1975 Spanish Grand Prix

The 1975 Spanish Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Montjuïc circuit on 27 April 1975. It was race 4 of 14 in both the 1975 World Championship of Drivers and the 1975 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers. It is one of the most controversial and tragic race weekends in the sport's history after the death of four spectators who were hit by the crashing Hill GH1 of Rolf Stommelen. It was also the race in which Lella Lombardi became the first and so far only woman to score points towards the World Championship and future world champion Alan Jones made his first start.

1975 Spanish Grand Prix
Montjuïc circuit.svg
Race details
Date 27 April 1975
Official name XXI Gran Premio de España
Location Montjuïc circuit, Barcelona, Spain
Course Street circuit
Course length 3.790 km (2.355 mi)
Distance 29 laps, 109.91 km (68.29 mi)
Scheduled distance 75 laps, 284.25 km (176.62 mi)
Weather Sunny
Pole position
Driver Ferrari
Time 1:23.4
Fastest lap
Driver United States Mario Andretti Parnelli-Ford
Time 1:25.1 on lap 14
First McLaren-Ford
Second Lotus-Ford
Third Brabham-Ford
Lap leaders

It was the 21st Spanish Grand Prix since the race was first held in 1913. It was the fourth, and last, Grand Prix to be held on the Montjuïc street circuit. The race was shortened to 29 of its scheduled 75 laps, a race distance of 109 kilometres. The race was won by German driver Jochen Mass driving a McLaren M23. It would be the only Formula One win of his career. Mass had just a second lead over the Lotus 72E of Belgian driver Jacky Ickx when the race was declared. Argentine racer Carlos Reutemann was declared third in his Brabham BT44B, a lap behind the race leaders after a penalty was given to Jean-Pierre Jarier. This was the last win by a German driver until Michael Schumacher won the 1992 Belgian Grand Prix.

Race summaryEdit

Right from the start, the drivers who were members of the Grand Prix Drivers Association were furious that the barriers were not bolted together properly. Thus, they went on strike. Most of the sport's major players refused to take part in practice. Jacky Ickx was not a member of the GPDA, and one of the few marquee drivers who did practice.

Track staff worked overnight to fix the barriers, and to make sure everything would be fixed in time for qualifying on Saturday, some of the teams sent out mechanics to help. The drivers, though, still were not convinced, but the race organizers threatened legal action if no race was run. This, and rumors that the Guardia Civil would seize the cars which were in the paddock, which was at Montjuïc Stadium, forced the drivers to call off the strike.

The defending World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, however, was still furious. He did the minimum three laps, but at a very slow pace, then pulled into the pits. The next morning, Fittipaldi announced he would not race, and went back home. Also during race day morning, Ken Tyrrell went out onto the circuit with his spanner to make sure the barriers were how they should be.

The two Ferraris of Niki Lauda (on pole) and Clay Regazzoni qualified on the front row, but their glory would not last long. At the start, Vittorio Brambilla's March tangled with Mario Andretti's Parnelli. Andretti's car hit the back of Lauda's, sending him into Regazzoni. Lauda was out immediately, while Regazzoni took his car to the garage, where repairs were made, and Regazzoni was sent back out. Patrick Depailler also retired on the first lap because of suspension damage, and Wilson Fittipaldi and Arturo Merzario withdrew in protest.

After the first-corner madness ceased, James Hunt was shown as the leader. Shockingly, Andretti had managed to keep going, and was running in second. John Watson was in third, Rolf Stommelen was fourth, Brambilla fifth, and Carlos Pace sixth.

On lap four, the engine in Jody Scheckter's Tyrrell blew, and the oil dumping onto the circuit caused Alan Jones and Mark Donohue to crash. Three laps later, Hunt also slipped in the oil and crashed. The top three had become Andretti, Watson, and Stommelen. Watson's car suffered from vibrations and dropped out. Andretti's rear suspension lasted only seven more laps before it failed, causing him to crash out of the lead. Jean-Pierre Jarier and Brambilla stopped to change tyres, whilst Tom Pryce and Tony Brise tangled. Stommelen was now in the top spot, followed by Pace, Ronnie Peterson, Jochen Mass, and Ickx. On lap 24, Peterson was out after he tangled with François Migault while trying to lap the Frenchman.

Two laps later, tragedy struck. The rear wing on Stommelen's Embassy Hill broke, sending him into the barrier, ironically at the point that his own mechanics had worked on. He bounced off it and back into the road, hitting the barrier across the way, and flying over it. While trying to avoid Stommelen as he crossed the track, Pace crashed. Four people were killed by Stommelen's flying car: fireman Joaquín Benaches Morera, spectator Andrés Ruiz Villanova, and two photo-journalists, Mario de Roia and Antonio Font Bayarri.[2] Stommelen himself suffered a broken leg, a broken wrist and two cracked ribs.

