1968 Formula One season

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1968
FIA Formula One World Championship season
Previous: 1967 Next: 1969

The 1968 Formula One season included the 19th FIA Formula One World Championship season, which commenced on 1 January 1968, and ended on 3 November after twelve races.

Season summary[edit]

Although they had failed to win the title in 1967, by the end of the season the Lotus 49 and the DFV engine were mature enough to make the Lotus team dominant again. For 1968 Lotus lost its exclusive right to use the DFV. McLaren built a new DFV-powered car and a new force appeared on the scene when Ken Tyrrell entered his own team using a Cosworth-powered car built by French aeronautics company Matra and driven by ex-BRM driver Jackie Stewart.

Unsurprisingly the season-opening 1968 South African Grand Prix confirmed Lotus' superiority, with Jim Clark and Graham Hill finishing 1–2. It would be Clark's last win. On 7 April 1968 Clark, one of the most successful and popular drivers of all time, was killed at Hockenheim in a non-championship Formula Two event.

The season saw two significant innovations. The first was the arrival of unrestricted sponsorship, which the FIA decided to permit that year after the withdrawal of support from automobile related firms like BP, Shell and Firestone. In May the Lotus Formula One team appeared at Jarama in the Red, Gold and White colors of Imperial Tobacco's Gold Leaf brand. The second innovation was the introduction of wings as seen previously on various cars including the Chaparral 2F sports car. Colin Chapman introduced modest front wings and a spoiler on Graham Hill's Lotus 49B at Monaco. Brabham and Ferrari went one better at the Belgian Grand Prix with full width wings mounted on struts high above the driver. Lotus replied with a full width wing directly connected to the rear suspension that required a redesign of suspension wishbones and transmission shafts. Matra then produced a high mounted front wing connected to the front suspension. This last innovation was mostly used during practice as it required a lot of effort from the driver. By the end of the season most teams were using sophisticated wings.

Despite the death of Jim Clark, Lotus won both titles in 1968 with Graham Hill, but Stewart was a serious contender, winning several Grands Prix in the Tyrrell-run Matra MS10. Stewart's winning drive during the rain and fog of the 1968 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, where he won by a margin of four minutes, is considered as one of the finest ever, even though his rain tires were probably better than those of the competition. The car's most innovative feature was the use of aviation-inspired structural fuel tanks. These allowed the chassis to be around 15 kg lighter, while still being stronger than its competitors. The FIA considered the technology to be unsafe and decided to ban it for 1970, insisting on rubber bag-tanks (Which meant the effective end of spaceframe chassis in F1). Safety became a major issue in Formula One.

McLaren fielded a pair of Cosworth powered M7s for reigning Formula One World Champion Denny Hulme and team founder Bruce McLaren. McLaren won the non-championship Brands Hatch Race of Champions, then the Belgian Grand Prix was the scene of the team's first Championship win. In doing so, McLaren became only the third driver to win a race in a car manufactured by his own team - Jack Brabham having done it in 1966 and Dan Gurney in 1967 at Spa Francorchamps. Hulme won the Italian Grand Prix and Canadian Grand Prix later in the year.

Repco produced a more powerful version of their V8 to maintain competitiveness against Ford's new Cosworth DFV, but it proved very unreliable. The Brabhams were fast — Rindt set pole position twice during the season — but Brabham and Rindt finished only three races between them, and ended the year having scored just ten points.[1]

1968 turned out to be a turning point in the history of Formula One, in terms of technicalities and safety. Wings were used on Formula One cars and aerodynamics really played a part in terms of the cars' performance, and 5 Grand Prix drivers were killed in this year- including Jim Clark, Mike Spence, Jo Schlesser and Ludovico Scarfiotti- Clark at a Formula 2 race at Hockenheim in a Lotus in April, Spence during practice for the Indianapolis 500 in a Lotus in May, Scarfiotti during a hillclimb event in Germany driving a Porsche sportscar in June, and Schlesser during the French Grand Prix driving a Honda in July. It was the last year where all the races were run on tracks with almost no safety modifications. The rather dubious events of the season included Schlesser's almost recklessly caused fatal accident at Rouen Les Essarts and the German Grand Prix run in atrocious rain and thick fog at the dangerous and long Nürburgring, a race that was even questioned at the start to be run in the almost intolerable conditions.

