1970 Formula One season

1970 Formula One season
Drivers' Champion: Jochen Rindt
Constructors' Champion: Lotus-Ford
Previous: 1969 Next: 1971

The 1970 Formula One season was the 24th season of the FIA's Formula One motor racing. It featured the 21st World Championship of Drivers and the 13th International Cup for F1 Manufacturers. Thirteen races were held between 7 March 1970 and 25 October 1970, with the Drivers' Championship won by Jochen Rindt and the Constructors' title by Lotus. Rindt died four races before the end of the season, but had earned just enough World Championship points that no other driver managed to surpass his total by the end of the season. It is the only season to date in which the World Drivers' Championship title had been awarded posthumously. Jacky Ickx driving for Ferrari finished the season strongly, but his low 4th-place finish in the penultimate round ensured that Rindt's title lead would stand. In the end, all of Rindt's 45 points came from his five wins in the season.

Results and standingsEdit

Grands PrixEdit

Rnd Race Circuit Date Pole position Fastest lap Winning driver Constructor Tyre Report
1   South African Grand Prix Kyalami 7 March   Jackie Stewart   Jack Brabham
  John Surtees
  Jack Brabham   Brabham-Ford G Report
2   Spanish Grand Prix Jarama 19 April   Jack Brabham   Jack Brabham   Jackie Stewart   March-Ford D Report
3   Monaco Grand Prix Monaco 10 May   Jackie Stewart   Jochen Rindt   Jochen Rindt   Lotus-Ford F Report
4   Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps 7 June   Jackie Stewart   Chris Amon   Pedro Rodríguez   BRM D Report
5   Dutch Grand Prix Zandvoort 21 June   Jochen Rindt   Jacky Ickx   Jochen Rindt   Lotus-Ford F Report
6   French Grand Prix Charade 5 July   Jacky Ickx   Jack Brabham   Jochen Rindt   Lotus-Ford F Report
7   British Grand Prix Brands Hatch 18 July   Jochen Rindt   Jack Brabham   Jochen Rindt   Lotus-Ford F Report
8   German Grand Prix Hockenheimring 2 August   Jacky Ickx   Jacky Ickx   Jochen Rindt   Lotus-Ford F Report
9   Austrian Grand Prix Österreichring 16 August   Jochen Rindt   Jacky Ickx
  Clay Regazzoni
  Jacky Ickx   Ferrari F Report
10   Italian Grand Prix Monza 6 September   Jacky Ickx   Clay Regazzoni   Clay Regazzoni   Ferrari F Report
11   Canadian Grand Prix Mont-Tremblant 20 September   Jackie Stewart   Clay Regazzoni   Jacky Ickx   Ferrari F Report
12   United States Grand Prix Watkins Glen 4 October   Jacky Ickx   Jacky Ickx   Emerson Fittipaldi   Lotus-Ford F Report
13   Mexican Grand Prix Magdalena Mixhuca 25 October   Clay Regazzoni   Jacky Ickx   Jacky Ickx   Ferrari F Report

Teams and driversEdit

The following teams and drivers competed in the 1970 World Championship.

Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Tyre Driver Rounds
  Tyrrell Racing Organisation Tyrrell-Ford 001 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 D   Jackie Stewart 11–13
March-Ford 701 1–10
  Johnny Servoz-Gavin 1–3
  François Cevert 5–13
  Equipe Matra Elf Matra MS120 Matra MS12 3.0 V12 G   Jean-Pierre Beltoise All
  Henri Pescarolo All
  Bruce McLaren Motor Racing McLaren-Ford M14A Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G   Bruce McLaren 1–3
  Denny Hulme 1–3, 6–13
  Peter Gethin 5, 8–13
  Dan Gurney 5–7
McLaren-Alfa Romeo M7D
Alfa Romeo T33 3.0 V8   Andrea de Adamich 2–3, 5–12
  Nanni Galli 10
  Team Surtees McLaren-Ford M7C Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F   John Surtees 1–3, 5
Surtees-Ford TS7 7–13
  Derek Bell 12
  STP Corporation March-Ford 701 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F   Mario Andretti 1–2, 7–9
  Gold Leaf Team Lotus
  Garvey Team Lotus
  World Wide Racing
Lotus-Ford 49C
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F   Jochen Rindt 1–10
  John Miles 1–10
  Alex Soler-Roig 2, 4, 6
  Emerson Fittipaldi 7–10, 12–13
  Reine Wisell 12–13
  Rob Walker Racing Team
  Brooke Bond Oxo Racing – Rob Walker
Lotus-Ford 49C
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F   Graham Hill 1–8, 10–13
  Motor Racing Developments Ltd
  Auto Motor und Sport
Brabham-Ford BT33 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G   Jack Brabham All
  Rolf Stommelen All
  March Engineering March-Ford 701 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F   Chris Amon All
  Jo Siffert All
  Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312B Ferrari 001 3.0 F12 F   Jacky Ickx All
  Ignazio Giunti 4, 6, 9–10
  Clay Regazzoni 5, 7–13
  Owen Racing Organisation
  Yardley Team BRM
BRM P153
BRM P142 3.0 V12 D   Jackie Oliver All
  Pedro Rodríguez All
  George Eaton 1–3, 5–7, 9–12
  Peter Westbury 12
  Frank Williams Racing Cars De Tomaso-Ford 505/38 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 D   Piers Courage 1–5
  Brian Redman 7–8
  Tim Schenken 9–12
  Team Gunston Lotus-Ford 49 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 D   John Love 1
Brabham-Ford BT26A G   Peter de Klerk 1
  Scuderia Scribante Lotus-Ford 49C Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F   Dave Charlton 1
  Antique Automobiles Racing Team
  Colin Crabbe Racing
March-Ford 701 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G   Ronnie Peterson 3–8, 10–12
  Tom Wheatcroft Racing Brabham-Ford BT26A Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G   Derek Bell 4
  Silvio Moser Racing Team Bellasi-Ford F1 70 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G   Silvio Moser 5–6, 8–10
  Pete Lovely Volkswagen Inc. Lotus-Ford 49B Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F   Pete Lovely 5–7, 12
  Hubert Hahne March-Ford 701 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F   Hubert Hahne 8
  Ecurie Bonnier McLaren-Ford M7C Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G   Jo Bonnier 10, 12
  Gus Hutchison Brabham-Ford BT26A Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G   Gus Hutchison 12

Season reportEdit

For the 1970 Formula One season, following an agreement with Simca, Tyrrell were asked by Matra to use their V12 rather than the Cosworth. Stewart tested the Matra V12 and found it inferior to the DFV. As a large part of the Tyrrell budget was provided by Ford, and another significant element came from French state-owned petroleum company Elf (which had an agreement with Renault that precluded supporting a Simca partner), Ken Tyrrell had little alternative (due to clashing sponsorship deals) but to buy the March 701 chassis as an interim solution while developing his own car in secret with the first Tyrrell bearing a substantial resemblance to the MS80.

The new wedge-shaped Lotus 72 had very innovative car design, featuring torsion bar suspension, hip-mounted radiators, inboard front brakes and an overhanging rear wing. The 72 originally had suspension problems, but when dive and squat were designed out of the suspension the car quickly showed its superiority. Lotus's new leader, the Austrian Jochen Rindt, dominated the championship until he was killed at Monza when he crashed into some poorly installed crash barriers right before the Parabolica corner. He took the 1970 title posthumously for Lotus. Jacky Ickx won the Austrian, Canadian and Mexican Grands Prix to come second in the Drivers' Championship, having re-joined Ferrari from Brabham. Had he won the United States Grand Prix instead of Brazilian newcomer Emerson Fittipaldi, Ickx would have been crowned champion.

