JAMES HUNT - MARLBORO McLAREN

F1 WORLD CHAMPION 1976




FULL RACE ON DVD

Formula 1 - 1976 Round 08 - France Grand Prix 2 H 9 MINS FULL RACE





















FULL RACE ON DVD


Formula 1 - 1976 Round 13 - Italy Grand Prix 1 H 50 MINS FULL RACE






FULL RACE ON DVD

Formula 1 - 1976 Round 11 - Austria Grand Prix 1 H 39 MINS FULL RACE























1976 Formula One season





The 1976 Formula One season included the 27th FIA Formula One World Championship season, which commenced on January 25, 1976, and ended on October 24 after sixteen races. This was the first season of Formula One to pass without a death on the track.

Contents


Season summary

In an extraordinarily political season the world championship went to James Hunt by one point from Niki Lauda, although Ferrari took the constructors' title. Controversy began in Spain where Hunt was initially disqualified from first place, giving the race to Lauda, only for the decision to be overturned on appeal months later. The six wheeled Tyrrell confounded the sceptics by winning in Sweden, with Lauda third and Hunt fifth.

Hunt won in France and, it seemed, in Britain, but the race had been restarted after a first lap pile-up and Hunt re-started in a spare car which was against the rules. He was eventually disqualified after an appeal from Ferrari, whose own driver, Regazzoni, had also re-started in a spare. Lauda became the official race winner.


Brambilla driving a March 761 at the 1976 German Grand Prix.

Lauda then crashed heavily in Germany and appeared likely to die from his injuries. Hunt won the race and finished fourth to John Watson's Penske (the team's only win) in Austria. Miraculously, Lauda returned to finish fourth in Italy, where Hunt, Jochen Mass and Watson were relegated to the back of the grid for alleged infringements of the regulations.

Hunt won in Canada and in the USA but Lauda took third to lead Hunt by three points going into the final race. In appalling weather conditions Mario Andretti won, Lauda gave up because of the hazardous conditions, and Hunt eventually finished third to take the title.

Chris Amon, drove his last grand prix in Germany, failing to win a single championship race. The 1976 Wolf-Williams cars were originally Heskeths, and Williams had left the team by September. The Boro-Ford team was renamed Ensign-Ford.

