1962 French Grand Prix

The 1962 French Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Rouen-Les-Essarts on 8 July 1962. It was race 4 of 9 in both the 1962 World Championship of Drivers and the 1962 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers. The race was won by Dan Gurney, his first Formula One victory, driving a Porsche, that company's only win as a constructor in a Formula One championship race coming after three years of racing. It was the third time that the French Grand Prix was held at Rouen, last time being 1957.[1]

1962 French Grand Prix
Rouen track layout 1955-1971.gif
Race details
Date 8 July 1962
Official name XLVIII Grand Prix de l'A.C.F.
Location Rouen-Les-Essarts
Rouen, France
Course Temporary road circuit
Course length 6.542 km (4.065 mi)
Distance 54 laps, 353.268 km (219.511 mi)
Weather Sunny
Pole position
Driver Lotus-Climax
Time 2:14.8
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Graham Hill BRM
Time 2:16.9 on lap 32
First Porsche
Second Cooper-Climax
Third BRM
Lap leaders

As of 2020, this is the last race win for a Porsche-powered car.


Phil Hill, running second in the championship, was in the stands with a camera around his neck; a metalworkers' strike in Italy meant that Ferrari could not take part. This left Graham Hill the fastest on track, taking the lead at the start and also setting a new lap record. The leading pack also included John Surtees (Lola), Jim Clark (Lotus), and Bruce McLaren (Cooper). These four pulled steadily away from Jack Brabham (Lotus) and Dan Gurney (Porsche). After only nine laps Brabham was out of the race with a broken rear suspension, while McLaren lost fourth gear and spun off the track, rejoining the race far down the field. Surtees had to stop four laps later with ignition problems, but was back on track in eighth place.[1] Hill had pulled out a twenty-second lead ahead of Clark, but on the thirtieth lap he made contact with Jackie Lewis' Cooper when lapping him, allowing Clark to pass. Hill gave chase, netting the lap record, and re-took the lead on lap 33. On the next lap, Clark had to stop with a broken front suspension. Hill and BRM looked sure to win, but on lap 42 he stopped in a hairpin with fuel injection and throttle linkage troubles; he lost several laps and ended up dead last after also having stopped in the hairpin to pick up the engine cover that he had left behind during his earlier visit there.[1]

All of a sudden Gurney found himself in the lead, he made no mistakes and gained what was to be Porsche's only Grand Prix victory with their own car. Tony Maggs had second-place handed to him in what was only his second race in a V8 Cooper, while Surtees' Lola kept giving him trouble. With only fourth gear left, he was passed by Richie Ginther on the 43rd lap.[2] Ginther's car had refused to start, setting him a half lap back at the start, but as cars ahead of him all began to break he drove harder and harder. His troubles were not over, however, with five laps left his throttle wire snapped and he had to control it with his hand - rather troublesome since his BRM's gear shifter was also on the right hand side.[3] McLaren was forced to make another pit stop, but managed to get by the troubled Surtees on the last lap. The last points-scoring position went to the ever-steady Carel Godin de Beaufort in his uncompetitive Porsche 718 from 1961.[2]

Other contenders were Jo Bonnier, who had gearbox and engine troubles. Later he stopped with fuel starvation, but got the car started and was classified as the last finisher, in tenth. Maurice Trintignant had to make a number of pit stops in his Rob Walker Lotus 24. Trevor Taylor had not been able to practice and was taking it comparatively easy when his throttle return spring broke, leaving it fully open. After a pit stop, he finished eighth, six laps down.[2] A rather confusing race ended even worse - Surtees was trying to eke his crippled car into the pits but was hindered by a wall of gendarmes, who were refusing to move. Trintignant moved over to the left, but Taylor arrived at a high speed and rear-ended Trintignant. Both cars ended up in the hay bales, badly damaged, but amazingly no one was injured.[4]

At the end, Phil Hill took his countryman Gurney aside and thanked him for "driving so well for him", as both of his closest competitors ended the race without any points.[4]



Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Gap
1 12   Jim Clark Lotus-Climax 2:16.7 2:14.8
2 8   Graham Hill BRM 2:15.9 2:15.0 +0.2
3 22   Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax 2:52.0 2:15.4 +0.6
4 26   Jack Brabham Lotus-Climax 2:17.5 2:16.1 +1.3
5 18   John Surtees Lola-Climax 2:16.3 2:16.3 +1.5
6 30   Dan Gurney Porsche 2:16.5 2:17.1 +1.7
7 34   Masten Gregory Lotus-BRM 2:19.4 2:17.3 +2.5
8 36   Innes Ireland Lotus-Climax 2:19.1 2:17.5 +2.7
9 32   Jo Bonnier Porsche 2:21.1 2:17.9 +3.1
10 10   Richie Ginther BRM 2:18.2 2:19.9 +3.4
11 24   Tony Maggs Cooper-Climax 2:18.6 No time +3.8
12 14   Trevor Taylor Lotus-Climax 2:19.1 No time +4.3
13 28   Maurice Trintignant Lotus-Climax 2:23.1 2:20.8 +6.0
14 20   Roy Salvadori Lola-Climax 2:21.3 No time +6.5
15 40   Jo Siffert Lotus-BRM 2:27.9 2:23.4 +8.6
16 42   Jackie Lewis Cooper-Climax 2:25.5 2:26.5 +10.7
17 38   Carel Godin de Beaufort Porsche 2:27.2 2:26.5 +11.7


The only victory the Porsche 804 would see
First win for Dan Gurney
Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 30   Dan Gurney Porsche 54 2:07:05.5 6 9
2 24   Tony Maggs Cooper-Climax 53 + 1 Lap 11 6
3 10   Richie Ginther BRM 52 + 2 Laps 10 4
4 22   Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax 51 + 3 Laps 3 3
5 18   John Surtees Lola-Climax 51 + 3 Laps 5 2
6 38   Carel Godin de Beaufort Porsche 51 + 3 Laps 17 1
7 28   Maurice Trintignant Lotus-Climax 50 + 4 Laps 13  
8 14   Trevor Taylor Lotus-Climax 48 + 6 laps 12  
9 8   Graham Hill BRM 44 + 10 Laps 2  
10 32   Jo Bonnier Porsche 43 Gearbox 9  
Ret 12   Jim Clark Lotus-Climax 34 Suspension 1  
Ret 42   Jackie Lewis Cooper-Climax 28 Accident 16  
Ret 20   Roy Salvadori Lola-Climax 21 Oil Pressure 14  
Ret 34   Masten Gregory Lotus-BRM 15 Overheating 7  
Ret 26   Jack Brabham Lotus-Climax 11 Suspension 4  
Ret 40   Jo Siffert Lotus-BRM 6 Clutch 15  
Ret 36   Innes Ireland Lotus-Climax 1 Puncture 8  
WD 16   Peter Arundell Lotus No Car
WD -   Tony Marsh BRM No Car
WD -   Colin Davis Porsche
WD -   Carlo Abate Lotus-Climax
WD -   Ian Burgess Cooper-Climax
  • Scuderia Ferrari withdrew from the event, and their allocated numbers of 2, 4 and 6 were not used. No drivers were named by the team as having been entered.

Championship standings after the raceEdit

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


  1. ^ a b c Blunsden, John (September 1962). "Porsche-sensation i Frankrikes G.P." [Porsche Sensation in French G.P.]. Illustrerad Motor Sport (in Swedish). No. 9. Lerum, Sweden. p. 15.
  2. ^ a b c Blunsden, p. 16
  3. ^ Blunsden, p. 14
  4. ^ a b Blunsden, p. 17
  5. ^ "1962 ACF GP Qualification". www.chicanef1.com. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  6. ^ "1962 French Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 2 December 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  7. ^ a b "France 1962 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 15 March 2019.

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