The 1970 season was one of the most tragic in Formula One history. Before Rindt's death at Monza, New Zealander Bruce McLaren was killed testing a McLaren Can-Am car at the Goodwood Circuit in England, and Briton Piers Courage was killed at the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, driving a Frank Williams-entered De Tomaso.

1970 saw the introduction of slick tyres by Goodyear.

After a Formula One career which began at the 1955 British Grand Prix, triple World Champion Jack Brabham retired at the end of the year.

Race 1: South AfricaEdit

The first round was the South Africa Grand Prix held at the Kyalami circuit between Johannesburg and Pretoria. Jack Brabham won the race in a Brabham BT33.[1]

Race 2: SpainEdit

The Spanish Grand Prix took place on the Jarama circuit. The defending champion Jackie Stewart won in a March 701.[2]

Race 3: MonacoEdit

The Monaco Grand Prix ended in a close finish. At the last corner of the last lap, Jack Brabham skidded off the track, allowing Austrian Jochen Rindt in a Lotus 49 to pass and win the race.[3]

Map of the Belgian track

Race 4: BelgiumEdit

Formula One had recently lost one of its top drivers: Bruce McLaren had been killed testing a Can-Am car at the Goodwood circuit in southern England. But the F1 circus had returned to a wild and dangerous place: the notorious 14.1 kilometres (8.8 mi) ultra-fast Spa-Francorchamps circuit had returned to the calendar for the 1970 season after some safety upgrades, including steel Armco barriers now lined around the circuit. A chicane had also been inserted at the incredibly fast Malmedy corner to reduce speeds onto the Masta straight. The field only consisted of 18 entrants; Spa often had a small number of entrants compared to other circuits because most racing drivers in Europe were frightened of the circuit and did not like racing there. Stewart took pole, followed by New Zealander Chris Amon and Rindt. Rindt took the lead going into Eau Rouge, and once the cars came back around towards La Source, Amon was leading. Then, Stewart took the lead, but then retired his March-Ford/Cosworth with engine problems. Amon took the lead, but Mexican Pedro Rodríguez in a BRM was making the most of his BRM engine's V12 power, and he and Amon battled until the 28th and last lap – and Rodriguez beat the perennially unlucky Amon to the checkered flag by a mere 1.1 seconds. Frenchman Jean-Pierre Beltoise took the final podium spot, followed by home favorite Jacky Ickx in a Ferrari. But this was the last time the old triangle-shaped Spa was to be used for Formula One – the circuit proved to be just too fast and dangerous, even with safety modifications. The Belgian Grand Prix was originally scheduled to be on the following year's calendar, but was taken off the calendar after the circuit was not up to FIA-newly mandated safety specs. The race would move to Nivelles and Zolder.

Jochen Rindt won the race in his new monocoque-chassis Lotus 72 which had only raced twice before but in a different spec

Race 5: The NetherlandsEdit

The Dutch Grand Prix of 1970 saw the revolutionary Lotus 72 stamp its authority on the Formula One scene. Although the car made its debut at Spa with John Miles, the car was still not properly finished. But for the Dutch event, it was – and Jochen Rindt dominated this weekend by taking pole and leading from start to finish on the fast, beachside Zandvoort circuit. But the race itself was marred by the fatal accident of Briton Piers Courage in a Frank Williams-entered DeTomaso-Ford/Cosworth. Courage crashed at the very fast Tunnel Oost corner, and one of the wheels hit him in the head and killed him instantly. After the car had crashed, it then caught fire, as was so common in those days.

