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1969 Formula One season
Drivers' Champion: Jackie Stewart
Constructors' Champion: Matra-Ford
Previous: 1968 Next: 1970

The 1969 Formula One season was the 23rd season of the FIA's Formula One motor racing. It featured the 20th World Championship of Drivers and the 12th International Cup for F1 Manufacturers, which commenced on 1 March 1969 and ended on 19 October after eleven races. The season also included four non-championship races.

Championship summaryEdit

The McLaren M7C with early 1969 high-position wings attached. In the Donington Grand Prix Collection.

Matra, which had entered Formula One the previous year, withdrew their works team from the 1969 championship and focused on their partnership with Ken Tyrrell. Stewart won the 1969 title easily with the new Matra MS80, which corrected most of the weaknesses of the MS10. Stewart's title was the first won by a French chassis, and the only one won by a chassis built in France. It would also be the only time a constructor won in Formula One without fielding a works team.

Jacky Ickx had a strong second half to the season for Brabham, winning in Germany and Canada, after Jack Brabham was sidelined by a testing accident.[1] Ickx finished second in the Drivers' Championship, with 37 points to Jackie Stewart's 63.

The season was the second to see the use of add-on aerodynamic devices, which were experimented with by some teams in the 1968 season. After several incidents in which wings, struts, or the suspension (to which they were attached) collapsed, wings were banned from Monaco 1969. They were reintroduced later in the season but were to be restricted in size and height, and attached directly to the chassis in a fixed position.

1969 also saw a brief resurgence of interest in four wheel drive following a number of wet races the previous year. Four such cars were entered for the British Grand Prix, and Johnny Servoz-Gavin became the one and only driver to score a point with a 4WD, finishing sixth with the Matra MS84 at the Canadian Grand Prix. At the same race, Al Pease made history by being the only driver disqualified from a World Championship event for being too slow. Wide tyres and downforce quickly proved to be superior means of increasing grip, and the technology was largely abandoned, although Lotus continued to experiment with the idea for a few more years. Bruce McLaren described the handling of his M9 as being like trying to sign an autograph while someone was jogging his elbow; Cosworth discovered that their car handled better with more power directed to the rear wheels.

1969 was the first year in which genuine safety measures were implemented at circuits. The cars were going far faster over time, particularly with the increased engine capacity rules for 1966 onwards from 1.5 litres uncompressed to 3 litres uncompressed or 1.5 litres compressed, and the role that manipulated aerodynamics began to play in the cars' performance. The Montjuic circuit in Barcelona was a first in Grand Prix racing- the circuit was completely Armco-lined. Although safety measures in 1969 were still nearly non-existent compared to today's modern safety standards, these measures were a new step forward to protect drivers from further harm. About half the circuits in Formula One at this time had some safety standards, such as Silverstone, Magdalena Mixhuca in Mexico City and (less so) Monaco; although other circuits were nearly unchanged from previous years, such as the Nürburgring in Germany and the Clermont-Ferrand circuit in France; both were twisty mountain road circuits with all kinds of unprotected drop offs and solid obstacles on the sides of both circuits. Another example was the feared Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, an extremely fast public road circuit which was located in a similar area and had similar dangers to the Nürburgring and Clermont-Ferrand, such as unprotected drop offs and solid obstacles on the side of the track. The Belgian Grand Prix there was boycotted by many of the drivers because of the extreme danger of the track after an overall inspection of Spa by Jackie Stewart, who was responsible for most of the activities in Formula One to try to make it safer. He demanded changes to the circuit that the track owners did not want to pay for, so the race was boycotted and eventually cancelled. Spa was included in 1970 after Armco was added to some parts of the track.[2]

Championship reviewEdit

Championship teams and driversEdit

Briton Jackie Stewart won his 1st of 3 championships, driving a Matra-Ford for Ken Tyrrell
Stewart in 1969 at Nürburgring

The following teams and drivers competed in the 1969 FIA World Championship.

Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Tyre Driver Rounds
  Gold Leaf Team Lotus Lotus-Ford 49B
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F   Graham Hill 1–10
  Jochen Rindt 1–2, 4–11
  Mario Andretti 1, 7, 10
  Richard Attwood 3
  John Miles 5–6, 8–9, 11
  Rob Walker/Jack Durlacher Racing Team Lotus-Ford 49B Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F   Jo Siffert All
  Bruce McLaren Motor Racing McLaren-Ford M7A
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G   Denny Hulme All
  Bruce McLaren All
  Derek Bell 6
  Matra International Matra-Ford MS10
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 D   Jackie Stewart All
  Jean-Pierre Beltoise All
  Johnny Servoz-Gavin 9–11
MS7 Ford Cosworth FVA 1.6 L4 D   Johnny Servoz-Gavin 7
  Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC
  North American Racing Team
Ferrari 312/68
Ferrari 255C 3.0 V12 F   Chris Amon 1–6
  Pedro Rodríguez 6, 8–11
  Tino Brambilla 8
  Owen Racing Organisation BRM P138
BRM P142 3.0 V12 D   John Surtees 1–4, 6–11
  Jackie Oliver 1–4, 6–11
  Bill Brack 9
  George Eaton 10–11
  Reg Parnell Racing BRM P126 BRM P142 3.0 V12 G   Pedro Rodríguez 1–3
  Motor Racing Developments Ltd Brabham-Ford BT26A Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G   Jack Brabham 1–4, 8–11
  Jacky Ickx All
  Team Gunston Lotus-Ford 49 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 D   John Love 1
Brabham-Repco BT24 Repco 620 3.0 V8 F   Sam Tingle 1
  Team Lawson McLaren-Ford M7A Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 D   Basil van Rooyen 1
  Jack Holme Brabham-Repco BT20 Repco 620 3.0 V8 G   Peter de Klerk 1
  Frank Williams Racing Cars Brabham-Ford BT26A Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 D   Piers Courage 2–11
BT30 Ford Cosworth FVA 1.6 L4 D   Richard Attwood 7
  Antique Automobiles Cooper-Maserati T86 Maserati 10/F1 3.0 V12 G   Vic Elford 3
McLaren-Ford M7B Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 4–7
  Silvio Moser Racing Team Brabham-Ford BT24 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G   Silvio Moser 3–5, 8–11
  Ecurie Bonnier Lotus-Ford 63
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F   Joakim Bonnier 6–7
  Ahrens Racing Team Brabham-Ford BT30 Ford Cosworth FVA 1.6 L4 D   Kurt Ahrens, Jr. 7
  Roy Winkelmann Racing Lotus-Ford 59B Ford Cosworth FVA 1.6 L4 F   Hans Herrmann 7
  Rolf Stommelen 7
  Bayerische Motoren Werke AG BMW 269 BMW M12/1 1.6 L4 D   Hubert Hahne 7
  Gerhard Mitter 7
  Dieter Quester 7
  Matra Sports Matra-Ford MS7 Ford Cosworth FVA 1.6 L4 D   Henri Pescarolo 7
  Tecno Racing Team Tecno-Ford TF69 Ford Cosworth FVA 1.6 L4 D   François Cevert 7
  Squadra Tartaruga Brabham-Ford BT23C Ford Cosworth FVA 1.6 L4 F   Xavier Perrot 7
  Felday Engineering Ltd Brabham-Ford BT30 Ford Cosworth FVA 1.6 L4 F   Peter Westbury 7
  Pete Lovely Volkswagen Inc. Lotus-Ford 49B Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F   Pete Lovely 9–11
  Paul Seitz Brabham-Climax BT23B Climax FPF 2.8 L4 D   John Cordts 9
  John Maryon Eagle-Climax T1F Climax FPF 2.8 L4 F   Al Pease 9
  • Pink background denotes F2 entrants to the German Grand Prix.

1969 World Championship of Drivers - final standingsEdit

Points were awarded on a 9-6-4-3-2-1 basis for the top six finishers at each Grand Prix. However only the best five results from the first six races and the best four results from the last five races counted towards the World Championship.

