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 F2 cars would fare against the lesser of the F1 monsters.

3 responses to “How to fill up the F1 grid

    • Its not that long ago when we did have two tier racing. If you cast your mind back to the turbo era,the non turbo models had a ”thanks for trying’ trophy 😉

  1. That isn’t the first time that that happened. The 1958 German GP only had 13 F1 cars, so the organizers ran an F2 race with 13 cars at the same time to fill out the field.

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