The Grand Prix was held on the original Charade Circuit

Race 6: FranceEdit

Formula One then went to the 5.1 mile Charade circuit, made up entirely of closed-off public roads located around an extinct volcano overlooking the small city of Clermont-Ferrand. Practice and qualifying were both eventful – in addition to Ferrari showing improved form by Jacky Ickx taking pole, the circuit was littered with rocks and Rindt – already made nauseous by the twisty and roller-coaster-type nature of the circuit – was hit in the face by a rock thrown from another car – in those days, drivers wore open-face helmets covered by a white rag to protect them from the gas fumes. Ickx took the lead from the start, but he retired with engine damage, and Frenchman Beltoise – driving an all-French Matra – was in the lead. However, due to the rocks on the track, Beltoise punctured a tire, and had to come in. This gave Rindt the lead, ahead of Chris Amon. Rindt won from Amon and Brabham.

Race 7: Great BritainEdit

The British Grand Prix alternated between the very fast, flat, smooth Silverstone circuit and the twisty, undulating and rough Brands Hatch, just outside London. For 1970, the British GP was at Brands Hatch, and it was an exciting race – Jack Brabham was leading at the start, but he ran out of fuel at the last bend – and Rindt overtook him and won his 3rd consecutive race. After the race, Rindt's Lotus was disqualified for not meeting the maximum rear wing height -after the car had been brought back to the Lotus garage, the team appealed, the car was reviewed again (having been out of parc ferme for a while) and this time it was declared within the regulations, returning the win to Rindt.

This was the first race to use this version of the Hockenheimring, used from 1970–1981

Race 8: GermanyEdit

The German Grand Prix was held at the Hockenheimring for 1970. It had originally been scheduled to be run at the very long and notoriously dangerous Nurburgring Nordschleife, but the drivers refused to race at the 'Ring in the condition it was in – unless major safety changes were made to it. There was a driver's meeting at the Dorchester Hotel in London after the memorial services for Bruce McLaren and Piers Courage, and the drivers, already under considerable pressure and motivated by a normally quiet Jack Brabham – voted not to race there after the German GP organizers responded negatively to a list of changes requested by the drivers. The Hockenheimring was very fast, and it generated a great race – Jochen Rindt and Jacky Ickx battled all throughout the race and Rindt won yet again – and it was clear at this point who the two main title contenders were going to be.

Race 9: AustriaEdit

The second Formula One Austrian Grand Prix was the first held at the fast and spectacular Österreichring – in 1964, it had been held at the unpopular Zeltweg Airfield. The year-old Styrian circuit played host to Ferrari dominance – their first victory since 1968. Jacky Ickx and Clay Regazzoni easily finished 1–2; the Ferrari 312B had become a competitive package, although this was not done by Ickx, who did not like testing and often preferred to use his driving skill to deal with a car's shortcomings.

This was the last time the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza was driven for 68 laps; from 1971 onwards, the race would have 55 laps

Race 10: ItalyEdit

Monza was an ultra-fast circuit with no chicanes of any kind, and the weekend was marred by the death of Jochen Rindt, who was killed on the straight going into the Parabolica on his wingless Lotus 72. Aerodynamic downforce was not yet properly understood, and the car was, according to his teammate John Miles, rather unstable and difficult to drive. Ultimately though, it was a brake system failure that caused Rindt to spin off and crash into a poorly installed Armco barrier: the car went under the barrier and rotated a few times in the sand trap. Rindt's belts were loose, and he was not wearing a crotch strap belt, a recent introduction. As a result, he slipped down in the car and the belt buckle caused fatal throat injuries. Ferrari driver Clay Regazzoni won his first Formula One race, and the overjoyed crowd ran onto the track and celebrated.

Race 11: CanadaEdit

The F1 season concluded with a 3-part North American tour, which started in Canada at the spectacular Mont-Tremblant circuit in Quebec near the town of St. Jovite – the second and last time F1 would race there. The Lotus team did not show up, and although Jackie Stewart dominated practice in his new Tyrrell-Ford/Cosworth 001, he retired due to mechanical problems, and Ickx took victory in his Ferrari.

