1964 Mexican Grand Prix

The 1964 Mexican Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at the Ciudad Deportiva Magdalena Mixhuca in Mexico City on October 25, 1964. It was race 10 of 10 in both the 1964 World Championship of Drivers and the 1964 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers.

1964 Mexican Grand Prix
Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez 1963.svg
Race details
Date October 25, 1964
Official name III Gran Premio de México
Location Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Magdalena Mixhuca, Mexico City
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.000 km (3.107 miles)
Distance 65 laps, 325.000 km (201.946 miles)
Pole position
Driver Lotus-Climax
Time 1:57.24
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Jim Clark Lotus-Climax
Time 1:58.37
First Brabham-Climax
Second Ferrari
Third Ferrari
Lap leaders

It was perhaps the most dramatic finale in the history of the World Championship. Championship points could only be scored by the first six finishers (9–6–4–3–2–1 points). Arriving to the race, three drivers had a chance of winning the title: Graham Hill (BRM P261[1]) with 39 points, John Surtees (Ferrari) with 34, and Jim Clark (Lotus 33-Climax) with 30. In order to win the title, Clark had to win the race, with Surtees finishing not higher than third and Hill not higher than fourth.[a] Surtees could only win the title by finishing first, in each case, or second, unless Hill finished as high as third.

The race began with Clark leading from pole position with Dan Gurney running second in the Brabham-Climax (Gurney had only ten points going into this race having won the French Grand Prix and scored a sixth place at the Belgian Grand Prix). Hill and Lorenzo Bandini, Surtees's teammate, were duelling for third place, with Surtees a distant fifth, seemingly with no chance at winning the title. Then Bandini ran into the back of Hill's BRM, causing him to spin into the Armco, damaging his exhaust and lose a few places.[1] Thereafter Hill's car ran with a crimped exhaust pipe, causing him to lose power. The championship was now firmly in Clark's grasp. If the positions remained the same, he would be champion with four victories to Hill's two, although they would be tied on points at 39. On the penultimate lap, an oil line failed and Clark's engine seized as the Lotus crossed the line, with one lap left to go.[1] The positions were now Gurney–Bandini–Surtees, meaning the championship would be Hill's, so long as Surtees placed no higher. Realizing Surtees could win the title by finishing second, the Ferrari team manager frantically signalled Bandini to slow down as he passed the pits to enter the last lap and let Surtees through. Bandini dutifully did so and Surtees finished second, thus winning the World Championship of Drivers by one point over Hill (40 to 39). Meanwhile, Gurney won the Grand Prix, almost unnoticed.[1] The Ferrari cars were entered by the American NART team and painted white with blue lengthwise "Cunningham racing stripes", the national colours of the teams licensed in the United States. Since Ferrari cars entered in the 1965 and 1969 seasons by the American NART team and at the 1966 Italian Grand Prix by the British privateer Reg Parnell team kept wearing the red colour, this race was the last time Ferrari cars wore other than the traditional red colour (rosso corsa) in Formula One.



Pos No Driver Constructor Time
1 1   Jim Clark Lotus-Climax 1:57.24
2 6   Dan Gurney Brabham-Climax 1:58.10
3 8   Lorenzo Bandini Ferrari 1:58.60
4 7   John Surtees Ferrari 1:58.70
5 2   Mike Spence Lotus-Climax 1:59.21
6 3   Graham Hill BRM 1:59.80
7 5   Jack Brabham Brabham-Climax 1:59.99
8 16   Jo Bonnier Brabham-Climax 2:00.17
9 18   Pedro Rodríguez Ferrari 2:00.90
10 9   Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax 2:01.12
11 4   Richie Ginther BRM 2:01.15
12 15   Chris Amon Lotus-BRM 2:01.17
13 22   Jo Siffert Brabham-BRM 2:01.37
14 17   Moisés Solana Lotus-Climax 2:01.43
15 10   Phil Hill Cooper-Climax 2:02.00
16 11   Innes Ireland BRP-BRM 2:02.35
17 14   Mike Hailwood Lotus-BRM 2:04.11
18 12   Trevor Taylor BRP-BRM 2:04.90
19 23   Hap Sharp Brabham-BRM 2:06.90


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 6   Dan Gurney Brabham-Climax 65 2:09:50.32 2 9
2 7   John Surtees Ferrari 65 + 1:08.94 4 6
3 8   Lorenzo Bandini Ferrari 65 + 1:09.63 3 4
4 2   Mike Spence Lotus-Climax 65 + 1:21.86 5 3
5 1   Jim Clark Lotus-Climax 64 Engine/Oil line 1 2
6 18   Pedro Rodríguez Ferrari 64 + 1 lap 9 1
7 9   Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax 64 + 1 lap 10
8 4   Richie Ginther BRM 64 + 1 lap 11
9 10   Phil Hill Cooper-Climax 63 Engine 15
10 17   Moisés Solana Lotus-Climax 63 + 2 laps 14
11 3   Graham Hill BRM 63 + 2 laps 6
12 11   Innes Ireland BRP-BRM 61 + 4 laps 16
13 23   Hap Sharp Brabham-BRM 60 + 5 laps 19
Ret 15   Chris Amon Lotus-BRM 46 Gearbox 12
Ret 5   Jack Brabham Brabham-Climax 44 Electrical 7
Ret 14   Mike Hailwood Lotus-BRM 12 Overheating 17
Ret 22   Jo Siffert Brabham-BRM 11 Fuel pump 13
Ret 16   Jo Bonnier Brabham-Climax 9 Suspension 8
Ret 12   Trevor Taylor BRP-BRM 6 Overheating 18


  • For the first time, 3 British drivers went into the last race with a chance of winning the championship.
    • Graham Hill (39pts) needed either:
      • 1st
      • 3rd, with Surtees 2nd or lower
      • Clark 2nd or lower and Surtees 3rd or lower
    • John Surtees (34pts) needed either:
      • 1st
      • 2nd, with Graham Hill 4th or lower
    • Jim Clark (30pts) needed:
      • 1st, with Surtees 3rd or lower and Graham Hill 4th or lower
    • Jim Clark nearly managed this. If his engine hadn't blown in the last laps, he would've done just enough to win the championship.
  • In another first, three constructors were fighting for the championship.
    • Ferrari (43pts) needed either
      • 1st
      • 2nd, with the top BRM 3rd or lower
      • The top Lotus-Climax 2nd or lower and the top BRM in 3rd or lower
    • BRM (42pts) needed
      • 1st
    • Lotus-Climax (37pts) needed
      • 1st, with the top Ferrari 3rd or lower
    • Again, if Jim Clark's engine hadn't blown, then Lotus-Climax would've won the International Cup for F1 Manufacturers

Championship standings after the raceEdit

  • Notes: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Only best 6 results counted toward the championship. Numbers without parentheses are championship points, numbers in parentheses are total points scored.


  1. ^ Hill had already scored points in six races and only the best six scores counted; he would have to drop the points for his weakest four finishes. If he finished fourth or higher he would have to drop three points scored for the Dutch Grand Prix. Neither Clark nor Surtees had scored in six races thus far.


  1. ^ a b c d Kettlewell, Mike. "Grand Prix Racing South of the Border", in Ward, Ian, executive editor. World of Automobiles (London: Orbis, 1974) Volume 12, p.1332.
  2. ^ "1964 Mexican Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 12 November 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Mexico 1964 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 19 March 2019.

External linksEdit

Previous race:
1964 United States Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1964 season
Next race:
1965 South African Grand Prix
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1963 Mexican Grand Prix
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1965 Mexican Grand Prix