1968 German Grand Prix

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West Germany  1968 German Grand Prix
Race details
Race 8 of 12 in the 1968 Formula One season
Circuit Nürburgring-1967-Nordschleife.svg
Date 4 August 1968
Official name XXX Großer Preis von Deutschland
XXVIII Grand Prix d'Europe
Location Nürburgring, Nürburg, West Germany
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 22.835 km (14.189 mi)
Distance 14 laps, 319.690 km (198.646 mi)
Weather Hazy, Wet
Pole position
Driver Ferrari
Time 9:04.0
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Matra-Ford
Time 9:36.0 on lap 8
First Matra-Ford
Second Lotus-Ford
Third Brabham-Repco
BMW's Formula Two car and driver Hubert Hahne during practice

The 1968 German Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at the Nürburgring on 4 August 1968. It was the eighth round of the 1968 Formula One season. The race was held in extremely wet and foggy conditions, and British driver Jackie Stewart, racing with a broken wrist, won the race by a margin of four minutes in what is widely considered to be one of the greatest victories in the history of Formula One.[1][2]

The race is also notable for Dan Gurney's choice of a full face helmet, making him the first driver to do so in Grand Prix racing.[3]



After Jo Siffert had surprisingly won the previous race at Brands Hatch, the paddock arrived at the Nürburgring almost unchanged. Equally unchanged was the weather: with rain over the entire weekend, this was to be the fifth wet race in a row. BMW entered a Lola-built Formula Two car driven by Hubert Hahne in order to evaluate their competitiveness in Formula One.[4]

Practice and qualifying[edit]

On Saturday, conditions were so poor, with visibility down to mere ten yards, that the organizers scheduled an additional practice session for Sunday morning. Still many drivers slid off the track during the morning session.[1] Eventually, Jacky Ickx took pole positions by a full 10 seconds from second placed Chris Amon, both in a Ferrari. Jackie Stewart in his Matra MS10 was down in sixth place on the grid.[4] At the time, Ickx became the youngest person ever to sit on pole, a record beaten 14 years later when Andrea de Cesaris achieved pole position at the 1982 United States Grand Prix West.


Even with the conditions treacherous, 200,000 spectators turned up for the race on Sunday afternoon.[1] The race turned out to be a one-man show by Scotsman Jackie Stewart. While Graham Hill took the lead at the start, by the end of the first lap Stewart had moved into first place and built a nine-second lead. He put his superior Dunlop wet tires to great effect and by the end of lap 2, had extended his lead to 34 seconds. When the race ended after 14 laps, Stewart crossed the line more than 4 minutes in front of second placed Hill. The eventual World Champion had spun on lap 11, but was able to get out of the car, push it into the right direction and keep going before third-placed Jochen Rindt could catch up.[4] Chris Amon had battled with Hill for 11 laps over second place, rarely having more than a second between the two, until Amon spun out of the race on the same lap as Hill did.[1]


Stewart described the race as a "teeth gritting effort" in his autobiography. About the first lap he wrote:

Visibility is so pathetically poor I can't even see Chris' car in front of me [...] I am simply driving into this great wall of spray. I pull out to pass him but the spray is dense and I'm driving blind.

— Jackie Stewart, Winning Is Not Enough

The race has been described as Stewart's best drive ever, with the Scot later confirming he felt the same way.[5]


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 6 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Matra-Ford 14 2:19:03.2 6 9
2 3 United Kingdom Graham Hill Lotus-Ford 14 + 4:03.2 4 6
3 5 Austria Jochen Rindt Brabham-Repco 14 + 4:09.4 3 4
4 9 Belgium Jacky Ickx Ferrari 14 + 5:55.2 1 3
5 4 Australia Jack Brabham Brabham-Repco 14 + 6:21.1 15 2
6 10 Mexico Pedro Rodríguez BRM 14 + 6:25.0 14 1
7 1 New Zealand Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford 14 + 6:31.0 11  
8 22 United Kingdom Piers Courage BRM 14 + 7:56.4 8  
9 14 United States Dan Gurney Eagle-Weslake 14 + 8:13.7 10  
10 18 West Germany Hubert Hahne Lola-BMW 14 + 10:11.4 18  
11 21 United Kingdom Jackie Oliver Lotus-Ford 13 + 1 Lap 13  
12 17 West Germany Kurt Ahrens, Jr. Brabham-Repco 13 + 1 Lap 17  
13 2 New Zealand Bruce McLaren McLaren-Ford 13 + 1 Lap 16  
14 11 United Kingdom Richard Attwood BRM 13 + 1 Lap 20  
Ret 8 New Zealand Chris Amon Ferrari 11 Accident 2  
Ret 12 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise Matra 8 Accident 12  
Ret 16 Switzerland Jo Siffert Lotus-Ford 6 Ignition 9  
Ret 19 Belgium Lucien Bianchi Cooper-BRM 6 Fuel Leak 19  
Ret 7 United Kingdom John Surtees Honda 3 Ignition 7  
Ret 20 United Kingdom Vic Elford Cooper-BRM 0 Accident 5  

Championship standings after the race[edit]

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ a b c d "Masterful Stewart tames treacherous Nurburgring". espnf1.com. Retrieved 5 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Ripley, Dan. "GRAND PRIX CLASSICS". dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 5 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "Eagle Eye: The Eagle Gurney-Weslake F1 Effort". Allamericanracers.com. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  4. ^ a b c "GRAND PRIX RESULTS: GERMAN GP, 1968". grandprix.com. Retrieved 5 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Dougall, Angus (2013). The Greatest Racing Driver: The Life and Times of Great Drivers. Bloomington, IN: BalboaPressAU. p. 85. ISBN 978-1452510965. Retrieved 5 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "1968 German Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Lang, Mike (1982). Grand Prix! Vol 2. Haynes Publishing Group. pp. 74–75. ISBN 0-85429-321-3. 

External links[edit]

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1968 British Grand Prix
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