Race 12: United StatesEdit

The United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen saw the return of the Lotus team, and Brazilian newcomer Emerson Fittipaldi, who had become their lead driver after Rindt's death, was competitive throughout. He was challenged by Mexican Pedro Rodriguez, wanting to win again after his Spa triumph four months earlier. Rodriguez led but ran out of fuel, and although he stormed through the track, Fittipaldi was able to hold on to win his first Formula One championship race. This was the last F1 race at the original Watkins Glen permanent race track – the circuit was rebuilt for the following year. Rindt posthumously won the Drivers' Championship at this race – Ickx needed to win to stand a chance of overtaking Rindt's points total, but finished fourth after mechanical problems.

Race 13: MexicoEdit

The last race of the Formula One World Championship was the Mexican Grand Prix at the Magdalena Mixhuca Park in Mexico City. The event proved troublesome – some 200,000 people showed up to watch, and a number of them were actually sitting right next to the track asphalt, over the barriers. This delayed the race start for over an hour – after Rodriguez and Stewart pleaded with the crowd to move back, which they did – but not very far. The race finally got underway – and Ickx won again for Ferrari, as Stewart retired after hitting a stray dog. But the crowd's shenanigans caused by the disorganization of the event caused the Mexican Grand Prix to be cancelled for the following year, and it did not come back until 1986 to the same circuit.

World Championship of Drivers - final standingsEdit

Points were awarded on a 9–6–4–3–2–1 basis to the first six finishers at each race. The best six results from the first seven rounds and the best five results from the last six rounds were retained.

Austrian Jochen Rindt won the Drivers' Championship posthumously, the only time this has happened in Formula One history; he drove for Lotus this season
Pos. Driver RSA
1   Jochen Rindt 13 Ret 1 Ret 1 1 1 1 Ret DNS† 45
2   Jacky Ickx Ret Ret Ret 8 3 Ret Ret 2 1 Ret 1 4 1 40
3   Clay Regazzoni 4 4 Ret 2 1 2 13 2 33
4   Denny Hulme 2 Ret 4 4 3 3 Ret 4 Ret 7 3 27
5   Jackie Stewart 3 1 Ret Ret 2 9 Ret Ret Ret 2 Ret Ret Ret 25
6   Jack Brabham 1 Ret 2 Ret 11 3 2 Ret 13 Ret Ret 10 Ret 25
7   Pedro Rodríguez 9 Ret 6 1 10 Ret Ret Ret 4 Ret 4 2 6 23
8   Chris Amon Ret Ret Ret 2 Ret 2 5 Ret 8 7 3 5 4 23
9   Jean-Pierre Beltoise 4 Ret Ret 3 5 13 Ret Ret 6 3 8 Ret 5 16
10   Emerson Fittipaldi 8 4 15 DNS 1 Ret 12
11   Rolf Stommelen Ret Ret DNQ 5 DNQ 7 DNS 5 3 5 Ret 12 Ret 10
12   Henri Pescarolo 7 Ret 3 6 8 5 Ret 6 14 Ret 7 8 9 8
13   Graham Hill 6 4 5 Ret NC 10 6 Ret DNS NC Ret Ret 7
14   Bruce McLaren Ret 2 Ret 6
15   Reine Wisell 3 NC 4
16   Mario Andretti Ret 3 Ret Ret Ret 4
17   Ignazio Giunti 4 14 7 Ret 3
18   John Surtees Ret Ret Ret 6 Ret 9 Ret Ret 5 Ret 8 3
19   John Miles 5 DNQ DNQ Ret 7 8 Ret Ret Ret DNS 2
20   Jackie Oliver Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 5 Ret NC Ret 7 2
21   Johnny Servoz-Gavin Ret 5 DNQ 2
22   François Cevert Ret 11 7 7 Ret 6 9 Ret Ret 1
23   Peter Gethin Ret Ret 10 NC 6 14 Ret 1
24   Dan Gurney Ret 6 Ret 1
25   Derek Bell Ret 6 1
  Jo Siffert 10 DNQ 8 7 Ret Ret Ret 8 9 Ret Ret 9 Ret 0
  Ronnie Peterson 7 NC 9 Ret 9 Ret Ret NC 11 0
  Andrea de Adamich DNQ DNQ DNQ NC DNS DNQ 12 8 Ret DNQ 0
  John Love 8 0
  George Eaton Ret DNQ DNQ Ret 12 Ret 11 Ret 10 Ret 0
  Peter de Klerk 11 0
  Dave Charlton 12 0
  Piers Courage Ret DNS NC Ret Ret† 0
  Tim Schenken Ret Ret NC Ret 0
  Pete Lovely DNQ DNQ NC DNQ 0
  Silvio Moser DNQ DNQ DNQ Ret DNQ 0
  Jo Bonnier DNQ Ret 0
  Gus Hutchison Ret 0
  Alex Soler-Roig DNQ DNS DNQ 0
  Brian Redman DNS DNQ 0
  Hubert Hahne DNQ 0
  Nanni Galli DNQ 0
  Peter Westbury DNQ 0
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)
Did not enter (cell empty)
Text formatting Meaning
Bold Pole position
Italics Fastest lap