Drivers and constructors

EntrantConstructorChassisEngineTyreNoDriverRounds
Italy Scuderia FerrariFerrari312T
312T2
Ferrari 015 3.0 F12G1Austria Niki Lauda1-10, 13-16
2Switzerland Clay Regazzoni1-10, 12-16
35Argentina Carlos Reutemann13
United Kingdom Elf Team TyrrellTyrrell007
P34
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G3South Africa Jody ScheckterAll
4France Patrick DepaillerAll
United Kingdom John Player Team LotusLotus77Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G5Sweden Ronnie Peterson1
United Kingdom Bob Evans2-3
United States Mario Andretti4-5, 7-16
6United States Mario Andretti1
Sweden Gunnar Nilsson2-16
United Kingdom Martini RacingBrabhamBT45Alfa Romeo 115-12 3.0 F12G7Argentina Carlos Reutemann1-12
Germany Rolf Stommelen13
Australia Larry Perkins14-16
8Brazil Carlos PaceAll
77Germany Rolf Stommelen10
United Kingdom Beta Team March
United Kingdom March Engineering
United Kingdom Ovoro Team March
Hong Kong Theodore Racing
March761Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G9Italy Vittorio BrambillaAll
10Italy Lella Lombardi1
Sweden Ronnie Peterson2-16
34Germany Hans Joachim StuckAll
35Italy Arturo Merzario3-9
United Kingdom Marlboro Team McLarenMcLarenM23
M26
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G11United Kingdom James HuntAll
12Germany Jochen MassAll
United Kingdom Shellsport/WhitingSurteesTS16Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G13United Kingdom Divina Galica9
United Kingdom Stanley BRMBRMP201BBRM P200 3.0 V12G14United Kingdom Ian Ashley1
South Africa Lexington RacingTyrrell007Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G15South Africa Ian Scheckter2
United Kingdom Shadow Racing TeamShadowDN5B
DN8
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G16United Kingdom Tom PryceAll
17France Jean-Pierre JarierAll
United Kingdom Team Surtees
United Kingdom Durex Team Surtees
SurteesTS19Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G18United States Brett Lunger2-5, 7-11, 13-15
Sweden Conny Andersson12
Japan Noritake Takahara16
19Australia Alan Jones3-16
United Kingdom Frank Williams Racing Cars
Canada Walter Wolf Racing
WilliamsFW05Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G20Belgium Jacky Ickx1-6, 8-9
Italy Arturo Merzario10-16
21Italy Renzo Zorzi1
France Michel Leclère2-8
New ZealandChris Amon14
Australia Warwick Brown15
Austria Hans Binder16
Japan Masami Kuwashima16
United Kingdom Team EnsignEnsignN174
N176
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G22New Zealand Chris Amon2-7, 9-10
Belgium Patrick Nève8
Austria Hans Binder11
Belgium Jacky Ickx12-15
United Kingdom Hesketh Racing
United Kingdom Penthouse Rizla Racing with Hesketh
Hesketh308DFord Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G24Austria Harald Ertl2-16
25United Kingdom Guy Edwards5, 8-10, 13-14
Germany Rolf Stommelen12
Brazil Alex Ribeiro15
United Kingdom Mapfre-WilliamsWilliamsFW04Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G25Spain Emilio Zapico4
France Ligier GitanesLigierJS5Matra MS73 3.0 V12G26France Jacques LaffiteAll
United States Vel's Parnelli Jones RacingParnelliVPJ4BFord Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G27United States Mario Andretti2-3
United States Citibank Team PenskePenskePC3
PC4
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G28United Kingdom John WatsonAll
Brazil Copersucar-FittipaldiFittipaldiFD04Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G30Brazil Emerson FittipaldiAll
31Brazil Ingo Hoffmann1, 3-4, 8
United Kingdom RAM RacingBrabhamBT44BFord Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G32Switzerland Loris Kessel4-5, 7-8, 11
United Kingdom Bob Evans9
33Spain Emilio de Villota4
Belgium Patrick Nève5
Denmark Jac Nelleman7
United Kingdom Damien Magee8
Italy Lella Lombardi9-11
Netherlands HB Bewaking Alarm SystemsBoroN175Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G37Australia Larry Perkins4-7, 12-13
Italy Scuderia Gulf RondiniTyrrell007Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G37Italy Alessandro Pesenti-Rossi13
39Italy Alessandro Pesenti-Rossi11
40Italy Alessandro Pesenti-Rossi10, 12
United Kingdom Team Norev / B&S FabricationsSurteesTS19Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G38France Henri Pescarolo6, 8-15
Netherlands F&S PropertiesPenskePC3Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G39Netherlands Boy Hayje12
Austria ÖASC Racing TeamTyrrell007Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G39Austria Otto Stuppacher13-15
United Kingdom Team P R ReillyShadowDN3Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G40United Kingdom Mike Wilds9
Japan Kojima EngineeringKojimaKE007Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8D51Japan Masahiro Hasemi16
Japan Heroes RacingTyrrell007Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8B52Japan Kazuyoshi Hoshino16
Japan Maki EngineeringMakiF102AFord Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8G54United Kingdom Tony Trimmer16

Race-by-Race

Race One: Brazil

For the opening round of the season in Brazil, James Hunt took pole position in his McLaren with reigning World Champion Niki Lauda alongside in his Ferrari (which set the tone for the season). Clay Regazzoni in the second Ferrari took the lead at the start. Regazzoni, Lauda, Hunt and Shadow's Jean-Pierre Jarier battled. Regazzoni and Jarier collided, and the former had to pit for repairs. Lauda now led from Hunt and Jarier, but Hunt crashed out due to a sticking throttled, and Jarier did the same a lap later after driving on some oil in the track. Lauda thus started his title defence with victory, with Patrick Depailler second in the Tyrrell, and Tom Pryce completing the podium in the other Shadow.

