1964 Mexican Grand Prix

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Mexico  1964 Mexican Grand Prix
Race details
Race 10 of 10 in the 1964 Formula One season
Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez 1963.svg
Date October 25, 1964
Official name III Gran Premio de Mexico
Location Magdalena Mixhuca, Mexico City
Course Permanent racing facility
5.000 km (3.107 mi)
Distance 65 laps, 325.000 km (201.946 mi)
Pole position
Driver United Kingdom Jim Clark Lotus-Climax
Time 1:57.24
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Jim Clark Lotus-Climax
Time 1:58.37
Podium
First United States Dan Gurney Brabham-Climax
Second United Kingdom John Surtees Ferrari
Third Italy Lorenzo Bandini Ferrari

The 1964 Mexican Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Mexico City on October 25, 1964. It was the final round of the 1964 Formula One season.

It was possibly the most dramatic finale in the history of the Formula One World Championship.Championship points could only be scored by the first six place finishers (9-6-4-3-2-1). Arriving to the race, three drivers had a chance of winning the title. Graham Hill (BRM) with 39 points, John Surtees (Ferrari) with 34 points and Jim Clark (Lotus-Climax) with 32 points. In order to win the title Clark had to win the race and hope that Graham Hill would not finish higher than third (Hill had already scored points in six races and only the best six scores counted; if he finished fifth or higher he would have to drop two points for his weakest finish). Neither Clark nor Surtees had scored in six races thus far. Hill only had to finish as high as third to clinch the title regardless of where Surtees finished unless Clark won, in which case Hill would have to finish second. If Clark won it would be irrelevant where Surtees finished. Surtees could only win the title by finishing second or higher, unless Hill won or finished as high as third.

The race began with Clark leading from pole position with Dan Gurney running second in the Brabham-Climax (Gurney had only ten points going into this race having won the French Grand Prix and scored a sixth place). Hill and Lorenzo Bandini, Surtees' teammate at Ferrari, were duelling for third place with Surtees running a distant fifth, seemingly with no chance at winning the title. If the positions remained the same, Clark would be champion with four victories to Hill's two victories, although they would be tied on points at 39. Then Bandini ran into the back of Hill's car causing him to spin and lose a few places. Thereafter Hill's car ran with a crimped exhaust pipe causing him to lose power. The championship was now firmly in Clark's grasp. Then on the penultimate lap, Clark's engine seized and the positions were now Gurney-Bandini-Surtees. The title was back in Hill's grasp. Realizing that Surtees could win the title by finishing second, the Ferrari team manager frantically signalled Bandini to slow down as he passed the pits to enter the last lap so as to let Surtees through. Bandini dutifully did so and Surtees finished second, thus winning the World Championship by one point over Hill (40 to 39).

Classification[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 6 United States Dan Gurney Brabham-Climax 65 2:09:50.32 2 9
2 7 United Kingdom John Surtees Ferrari 65 + 1:08.94 4 6
3 8 Italy Lorenzo Bandini Ferrari 65 + 1:09.63 3 4
4 2 United Kingdom Mike Spence Lotus-Climax 65 + 1:21.86 5 3
5 1 United Kingdom Jim Clark Lotus-Climax 64 Engine 1 2
6 18 Mexico Pedro Rodríguez Ferrari 64 + 1 lap 9 1
7 9 New Zealand Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax 64 + 1 lap 10
8 4 United States Richie Ginther BRM 64 + 1 lap 11
9 10 United States Phil Hill Cooper-Climax 63 Engine 15
10 17 Mexico Moisés Solana Lotus-Climax 63 + 2 laps 14
11 3 United Kingdom Graham Hill BRM 63 + 2 laps 6
12 11 United Kingdom Innes Ireland BRP-BRM 61 + 4 laps 16
13 23 United States Hap Sharp Brabham-BRM 60 + 5 laps 19
Ret 15 New Zealand Chris Amon Lotus-BRM 46 Gearbox 12
Ret 5 Australia Jack Brabham Brabham-Climax 44 Electrical 7
Ret 14 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood Lotus-BRM 12 Overheating 17
Ret 22 Switzerland Jo Siffert Brabham-BRM 11 Fuel Pump 13
Ret 16 Sweden Jo Bonnier Brabham-Climax 9 Suspension 8
Ret 12 United Kingdom Trevor Taylor BRP-BRM 6 Overheating 18

Notes[edit]

  • For the first time, 3 British drivers went into the last race with a chance of winning the championship.
    • Graham Hill (39pts) needed either:
      • 1st
      • 3rd, with Surtees 2nd or lower
      • Clark 2nd or lower and Surtees 3rd or lower
    • John Surtees (34pts) needed either:
      • 1st
      • 2nd, with Graham Hill 4th or lower
    • Jim Clark (30pts) needed:
      • 1st, with Surtees 3rd or lower and Graham Hill 4th or lower
    • Jim Clark nearly managed this. If his engine hadn't blown in the last lap, he would've done just enough to win the championship.
  • In another first, three constructors were fighting for the championship.
    • Ferrari (43pts) needed either
      • 1st
      • 2nd, with the top BRM 3rd or lower
      • The top Lotus-Climax 2nd or lower and the top BRM in 3rd or lower
    • BRM (42pts) needed
      • 1st
    • Lotus-Climax (37pts) needed
      • 1st, with the top Ferrari 3rd or lower
    • Again, if Jim Clark's engine hadn't blown, then Lotus-Climax would've won the Constructors' Championship

Championship standings after the race[edit]

  • Notes: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Only best 6 results counted toward the championship. Numbers without parentheses are championship points, numbers in parentheses are total points scored.


Previous race:
1964 United States Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1964 season
Next race:
1965 South African Grand Prix
Previous race:
1963 Mexican Grand Prix
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1965 Mexican Grand Prix