Season review[edit]

Graham Hill (pictured in 1969) won his 2nd and last driver's championship, driving for Lotus
Rnd Race Circuit Date Pole position Fastest lap Winning driver Constructor Tyre Report
1 South Africa South African Grand Prix Kyalami 1 January United Kingdom Jim Clark United Kingdom Jim Clark United Kingdom Jim Clark United Kingdom Lotus-Ford F Report
2 Spain Spanish Grand Prix Jarama 12 May New Zealand Chris Amon France Jean-Pierre Beltoise United Kingdom Graham Hill United Kingdom Lotus-Ford F Report
3 Monaco Monaco Grand Prix Monaco 26 May United Kingdom Graham Hill United Kingdom Richard Attwood United Kingdom Graham Hill United Kingdom Lotus-Ford F Report
4 Belgium Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps 9 June New Zealand Chris Amon United Kingdom John Surtees New Zealand Bruce McLaren United Kingdom McLaren-Ford G Report
5 Netherlands Dutch Grand Prix Zandvoort 23 June New Zealand Chris Amon France Jean-Pierre Beltoise United Kingdom Jackie Stewart France Matra-Ford D Report
6 France French Grand Prix Rouen-Les-Essarts 7 July Austria Jochen Rindt Mexico Pedro Rodríguez Belgium Jacky Ickx Italy Ferrari F Report
7 United Kingdom British Grand Prix Brands Hatch 20 July United Kingdom Graham Hill Switzerland Jo Siffert Switzerland Jo Siffert United Kingdom Lotus-Ford F Report
8 West Germany German Grand Prix Nürburgring 4 August Belgium Jacky Ickx United Kingdom Jackie Stewart United Kingdom Jackie Stewart France Matra-Ford D Report
9 Italy Italian Grand Prix Monza 8 September United Kingdom John Surtees United Kingdom Jackie Oliver New Zealand Denny Hulme United Kingdom McLaren-Ford G Report
10 Canada Canadian Grand Prix Mont-Tremblant 22 September Austria Jochen Rindt Switzerland Jo Siffert New Zealand Denny Hulme United Kingdom McLaren-Ford G Report
11 United States United States Grand Prix Watkins Glen 6 October United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Jackie Stewart United Kingdom Jackie Stewart France Matra-Ford D Report
12 Mexico Mexican Grand Prix Hermanos Rodriguez 3 November Switzerland Jo Siffert Switzerland Jo Siffert United Kingdom Graham Hill United Kingdom Lotus-Ford F Report

Teams and drivers[edit]

The following teams and drivers competed in the 1968 FIA World Championship.

Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Tyre Driver Rounds
United Kingdom Bruce McLaren Motor Racing McLaren-BRM M5A BRM P142 3.0 V12 G New Zealand Denny Hulme 1
McLaren-Ford M7A Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 2-12
New Zealand Bruce McLaren 2-12
United Kingdom Brabham Racing Organisation Brabham-Repco BT24
BT26
Repco 740 3.0 V8
Repco 860 3.0 V8
G Australia Jack Brabham All
Austria Jochen Rindt All
United States Dan Gurney 5
United Kingdom Team Lotus
United Kingdom Gold Leaf Team Lotus
Lotus-Ford 49
49B
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F United Kingdom Jim Clark 1
United Kingdom Graham Hill All
United Kingdom Jackie Oliver 3-12
United States Mario Andretti 9, 11
Canada Bill Brack 10
Mexico Moisés Solana 12
United States Anglo American Racers Eagle-Weslake T1G Weslake 58 3.0 V12 G United States Dan Gurney 1, 3, 7-9
McLaren-Ford M7A Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 10-12
Japan Honda Racing Honda RA300
RA301
RA302
Honda RA273E 3.0 V12
Honda RA301E 3.0 V12
Honda RA302E 3.0 V8
F United Kingdom John Surtees All
France Jo Schlesser 6
United Kingdom David Hobbs 9
Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312 Ferrari 242 3.0 V12
Ferrari 242C 3.0 V12
F New Zealand Chris Amon 1-2, 4-12
Belgium Jacky Ickx 1-2, 4-10, 12
Italy Andrea de Adamich 1
United Kingdom Derek Bell 9, 11
United Kingdom Owen Racing Organisation BRM P126
P115
P133
P138
BRM P142 3.0 V12
BRM P75 3.0 H16
G Mexico Pedro Rodríguez All
United Kingdom Mike Spence 1
United Kingdom Richard Attwood 3-8
United States Bobby Unser 9, 11
United Kingdom Cooper Car Company Cooper-Maserati T81B
T86
Maserati 10/F1 3.0 V12 F
G
United Kingdom Brian Redman 1
Italy Ludovico Scarfiotti 1
Cooper-BRM T86B
T86
BRM P142 3.0 V12 United Kingdom Brian Redman 2, 4
Italy Ludovico Scarfiotti 2-3
Belgium Lucien Bianchi 3-5, 8, 10-12
United Kingdom Vic Elford 6-12
France Johnny Servoz-Gavin 6
United Kingdom Robin Widdows 7
United Kingdom Matra International Matra-Ford MS9
MS10
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 D United Kingdom Jackie Stewart 1, 4-12
France Johnny Servoz-Gavin 3, 9-10, 12
France Jean-Pierre Beltoise 2
France Matra Sports MS7 Ford Cosworth FVA 1.6 L4 1
Matra MS11 Matra MS9 3.0 V12 3-12
France Henri Pescarolo 10-12
South Africa Team Gunston Brabham-Repco BT20 Repco 620 3.0 V8 F Rhodesia John Love 1
LDS-Repco Mk 3 Rhodesia Sam Tingle 1
United Kingdom Rob Walker/Jack Durlacher Racing Team Cooper-Maserati T81 Maserati 9/F1 3.0 V12 F Switzerland Jo Siffert 1
Lotus-Ford 49
49B
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 2-12
Sweden Joakim Bonnier Racing Team Cooper-Maserati T81 Maserati 9/F1 3.0 V12 G Sweden Joakim Bonnier 1
McLaren-BRM M5A BRM P142 3.0 V12 3-5, 7, 9-11
Honda RA301 Honda RA301E 3.0 V12 12
South Africa Scuderia Scribante Brabham-Repco BT11 Repco 620 3.0 V8 F South Africa Dave Charlton 1
South Africa Team Pretoria Brabham-Climax BT11 Climax FPF 2.8 L4 F South Africa Jackie Pretorius 1
Rhodesia John Love Cooper-Climax T79 Climax FPF 2.8 L4 F South Africa Basil van Rooyen 1
United Kingdom Reg Parnell Racing BRM P126 BRM P142 3.0 V12 G United Kingdom Piers Courage 2-12
Switzerland Charles Vögele Racing Brabham-Repco BT20 Repco 620 3.0 V8 G Switzerland Silvio Moser 3, 5, 7-9
West Germany Caltex Racing Team Brabham-Repco BT24 Repco 740 3.0 V8 D West Germany Kurt Ahrens, Jr. 8
West Germany Bayerische Motoren Werke AG Lola-BMW T100 BMW M12/1 1.6 L4 D West Germany Hubert Hahne 8
United Kingdom Bernard White Racing BRM P261 BRM P142 3.0 V12 G Australia Frank Gardner 9
Canada Castrol Oils Ltd Eagle-Climax T1F Climax FPF 2.8 L4 G Canada Al Pease 10