Race Two: South Africa

Hunt took pole position for the second time in two races, with Lauda alongside again. It was Lauda who led into the first corner, with Hunt dropping down to fourth behind McLaren teammate Jochen Mass and Vittorio Brambilla in his March. Hunt was waved through by Mass, and passed Brambilla to take second after five laps. Lauda led from start to finish to win again, with Hunt second and Mass third for McLaren.

[Race Three: United States GP West

Well after the South African race, the drivers assembled at Long Beach in the USA for the third round. Regazzoni took pole position with Depailler second, forcing Hunt and Lauda onto the second row. The top four maintained their positions at the start, and almost immediately Regazzoni began to pull away. Hunt now tried to pass Depailler for second; they collided; Hunt was out, Depailler went wide, and Lauda sailed through to second. Depailler kept third until a spin which dropped him well down the order, but he charged back up to fifth, and was back in third after Pryce's Shadow, and Jody Scheckter in the second Tyrell retired after driveshaft and suspension failures respectively. Regazzoni went on to take a dominant victory, with Lauda completing the Ferrari 1-2, and Depailler third.

Race Four: Spain

As the European season began, there was a big talking point as the Tyrrell team entered a new P34 six-wheeler for Depailler. Depailler was on the pace and qualified third, behind Hunt and Lauda. Lauda once again beat Hunt off the line at the start and led for the first third of the race. Depailler, after a slow start, was running fourth behind Mass when he spun off and crashed with brake problems. Just before mid-race, the McLarens of Hunt and Mass found another gear and drove past Lauda, but towards the end of the race, Mass had to retire with an engine failure. Hunt took his first win of the season, with Lauda second and Gunnar Nilsson's Lotus third.

After the race, Hunt was disqualified because his McLaren was found to be too wide. McLaren appealed, saying this was due to the expansion of the tyres during the race, and two months after the race, Hunt was reinstated.

Race Five: Belgium

Ferrari locked out the front row in Belgium, with Lauda on pole from Regazzoni. Lauda motored away as the start, with Hunt up to second but, soon Regazzoni took the place back. The Ferraris raced away, and Hunt dropped back to sixth, behind Jacques Laffite's Ligier and the two six-wheeled Tyrells, before eventually retiring with a transmission failure. Depailler also retired when his engine blew up. Lauda won, and Regazzoni completed a dominant Ferrari 1-2, with Laffite taking his first podium.

Race Six: Monaco

In the glamorous streets of Monte Carlo, Lauda took pole with Regazzoni alongside on the front row again. Lauda led into the first corner, and was never headed again. Ronnie Peterson's March got up to second, and allowed Lauda to pull away by holding up Regazzoni and the two Tyrells. At one-third distance, Regazzoni went down an escape road due to oil on the track, and Peterson spun off and crashed on the next lap due to the same reason. This left Scheckter second and Depailler third but Regazzoni charged back and passed Depailler. He, however crashed out with 5 laps left while chasing Scheckter, thus ensuring that both the six-wheeled cars were on the podium behind Lauda.

Lauda now had a massive 33-point lead in the championship over Regazzoni and Hunt.

Race Seven: Sweden

Scheckter took pole in Sweden, the first for the Tyrrell P34, with Mario Andretti's Lotus second and Chris Amon an amazing 3rd on the grid in the Ensign. Andretti took the lead at the start, but he was found to have jumped it, and was given a 1 minute time penalty; as a result Scheckter and Depailler were officially 1-2. The six-wheelers went on to dominate (much to the chagrin of some of the other teams) and finished 1-2, with Scheckter winning. Andretti led on the road until his engine failed, and Amon was robbed of a sensational podium by a suspension failure. As a result, third place went to the consistent Lauda.

