1975 Austrian Grand Prix

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Austria  1975 Austrian Grand Prix
Race details
Österreichring 1969-1976.svg
Date August 17, 1975
Official name VIII Großer Preis von Österreich
Location Spielberg, Austria
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.911 km (3.673 mi)
Distance 29 laps, 171.427 km (106.520 mi)
Weather Heavy rain
Pole position
Driver Ferrari
Time 1:34.85[1]
Fastest lap
Driver Italy Vittorio Brambilla March-Ford
Time 1:53.90[2] (lap record)
First March-Ford
Second Hesketh-Ford
Third Shadow-Ford

The 1975 Austrian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Österreichring on 17 August 1975. It was race 12 of 14 in both the 1975 World Championship of Drivers and the 1975 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers. It was the eighth Austrian Grand Prix and the sixth to be held at the Österreichring. It was held over 29 of the scheduled 54 laps of the six kilometre circuit for a race distance of 171 kilometres. The race was shortened by heavy rain, meaning that only half points were awarded.

Mastering the wet weather, the race was won by Italian driver Vittorio Brambilla driving a March 751. It was Brambilla's only Formula One win in his seven-year Grand Prix career. He took a 27-second win over British driver James Hunt in his Hesketh 308. Eight seconds further back was the Shadow DN5 of British driver Tom Pryce in the first of just two podiums in his abbreviated career.

With neither Carlos Reutemann nor Emerson Fittipaldi featuring in the points, Niki Lauda's sixth position actually allowed him to expand his points lead to 17.5 points. If Lauda scored any points at all at the Italian Grand Prix the Austrian driver could claim the championship.

Race summary[edit]

Niki Lauda delighted his home crowd by claiming his seventh pole position of the year. Rolf Stommelen returned after his crash in Spain, Chris Amon had returned for Ensign and Brett Lunger qualified well in his début for Hesketh.

Practice was marred by a series of accidents, Brian Henton crashing his Lotus when he hit an oil patch and Wilson Fittipaldi breaking two bones in his hand. During the final practice session, Mark Donohue crashed at Vost-Hugel, the flat-out right hander after the pits. The car went through catch fencing and advertising billboards lining the track.[3] Both Donohue, who had suffered a brain hemorrhage, and a track marshal who had been hit by debris died two days later.[3]

As the grid formed up, there were reports of rain at the far side of the track. Thunderclouds were forming ominously and the cars were returned to the pits to change to wet tyres.

After 45 minutes, the grid reformed. Lauda led off the start from James Hunt and Patrick Depailler who had shot up from the fourth row. Mario Andretti spun off, whilst Bob Evans retired the BRM.

Vittorio Brambilla had shot through the spray to gain a magnificent third place, with Ronnie Peterson leaping from tenth to fourth.

By lap 12, it was obvious that Lauda's car was not set up fully to cope with wet conditions and by lap 15 Hunt stormed by to lead for the fifth time this season. However, this was to be short-lived. The Hesketh's engine was running on only seven cylinders and Brambilla was clambering all over the back of the car. Ahead of them Lunger was driving carefully in his first wet race and could not see the leaders approaching him. Brambilla seized the lead and it took a further two laps for Hunt to finally pass his team-mate. Peterson had to pit to replace a faulty visor, whilst the Brabham drivers found they had been racing with one of their own rear tyres and one of their team-mates'. Jochen Mass spun out of third place, and soon there was frantic activity between the Grand Prix Drivers' Association and the race officials as to whether the race should continue – it was brought to a halt on lap 29.

As Brambilla took the flag, he crashed into the barriers and the March team celebrated a historic victory. However, behind the scenes, there was confusion. Some teams were preparing for a restart, but as the race had been stopped with a chequered flag only, this could not happen. The race results would stand, but with only half points awarded. Brambilla, the oldest man in the field at 37, had won his first Grand Prix.

This was the first of only two races where Shadow used a Matra engine instead of the Cosworth DFV in Jean-Pierre Jarier's Shadow DN7.[4]


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 9 Italy Vittorio Brambilla March-Ford 29 0:57:56.69 8 4.5
2 24 United Kingdom James Hunt Hesketh-Ford 29 + 27.03 2 3
3 16 United Kingdom Tom Pryce Shadow-Ford 29 + 34.85 15 2
4 2 West Germany Jochen Mass McLaren-Ford 29 + 1:12.66 9 1.5
5 5 Sweden Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford 29 + 1:23.33 13 1
6 12 Austria Niki Lauda Ferrari 29 + 1:30.28 1 0.5
7 11 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 29 + 1:39.07 5  
8 3 South Africa Jody Scheckter Tyrrell-Ford 28 + 1 Lap 10  
9 1 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi McLaren-Ford 28 + 1 Lap 3  
10 18 United Kingdom John Watson Surtees-Ford 28 + 1 Lap 18  
11 4 France Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford 28 + 1 Lap 7  
12 31 New Zealand Chris Amon Ensign-Ford 28 + 1 Lap 23  
13 25 United States Brett Lunger Hesketh-Ford 28 + 1 Lap 17  
14 7 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford 28 + 1 Lap 11  
15 23 United Kingdom Tony Brise Hill-Ford 28 + 1 Lap 16  
16 22 West Germany Rolf Stommelen Hill-Ford 27 + 2 Laps 25  
17 29 Italy Lella Lombardi March-Ford 26 + 3 Laps 21  
NC 33 Netherlands Roelof Wunderink Ensign-Ford 25 Not classified 27  
Ret 32 Austria Harald Ertl Hesketh-Ford 23 Electrical 26  
Ret 21 France Jacques Laffite Williams-Ford 21 Handling 12  
Ret 8 Brazil Carlos Pace Brabham-Ford 17 Engine 6  
Ret 20 Switzerland Jo Vonlanthen Williams-Ford 14 Engine 28  
Ret 10 West Germany Hans Joachim Stuck March-Ford 10 Accident 4  
Ret 17 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Shadow-Matra 10 Injection 14  
Ret 14 United Kingdom Bob Evans BRM 2 Engine 24  
Ret 27 United States Mario Andretti Parnelli-Ford 1 Accident 19  
DNS 28 United States Mark Donohue March-Ford 0 Fatal accident 20  
DNS 6 United Kingdom Brian Henton Lotus-Ford 0 Accident 22  
DNQ 35 United Kingdom Tony Trimmer Maki-Ford        
DNQ 30 Brazil Wilson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Ford        

Lap leaders[edit]

Laps led:[6]

  • Niki Lauda (1–14)
  • James Hunt (15–18)
  • Vittorio Brambilla (19–29)

Championship standings after the race[edit]

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Only the best 6 results from the first 7 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.


  1. ^ Lang, Mike (1983). Grand Prix! Vol 3. Haynes Publishing Group. p. 93. ISBN 0-85429-380-9. 
  2. ^ Lang, Mike (1983). Grand Prix! Vol 3. Haynes Publishing Group. p. 95. ISBN 0-85429-380-9. 
  3. ^ a b "Donohue dies after surgery". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. August 20, 1975. 
  4. ^ Jones, Bruce (1998). "Statistics". The Complete Encyclopedia of Formula One. Carlton Books. pp. 400–401. ISBN 1-85868-515-X. 
  5. ^ "1975 Austrian Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  6. ^ "Austrian Grand Prix 1975". motorsport-stats.com. Archived from the original on 2007-01-12. Retrieved 2017-08-11. 

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