1973 Dutch Grand Prix

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Netherlands  1973 Dutch Grand Prix
Race details
Race 10 of 15 in the 1973 Formula One season
Circuit Park Zandvoort-1973.svg
Date July 29, 1973
Official name XXI Grote Prijs van Nederland
Location Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands
Course Permanent racing facility
4.18 km (2.6 mi)
Distance 72 laps, 304.27 km (189.06 mi)
Weather Dry
Pole position
Driver Sweden Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford
Time 1:19.47
Fastest lap
Driver Sweden Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford
Time 1:20.31
Podium
First United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford
Second France François Cevert Tyrrell-Ford
Third United Kingdom James Hunt March-Ford

The 1973 Dutch Grand Prix was a Formula One race held at Zandvoort on July 29, 1973. Zandvoort returned to the Formula 1 calendar following a year's absence for extensive safety upgrades to the race track including new asphalt, new barriers and a new race control tower. Jackie Stewart won the race, this Grand Prix being fourth of five wins for Stewart during the 1973 Formula One season, and he became the most successful Formula One driver of all time with his 26th Grand Prix victory, surpassing Jim Clark's record of 25 victories.

Driver Roger Williamson was killed in the race; this was the first of two driver fatalities in the 1973 season. François Cevert, who took the podium in second place at this race, would later perish during practice for the 1973 United States Grand Prix.

Death of Roger Williamson[edit]

On the 8th lap of the race through the high speed esses near the Tunnel Oost (East Tunnel) right-hand corner, a suspected tyre failure caused Williamson's car to pitch into the barriers at high speed, and be catapulted 300 yards (275 m) across the track, eventually coming to rest upside down against the barriers on the other side. The petrol tank had ignited whilst being scraped along the track, and the car caught fire. Williamson had not been seriously injured by the impact, but was trapped in the car. The race was not stopped and continued with a local yellow at the scene, a fact which would become significant over the next few minutes.

Fellow driver David Purley, who witnessed Williamson's impact, almost immediately pulled his car over on the opposite side of the track, then ran across the live racetrack to assist him. Williamson was heard shouting to Purley to get him out of the car as Purley tried in vain to turn the car upright. There appeared to have been ample time to right the car and pull Williamson out, but as desperately as he tried, Purley was unable to do it by himself, and the marshals, who were not wearing flame retardant overalls, were unable to help due to the intense heat.

Race control assumed that it was Purley's car that had crashed and that the driver had escaped unharmed. Many drivers who saw Purley waving them down to stop assumed that he was trying to put a fire out from his own car, having safely exited it, and thus did not know that a second driver had been involved. As a result the race continued at full pace while Purley desperately tried to save the life of Williamson.

There was only a single fire extinguisher in the area, and it was not enough to put out the fire. With the car still burning upside-down, the situation became hopeless, and the distraught Purley was led away by a marshal. Some spectators, appalled at Williamson's plight, tried to breach the safety fences in order to assist Williamson, but were pushed back by track security staff with dogs.[citation needed]

With the race still on, it took some eight minutes for a fire truck to completely travel around the circuit with the flow of race traffic. By the time the car was eventually righted, and the fire extinguished, Williamson had died of asphyxiation. A blanket was thrown over the burnt-out wreck with Williamson still inside, and the race carried on.

Purley was awarded the George Medal for his brave actions in trying to save his fellow sportsman.

In an otherwise uneventful race, Jackie Stewart won his 26th career Grand Prix and broke Jim Clark's 5-year old record of the most career Grand Prix victories.

Classification[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Lap Gap
1 2 Sweden Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford 1:19.47
2 5 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford 1:19.97 +0.50
3 6 France François Cevert Tyrrell-Ford 1:20.12 +0.65
4 7 New Zealand Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford 1:20.31 +0.84
5 10 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford 1:20.59 +1.12
6 8 United States Peter Revson McLaren-Ford 1:20.60 +1.13
7 27 United Kingdom James Hunt March-Ford 1:20.70 +1.23
8 24 Brazil Carlos Pace Surtees-Ford 1:21.02 +1.55
9 20 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM 1:21.14 +1.67
10 17 United Kingdom Jackie Oliver Shadow-Ford 1:21.23 +1.76
11 21 Austria Niki Lauda BRM 1:21.43 +1.96
12 19 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni BRM 1:21.56 +2.09
13 11 Brazil Wilson Fittipaldi Brabham-Ford 1:21.82 +2.35
14 28 Liechtenstein Rikky von Opel Ensign-Ford 1:22.01 +2.54
15 25 New Zealand Howden Ganley Iso Marlboro-Ford 1:22.10 +2.63
16 1 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford 1:22.24 +2.77
17 12 United Kingdom Graham Hill Shadow-Ford 1:22.50 +3.03
18 14 United Kingdom Roger Williamson March-Ford 1:22.72 +3.25
19 22 New Zealand Chris Amon Tecno 1:22.73 +3.26
20 26 Netherlands Gijs van Lennep Iso Marlboro-Ford 1:22.95 +3.48
21 18 United Kingdom David Purley March-Ford 1:23.09 +3.62
22 16 United States George Follmer Shadow-Ford 1:24.14 +3.67
23 15 United Kingdom Mike Beuttler March-Ford 1:24.45 +3.98
24 23 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood Surtees-Ford 1:32.33 +11.86

Race[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford 72 1:39:12.45 2 9
2 6 France François Cevert Tyrrell-Ford 72 + 15.83 3 6
3 27 United Kingdom James Hunt March-Ford 72 + 1:03.01 7 4
4 8 United States Peter Revson McLaren-Ford 72 + 1:09.13 6 3
5 20 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM 72 + 1:13.37 9 2
6 26 Netherlands Gijs Van Lennep Iso Marlboro-Ford 70 + 2 Laps 20 1
7 24 Brazil Carlos Pace Surtees-Ford 69 + 3 Laps 8  
8 19 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni BRM 68 + 4 Laps 12  
9 25 New Zealand Howden Ganley Iso Marlboro-Ford 68 + 4 Laps 15  
10 16 United States George Follmer Shadow-Ford 67 + 5 Laps 22  
11 2 Sweden Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford 66 Engine 1  
NC 12 United Kingdom Graham Hill Shadow-Ford 56 Not Classified 17  
Ret 21 Austria Niki Lauda BRM 52 Fuel Pump 11  
Ret 23 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood Surtees-Ford 52 Electrical 24  
Ret 7 New Zealand Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford 31 Engine 4  
Ret 11 Brazil Wilson Fittipaldi Brabham-Ford 27 Accident 13  
Ret 22 New Zealand Chris Amon Tecno 22 Fuel System 19  
Ret 10 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford 9 Tyre 5  
Ret 18 United Kingdom David Purley March-Ford 8 Withdrew 21  
Ret 14 United Kingdom Roger Williamson March-Ford 7 Fatal Accident 18  
Ret 1 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford 2 Physical 16  
Ret 15 United Kingdom Mike Beuttler March-Ford 2 Electrical 23  
Ret 17 United Kingdom Jackie Oliver Shadow-Ford 1 Accident 10  
DNS 28 Liechtenstein Rikky von Opel Ensign-Ford 0 Non Starter 14  

Championship standings after the race[edit]

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Only the best 7 results from the first 8 races and the best 6 results from the last 7 races counted towards the Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.

References[edit]


Previous race:
1973 British Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1973 season
Next race:
1973 German Grand Prix
Previous race:
1971 Dutch Grand Prix
Dutch Grand Prix Next race:
1974 Dutch Grand Prix