Flashes from the past - F1 in the 1960s: part 3

By on Sunday, March 20, 2011

Finally, we are into the third and final part of this article series. Here, I will be discussing about a few other aspects featuring in the 1960s:

There were as many as 31 teams taking part in the 1960s. As the below stats indicate; Lotus, Ferrari, BRM, Brabham, Cooper were some of the biggest teams in this decade with lots of innovative solutions in car design leading to large performance swings among these teams. Matra too were quite effective in their short stint towards the end of this decade.

The eye- opening aspect though from this decade is that there are only 2 teams left from that decade showing the cut- throat competition that is evident in F1. Even those 2 teams – Ferrari and McLaren aren’t in great position in the world automobile industry, though they are very much respected. This clearly shows that it is not necessary that an automobile giant will end up having success in the F1 world, largely thanks to the wide performance gap that has existed between F1 cars and road cars.

Points system:
If one thought that the chopping and changes in points system have been confusing us spectators only since recently, then they're wrong. This has been seen from earlier itself, but to a smaller extent. Unlike present, only the top 6 drivers were given championship points each race in spite of the similarly large number of entrants entered at each grand prix. While the general scoring system of 9-6-4-3-2-1 was followed for more or less the whole decade except for 1960 (where first placed man got 8 points), towards the latter half of the decade the number of results effectively counted for the driver’s championship and constructor’s championship were reduced.

Additionally, another point of note is that unlike the preceeding decade, there were 6 drivers given points per grand prix instead of 5, with no points given for the fastest lap, hence lowering the importance of going for the sensational lap.

In continuance of my previous article, we get to see the list of F1 drivers who had fatal crashes in F1 (dark blue) and those F1 drivers who dies in race crashes outside of F1 (light blue). As can be seen here, there were lot of fatal crashes during this decade, hence pointing towards the lack of safety focus during this decade. Many of these crashes and other non- fatal crashes lead to deaths and injuries among the crowd too.

It can also be seen that there were drivers taking part in varied motorsport events (some of them dividing time with their normal F1 duties). These days so as to prevent any injuries/fatalities to drivers, most teams prohibit their drivers from participating in non-F1 events during the calendar year. There are few exceptions - Robert Kubica comes to mind immediately.

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