Pos. Driver RSA
1   Jackie Stewart 1 1 Ret 1 1 1 2 1 Ret Ret 4 63
2   Jacky Ickx Ret 6 Ret 5 3 2 1 10 1 Ret 2 37
3   Bruce McLaren 5 2 5 Ret 4 3 3 4 5 DNS DNS 26
4   Jochen Rindt Ret Ret Ret Ret 4 Ret 2 3 1 Ret 22
5   Jean-Pierre Beltoise 6 3 Ret 8 2 9 12 3 4 Ret 5 21
6   Denny Hulme 3 4 6 4 8 Ret Ret 7 Ret Ret 1 20
7   Graham Hill 2 Ret 1 7 6 7 4 9 Ret Ret 19
8   Piers Courage Ret 2 Ret Ret 5 Ret 5 Ret 2 10 16
9   Jo Siffert 4 Ret 3 2 9 8 11 8 Ret Ret Ret 15
10   Jack Brabham Ret Ret Ret 6 Ret 2 4 3 14
11   John Surtees Ret 5 Ret 9 Ret DNS NC Ret 3 Ret 6
12   Chris Amon Ret Ret Ret 3 Ret Ret 4
13   Richard Attwood 4 61 3
14   Vic Elford 7 10 5 6 Ret 3
15   Pedro Rodríguez Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 Ret 5 7 3
16   Silvio Moser Ret Ret 7 Ret Ret 6 11 1
17   Jackie Oliver 7 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 1
18   Johnny Servoz-Gavin Ret1 6 NC 8 1
  Sam Tingle 8 0
  Pete Lovely 7 Ret 9 0
  John Miles Ret 10 Ret Ret Ret 0
  Bill Brack NC 0
  Mario Andretti Ret Ret Ret 0
  Jo Bonnier Ret Ret 0
  George Eaton Ret Ret 0
  Peter de Klerk NC 0
  Basil van Rooyen Ret 0
  John Love Ret 0
  Derek Bell Ret 0
  John Cordts Ret 0
  Al Pease DSQ 0
  Ernesto Brambilla DNS 0
Drivers ineligible for Formula One points, because they drove with Formula Two cars
  Henri Pescarolo 5
  Kurt Ahrens 7
  Rolf Stommelen 8
  Peter Westbury 9
  Xavier Perrot 10
  François Cevert Ret
  Gerhard Mitter DNS
  Hubert Hahne DNS
  Dieter Quester DNS
  Hans Herrmann DNS
Pos. Driver RSA
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Other points position
Blue Other classified position
Not classified, finished (NC)
Purple Not classified, retired (Ret)
Red Did not qualify (DNQ)
Did not pre-qualify (DNPQ)
Black Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Race cancelled (C)
Blank Did not practice (DNP)
Excluded (EX)
Did not arrive (DNA)
Withdrawn (WD)
Text formating Meaning
Bold Pole position
Italics Fastest lap

  • 1 – Ineligible for Formula One points, because they drove with Formula Two cars.

1969 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers - final standingsEdit

Points were awarded on a 9–6–4–3–2–1 basis to the first six finishers at each round, however only the best placed car from each manufacturer was eligible to score points. The best five results from the first six rounds and the best four results from the last five rounds were retained.

Pos. Manufacturer RSA
1   Matra-Ford 1 1 Ret 1 1 1 2 1 4 NC 4 66
2   Brabham-Ford Ret 6 2 5 3 2 1 (5) 1 2 2 49 (51)
3   Lotus-Ford 2 Ret 1 2 6 4 4 2 3 1 9 47
4   McLaren-Ford 3 2 (5) 4 4 3 3 4 5 Ret 1 38 (40)
5   BRM 7 5 Ret 9 Ret Ret NC NC 3 6 7
6   Ferrari Ret Ret Ret 3 Ret Ret 6 Ret 5 7 7
  Cooper-Maserati 7 0
  Brabham-Repco 8 0
  Brabham-Climax Ret 0
  Eagle-Climax DSQ 0
Pos. Manufacturer RSA
  • Bold results counted to championship totals.

Non-Championship race resultsEdit

Other Formula One races held in 1969, which did not count towards the World Championship.

Race Name Circuit Date Winning driver Constructor Report
  IV Race of Champions Brands Hatch 16 March   Jackie Stewart   Matra-Cosworth Report
  XXI BRDC International Trophy Silverstone 30 March   Jack Brabham   Brabham-Cosworth Report
  Madrid Grand Prix Jarama 13 April   Keith Holland   Lola-Chevrolet Report
  XVI International Gold Cup Oulton Park 16 August   Jacky Ickx   Brabham-Cosworth Report


  1. ^ * Henry, Alan (1985). Brabham, the Grand Prix Cars. Osprey. p. 85. ISBN 0-905138-36-8.
  2. ^ "Grand Prix - The Killer Years". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2016.