead of the third. At lap eight, Surtees goes on undisturbed in the head of the race with his Ferrari, although it emits a strange noise, followed by Gurney in second place with overheating problems. Graham Hill in third place with an engine that starts to be misfiring, and a lot behind Brabham is in fourth place, followed by Bandini, so Siffert and Amon a lot spaced. But a longer detachment divides them from the rest of the group, made up by Maggs (B.R.M.), Trintignant (B.R.M.), Spence (Lotus-Climax), Bucknum (Honda), Mitter (Lotus-Climax) and Revson, already doubled by Surtees. During the eighth lap, Surtees establishes another lap record, in 8’43"0, and before the end of the ninth lap he manages to take his advantage on Gurney to 16 seconds, before this one slows down trying to control his overheating problem, continuing to do signs to indicate a water problem to his mechanics in the pits. Brabham is in fourth place, and, uncapable to place third, starts to relax himself. To the point that when the Australian man sees in the mirror a red Ferrari behind him, he thinks that it is Surtees trying to overtake him, so he moves and says hello to him. He will have a big shock when he will find out that the driver who overtook him was not Surtees but Bandini. Will take Brabham a lap to return ahead. Knowing that the problem with the water pressure would not have been resolved, Gurney tries to reduce the distance from Surtees and establishes a new record in 8’42”9 at lap ten, to whom Surtees answers with a shocking 8’39"0 at lap eleven.


The overheating of Gurney’s engine is now really severe, and forces the American driver to slow down and allow Graham Hill to pass to the second place. At the end of lap eleven, Gurney pits. The water is hot but not boiling and the refrigeration system is full, so there is nothing to do. Gurney reutrns to race, but now is a lot behind. The American driver only runs a lap before he pits again, with a lower water level. Also Brabham stops with a wheel of the crown and a pinion broken, so as Amon who pits again because his car seems to work abnormally. With all the problems occurred to the competitors, the New Zealander driver is in fifth place, but the strange maneuvrability turned out to be caused by the mounting of the rear upper right radial arm that fell off the frame. Finally, also the Honda does not end the last lap, because Bucknum did an head-tail before of the Karussel and destroyed the car, but he came out fine. These situations lead Surtees to be the absolute owner of the race, followed at a distance by Hill on a shabby B.R.M., that he is managing by using the highest gears, and further back are following Bandini and Siffert, while Trintignant and Maggs are very near, running for the sixth place but almost a lap behind the leader, while the other four racers are doubled. At his penultimate lap, Surtees doubles Maggs, but cannot manage to take Trintignant. So, while the checkered flag is ready to salute Surtees at the end of his fifteenth lap, Trintignant crosses the finish line and is forced to run another lap. An exultant Surtees completes the fifteen laps, with the Suderia Ferrari’s men happy to salute him. A worried Graham Hill takes his inoperative BRM to the second place, Bandini records a worthy third place, while a shocked but very satisfied Siffert ends the race in fourth place. While the winner is acclaimed, Trintignant is still completing his last lap. The Frenchman would have finished the race in fifth position at full speed, except that his B.R.M.’s engine suddenly turns off on the final straghtline, because of the malfunction of the battery. Therefore, even if the little Frenchman pushes the car to the finish line, he will credited with the fifth place but with only fourteen laps. Tony Maggs ends in sixth place, also on B.R.M.


After the sixth race of the Fromula 1 World Championship, the Italian press gets passionate and seems to have found in Lorenzo Bandini the new hors classe of the motorsport. Born in Libya in 1935, in 1950 he goes to Milan where he works in Goliardo Freddi’s workshop, father of the future wife Margherita. It was him to launch Bandini in the world of motorsport, which in 1961 allowed him to debut in Formula 1. The Scuderia Centro-Sud gives him a Cooper-Maserati, with which he participates to the Belgian Gran Prix, the rest is a recent story. From 1962, Bandini works for Ferrari as a driver and test pilot, returns to Centro-Sud in 1963 driving a B.R.M., and during the same season is loaned to Ferrari for the Italian Gran Prix in Monza. In 1964 he is the second driver of the Scuderia of the prancing horse. Bandini seems to incarnate the anti-star figure: he is a serious and taciturn boy, shy and bashful to every kind of esibition. As a driver it can be affirmed that his model is more Achille Varzi than Nuvolari. He was also among the few Italianmen who accepted to measure themselves in Australia just to learn and grow their technical baggage and, even if now he can be considered among the best in his environment, he is still the shy and educated assistant mechanic who obeyed the principal. The awards seem to encourage him even more to hope to conquer a world title: not surprisingly his bigger dream is to win the Italian Gran Prix.


Meanwhile, the world talks more and more about the big affirmation of Ferrari, considered possible at the race’s eve by the technicians that were at Nurburgring; they saw both the great behavior of the Italian vehicles during the practice on Friday and Saturday, and the fact that the Ferrari and Surtees seems to perfectly fit the tortuous German circuit, that has 174 curves for every lap. It was also noticed a net improvement of the 158 in the two previous world races and in Solitude. The German Gran Prix represented an important, probably definitive, turning point in the events of the 1964 Formula 1 World Championship, that for two months gave only delusions to the Ferrari. In fact, even if the Maranello-based Company, at every race’s eve, seemed to be able to keep up with the British cars, at the end had always some little problems that denoted a still incomplete development of the vehicles. However, with hard work and tenacious perseverance, the Ferrari’s men were succesful in their enterprise and broke that kind of inferiority complex that in the long run might have become irreversible. It would be simplistic to compare the success of Surtees and Ferrari in the German race to that of the recent 24 Hours of Le Mans; there is more in this case: Ferrari is not only the unique Italian Company that has made the sporty automotive technical a way of life and subsistence, but it is also the only in the world that follows this ideal in all the areas of the competitive activity, that is now a lot fractioned, even if counts on two firm vertices, the Sport category (now called Gran Turismo Prototypes), and the Formula 1. The Ferrari uses all means and its little équipe of technicians to realize the cars of the two categories, with a waste of energy that of course the Englishmen do not spend.


The Lotus, in fact, focuses every effort on the racing single-seaters’ preparation, of which do not built the engines that, as other British Companies, are bought from a specialized factory, the Coventry-Climax. The Lotus is also, for a few years, employed in the construction of cars Indianapolis type, for which it makes use of engines served by other factories (Ford in this case). It is very far from the phylosophy of Ferrari, that does everything on its own, placing side by side every year the constuction of new models of the Sport category and the presentation of a new Formula 1 single-seater, with the development of new engines. This tells a lot of things, starting with the Ferrari’s delay in preparation th the German Gran Prix’s eve towards the British Formula 1 cars, because the modenese Company was engaged in Sport races. It is also clear that the world champion Jim Clark’s Lotus is not safe as it was in 1963. The car’s weakness seems to be the Coventry-Climax engine, subect to a lot of stress: the hypothesis seems to be confirmed by the failure of a valve at Nurburgring. Another proof are the continous problems accused by the cars of the British constuctors which have the same engine, while the B.R.M., original in all its components, under this point of view seems not to have problems. At this point, a long breaks awaits us for what concerns the World Championship’s continuation. The Italian Gran Prix will be held in September. It will be the Monza circuit the theatre of the new 12-cylinders Ferrari’s debut, powerful weapon, which presence can shatter the English counter-offensive.


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