1962 United States Grand Prix

The 1962 United States Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on October 7, 1962, at the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Race Course in Watkins Glen, New York. It was race 8 of 9 in both the 1962 World Championship of Drivers and the 1962 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers. The 100-lap race was won by Lotus driver Jim Clark after starting from pole position. Graham Hill finished second for the BRM team and Cooper driver Bruce McLaren came in third.

1962 United States Grand Prix
Watkins Glen International Track Map-1960-1970.svg
Race details
Date October 7, 1962
Official name V United States Grand Prix
Location Watkins Glen Grand Prix Race Course
Watkins Glen, New York
Course Permanent road course
Course length 3.78 km (2.35 mi)
Distance 100 laps, 378 km (235 mi)
Weather Sunny
Pole position
Driver Lotus-Climax
Time 1:15.8
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Jim Clark Lotus-Climax
Time 1:15.0 on lap 70
  • United Kingdom Jim Clark
Second BRM
Third Cooper-Climax


New Lotus star Jim Clark of Scotland took his third victory of the season, and the third of his career, to keep alive his hopes of catching Graham Hill for the 1962 World Driver's Championship with one race remaining. Hill finished nine seconds back in second place for BRM, while Bruce McLaren was third, despite being a lap down.

For the third consecutive year, Ferrari had decided not to make the trip across the Atlantic for the American race. It had been a miserable year for the team, finishing sixth in the eight-team Constructor's Championship (without a victory), after winning it the year before. The powerful new V8 engines built by Climax and BRM for the second year of the 1.5-liter formula had taken the series by storm, and Ferrari's advantage from 1961 had been completely erased.

Also, as a result, American Phil Hill was again without a drive in his home country, and, worse yet, he learned from a reliable source at The Glen that he had been fired!

In Friday's qualifying session, Graham Hill, Hill's BRM teammate Richie Ginther, Clark and Jack Brabham (using his own BT3 model for just the second time) all bettered the previous year's lap record of 1:18.2. Clark then went out and shattered the absolute course record, set under the 2.5-liter formula by Stirling Moss, with a staggering 1:15.8. Damp and misty conditions on Saturday prohibited anyone improving their Friday time, so the top six were Clark in the Lotus, Ginther and Hill's BRM's, American Dan Gurney in a Porsche, Brabham, and McLaren's Cooper.

By race time on Sunday, there were 40,000 fans braving the cold winds and a threat of rain. At the start, Clark led off the grid, while Hill jumped into second behind him. With Ginther, Brabham, Gurney and McLaren following, the two Championship rivals pulled away, already lowering the F1 track record on lap 3! Gurney got by Brabham and Ginther and briefly took third place, but on lap 11, Ginther retook the spot behind his teammate when Gurney slid half off the track, inches from the Armco, on a patch of oil in the Loop.

On lap 12, the two leaders were already coming up to lap the tail-enders. When Clark was delayed in the traffic, Hill took the lead away from him. By lap 19, however, Clark had lowered the lap record to 1:15.4, well under his qualifying time, and retaken the lead for good. Ginther was struggling with a deteriorating gearbox and began to fall back until a missed shift on lap 35 blew the engine and ended a fine run.

As Clark continued comfortably ahead of Hill, McLaren was now hounding Gurney for third place. The New Zealander's Cooper slid by on lap 57, and soon after, Gurney began losing power in the Porsche's engine. Brabham closed the gap between them, and when he grabbed fourth place from the American on lap 69, he claimed the first Championship points ever scored by the Brabham make.

Clark and Hill were the only cars on the lead lap toward the end as both lapped repeatedly under their grid times. Clark eventually clocked a 1:15.0 on lap 70 for the fastest lap of the race, and eased off from his biggest lead of 17 seconds to take the second consecutive American Grand Prix win for Team Lotus. "I planned to get in front and stay there," Clark said. "I set up the car for dry weather just before we started. I sure am glad the weather held up!" Indeed, moments after the Scot had taken the checkered flag, a drizzle began to fall.


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 8   Jim Clark Lotus-Climax 100 2:07:13.0 1 9
2 4   Graham Hill BRM 100 + 9.2 3 6
3 21   Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax 99 + 1 Lap 6 4
4 17   Jack Brabham Brabham-Climax 99 + 1 Lap 5 3
5 10   Dan Gurney Porsche 99 + 1 Lap 4 2
6 16   Masten Gregory Lotus-BRM 99 + 1 Lap 7 1
7 22   Tony Maggs Cooper-Climax 97 + 3 Laps 10  
8 15   Innes Ireland Lotus-Climax 96 + 4 Laps 16  
9 14   Roger Penske Lotus-Climax 96 + 4 Laps 13  
10 26   Rob Schroeder Lotus-Climax 93 + 7 Laps 17  
11 24   Hap Sharp Cooper-Climax 91 + 9 Laps 15  
12 9   Trevor Taylor Lotus-Climax 85 + 15 Laps 8  
13 11   Jo Bonnier Porsche 79 + 21 Laps 9  
Ret 5   Richie Ginther BRM 35 Engine 2  
Ret 6   Maurice Trintignant Lotus-Climax 32 Brakes 19  
Ret 23   Timmy Mayer Cooper-Climax 31 Ignition 12  
Ret 18   John Surtees Lola-Climax 19 Engine 20  
Ret 12   Carel Godin de Beaufort Porsche 9 Accident 14  
DNS 19   Roy Salvadori Lola-Climax Car raced by Surtees
DNS 25   Jim Hall Lotus-Climax Engine in practice

Championship standings after the raceEdit

  • Notes: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Only the best 5 results counted towards the Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.


  1. ^ "1962 United States Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 2 December 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  2. ^ "United States 1962 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 21 March 2019.

Further readingEdit

  • Doug Nye (1978). The United States Grand Prix and Grand Prize Races, 1908-1977. B. T. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-1263-1
  • James T. Crow (January, 1963). "Grand Prix of the U.S.". Road & Track, 62-66.
  • "The Formula One Record Book", John Thompson, 1974.

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