† Jochen Rindt suffered a fatal accident in practice before the Italian Grand Prix.

International Cup for Formula 1 Manufacturers - final standingsEdit

Lotus Ford won the International Cup for Formula 1 Manufacturers

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 six results from the first seven rounds and the best five results from the last six rounds were retained.

Pos. Manufacturer RSA
1   Lotus-Ford 5 4 1 Ret 1 1 1 1 15 DNS NC 1 NC 59
2   Ferrari Ret Ret Ret 4 3 14 4 2 1 1 1 (4) 1 52 (55)
3   March-Ford 3 1 7 2 2 2 5 7 8 2 3 5 4 48
4   Brabham-Ford 1 Ret 2 5 11 3 2 5 3 5 Ret 10 Ret 35
5   McLaren-Ford 2 2 4 6 4 3 3 10 4 6 7 3 35
6   BRM 9 Ret 6 1 10 12 Ret Ret 4 Ret 4 2 6 23
7   Matra 4 Ret 3 3 5 5 Ret 6 6 3 7 8 5 23
8   Surtees-Ford Ret 9 Ret Ret 5 6 8 3
  McLaren-Alfa Romeo DNQ DNQ DNQ NC DNS DNQ 12 8 Ret DNQ 0
  De Tomaso-Ford Ret DNS NC Ret Ret DNS DNQ Ret Ret NC Ret 0
  Tyrrell-Ford DNS Ret Ret Ret 0
  Bellasi-Ford DNQ DNQ DNQ Ret DNQ 0
Pos. Manufacturer RSA
  • Bold results counted to championship totals.

Non-championship racesEdit

Other Formula One races held in 1970, which did not count towards the World Championship.

Race Name Circuit Date Winning driver Constructor Report
  V Race of Champions Brands Hatch 22 March   Jackie Stewart   March-Cosworth Report
  XXII BRDC International Trophy Silverstone 26 April   Chris Amon   March-Cosworth Report
  XVII International Gold Cup Oulton Park 22 August   John Surtees   Surtees-Cosworth Report


  1. ^ "The Grand Prix of South Africa". Motor Sport: 30. April 1970. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  2. ^ "The Grand Prix of Spain". Motor Sport: 30. May 1970. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  3. ^ "The 28th Monaco Grand Prix". Motor Sport: 25. June 1970. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  4. ^ Drivers' points were awarded on a 9–6–4–3–2–1 basis to the top six finishers in each race. The best 6 results from the first 7 races and the best 5 results from the last 6 races were counted, though this rule did not affect any driver's points tally in the 1970 championship.
  5. ^ Only the best 6 results from the first 7 rounds and the best 5 results from the last 6 rounds counted towards the Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.

External linksEdit