1960 British Grand Prix (partially found footage of Formula One World Championship race; 1960)

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Jack Brabham leads a fast-charging Graham Hill.

Status: Partially Found

The 1960 British Grand Prix was the seventh race of the 1960 Formula One Season. Occurring on 16th July at the Silverstone Circuit, the race would ultimately be won by Jack Brabham in a Cooper-Climax, capitalising when BRM's Graham Hill retired from the lead with a few laps remaining. This also marked Brabham's fourth consecutive World Championship victory, the first to achieve this since Alberto Ascari in 1952. The race was also the first to be televised by ITV.

Background[edit | edit source]

The 1960 British Grand Prix was the 11th running of the event within Formula One, with the race lasting 75 laps.[1][2][3] The 15th British Grand Prix overall, the event has remained an annual race on the Formula One calendar, primarily taking place at Silverstone, although Aintree and Brands Hatch have also hosted the event.[1]

Heading into the race, Brabham and teammate Bruce McLaren were level in the Drivers' Championship with 24 points each.[4] The Coopers again proved competitive, with Brabham achieving pole position with a time of 1:34.6.[5][6][7][3] Nevertheless, BRM were proving to be the biggest challenges to the Coopers, with Ferrari and Lotus-Climax slightly off the pace.[5][7][6][3] Graham Hill would qualify between Brabham and McLaren in second, with his teammate Jo Bonnier in fourth.[5][6][7][3] John Surtees made his second race start after return from motorcycle racing, qualifying 11th out of 25 competitors, his time hampered by a persistent misfire from his Lotus-Climax's spark plugs.[5][7][6][3] Following his accident at the Belgian Grand Prix, Stirling Moss returned as the race starter.[5][7]

The Race[edit | edit source]

With the starting order decided, the 1960 British Grand Prix commenced on 16th July.[3] Hill stalled his BRM for the second consecutive race, but this time did not cause a collision, allowing him to continue in 21st.[7][6][5] Brabham led the field, while Bonnier and Ireland jumped McLaren for second and third respectively.[5][6] By lap 6 however, Hill was making a strong comeback, having already moved up ten places, while Ireland passed Bonnier for second.[5][6][7] Hill then passed the Ferraris of Phil Hill and Wolfgang von Trips, before capitalising on fellow BRM driver Dan Gurney's gear lever issues to move to seventh.[5] Surtees and fellow Lotus-Climax driver Jim Clark were also on the move, passing both McLaren and Bonnier for third and fourth respectively.[5] However, neither they nor Ireland were challenging Brabham at the front.[5] On lap 20, Hill passed Bonnier, whereas Clark took third from Surtees.[5] Hill then passed McLaren a few laps later, eventually closing in on the Lotus drivers by lap 28.[5]

Ireland meanwhile had reduced the gap to Brabham to four seconds, while Surtees and Hill both overtook Clark during the pitstops.[5] By lap 31, Hill passed Surtees for third, and would soon catch-up and overtake Ireland on lap 37 to leave just Brabham ahead of him.[5][6] After both negotiated traffic, Hill would ultimately nullify the Cooper's seven second lead by lap 52.[5] Despite Brabham's attempts to keep the Brit behind him, by lap 55 the BRM was now leading.[5][6][7] Surtees and Clark then moved into third and fourth respectively when Ireland car's hubs developed issues, although he was able to continue.[5] Three laps later, Clark was out of contention when his Lotus' front suspension broke, forcing him to drive on at slow speeds when it was hastily repaired.[5] Despite Hill having overtaken the Australian, he was unable to drive away from him, with the Cooper continually challenging the BRM.[5][7] By lap 70, Hill was about 1.5 seconds ahead of Brabham, as they lapped numerous drivers ahead of them.[5][7]

Ultimately, Brabham's pressure on Hill paid dividends.[7][5][6] Hill's strong pace had weakened his BRM's brakes due to constant pumps on the brake pedal.[5][7][6] Eventually, on lap 72, Hill spun-off into a ditch when he approached Corpse Corner while trying to lap backmarkers, attributed to a brakes failure.[7][6][5] Brabham took over in front and maintained his lead for the remaining five laps to claim his fourth consecutive World Championship victory and eight points in the Drivers' Championship.[7][5][6] He was the first to achieve four consecutive wins since Alberto Ascari in 1952.[7] Surtees finished second in only his second event, with Ireland taking third.[7][5][6] McLaren finished a lap behind in fourth, while the Ferraris of Hill and von Trips took the final points positions of fifth and sixth respectively.[6][5][7] In the Drivers' Championship, Brabham now led McLaren with 32 points compared to 27.[8] In the Constructors' Championship, Cooper was on 46 points, 21 ahead of Lotus.[8]

Availability[edit | edit source]

The race was reportedly televised partially live by ITV, in what is the first known airing of a Formula One race by the British broadcaster.[9] ITV would air around 50 races prior to 1981; it would gain a more prominent role in televising all Formula One races between 1997 to 2008.[10][11] The broadcast has yet to resurface however; analysis of what the ITV Sport Archive offers indicates that only highlights of the 1969 and 1970 British Grand Prix are in its collection.[12] Additionally, a deal between ITV Sport and Racing Past Media in early-2022, which aimed to archive a "significant volume" of Formula One material from ITV, indicates that the earliest race broadcasts within the archive originate from the late-1960s.[12][10] This therefore makes it unlikely the 1960 broadcast has survived. Nevertheless, footage of the race from documentaries and newsreels can be found online.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

Colour footage of the race from a British documentary.
British Pathé newsreel of the race.
Footage from an 8mm film.

Images[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 The History Press detailing the history of the British Grand Prix. Retrieved 18th Sep '22
  2. Ultimate Car Page listing all instances of the British Grand Prix. Retrieved 18th Sep '22
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Racing-Reference detailing the qualifying and race results of the event. Retrieved 18th Sep '22
  4. Stats F1 detailing the Drivers' and Constructors' Championship standings heading into the race. Retrieved 18th Sep '22
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 Motor Sport providing a detailed race report. Retrieved 18th Sep '22
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 Grand Prix summarising the event. Retrieved 18th Sep '22
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 ESPN summarising the race. Retrieved 18th Sep '22
  8. 8.0 8.1 Stats F1 detailing the Drivers' and Constructors' Championship standings following the race. Retrieved 18th Sep '22
  9. List of Formula One television broadcasts noting ITV provided partial live race coverage. Retrieved 18th Sep '22
  10. 10.0 10.1 Racing News 365 detailing ITV Sport's deal with Racing Past Media to unearth footage from the late-1960s and 1970s. Retrieved 18th Sep '22
  11. Motorsport Broadcasting summarising ITV's coverage of Formula One from 1997 to 2008. Retrieved 18th Sep '22
  12. 12.0 12.1 ITV Sport Archive's Content Catalogue stating only highlights of the 1969 and 1970 British Grand Prix are within its collection. Retrieved 18th Sep '22