|1961 FIA Formula One World Championship season|
|Previous: 1960||Next: 1962|
|Index: Races by country | Races by season|
The 1961 Formula One season was the 12th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1961 World Championship of Drivers and the 1961 International Cup for F1 Manufacturers, which were contested concurrently from 14 May to 8 October over an eight race series. The season also included numerous non-championship races for Formula One cars.
Phil Hill of Ferrari won his only Driver's Championship after his teammate and rival Wolfgang von Trips was killed at the Italian Grand Prix, the penultimate race of the season. Ferrari won its first F1 manufacturers' title.
Season summary[edit | edit source]
The first year of the 1.5-litre formula was dominated by a well-prepared Ferrari team. Only Stirling Moss, in an outdated Lotus, was able to beat the Ferraris on two tracks where his skills offset the Ferrari power advantage. Giancarlo Baghetti in a privately entered Ferrari won the French Grand Prix on his championship debut, the only driver to have done so other than Nino Farina, winner of the first F1 World Championship race. Baghetti had also won his only two previous Formula One races, the non-championship events at Syracuse and Naples, but the French race was his only win in the World Championship. The contest for the championship between Ferrari's leading drivers, Phil Hill and Wolfgang von Trips, ended in tragedy when von Trips collided with Jim Clark at Monza, killing the Ferrari driver and 14 spectators. Hill went on to win the championship, the first American to do so. With the change of formula and the introduction of the United States Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 was dropped from the championship.
The number of points awarded to a race winner was increased to nine for the World Championship of Drivers.
Besides von Trips, two other drivers died during this season: Briton Shane Summers during the non-championship Silver City Trophy event at Brands Hatch, and Italian Giulio Cabianca during a test at the Modena Autodrome.
Teams and drivers[edit | edit source]
Season review[edit | edit source]
1961 saw the introduction of the 1.5-lire engine Formula and Ferrari were able to take advantage of the changes. Well prepared, the introduced the new 'sharknose' V6, equipped with a rear enginge. The car proved to be more than a match for the British 4-cylinder units.
they were kept in second, third and fourth places by Moss. In fifth position was former Ferrari and BRM driver Dan Gurney, driving the new Porsche on it's Championship debut. Moss's performance was one of his finest. He was hampered by both his outdated Climax engine and his old square-shaped Lotus. Yet his handling skill on the tricky Monaco circuit ensured that he made up for the pace limitations of the Lotus, taking the flag just 3.6 seconds ahead of Ginther.
The rest of the season became a battle between Ferrari rivals Hill and von Trips. At Zandvoort von Trips finished just nine-tenths of a scond ahead of Hill to give Germany its first Grand Prix winner for 22 year. He had led the race from first, with Hill fighting off Jim Clark in the Lotus. Clark took third, while Moss scraped home ahead of Ginther. The race took its place in history as one of only two Championship races in which every driver was to finish without incident. The other was the2005 Italian Grand Prix.
Results and standings[edit | edit source]
Grands Prix [edit | edit source]
The following eight races counted towards the World Championship of Drivers and the International Cup for F1 Manufacturers.
|Rnd||Race||Circuit||Date||Pole position||Fastest lap||Winning driver||Constructor||Tyre||Report|
|1||Monaco Grand Prix||Monaco||14 May||Stirling Moss|| Richie Ginther
|2||Dutch Grand Prix||Zandvoort||22 May||Phil Hill||Jim Clark||Wolfgang von Trips||Ferrari||D||Report|
|3||Belgian Grand Prix||Spa-Francorchamps||18 June||Phil Hill||Richie Ginther||Phil Hill||Ferrari||D||Report|
|4||French Grand Prix||Reims||2 July||Phil Hill||Phil Hill||Giancarlo Baghetti||Ferrari||D||Report|
|5||British Grand Prix||Aintree||15 July||Phil Hill||Tony Brooks||Wolfgang von Trips||Ferrari||D||Report|
|6||German Grand Prix||Nürburgring||6 August||Phil Hill||Phil Hill||Stirling Moss||Lotus-Climax||D||Report|
|7||Italian Grand Prix||Monza||10 September||Wolfgang von Trips||Giancarlo Baghetti||Phil Hill||Ferrari||D||Report|
|8||United States Grand Prix||Watkins Glen||8 October||Jack Brabham||Jack Brabham||Innes Ireland||Lotus-Climax||D||Report|
Non-championship Grands Prix[edit | edit source]
Other Formula One races also held in 1961, which did not count towards the World Championship.
1961 Drivers' Championship final standings [edit | edit source]
- * Hill's 3rd place finish (4 points) at Nürburgring was excluded from the final standings because only the best 5 results counted towards the Championship this year. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points actually scored.
- Italics indicate fastest lap
- Bold indicates pole position
1961 Constructors' Championship final standings[edit | edit source]
Points were awarded on an 8-6-4-3-2-1 basis to the first six finishers at each race. However a manufacturer only received points for its highest placed car and only the best five results from the eight races were retained.
|—||De Tomaso-Alfa Romeo||WD||Ret||0|
- Only the best 5 results counted towards the Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
- Bold results counted to Championship totals.