How to fill up the F1 grid

1966 german gp grid

Brought to you by TJ13 contributor OddBall

On this day… 7th August


Given the protestations from the Red Bull F1 family in 2015 along with the precarious nature of several other teams’ finances, the following is not difficult to imagine.

The scene: A full grid of F1 cars ready to start the great German GP, but the field was deemed too small – so other lower formula were included.

There would be Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Williams pitting their skills against some scrappy underdogs and what would the fans think?

Well this is exactly what happened in the 1966 German GP. 27 cars formed up on the grid, but 9 were from Formula 2.

The race was held at the Nürburgring Nordschleife on August 7 and was the sixth round of the 1966 championship. This was the 28th German GP and the 22nd to be held at the Nordschleife

The ace was to be held over 15 laps of the 22 kilometre circuit with a race distance 342 kilometres.

This would be the last Formula One race on the original Nordschleife layout before the Hohenhain chicane was added, designed to slow the cars coming into the pits. For many, this neutered the original character of the track.

As the race started Jim Clark made a rare error and crashed out. This left Jack Brabham to take his winning streak to four consecutive wins.

As the race unfolded F2 racers Jacky Ickx and John Taylor collided causing Taylor’s car to spin and burst into flames. The German was badly burned and consequently died a month later.

The race was eventually won by Jack Brabham driving the BT19 and he won by over 43 seconds.

The first Formula Two driver to finish was French driver Jean Pierre Beltoise driving a Matra Sports. He was P8, and one lap down – remember a lap was over 10 minutes in length.

With modern day TV viewing figures and race day attendance generally in decline, will any new teams ever again be seen in F1?

It is interesting to ponder how the modern GP2 cars would fare against the lesser of the F1 monsters. Particularly given that most modern tracks are a mixture of slow and medium corners the gap isn’t such a huge leap.

9 responses to “How to fill up the F1 grid

  1. Allow Teams To Field As Many Cars As They Want – From 1 To Whatever.

    I Bet Fielding A Single Car Is Way Cheaper Than Fielding 2.

    If It Is Cheaper, Maybe More Teams Will Join F1, Making The Whole Number Of Starters Even Greater Than It Is Today.

    In NUERBURGRING 1953 ( F2 Rules ) There Were 34 Starters And 7 Of Those Were BIG REDS – I Could Live With That.

    GO, 44 !

    • OK, how would you allocate driver and constructor championship points? If 1 team had the money for 10 of the best cars, e.g. Mercedes at the moment, if they all finished in the points no one else would get a look in. If points were only awarded to the top 2 cars in a team, it would work, but then the temptation would be to use the other cars in the team as mobile roadblocks. Real can of worms.

      • In previous years a two tier system was run, turbo and normally aspirated engines couldn’t compete against each other so a work around was found..not a fan I have to say. F1 is meant to be the top of motor sport so one set of points should be allowed, if your daft enough to enter a car that can’t compete then don’t whine when your at the back of the’s not school fun day where everyone is a winner 🙂 its lost…now go back home,try again and if it’s not working..sell it to Renault (oh..bad oddball..bad)

      • There would be no incentive to field a single car team, as it would be almost impossible to compete for the constructors championship and that is the only payout.

    • When you really put the figures to paper its not so bad fielding 2/3 cars. The main cost is designs and people,the manufacturing and running are normally livable, a team will carry spare engines,spare chassis and just about 3 to 4 complete car components in the trucks plus a huge supply of raw materials that are available..the next thing will be 3d printing while at the that wets the imagination.

  2. The article is not quite right. 1967 was the last grand prix before the chicane was installed (presumably later that year).
    Jim Clark took pole by 9 seconds (8m 04.1s)!
    Jackie Ickx was sensational in a F2 Tyrrell Matra. He broke the lap record on Lap 3 and had overtaken more than half the F1 field!
    After Jackie Stewart retired he reportedly went to the Tyrrell pit and advised Ken Tyrrell to slow Ickx down because he was so out of shape on the twisty downhill sections and feared for his safety.
    I was fortunate enough to be there.

    • Thanks Ray for the clarification, its good to know there are still fans that have actually witnessed these races still remembering the history. I wish I could have been at this one, when you read history you can digest the facts,imagine the thrill but it has can’t relive the smells,the sounds or the atmosphere..I am seriously jealous of your experience.. thank-you for adding.

  3. 1 – Allow 1 car teams;
    2 – Create an engine formula which makes simpler less expensive engines a viable competitive option;
    3 – Distribute revenue more evenly.

    • Dang Eric you should run for FIA president 😉 but then again you probably have to much commonsense. The only thing I don’t agree with is a one car team, to ensure development a team really needs to support two cars and with the limited testing it makes more sense. The main problem is the human condition, if you only have £10 to spend, a team will always try to spend more to get an edge and if it’s a rule then a creative account system is needed, spend £10 on car design and then £100 on toilet rolls. The big hurdle isn’t really the rules,manament,funds its that f1 is becoming less a sport and more an entertainment industry and in some ways I wish we could take a step back to a time when competition was a Sunday afternoon fun drive for a few friends now its all about corporate exposure and this will always be at odds with a sporting code

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