F1. That year: 1964 Mexican Grand Prix, John Surtees and the Blue Ferrari

The Mexican Grand Prix has been on the F1 calendar for three periods: from 1963 to 1970, then from 1986 to 1992 and from 2015. All competitions were held in Mexico City.

Three contenders for the F1 world title

The 1964 Mexican Grand Prix was the tenth and final event of the season. Three drivers are still mathematically fighting for the attribution of the world title: Graham Hill (39 points), John Surtees (34 points) and Jim Clark (30 points).

The regulations of the World Drivers’ Championship state that only the six best results (of each driver) are considered for the award of the title. Before the Mexico F1 GP, Graham Hill already has 7 results (his two points during the Belgian GP now count for 39 points instead of 41 points), John Surtees has 5 GPs and Jim Clark has 4 results. Under these conditions, the title attribute is especially tight.

Blue Ferrari

Ferrari, through its eponymous founder Enzo Ferrari, is at odds with the FIA ​​and the ACI (Italian Automobile Club). The FIA ​​refuses to homologate the Ferrari 250 LM in the GT category (Obviously due to the insufficient number of units) and classifies it as a Prototype. Enzo Ferrari believes that this endorsement gives his team a shot at victory, especially at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In her eyes, the angry one who was not supported enough by ACI Commendator gives away his manufacturer’s license and vows that Ferrari will never wear red again.

The result of this situation has an immediate effect, as the last two Formula 1 Grands Prix of the season (USA and Mexico) do not involve the Scuderia. With his drivers still fighting for the Drivers’ title and Ferrari for the Manufacturers’ title, Enzo Ferrari never lost his imagination, asking his friend and Ferrari’s US importer, Luigi Chinetti, to enter the United States GP. States and Mexico field their cars and drivers through the NART team (North American Racing Team). Italian single-seaters are shipped to the US and will be included with an American license. As was the custom at the time, they will therefore wear the US colors and be painted White and Blue.

Great price

Jim Clark (Lotus Climax) is on pole with Dan Gurney (Brabham Climax) and the Ferraris of Lorenzo Bandini and John Surtees in 3rd and 4th respectively. Graham Hill (BRM) is in 6th place. Pedro Rodríguez in the No. 3 Ferrari is 9th.

If Jim Clark got off to a great start, this was not the case for Graham Hill and John Surtees, who dropped down the order after the first round and only finished 10th and 13th respectively. Two world champions are fighting to climb the rankings. On lap 12, Jim Clark still leads Dan Gurney, Graham Hill (3rd and virtual world champion), Lorenzo Bandini, Jack Brabham and John Surtees (6th) GP. A few laps later, John Surtees overtook Jack Brabham to take 5th place.

The leading positions seem stable. Lorenzo Bandini is in a delicate state. The Ferrari driver is trying to put pressure on Graham Hill, but he is suffering from teammate John Surtees, who needs to overtake Graham Hill to win the title. On lap 31, Lorenzo tried to overtake Bandi at Graham Hill and hit the BRM, which crashed into the safety rails. With damaged exhausts, the English driver made two pit stops and returned to the track, far from the lead and the title race. At this point, it’s Jim Clark who can take the title, even if John Surtees uses the incident in front of him to overtake Lorenzo Bandi. The Italian driver doesn’t want to stop there and passes John Surtees. So the classification gives us 34th out of 65 laps: Jim Clark, Dan Gurney, Lorenzo Bandini and John Surtees in the top four in that order.

Two rounds left. Jim Clark struggles with his Lotus Climax’s engine for several laps. On the penultimate lap he was unable to hold off Dan Gurney’s comeback before his engine failed. Jim Clark dropped out and John Surtees finished 3rd. It is Graham Hill who can become the world champion.

In the final lap of this eventful GP, the Ferrari team’s strategy is fully realized. Lorenzo Bandini is asked (ordered) to let his teammate through. The Italian driver is suitable.

Dan Gurney ahead of John Surtees and Lorenzo Bandy at the Mexican Grand Prix. Graham Hill, two laps down, is 11th.

John Surtees won the Drivers’ World Championship (40 points) ahead of Graham Hill (39 points from 41 entries) and Jim Clark (32 points). Ferrari won the Constructors’ Championship by 45 points ahead of BRM (42 points) and Lotus Climax (37 points).

A third Ferrari driver, Mexican Pedro Rodríguez, finished 6th in his home GP. In 1962, his younger brother Ricardo (aged 20) died in an accident behind the wheel of a Lotus at the Mexican Grand (F1 race outside the World Championship) on the same track. Rob Walker Racing Team. The current track is named after the Rodriguez Brothers (the first brothers in history to compete in Formula 1).Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

John Surtees Motorcycle and F1 World Champion

The British rider is the only athlete in history to have won world championships in both disciplines: 500 cm motorcycle world champion3 (1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960) and 350 cm3 (1958, 1959 and 1960) and therefore Formula 1 World Champion in 1964.

Ferrari end of controversy, red again

Enzo Ferrari, illuminated by two world crowns, will calm his anger and the red Ferrari (under Italian License) will be at the start of the 1st race.er The 1965 season Grand Prix in South Africa in the hands of John Surtees and Lorenzo Bandini. Since then, the red has remained in place.

The article was published on 29.10.2022 at 10:39.

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