Jochen Rindt

Forty years ago yesterday (September 5), Jochen Rindt was killed in a practice accident at Monza, while at the wheel of a Lotus Formula 1 car. When he was killed Rindt had won five of the 10 Grands Prix and was in the lead in the World Championship. Although it was mathematically possible for him to be beaten by Ferrari’s Jacky Ickx, his replacement Emerson Fittipaldi deprived the Belgian of the points he needed and Rindt became the sport’s first posthumous World Champion.

Born in Germany in 1942, Rindt grew up in Austria where his grandparents lived after his parents were killed in a bombing raid on Hamburg. He enjoyed much success in Formula 2 and made his Formula 1 debut in the Austrian Grand Prix of 1964, driving for Rob Walker. Between 1965 and 1967 he raced Coopers and then in 1968 moved to Brabham. In 1965 he won the Le Mans 24 Hours. It was not until 1969 that Rindt moved to Team Lotus and he finally had a car to translate his talent into results. He won his first F1 victory at Watkins Glen and ended the year fourth in the World Championship. His first win in 1970 came at Monaco, where he overtook Jack Brabham at the last corner. Using the Lotus 72, he then went on to win four more Grands Prix in The Netherlands, France, Britain and Germany.

My colleague David Tremayne has recently completed a biography of Rindt, which is published this week. I have not read it yet, but I know that it will be a sensational read and will feature much new research. For more details and to buy the book, click here.

8 thoughts on “Jochen Rindt

  1. In the states it says it won’t be available until February of next year.

    I have read the preview in Motorsport and am looking forward to this book.

    Anyways, any chance your colleague would offer autograph copies of this book?

  2. Joe

    I remember watching Rindt preparing for the Australian GP at Lakeside near Brisbane in 1969 as a very callow 13 year old. Lotus were late in arriving after beefing up their wings which collapsed in practice. Hill’s collapsed in the race – shades of what was to happen in Barcelona later that year. I recall being shattered the following year when I woke on Sunday morning and my father pointed out a Stop Press piece in the Brisbane Sunday Mail that Rindt was killed in practice at Monza. I remember feeking it was so unfair that he died without realising his dream of becoming World Champion. I am looking forward to reading David’s book which I have just ordered via your link.

  3. The sport lost out that day at Monza. Imagine how the next 5 or 6 seasons would have looked with Jochen in the mix.

  4. Was at copse corner as a lad to see the 69 GP , what a race , and chatted to J R the next year at the Daily Express trophy when he was waiting for the cars to turn up , they were late and only second race for the 72 , Prior to that saw him race the cooper maserati and brabham . Last week visited his grave and the A1 ring , typing this by the gate of Fiorano test track , sleeping in my camper the night , Monza tomorrow .

  5. Jochen was my boyhood hero. I was there at Silverstone in ’69 when he and Stewart thrilled the crowd and again when he won at Brands Hatch in 1970. I’ll never forget watching the last lap of the 1970 Monaco GP on television.

    Will always be the best, as far as I’m concerned…

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