1968 Italian Grand Prix

The 1968 Italian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at the Monza Autodrome on September 8, 1968. It was race 9 of 12 in both the 1968 World Championship of Drivers and the 1968 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers. The 68-lap race was won by McLaren driver Denny Hulme after he started from seventh position. Johnny Servoz-Gavin finished second for the Matra team and Ferrari driver Jacky Ickx came in third.

1968 Italian Grand Prix
Monza 1957.jpg
Race details
Date September 8, 1968
Official name XXXIX Gran Premio d'Italia
Location Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.750 km (3.573 mi)
Distance 68 laps, 391.000 km (242.956 mi)
Weather Hot, Dry
Pole position
Driver Honda
Time 1:26.07
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Jackie Oliver Lotus-Ford
Time 1:26.5 on lap 7
First McLaren-Ford
Second Matra-Ford
Third Ferrari
Lap leaders

There was a five-week break after the previous Grand Prix in Germany, and before F1 circus resumed in Italy. The season so far had seen both rainfall and tragedy. During the break, the Oulton Park Gold Cup attracted some of the top names, with Jackie Stewart taking the victory, after his dominant victory at the Nürburgring.[1]



A total of 24 F1 cars were entered for the event, making this the biggest of the season, with a couple of notable American drivers on the entry list. Italian American Mario Andretti, entered in a third Lotus and his USAC rival, Bobby Unser, replacing Richard Attwood at Owen Racing Organisation (BRM). Many others team increase their drivers crews. Johnny Servoz-Gavin due to drive the second of Ken Tyrrell's Matra International cars. Scuderia Ferrari ran a third car for rising English star, Derek Bell, while David Hobbs with fielded by Honda Racing.[2][1]


The early qualifying session saw Andretti and Unser set the pace, recording fast time, especially as both drivers wanted to fly back to the US for the Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds (a 160km dirt track race), on the following day. They then intended to fly back to Milan and race in the Grand Prix. The event organisers announced that if the either driver returned to the States and race, they would be banned from competing in the Grand Prix, under an ACI ruling which forbade drivers to complete in another event within 24 hours of the start of the Grand Prix. Both Andretti and Unser flew back to Indiana for the Hoosier Hundred and did not return.[1]

Qualifying resulted in John Surtees taking pole for the Honda Racing team, in their Honda RA301, averaging a speed of 150.314 mph. He was joined on the front row by Bruce McLaren in his own McLaren M7A and Chris Amon in a Ferrari 312. The second row saw the Ferrari of Jacky Ickx and the Lotus of Graham Hill. Jackie Stewart, Denny Hulme and Derek Bell shared the third row.[2][1]


The race was held over 68 laps of the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, taking place in sunny conditions, with John Surtees leading straight from the start. By the end of first lap, Bruce McLaren was ahead. McLaren stayed in front until Surtees slipstreamed back into the lead. The following lap McLaren was ahead again, while the leading Ferrari of Chris Amon lost control on oil dropped by one of the Honda RA301s and his car flew over the barriers into the trees at one of the fast Lesmo corners. Surtees also hit the wall trying to avoid the Ferrari. This put Jo Siffert into second place, with Jackie Stewart third. The Scotsman moved into second and a slipstreaming battle developed for the lead between McLaren, Stewart, Siffert and Denny Hulme.[1][3]

McLaren's M7A had to stop for more oil on lap 35 and retired. Stewart disappeared on lap 43, when his Cosworth engine failed. Hulme was by this stage already leading the race, and when Siffert went out with a rear suspension failure, nine laps from the end, Hulme was left to win. He won in a time of 1hr 40:14.8mins., averaging a speed of 146.284mph. There had been a lively battle behind him, between Johnny Servoz-Gavin, Jacky Ickx and Jochen Rindt. The Ferrari of Ickx had emerged ahead, only to stop in the closing lap for more fuel. In the process, he dropped to third behind Servoz-Gavin, while Rindt had to retire with an engine failure. Piers Courage, Jean-Pierre Beltoise, and Jo Bonnier rounded out the top six, with no other finishers.[1][4]



Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 14   John Surtees Honda 1:26.07
2 2   Bruce McLaren McLaren-Ford 1:26.11 +0.04
3 9   Chris Amon Ferrari 1:26.21 +0.14
4 8   Jacky Ickx Ferrari 1:26.41 +0.34
5 16   Graham Hill Lotus-Ford 1:26.57 +0.50
6 4   Jackie Stewart Matra-Ford 1:26.60 +0.53
7 1   Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford 1:26.61 +0.54
8 7   Derek Bell Ferrari 1:26.90 +0.83
9 20   Jo Siffert Lotus-Ford 1:26.96 +0.89
10 18   Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford 1:27.20 +1.13
11 11   Jochen Rindt Brabham-Repco 1:27.30 +1.23
12 19   Jackie Oliver Lotus-Ford 1:27.40 +1.33
13 21   Dan Gurney Eagle-Weslake 1:27.61 +1.54
14 5   Johnny Servoz-Gavin Matra-Ford 1:27.63 +1.56
15 15   David Hobbs Honda 1:27.70 +1.63
16 26   Pedro Rodríguez BRM 1:28.20 +2.13
17 10   Jack Brabham Brabham-Repco 1:28.80 +2.73
18 27   Piers Courage BRM 1:29.10 +3.03
19 6   Jean-Pierre Beltoise Matra 1:29.30 +3.23
20 3   Jo Bonnier McLaren-BRM 1:30.55 +4.48
21 25   Bobby Unser BRM 1:30.56 +4.49
22 23   Vic Elford Cooper-BRM 1:31.30 +5.23
DNQ 28   Frank Gardner BRM 1:31.40 +5.33
DNQ 12   Silvio Moser Brabham-Repco 1:33.70 +7.63


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1   Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford 68 1:40:14.8 7 9
2 5   Johnny Servoz-Gavin Matra-Ford 68 + 1:28.4 13 6
3 8   Jacky Ickx Ferrari 68 + 1:28.6 4 4
4 27   Piers Courage BRM 67 + 1 Lap 17 3
5 6   Jean-Pierre Beltoise Matra 66 + 2 Laps 18 2
6 3   Jo Bonnier McLaren-BRM 64 + 4 Laps 19 1
Ret 20   Jo Siffert Lotus-Ford 58 Suspension 9  
Ret 10   Jack Brabham Brabham-Repco 56 Oil Pressure 16  
Ret 4   Jackie Stewart Matra-Ford 42 Engine 6  
Ret 15   David Hobbs Honda 42 Engine 14  
Ret 19   Jackie Oliver Lotus-Ford 38 Transmission 11  
Ret 2   Bruce McLaren McLaren-Ford 34 Oil Leak 2  
Ret 11   Jochen Rindt Brabham-Repco 33 Engine 10  
Ret 26   Pedro Rodríguez BRM 22 Engine 15  
Ret 21   Dan Gurney Eagle-Weslake 19 Overheating 12  
Ret 16   Graham Hill Lotus-Ford 10 Wheel 5  
Ret 14   John Surtees Honda 8 Accident 1  
Ret 9   Chris Amon Ferrari 8 Accident 3  
Ret 7   Derek Bell Ferrari 4 Fuel System 8  
Ret 23   Vic Elford Cooper-BRM 2 Accident 20  
DNQ 28   Frank Gardner BRM    
DNQ 12   Silvio Moser Brabham-Repco        
DNS 18   Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford   ACI 24 hour rule    
DNS 25   Bobby Unser BRM   ACI 24 hour rule    
WD 22   Robin Widdows Cooper-BRM        
WD 24   Lucien Bianchi Cooper-Alfa Romeo        

Championship standings after the raceEdit

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


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Grand Prix results: Italian GP, 1968". grandprix.com. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "1968 Italian GP". ChicaneF1.com. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  3. ^ Derek Bell, “Derek Bell My Racing Life" (Haynes Publishing, ISBN 978 0 85733 088 8, 2011)
  4. ^ a b "1968 Italian Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 12 November 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Formula One, Italian 1968 Race Results". crash.net. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Italy 1968 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 1 March 2019.

Further readingEdit

  • Lang, Mike (1982). Grand Prix! Vol 2. Haynes Publishing Group. pp. 76–77. ISBN 0-85429-321-3.

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