The race continued for another four laps, during which Mass passed Ickx for the lead. On lap 29, the race was halted with Mass the winner, Ickx second, and Jean-Pierre Jarier crossed the line in third position. Carlos Reutemann finished fourth ahead of Brambilla in fifth. Lella Lombardi finished in sixth and became the only woman in Formula One history to score championship points. With the race being stopped before three-quarters of the scheduled race distance was reached, only half points were awarded for the first time in the history of the championship. After the race, stewards found that Jarier had overtaken in a portion of the track covered by a yellow flag caution. Jarier was given a sixty-second penalty that relegated him to fourth position.[3]



Pos No Driver Constructor Time
1 12   Niki Lauda Ferrari 1:23.4
2 11   Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 1:23.5
3 24   James Hunt Hesketh-Ford 1:23.8
4 27   Mario Andretti Parnelli-Ford 1:23.9
5 9   Vittorio Brambilla March-Ford 1:24.2
6 18   John Watson Surtees-Ford 1:24.3
7 4   Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford 1:24.4
8 16   Tom Pryce Shadow-Ford 1:24.5
9 22   Rolf Stommelen Hill-Ford 1:24.7
10 17   Jean-Pierre Jarier Shadow-Ford 1:25.0
11 2   Jochen Mass McLaren-Ford 1:25.2
12 5   Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford 1:25.3
13 3   Jody Scheckter Tyrrell-Ford 1:25.4
14 8   Carlos Pace Brabham-Ford 1:25.8
15 7   Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford 1:25.8
16 6   Jacky Ickx Lotus-Ford 1:26.3
17 28   Mark Donohue Penske-Ford 1:26.3
18 21   Tony Brise Williams-Ford 1:26.4
19 31   Roelof Wunderink Ensign-Ford 1:26.6
20 25   Alan Jones Hesketh-Ford 1:26.7
21 30   Wilson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Ford 1:27.2
22 23   François Migault Hill-Ford 1:27.9
23 14   Bob Evans BRM 1:28.8
24 10   Lella Lombardi March-Ford 1:30.3
25 20   Arturo Merzario Williams-Ford 1:54.3
26 1   Emerson Fittipaldi McLaren-Ford 2:10.2


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 2   Jochen Mass McLaren-Ford 29 42:53.7 11 4.5
2 6   Jacky Ickx Lotus-Ford 29 + 1.1 16 3
3 7   Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford 28 + 1 Lap 15 2
4 17   Jean-Pierre Jarier Shadow-Ford 28 + 1 Lap 10 1.5
5 9   Vittorio Brambilla March-Ford 28 + 1 Lap 5 1
6 10   Lella Lombardi March-Ford 27 + 2 Laps 24 0.5
7 21   Tony Brise Williams-Ford 27 + 2 Laps 18  
8 18   John Watson Surtees-Ford 26 + 3 Laps 6  
NC 11   Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 25 Not Classified 2  
Ret 22   Rolf Stommelen Hill-Ford 25 Collision 9  
Ret 8   Carlos Pace Brabham-Ford 25 Collision 14  
Ret 16   Tom Pryce Shadow-Ford 23 Accident 8  
Ret 5   Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford 23 Suspension 12  
Ret 31   Roelof Wunderink Ensign-Ford 20 Transmission 19  
NC 23   François Migault Hill-Ford 18 Not Classified 22  
Ret 27   Mario Andretti Parnelli-Ford 16 Suspension 4  
Ret 14   Bob Evans BRM 7 Fuel System 23  
Ret 24   James Hunt Hesketh-Ford 6 Accident 3  
Ret 3   Jody Scheckter Tyrrell-Ford 3 Engine 13  
Ret 28   Mark Donohue Penske-Ford 3 Collision 17  
Ret 25   Alan Jones Hesketh-Ford 3 Collision 20  
Ret 4   Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford 1 Collision Damage 7  
Ret 30   Wilson Fittipaldi Fittipaldi-Ford 1 Withdrew 21  
Ret 20   Arturo Merzario Williams-Ford 1 Withdrew 25  
Ret 12   Niki Lauda Ferrari 0 Collision 1  
DNS 1   Emerson Fittipaldi McLaren-Ford 0 Non Starter 26  

Championship standings after the raceEdit

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


  1. ^ "Spanish Grand Prix 1975". motorsport-stats.com. Archived from the original on 10 January 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Ricordando Stommelen". Autosprint. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2020. (in Italian)
  3. ^ "Grand Prix Results: Spanish GP, 1975". grandprix.com. Archived from the original on 23 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-07.
  4. ^ F1, STATS. "Spain 1975 - Qualifications • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  5. ^ "1975 Spanish Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 2 August 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Spain 1975 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 20 March 2019.

Further readingEdit

  • Lang, Mike (1983). Grand Prix! Vol 3. Haynes Publishing Group. pp. 73–75. ISBN 0-85429-380-9.
  • Prüller, Heinz (1975). Grand Prix Story 75: Lauda und ein Jahr wie kein anderes [Lauda and a year like no other]. In German. Vienna: Orac. ISBN 978-3853688212 ASIN 3853688217

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