Back at the Scuderia
Clay Regazzoni opted to leave Ferrari in 1973, in favour of Marlboro-sponsored BRM for what was reported as “an astronomical fee”. Here he joined young driver Niki Lauda, and the two became friends. It proved to be an unsuccessful year for the Swiss.
Ferrari had a big personnel shake-up at the start of 1974, after Luca di Montezemolo was hired to run the Italian team. Both Regazzoni and, on Regazzoni’s recommendation, Lauda were picked up by Ferrari.
Regazzoni was soon back on the podium. Seven podium finishes, including a win in Germany (picture below), allowed the Swiss driver to contend for the title until the last race of the season. At Watkins Glen, Regazzoni only needed to finish ahead of his rival, Emerson Fittipaldi, to take the crown.
Regazzoni suffered handling problems during the race due to a defective hock absorber and could only finish 11th. He finished second in the Drivers’ Championship, his career best, just three points behind Fittipaldi, crowned for the second time.