1968 Drivers Championship final standings[edit]

Championship points were awarded on a 9-6-4-3-2-1 basis to the top six placegetters in each race. Only the best five results from the first six races and the best five results from the remaining six races were counted towards a driver's total.[2]

Pos. Driver RSA
South Africa
ESP
Spain
MON
Monaco
BEL
Belgium
NED
Netherlands
FRA
France
GBR
United Kingdom
GER
West Germany
ITA
Italy
CAN
Canada
USA
United States
MEX
Mexico
Pts.
1 United Kingdom Graham Hill 2 1 1 Ret 9 Ret Ret 2 Ret 4 2 1 48
2 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Ret 4 1 3 6 1 Ret 6 1 7 36
3 New Zealand Denny Hulme 5 2 5 Ret Ret 5 4 7 1 1 Ret Ret 33
4 Belgium Jacky Ickx Ret Ret 3 4 1 3 4 3 DNS Ret 27
5 New Zealand Bruce McLaren Ret Ret 1 Ret 8 7 13 Ret 2 6 2 22
6 Mexico Pedro Rodríguez Ret Ret Ret 2 3 NC Ret 6 Ret 3 Ret 4 18
7 Switzerland Jo Siffert 7 Ret Ret 7 Ret 11 1 Ret Ret Ret 5 6 12
8 United Kingdom John Surtees 8 Ret Ret Ret Ret 2 5 Ret Ret Ret 3 Ret 12
9 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise 6 5 Ret 8 2 9 Ret Ret 5 Ret Ret Ret 11
10 New Zealand Chris Amon 4 Ret Ret 6 10 2 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 10
11 United Kingdom Jim Clark 1 9
12 Austria Jochen Rindt 3 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 3 Ret Ret Ret Ret 8
13 United Kingdom Richard Attwood 2 Ret 7 7 Ret 14 6
14 France Johnny Servoz-Gavin Ret Ret 2 Ret Ret 6
15 United Kingdom Jackie Oliver Ret 5 NC Ret 11 Ret Ret DNS 3 6
16 Italy Ludovico Scarfiotti Ret 4 4 6
17 Belgium Lucien Bianchi 3 6 Ret Ret NC Ret Ret 5
18 United Kingdom Vic Elford 4 Ret Ret Ret 5 Ret 8 5
19 United Kingdom Brian Redman Ret 3 Ret 4
20 United Kingdom Piers Courage Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 8 8 4 Ret Ret Ret 4
21 United States Dan Gurney Ret Ret Ret Ret 9 Ret Ret 4 Ret 3
22 Sweden Jo Bonnier Ret DNQ Ret 8 Ret 6 Ret NC 5 3
23 Australia Jack Brabham Ret DNS Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 5 Ret Ret Ret 10 2
24 Switzerland Silvio Moser DNQ 5 NC DNQ 2
France Henri Pescarolo Ret DNS 9 0
Rhodesia John Love 9 0
West Germany Hubert Hahne 10 0
West Germany Kurt Ahrens, Jr. 12 0
South Africa Jackie Pretorius NC 0
United Kingdom Derek Bell Ret Ret 0
United States Mario Andretti DNS Ret 0
United States Bobby Unser DNS Ret 0
Italy Andrea de Adamich Ret 0
South Africa Dave Charlton Ret 0
United Kingdom Mike Spence Ret 0
South Africa Basil van Rooyen Ret 0
Rhodesia Sam Tingle Ret 0
France Jo Schlesser Ret 0
United Kingdom Robin Widdows Ret 0
United Kingdom David Hobbs Ret 0
Canada Bill Brack Ret 0
Mexico Moisés Solana Ret 0
Canada Al Pease DNS 0
Australia Frank Gardner DNQ 0
Pos. Driver RSA
South Africa
ESP
Spain
MON
Monaco
BEL
Belgium
NED
Netherlands
FRA
France
GBR
United Kingdom
GER
West Germany
ITA
Italy
CAN
Canada
USA
United States
MEX
Mexico
Pts.
Key
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Points finish
Blue Non-points finish
Non-classified finish (NC)
Purple Did not finish (Ret)
Red Did not qualify (DNQ)
Did not pre-qualify (DNPQ)
Black Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Race cancelled (C)
Light blue Practiced only (PO)
Friday test driver (TD)
(from 2003 onwards)
Blank Did not practice (DNP)
Excluded (EX)
Did not arrive (DNA)