Race Eight: France

In France, 'normal service' was resumed, with Hunt on pole and Lauda second, with Depailler third, continuing Tyrrell's strong form. Lauda beat Hunt off the line as usual, and led the early stages until his engine failed. Hunt now led with Regazzoni close behind, but Regazzoni's Ferrari engine also failed. With the Ferraris out, any challenge to Hunt evaporated, and Hunt went to win with Depailler second. Scheckter ran third until he faded away with engine trouble, giving John Watson third and Penske its first podium.

Race Nine: Great Britain

The British fans had found a new hero in Hunt, but it was Lauda who took pole, beating the home hero Hunt into second, and Andretti showing Lotus's pace with third. At the start, Regazzoni began like a rocket and was immediately up to second, and was challenging Lauda. The two touched, and Regazzoni spun. He was hit by Hunt and Jacques Laffite abut the rest of the field were away safely. However, there was too much debris on track, and the race was to be restarted. In controversial circumstances McLaren, Ferrari and Ligier had Hunt, Regazzoni and Laffite all take part in the restarted race in spare cars.

There was no trouble in the restart, as Lauda led from Hunt and Regazzoni into the first corner. The top three were unchanged till mid-race until Regazzoni retired with a gearbox problem, promoting Scheckter to third. Lauda led comfortably until he too suffered from gearbox troubles, and home hero Hunt took the lead with 15 minutes left, sending the home fans wild. Hunt went on to win, with Lauda hanging on to second and Schceckter third.

After the race, Ferrari, Tyrrell and the Fittipaldi team appealed against Hunt being allowed to take part in the spare car. Ferrari took the matter to the FIA (which was ironic since their own driver, Regazzoni had started in a spare, although he retired), and two months later, Hunt was disqualified and Lauda was given the win. Scheckter was promoted to second, Watson had another podium, and Two-time champion Emerson Fittipaldi got sixth place and a point.

Race Ten: Germany

There were concerns by the drivers in the German GP held at the legendary Nordschleife about the safety of the track. Ultimately, all the drivers decided to race, and it was no surprise that Hunt and Lauda were on the front row, the British driver on pole, with Depailler heading the second row. At the start, on a damp but drying track, once again it was Regazzoni who started off best, whereas Lauda was slow and lost a lot of places. Regazzoni was leading from Hunt but he spun and dropped to fourth. At the end of the first lap, over eight minutes after the race started most of the drivers decided to pit for dry tyres. This left Mass's McLaren leading from Gunnar Nilsson.


Regazzoni driving the Ferrari 312T at the Nürburgring in 1976.

On the second lap, Lauda lost control at high speed and crashed into the barriers before bouncing back on to the track, and the car caught fire. The car was then hit by Harald Ertl's Hesketh and Brett Lunger's Surtees. The two drivers immediately got of their cars, and soon Arturo Merzario stopped his Wolf-Williams as well and also Guy Edwards helped. The three pulled Lauda out of the burning car, and the race was stopped. Lauda was sent to hospital with serious burns and was fighting for his life.


Hans-Joachim Stuck driving for the March team in the German Grand Prix

The race restarted, with the starting slots of Lauda, Ertl and Lunger left empty. Hunt led at the restarted race with Regazzoni up to second, but this did not last long as Regazzoni spun off and dropped back, and Depailler hit the barriers while trying to avoid him. This left Hunt with a big lead ahead of Carlos Pace in the Brabham, the Brabham team showing some speed. Soon, Scheckter was up to second, and Pace was passed by a recovering Regazzoni. Hunt eased to victory ahead of Scheckter, and Mass completed the podium by passing Pace after Regazzoni spun off (again).

[Race Eleven: Austria

The news before the Austrian GP was that Lauda's condition was no longer life-threatening, but there was a low attendance with Lauda not racing; and Ferrari were so shaken by Lauda's crash that they did not compete at all. Hunt meanwhile took pole, ahead of countryman Watson and Ronnie Peterson. Watson took the lead at the start ahead of Peterson and Hunt, but soon Peterson was in the lead. Scheckter was on a charge from the mid-field, and he took the lead on the 10th lap, but then Watson was back in front. Scheckter battled until he crashed due to a suspension failure, and Peterson ultimately began to drop back. Watson thus won, the result being his and Penske's first win, and the podium was completed by Laffite and Nilsson.

