Telegraph Sport Formula 1. Which other F1 drivers have tried to conquer the Indy - and how did they fare? Jochen Rindt Formula One's only posthumous world champion , Rindt won six races, took 10 poles and claimed 13 podiums from a race career. Back to image.
Jochen Rindt - Wikipedia
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Why Niki Lauda was the greatest among Austria’s great F1 drivers
Yet such setbacks only fortified his will to succeed. He personally financed his first forays in more serious formula cars. In he went to England and bought a Formula Two Brabham for 4, pounds cash. Contemporary accounts noted the spectacular style that was to become Rindt's trademark: 'His car was sideways throughout the race.
It went around the corners at unbelievable angles and always looked as if it was about to go off the road. In he signed a three-year Formula One contract with Cooper, whose cars weren't competitive. While enduring two more seasons in outclassed Coopers and another in an unreliable Brabham, Rindt flogged his machinery mercilessly. Often he seemed completely out of control and Jochen acknowledged that appearances were not deceiving.
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When asked how frequently he drove beyond his limits he replied: "Did I ever drive within them? He passed Jack Brabham for the lead on the final corner of the race.
He took pole position and victory, the first for the Lotus He passed Jack Brabham on the final lap to take victory after the Australian ran out of fuel. He qualified second on the grid behind the Ferrari of Jacky Ickx. Rindt qualified on pole for what would be his final race appearance. He would be tragically killed following a practice accident at the next round in Italy and was posthumously crowned world champion. The audacious Austrian, who perfectly exemplified the popular perception of what a racing driver should be, became a favourite of the fans and of the photographers, for whom he provided some of the best action photos in Formula One history.
Off the track the pictorial appeal took on 'Beauty and the Beast' dimensions when in Jochen Rindt married Nina Lincoln, a glamourous Finnish fashion model. The newcomer quickly out-paced his illustrious team mate, but the Lotus 49 was as fragile as it was fast. Jochen was leading the Spanish Grand Prix at Montjuich Park when his car's high rear wing collapsed, pitching it into the wreckage of Hill's Lotus, which had earlier crashed for the same reason.
Hill was unhurt but Jochen suffered a concussion and a broken jaw and became an outspoken critic of Chapman's cars, calling them unsafe as well as unreliable. However, he modified these views following his first championship victory: the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.
His first win of , indeed the greatest of his short career, came at Monaco in the outdated Lotus 49, the new 72 model not yet being raceworthy. After languishing in fifth place for much of the race, the retirement of others promoted Rindt to runner-up, 15 seconds behind Jack Brabham driving one of his own cars. Scenting a whiff of victory, Rindt then proceeded to reel in the race leader by means of a thrilling, even frightening, charge that mesmerized all who saw it, including Brabham himself.
Faster and faster Rindt went, smashing the lap record to smithereens. For the veteran Brabham, the sight of the wildly careening Lotus looming ever closer in his mirrors proved such a distraction that on the last corner of the last lap he crashed into the barriers. Jochen wept tears of joy as Prince Rainier and Princess Grace presented him with the winner's trophy.
In the next few weeks he wept at the deaths of two of his close friends - Bruce McLaren and Piers Courage.
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He began to consider retiring for family reasons, for Nina had presented him with a baby daughter, Natasha. Yet he drove as hard as ever and won four consecutive races, including the Dutch Grand Prix where Courage was killed, and also the French, British and German events. Then came the ill-fated day of September 5, , when Jochen Rindt's Lotus inexplicably ploughed into a guardrail at Monza during practice for the Italian Grand Prix.