Neha Patil

1964 Mexican Grand Prix

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Date  October 25, 1964
Course length  5.000 km (3.107 mi)
1964 Mexican Grand Prix
Official name  III Gran Premio de México
Location  Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Magdalena Mixhuca, Mexico City
Course  Permanent racing facility
Distance  65 laps, 325.000 km (201.946 mi)

The 1964 Mexican Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City on October 25, 1964. It was the final round of the 1964 Formula One season.

Contents

It was perhaps the most dramatic finale in the history of the Formula One World Championship. Championship points could only be scored by the first six place finishers (9-6-4-3-2-1). Arriving to the race, three drivers had a chance of winning the title: Graham Hill (BRM) with 39 points, John Surtees (Ferrari) with 34 points and Jim Clark (Lotus-Climax) with 30 points. In order to win the title Clark had to win the race and hope that John Surtees would finish not higher than third and Graham Hill not higher than fourth. Surtees could only win the title by finishing first, in each case, or second, unless Hill finished as high as third.

The race began with Clark leading from pole position with Dan Gurney running second in the Brabham-Climax (Gurney had only ten points going into this race having won the French Grand Prix and scored a sixth place at the Belgian Grand Prix). Hill and Lorenzo Bandini, Surtees' teammate at Ferrari, were duelling for third place with Surtees running a distant fifth, seemingly with no chance at winning the title. Then Bandini ran into the back of Hill's car causing him to spin and lose a few places. Thereafter Hill's car ran with a crimped exhaust pipe causing him to lose power. The championship was now firmly in Clark's grasp. If the positions remained the same, he would be champion with four victories to Hill's two victories, although they would be tied on points at 39. But on the penultimate lap, Clark's engine seized and the positions were now Gurney-Bandini-Surtees. The title was back in Hill's grasp. Realizing that Surtees could win the title by finishing second, the Ferrari team manager frantically signalled Bandini to slow down as he passed the pits to enter the last lap so as to let Surtees through. Bandini dutifully did so and Surtees finished second, thus winning the World Championship by one point over Hill (40 to 39).

Permutations

  • For the first time, 3 British drivers went into the last race with a chance of winning the championship.
  • Graham Hill (39pts) needed either:
  • 1st
  • 3rd, with Surtees 2nd or lower
  • Clark 2nd or lower and Surtees 3rd or lower
  • John Surtees (34pts) needed either:
  • 1st
  • 2nd, with Graham Hill 4th or lower
  • Jim Clark (30pts) needed:
  • 1st, with Surtees 3rd or lower and Graham Hill 4th or lower
  • Jim Clark nearly managed this. If his engine hadn't blown in the last laps, he would've done just enough to win the championship.
  • In another first, three constructors were fighting for the championship.
  • Ferrari (43pts) needed either
  • 1st
  • 2nd, with the top BRM 3rd or lower
  • The top Lotus-Climax 2nd or lower and the top BRM in 3rd or lower
  • BRM (42pts) needed
  • 1st
  • Lotus-Climax (37pts) needed
  • 1st, with the top Ferrari 3rd or lower
  • Again, if Jim Clark's engine hadn't blown, then Lotus-Climax would've won the Constructors' Championship
  • Championship standings after the race

  • Notes: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Only best 6 results counted toward the championship. Numbers without parentheses are championship points, numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
  • References

    1964 Mexican Grand Prix Wikipedia


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