1968 Constructors Championship final standings[edit]

Points were awarded on a 9-6-4-3-2-1 basis to the first six finishers at each round, however only the best placed car from each manufacturer was eligible to score points. The best five results from the first six rounds and the best five results from the last six rounds were retained.

Pos. Manufacturer RSA
South Africa
ESP
Spain
MON
Monaco
BEL
Belgium
NED
Netherlands
FRA
France
GBR
United Kingdom
GER
West Germany
ITA
Italy
CAN
Canada
USA
United States
MEX
Mexico
Pts.[3]
1 United Kingdom Lotus-Ford 1 1 1 5 9 11 1 2 Ret 4 2 1 62
2 United Kingdom McLaren-Ford 2 5 1 Ret 5 4 7 1 1 4 2 49
3 France Matra-Ford 6 5 Ret 4 1 3 6 1 2 6 1 7 45
4 Italy Ferrari 4 Ret 3 4 1 2 4 3 Ret Ret Ret 32
5 United Kingdom BRM Ret Ret 2 2 3 6 8 6 4 3 Ret 4 28
6 Japan Honda 8 Ret Ret Ret Ret 2 5 Ret Ret Ret 3 5 14
7 United Kingdom Cooper-BRM Ret 3 3 6 Ret 4 Ret Ret Ret 5 NC 8 14
8 United Kingdom Brabham-Repco 3 Ret Ret Ret 5 Ret Ret 3 Ret Ret Ret 10 10
9 France Matra Ret 8 2 9 Ret Ret 5 Ret Ret 9 8
10 United Kingdom McLaren-BRM 5 DNQ Ret 8 Ret 6 Ret NC 3
United Kingdom Cooper-Maserati 7 0
United States Eagle-Weslake Ret Ret Ret 9 Ret 0
United Kingdom Lola-BMW 10 0
United Kingdom Brabham-Climax NC 0
South Africa LDS-Repco Ret 0
United Kingdom Cooper-Climax Ret 0
Pos. Manufacturer RSA
South Africa
ESP
Spain
MON
Monaco
BEL
Belgium
NED
Netherlands
FRA
France
GBR
United Kingdom
GER
West Germany
ITA
Italy
CAN
Canada
USA
United States
MEX
Mexico
Pts.
  • Bold results counted to championship totals.

Non-Championship race results[edit]

Other Formula One races held in 1968, which did not count towards the World Championship.

Race Name Circuit Date Winning driver Constructor Report
United Kingdom III Race of Champions Brands Hatch 17 March New Zealand Bruce McLaren United Kingdom McLaren-Cosworth Report
United Kingdom XX BRDC International Trophy Silverstone 25 April New Zealand Denny Hulme United Kingdom McLaren-Cosworth Report
United Kingdom XV International Gold Cup Oulton Park 17 August United Kingdom Jackie Stewart France Matra-Cosworth Report

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fearnley (May 2006) p. 41
  2. ^ Mike Kettlewell, The Champion Book of World Championship Facts and Figures, 1982, Page 25
  3. ^ Only the best 5 results from the first 6 rounds and the best 5 results from the last 6 rounds counted towards the Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.

External links[edit]