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The 1973 British Grand Prix (formally the XXVI John Player British Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held at Silverstone on 14 July 1973. It was race 9 of 15 in both the 1973 World Championship of Drivers and the 1973 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers.

1973 British Grand Prix
Silverstone 1952.jpg
Race details
Date 14 July 1973
Official name XXVI John Player British Grand Prix
Location Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire, Great Britain
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 4.711 km (2.944 mi)
Distance 67 laps, 315.597 km (197.248 mi)
Weather Dry
Pole position
Driver Lotus-Ford
Time 1:16.3
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom James Hunt March-Ford
Time 1:18.6 on lap 50
First McLaren-Ford
Second Lotus-Ford
Third McLaren-Ford

The race is known for the first lap pile-up which ultimately caused eleven cars to retire. The accident happened when Jody Scheckter, running fourth in his McLaren, spun across the track at Woodcote Corner at the end of the first lap, causing many other cars to collide and crash. The incident eliminated nine cars, including all three works Surtees cars, while Brabham driver Andrea de Adamich suffered a broken ankle that ended his F1 career. The race was stopped at the end of the second lap, before being restarted over the original 67-lap distance with 18 of the original 29 cars (David Purley and Graham McRae having also retired in separate incidents).

On the first start, a swift start by Jackie Stewart brought him from fourth to first in less than half a lap. At Becketts Corner, Stewart out-braked race leader Ronnie Peterson and took the lead. However, the massive pile-up at the end of the first lap caused the race to be restarted and Stewart had to start from fourth again. This time it was Niki Lauda who had an excellent start and moved up behind Peterson into second, with Stewart third. Stewart passed Lauda on lap 2, and charged after Peterson. On lap 6, Stewart again tried to pass Peterson for the lead, but the Swedish driver shut the door; Stewart lost control of his Tyrrell and spun off into the thick grass. Although he was able to continue, Stewart ended up finishing 10th, one lap down.

Another notable drive came from James Hunt in his Hesketh Racing March, who ran fourth for most of the race and was part of a four-way battle for the lead between himself, Peterson, Denny Hulme and Peter Revson. American driver Revson took his first Grand Prix victory by 2.8 seconds from Peterson.

The pile-up was to be a factor in this being the last World Championship F1 race held on the original Silverstone layout: a chicane would be added at Woodcote shortly before the next British Grand Prix at Silverstone two years later. MotoGP, which would come to Silverstone from the Isle of Man in 1977, would use the original layout until 1986.



Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 8   Peter Revson McLaren-Ford 67 1:29:18.5 3 9
2 2   Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford 67 + 2.8 1 6
3 7   Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford 67 + 3.0 2 4
4 27   James Hunt March-Ford 67 + 3.4 11 3
5 6   François Cevert Tyrrell-Ford 67 + 36.6 7 2
6 10   Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford 67 + 44.7 8 1
7 19   Clay Regazzoni BRM 67 + 1:11.7 10  
8 3   Jacky Ickx Ferrari 67 + 1:17.4 19  
9 25   Howden Ganley Iso-Marlboro-Ford 66 + 1 Lap 18  
10 5   Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford 66 + 1 Lap 4  
11 15   Mike Beuttler March-Ford 65 + 2 Laps 24  
12 21   Niki Lauda BRM 63 + 4 Laps 9  
13 28   Rikky von Opel Ensign-Ford 61 + 6 Laps 21  
Ret 11   Wilson Fittipaldi Brabham-Ford 44 Oil Leak 13  
Ret 1   Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford 36 Transmission 5  
Ret 29   John Watson Brabham-Ford 36 Fuel System 23  
Ret 12   Graham Hill Shadow-Ford 24 Chassis 27  
Ret 22   Chris Amon Tecno 6 Fuel System 29  
Ret 30   Jody Scheckter McLaren-Ford 0 Collision 6  
Ret 23   Mike Hailwood Surtees-Ford 0 Collision 12  
Ret 31   Jochen Mass Surtees-Ford 0 Collision 14  
Ret 24   Carlos Pace Surtees-Ford 0 Collision 15  
Ret 20   Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM 0 Collision 17  
Ret 9   Andrea de Adamich Brabham-Ford 0 Collision 20  
Ret 14   Roger Williamson March-Ford 0 Collision 22  
Ret 16   George Follmer Shadow-Ford 0 Collision 25  
Ret 17   Jackie Oliver Shadow-Ford 0 Collision 26  
Ret 26   Graham McRae Iso-Marlboro-Ford 0 Throttle 28  
DNS 18   David Purley March-Ford 0 Spun Off 16  


  • Only race with 4 New Zealand drivers.

Championship standings after the raceEdit

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Only the best 7 results from the first 8 races and the best 6 results from the last 7 races counted towards the Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.


  1. ^ "1973 British Grand Prix". Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 

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