Race Twelve: Holland

Lauda had began his recovery, and was planning to race later in the season, and as a result, Ferrari were back in business in Holland, but with only one car for Regazzoni. It was Peterson who took pole, beating pole king Hunt and Tom Pryce's Shadow. Peterson led the early stages ahead of Watson, until Watson made a mistake which let Hunt through. Peterson then struggled and dropped behind Hunt, Watson and Regazzoni. Watson retired with a gearbox failure, promoting Regazzoni and Peterson, but the latter too retired when he lost oil pressure. Regazzoni now closed up on Hunt, bringing Mario Andretti with him, but Hunt held them off, with Regazzoni and Andretti within two seconds of him in second and third.

Race Thirteen: Italy

After the Dutch GP, with Hunt seemingly only two points behind Lauda, the championship seemed to be a cakewalk for him. But then came the news that Lauda was going to make an astonishing return for the last four races of the season (it was so unexpected that Ferrari had to run three cars for Lauda, Regazzoni, and Lauda's supposed replacement Carlos Reutemann), just six weeks after his accident.

Laffite took pole in qualifying, with Scheckter's six-wheeler alongside and Pace third. Lauda was fifth, and Hunt along with Watson and Mass were penalised and sent to the back because of fuel irregularities. At the start, Scheckter led ahead of Laffite and Depailler with Lauda down in the midfield, but soon Peterson was on a charge and took the lead after 14 laps. Peterson's charge also brought Regazzoni with him, and soon the Swiss was up to third. Scheckter dropped off, and the top four of Peterson, Depailler, Regazzoni and Laffite ran closely. Hunt spun off while trying to charge up the field, and Depailler dropped back late on with engine trouble. Peterson took his first win in two years, with Regazzoni second, Laffite third, and Lauda an incredible fourth.

Race Fourteen: Canada

Hunt's disqualification from the British GP came after the Italian race, and as a result Hunt had only 47 points to Lauda's 64 with three races left. The Englishman took pole, with Peterson also on the front row ahead of March teammate Vittorio Brambilla. As usual, Hunt did not start well, and Peterson took the lead. But it was not for long as Hunt retook the lead on lap 10, and soon both Marches dropped way back, and so Depailler was second and Andretti third. The top three of Hunt, Depailler and Andretti were unchanged for the rest of the race. Lauda was running fifth until handling issues dropped him out of the points, and Hunt had closed the gap to 8 points.

Race Fifteen: United States GP East

The penultimate round was in the USA, and Hunt took his eighth pole of the season, with the six-wheeler of Scheckter alongside, and Peterson third. As expected, Scheckter took the lead at the start, with Hunt and Brambilla following. The front two pulled away and battled, with Hunt passing Scheckter mid-race and Scheckter returning the favour a few laps later. Hunt took the lead again with 14 laps left and went on to win, and Scheckter had to settle for second. The Marches were again unable to keep up the pace, and it was left to Lauda to take an astonishing podium, just beating Mass in the second McLaren.

