1961 Dutch Grand Prix (partially found footage of Formula One World Championship race; 1961)

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The Ferraris lead the field at the start.

Status: Partially Found

The 1961 Dutch Grand Prix was the second race of the 1961 Formula One Season. Occurring on 22nd May at the Zandvoort Circuit, the race would ultimately be won by Ferrari's Wolfgang von Trips, marking the first World Championship victory for the German.

Background[edit | edit source]

The 1961 Dutch Grand Prix was the seventh running of the event within the Formula One calendar, as well as the ninth in Grand Prix history.[1] Lasting 75 laps,[2][1] the race ran on a frequent basis until being dropped from the Formula One schedule following financial difficulties in 1986.[1] Nevertheless, both the track and event would make a return to Formula One from 2021 onwards.[3]

Heading into the race, the Dutch organisers selected the field via invitation, much to the dismay of privateers who were not selected.[4] Among those invited included Ferrari, who were allowed to field three cars to balance out the number of British entries.[4] Likewise, Porsche were able to enter four cars for the race.[4] Initially, Ferrari struggled to get its cars set-up correctly, as while Richie Ginther believed the car was improving overtime, von Trips felt it was horrible.[4] However, as the final qualifying session neared its end, Ferrari began to maximise its cars' potential, achieving a 1-3 lockout.[5][6][4][2] Hill achieved pole position with a time of 1:35.7, with von Trips hovering around that time in second, while Ginther was content with third.[4][6][2] The fastest non-Ferrari was Lotus-Climax's Stirling Moss, who was unable to replicate his initially quick time in qualifying, despite routinely changing his Climax engine and even driving a Rob Walker-owned Cooper-Climax for parts of the sessions.[4][6][2] Only 15 cars were allowed to start, meaning that the reserve Camoradi cars driven by Masten Gregory and Ian Burgess had to withdraw since the 15 automatic entries were able to commence racing.[4][2][6]

The Race[edit | edit source]

With the starting order decided, the 1961 Dutch Grand Prix commenced on 22nd May.[2] Hill almost failed to start, after a pivot pin for the clutch pedal fell out, although the issue was resolved before the race began.[4] Von Trips took the lead on the first lap, with him and Hill squeezing out Moss that caused to Brit to lose further positions.[4][5][6][2] Ginther slipped the clutch and almost stalled his Ferrari, causing him to lose multiple places.[4] By lap 3, von Trips was now three seconds ahead of Hill, the latter seeking to prevent BRM's Graham Hill and Lotus-Climax's Jim Clark, who had reached fourth after starting 11th on the first lap, from challenging.[6][4][2] Further down, Moss and Ginther duelled while also attempting to reclaim multiple positions.[4] Clark passed Graham Hill, and was now challenging Phil, eventually overtaking the Ferrari on lap 22 and establishing a lap record in the process.[5][4][6] This put Ferrari's tactics in disarray, as the team had planned for von Trips to build a strong lead ahead of the opposition.[4] Now, Clark was pushing back, with him and Hill increasing the pace by routinely overtaking one another.[4][6][5] Nevertheless, after Hill took back second after considerable laps of duelling, he was able to hold off Clark, enabling von Trips to build a lead of around eight seconds by lap 42.[4][5][6]

By lap 54, Hill began to pull away from Clark, being within 1.5 seconds of von Trips.[4][5] By then, the distance between the Ferraris and the Lotus was around 11 seconds, forcing Clark to focus on achieving third.[4][5][6] Ginther was now fourth, but was being pressurised by Moss.[4][5][6] With only four laps remaining, Ginther's throttle spring broke, forcing him to lift when braking for slow corners.[4][6] At some point, he made a mistake at the hairpin, enabling Moss to make a move.[4][6][5] Elsewhere, Hill had closed up to von Trips, but the German remained in front to take his first World Championship victory and eight points in the Drivers' Championship.[5][4][6][2] Clark finished third, while Moss finished ahead of Ginther despite the latter's slipstream on the final straight that made him just a tenth of a second and less than a car length behind.[4][6][5][2] Defending World Champion and Cooper-Climax driver Jack Brabham finished a distant sixth.[2][6]

The event is also known for two highly unusually Formula One statistics for the 1960s.[5][6][4] With Porsche's Hans Herrmann having finished 15th and last in his Porsche, it meant that the race became the first World Championship event to feature no retirements.[5][6][4][2] Ignoring the 2005 United States Grand Prix where only six cars competed, the next race to achieve this distinction would be the 20-car 2005 Italian Grand Prix.[7] It is also the only full-length race in Formula One history to feature no pitstops.[5][6][4] The only other race with no pitstops was the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix, which was red-flagged under the safety car after two laps following heavy rain.[8]

Availability[edit | edit source]

The race reportedly received partial live television coverage, including from NTS and the BBC.[9][10] According to Issue 1,958 of Radio Times, footage of the race was included as part of a four-hour Bank Holiday Grandstand, with clips of cricket, horse racing, athletics, and rugby league also a part of the broadcast.[10] The television broadcasts have yet to resurface, although footage from a British Pathé newsreel is publicly available.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

British Pathé newsreel footage of the race.
Colour footage of the race.

Images[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]