Brabham, still competitive

22. Sep 2023 
by Ziv Knoll

At 44,  Jack Brabham (Brabham BT33) leads the 1970 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix, (picture above), a race thrilling till the very end.

The Australian three-time F1 world champion (1959-60-66) had decided to retire at the end of the 1969 season, and years later, told the story: “We finished second in the drivers’ championship with Ickx in 1969, but he decided to move back to Ferrari and I made a deal with Jochen Rindt, to lead our team in 1970. I had decided to retire from racing.”

“Jochen was a real forceful character, a really good driver, and a driver I enjoyed driving with very much. In 1970 he was going to drive for us again. We’d actually done a deal, all signed up for him to drive for us in ’70. But when we got to Watkins Glen, Colin Chapman offered him a lot of money, and he came to me and asked me if he could go off. We released him and I drove for another year.”

For 1970, Ron Tauranac introduced the brand new BT33, and the new car soon proved competitive. Brabham started the season with a win in the South African Grand Prix – his first since 1967.

Heading to Monaco, where Brabham had scored his first Grand Prix victory with Cooper in 1959, it was clear that he was a serious contender once again, at the age of 44. In the race, when Stewart (March) retired, Brabham was in the lead. When Rindt (Lotus) took second place, he was nine seconds behind Brabham.

Rindt increased the pace, and was able to close the gap. On the final corner of the last lap, however, Brabham (picture below) defended the inside line to prevent Rindt from passing. He locked the wheels under braking and the car skidded across the track and hit the barriers. Rindt passed him and won the race. Brabham crosses the line, in second…

Source: Motorsport Images

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