1970 Formula One season
|1970 FIA Formula One
World Championship season
|Drivers' Champion: Jochen Rindt
Constructors' Champion: Lotus-Ford
The 1970 Formula One season included the 21st FIA Formula One World Championship season, which commenced on 7 March 1970, and ended on 25 October after thirteen races. It was won by Jochen Rindt, who died four races before the end of the season. This is the only season to date in which the World Championship title has been awarded posthumously.
For 1970 following the agreement with Simca, Tyrrell were asked by Matra to use their V12 rather than the Cosworth. Stewart tested the Matra V12 and found it inferior to the DFV. As a large part of the Tyrrell budget was provided by Ford, and another significant element came from French state-owned petroleum company Elf, which had an agreement with Renault that precluded supporting a Simca partner, Ken Tyrrell had little alternative (due to clashing sponsorship deals) but to buy the March 701 chassis as an interim solution while developing his own car in secret; the first Tyrrell bore a substantial resemblance to the MS80.
The new wedge-shaped Lotus 72 was a very innovative car featuring torsion bar suspension, hip-mounted radiators, inboard front brakes and an overhanging rear wing. The 72 originally had suspension problems, but when dive and squat were designed out of the suspension the car quickly showed its superiority. Lotus's new leader, the Austrian Jochen Rindt, dominated the championship until he was killed at Monza when he crashed into some poorly installed crash barriers right before the Parabolica corner. He took the 1970 title posthumously for Lotus. Jacky Ickx won the Austrian, Canadian and Mexican Grands Prix to come second in the Drivers' Championship, having re-joined Ferrari from Brabham. Had he won the United States Grand Prix instead of Brazilian newcomer Emerson Fittipaldi, Ickx would have been crowned champion.
The 1970 season was one of the most tragic in Formula One history. Before Rindt's death at Monza, New Zealander Bruce McLaren was killed testing a McLaren Can-Am car at the Goodwood Circuit in England, and Briton Piers Courage was killed at the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, driving a Frank Williams-entered De Tomaso.
The German Grand Prix was originally supposed to be held at the Nürburgring. Jochen Rindt, representing the GPDA (Grand Prix Driver's Association), visited the track with a list of requests to make the long and dangerous track safer, but the organizers did not comply. At a GPDA meeting at a hotel in London after the memorial services of Piers Courage and Bruce McLaren, a vote was cast to determine whether to race there and the vote went against racing at the Nürburgring. The German Grand Prix was hastily switched to Hockenheim, which had already been brought up to safety standards. Rindt won the race by 0.7 seconds from Ickx. It would prove to be his final Grand Prix victory.
1970 saw the introduction of slick tyres by Goodyear.
Teams and drivers
1970 Drivers' Championship final standings
1970 Constructors' Championship final standings
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 six results from the first seven rounds and the best five results from the last six rounds were retained.
- Bold results counted to championship totals.
Non-Championship race results
Other Formula One races held in 1970, which did not count towards the World Championship.
|Race Name||Circuit||Date||Winning driver||Constructor||Report|
|V Race of Champions||Brands Hatch||22 March||Jackie Stewart||March-Cosworth||Report|
|XXII BRDC International Trophy||Silverstone||26 April||Chris Amon||March-Cosworth||Report|
|XVII International Gold Cup||Oulton Park||22 August||John Surtees||Surtees-Cosworth||Report|
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- Drivers' points were awarded on a 9–6–4–3–2–1 basis to the top six placegetters in each race. The best 6 results from the first 7 races and the best 5 results from the last 6 races were counted however this rule did not affect any driver's points tally in the 1970 championship.
- Only the best 6 results from the first 7 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.