 Race Sixteen: Japan

The championship was to be decided in Japan, and Lauda was leading Hunt by three points. In qualifying, Hunt took second, but Lauda was right behind in third as Andretti took pole for Lotus. On race day, it rained heavily, and the weather was dreadful with the track full of water and the rain pelting down. Hunt got a good start for once, and took the lead from Andretti. Some of the drivers were protesting saying it is too dangerous to race. At the end of the second lap, Lauda came into the pits and withdrew, saying that the conditions were too dangerous. Emerson Fittipaldi and Carlos Pace were two of the other drivers who also withdrew. At the front, Hunt was leading but was soon challenged by Brambilla until the Italian spun out of contention. By mid-race, Mass had jumped up to second behind his teammate and acted as a protective buffer, but then crashed out. Hunt led from Depailler and Andretti, but then he began to suffer from tyre wear, and both drivers passed with 11 laps left. This was still fine as Hunt was third and needed only fourth to become World Champion. This became second when Depailler's tyres gave out, and he suffered a puncture but soon Hunt himself also had the same fate and had to pit. Andretti now led, with Alan Jones's Surtees second, Regazzoni third, Depailler fourth and Hunt fifth. On old, worn-out tyres, Jones and Regazzoni were fighting just to save their tyres, and first Depailler, and then Hunt with just two laps left passed both of them. Andretti won, getting his first win in five years, with Depailler second, and Hunt's third place meant that he was the F1 World Champion of 1976.

Season review

The Driver's championship was won by James Hunt from Niki Lauda, who had to miss several races as a result of an injury sustained in a crash at the German Grand Prix.

RndRaceDateLocationPole PositionFastest LapRace WinnerConstructor
1Brazil Brazilian Grand PrixJanuary 25InterlagosUnited Kingdom James HuntFrance Jean-Pierre JarierAustria Niki LaudaItaly Ferrari
2South Africa South African Grand PrixMarch 6KyalamiUnited Kingdom James HuntAustria Niki LaudaAustria Niki LaudaItaly Ferrari
3United States United States Grand Prix WestMarch 28Long BeachSwitzerland Clay RegazzoniSwitzerland Clay RegazzoniSwitzerland Clay RegazzoniItaly Ferrari
4Spain Spanish Grand PrixMay 2JaramaUnited Kingdom James HuntWest Germany Jochen MassUnited Kingdom James HuntUnited Kingdom McLaren-Ford
5Belgium Belgian Grand PrixMay 16ZolderAustria Niki LaudaAustria Niki LaudaAustria Niki LaudaItaly Ferrari
6Monaco Monaco Grand PrixMay 30MonacoAustria Niki LaudaSwitzerland Clay RegazzoniAustria Niki LaudaItaly Ferrari
7Sweden Swedish Grand PrixJune 13Scandinavian RacewaySouth Africa Jody ScheckterUnited States Mario AndrettiSouth Africa Jody ScheckterUnited Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford
8France French Grand PrixJuly 4Paul RicardUnited Kingdom James HuntAustria Niki LaudaUnited Kingdom James HuntUnited Kingdom McLaren-Ford
9United Kingdom British Grand PrixJuly 18Brands HatchAustria Niki LaudaAustria Niki LaudaAustria Niki LaudaItaly Ferrari
10West Germany German Grand PrixAugust 1NürburgringUnited Kingdom James HuntSouth Africa Jody ScheckterUnited Kingdom James HuntUnited Kingdom McLaren-Ford
11Austria Austrian Grand PrixAugust 15ÖsterreichringUnited Kingdom James HuntUnited Kingdom James HuntUnited Kingdom John WatsonUnited States Penske-Ford
12Netherlands Dutch Grand PrixAugust 29ZandvoortSweden Ronnie PetersonSwitzerland Clay RegazzoniUnited Kingdom James HuntUnited Kingdom McLaren-Ford
13Italy Italian Grand PrixSeptember 12MonzaFrance Jacques LaffiteSweden Ronnie PetersonSweden Ronnie PetersonUnited Kingdom March-Ford
14Canada Canadian Grand PrixOctober 3MosportUnited Kingdom James HuntFrance Patrick DepaillerUnited Kingdom James HuntUnited Kingdom McLaren-Ford
15United States United States Grand PrixOctober 10Watkins GlenUnited Kingdom James HuntUnited Kingdom James HuntUnited Kingdom James HuntUnited Kingdom McLaren-Ford
16Japan Japanese Grand PrixOctober 24Fuji SpeedwayUnited States Mario AndrettiJapan Masahiro HasemiUnited States Mario AndrettiUnited Kingdom Lotus-Ford

   
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