The weather forecast for Sunday is not too promising so a repeat of the Spanish Grand Prix pit-stop drama can be envisaged, and Team Lotus spends some time practicing wheel-changes. The pits at Anderstorp being small, primitive, and crowded, the Formula One Constructors Association comes up with an excellent idea of using the front of the pits and the back of the pits, to give more room. The organisers hurriedly rip the back out of the existing pits, erect a barrier across the paddock to form a lane behind the pits, and Chapman (in pit number 1) and Tyrrell (in pit number 2) draw lots to see who should have the front pit and who should have the back pit. Chapman loses, so his team has to work from the back of the pits, while Tyrrell’s team works from the front. From then on along the line of pits the team’s keep their same pit, but alternated front to rear, and everyone have much more space and is very happy. It is fortunate that the pit/paddock area has more than enough space available to allow plenty of room for the run-in and for the run-out. As things turns out the weather improved steadily, and the only clouds in the sky are light fluffy ones and the sun grows hotter all the time, but nobody doubted the wisdom of the double-sided pit idea. First thing in the morning, before a series of national races took place, everyone has the opportunity for a last final fling, with no times being recorded, and poor Tom Belso literally flings his Williams car up the road when the suspension collapse on him. Although the race is not due to start until 1:30 p.m. there is no possibility of repairing it, so Robans is made to stand down and Belso takes his car Fittipaldi also decided to change cars, preferring the feel of the spare McLaren to his usual one, these sort of last-minute changes being allowed by the 1974 CSI ruling, providing the driver does not change make of car.
After a warmup lap the cars form up in grid order in front of the pits, with Kinunen taking the place of the unfortunate Robarts, while Schuppan, who is the slowest in practice, was told to join in on the back just in case anyone drops out, thus ensuring 25 cars starting. All 26 cars set off on the pace lap round to the starting line, led by the two ELF blue Tyrrell cars, everyone keeping station behind them. There is a pause on the starting grid and then everyone is away to start the so laps race, including Schuppan, as no-one had signalled anything to him. While Peterson is carving his way through from the third row, to tuck in behind Scheckter, who has made a good start, Depaillcr is not so quick and has to follow the black and gold Lotus into the first corner. While all this was going on Pescarolo’s BRM was developing flames around the back end, and while the field goes away on the opening lap the BRM pulls off the track and is doused by the fire-marshals. Scheckter leads from Peterson, Depailler, Lauda, Regazzoni, Reutemann, Hunt, Jarier, lckx, Fittipaldi, Millwood, and Hulme and on only the second time round Roos retires to the pits with a broken gearbox, while next time round Beltoise does likewise with a broken engine. With a clear road in front, Scheckter begets to pull out a small lead, while the rest down to Hailwood run nose-to-tail, nobody looking like doing anything desperate. At six laps Hailwood coasts to a stop out on the circuit, a leak in the main fuel system cutting off the supply to the engine, and it is a case of follow-my-leader and sec who does not break down. At nine laps the front and the back of the field suffers a loss, Peterson coming to a stop with a broken rear drive-shaft and Kinnunen coming to a stop on the runway with a dead engine. The Lotus 72 retirement leaves the Tyrrell cars first and second and soon a situation of stale-mate set in, the circuit not encouraging anyone to do anything heroic.
The field divides into two parts, the first one containing a procession of aces and professionals, with the cheeky Brambilla doing a splendid job hanging on to them, and the second part comprising the amateurs and also-rans, who are actually enjoying a little private battle far more than the front runners. Mass, Belso and von Opel are racing against other, while just ahead of them the tow Lolas are giving a nose-to-tail demonstration like the two Tyrrells out at the front of the race. One by one the enfeebled begins to drop by the wayside, Reutemann calling at his pit with failing fuel pressure, only to find the back of the car covers in oil from the engine breathers, so it is withdrawn before it blew up. lckx stops with electrical problems and then gives up altogether with low oil pressure, and Pace gives up in disgust. Regazzoni’s Ferrari breaks its gearbox, and Lauda is not going as well as he should have done, for the right rear suspension is collapsing and the wheel is leaning inwards. His reduced pace was holding up Hunt, who has badly wanted to get by, but there is no possibility round the wiggly part of the circuit, and the Hesketh cannot out-speed the Ferrari down the straight. All the time the two Tyrrell’s are pulling further and further away into the distance, pit signals telling them to take it easy and drop their maximum rev-limit by 1000 r.p.m. There is no opposition behind them, with the remaining Ferrari sagging visibly, Hunt boxed in, the two McLarens of Fittipaldi and Hulme running so slowly that Brambilla is giving them trouble, and the charging Jarier having been deflated by first of all making a nonsense and missing a gear-change on the opening lap, and a little while later having the on-board fire-extinguisher system going off. It scents impossible that the two Tyrrell new-boys can be having it so good, but obviously Team Tyrrell has got more variables right than anyone else, and they are dead reliable with it.
Watson and Wisell are having a nice little scrap together, for ninth place, but it did not last, as Watson has to stop to change a tyre on the brown Brabham, and Wisell goes out at three-quarter race - distance when a pivot bolt in the rear suspension breaks. Schuppan is having a lonely drive round on his own, right at the back of the field, but keeps going as no-one signalled him to stop racing, and when it is all over, he finds himself excluded from the official results as he is not supposed to have started! Mass skates off the track when the front suspension of his Surtees breaks (perhaps he does have cause for complaint), and Hulme drags himself to a stop when the rear suspension breaks on his McLaren. The troublesome rear suspension mounting point on Lauda’s Ferrari is gradually tearing the welded joint away, and as the wheel leans inwards the load is being transmitted to the final drive unit and the gearbox and the young Austrian is having difficulty changing gear. Finally the transmission gave up the unequal struggle and the second Ferrari retires to the pits, leaving Hunt a clear track at last. However, there were only ten laps to go, and though the blonde Englishman put on a stirring display in gaining ground on the two Tyrrells, even if he has caught them there would have been little hope of getting past them. Both Scheckter and Depailler know exactly what is going on, the South African setting just the right pace, with his agitated French team-mate closed up behind him, and though the last minute flurry by Hunt and the Hesketh wakes everyone from their stupor it is a bit meaningless, and the Tyrrells cruises home to an impressive 1-2, on reliability and practicality rather than genius and inspiration, those last two qualities being strew around the circuit where their progenitors have fallen by the wayside. As the Tyrrells completes their last lap Brambilla’s March seizes its Cosworth engine and coasts to a stop short of the finishing line, losing a worthy sixth place, dropping to tenth in the results.