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RE: Pic of the Week: The closest finish in F1 history

RE: Pic of the Week: The closest finish in F1 history

Friday 1st September 2017

Pic of the Week: The closest finish in F1 history

Ronnie Peterson getting sideways on his way to a photo finish at Monza



With neither Lewis Hamilton nor Sebastian Vettel looking like blinking first, the most exciting inter-team title race in years may well end up going down to the wire. But despite the stage for this week's installment being one of F1's most historic, it will have to be quite a race to match the one from which our Pic of the Week was taken.

By the time the 1971 Italian Grand Prix arrived on September 5th, Jackie Stewart had already been crowned that season's champion. But this was Monza and, far from being a lame duck of a race, events would conspire to make it one of the most thrilling ever run.

By the 18th lap Stewart, Jacky Ickx and local 'tifosi' favourite Clay Regazzoni had all been forced to retire, making for a more evenly matched field. The speed of the circuit meant that in the ensuing laps first place was traded back and forth between multiple drivers. At a pre-chicane Monza slipstreaming was the name of the game, and all of them knew that leading with just a few corners to go would likely mean defeat. With no driver wanting to lead the pack, and no one able to pull away, multiple cars remained in contention as the chequered flag approached.

The stalemate remained until, going into the Parabolica on the final lap, Peter Gethin made his move. Diving up the inside, he exited the corner neck and neck with Ronnie Peterson's March and the Tyrell of Francois Cevert as they sprinted for the line. He got there first, winning the race by just 0.01 seconds from Peterson, with the top four cars separated by 0.18 seconds in total. Aside from being the closest finish the sport has ever seen, the result would also be the highlight of Gethin's career. He left Formula One in 1974 with a total of 30 starts, 11 points and, by one-hundredth of a second, one win.

Traditional (4:3)
Computer widescreen (16:10)
TV widescreen (16:9)
Portrait (mobile)

 

Author
Discussion

Turbobanana

Original Poster:

827 posts

126 months

Friday 1st September 2017
quotequote all
Lovely as the pic is, would it not be better if it reflected the topic of the article a bit more?

I can't search for it now but I know there is one of the first four drivers crossing the line, just feet apart, that is every bit as compelling as the one of Ronnie Petersen all crossed up.

ralphrj

2,445 posts

116 months

Friday 1st September 2017
quotequote all




Edited by ralphrj on Friday 1st September 15:43

CABC

1,690 posts

26 months

Friday 1st September 2017
quotequote all
plenty on youtube
interesting back story

FourWheelDrift

73,115 posts

209 months

Friday 1st September 2017
quotequote all
The same race where Emerson Fittipaldi took the Pratt & Whitney gas turbine powered Lotus 56 to an 8th place finish and it's only classified race finish in 3 attempts in 1971. Reine Wisell was not classfied at Silverstone and Dave Walker retired at Zandvoort.


Turbobanana

Original Poster:

827 posts

126 months

Friday 1st September 2017
quotequote all
ralphrj said:




Edited by ralphrj on Friday 1st September 15:43
Cheers ralphrj - although now I see it, maybe it wasn't as good as I remember it.
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Leins

6,294 posts

73 months

Saturday 2nd September 2017
quotequote all
Another great finish, Spain '86:



928Elan

15 posts

87 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
The 1967 Italian GP at Monza was also close. Poleman Jim Clark had been forced to pit from the lead with a puncture, losing an entire lap. He then played catch up with teammate Graham Hill slipstreaming to assist in their Lotus 49s. Having caught the leading group and with Clark looking likely to win, his car developed a fuel supply problem on the final lap, allowing John Surtees (Honda) and Jack Brabham (Brabham) to pass with Surtees taking his last F1 win.

coppice

4,186 posts

69 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
The 1967 race was the first I had ever seen on TV and flickering black and white picture notwithstanding.,it was mesmerising .

The 1971 race is a good pointer to some of what I don't like in 2017 F1 . Effectively the rules require the same car and engine to be built by different teams - and whilst it's clear google translate didn't work too well for Honda there is actually only a small difference between each car.

In 1971, quite apart from the very different approaches to chassis , just consider the diversity of engines- V8s from Cosworth (DFV of course) and Alfa Romeo ; V12 from Matra and BRM ; Flat 12 from SEFAC Ferrari and - cripes - Pratt and Whitney for Lotus.....

As they say, the past is a different country.....