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Jo Siffert and BRM


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#1 PeterElleray

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 15:45

Random thought - just watching a dvd of the 1971 German GP, Jo Siffert running second to Jackie Stewart mid race... Siffert had always been entered in Formula One either as a privateer, or driving for a privateer (ie Rob Walker) until Porsche bought the March works drive to keep him away from Ferrari in 1970. OK, so when that didnt work out, he switched camps to BRM. My question is this: Does anybody know the background to this move? Did Porsche pay for this drive aswell? Was Siffert taken on merit for what would have been his first paid works F1 drive, after 10 years in F1? Did he bring a sponsor - the car was always primarily in Yardley colours like the rest of the ever expanding fleet? Come to that did Porsche have anything to do with placing Rodriguez at BRM away from Ferrari (i always thought Pedro was JW's man whereas Siffert was Porsche's, so unlikely?) Ironically Siffert replaced another JW teammate, Jackie Oliver at BRM that year.

It all seems a bit less straightfprward every time i think about it - so anyone on here throw any insight? I guess Howden Ganley would know, he was no.3 there that year.

BTW, Ickx has just crashed and Cevert has passed Rega into 3rd, behind Jo...

cheers

Peter

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#2 Dave Ware

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 21:24

Siffert's biography is short on detail on this subject. It does say that BRM made offers to him for the 1968, '69, '70, and '71 seasons. So they had been after him for some time, presumably on merit.

Ferrari had also made an offer for 1968.

In '68 and '69 he chose to stay with Walker. In 1970 he didn't expect the BRM to be competitive since they hadn't done much for a few years, so he chose March. However it turned out that the March was not competitive, and BRM surely looked better after 1970.

The book doesn't say that Porsche was involved in financing the 1971 ride, so I'll assume they weren't.

There must be more info out there...

Dave

#3 Doug Nye

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 22:45

Seppi had been a highly esteemed BRM customer since 1963. He made sure he was always on their mind...and as a highly commercial animal it must have been a thrill for him the day they started paying him, rather than pursuing him to pay them... :cool:

DCN

#4 PeterElleray

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 23:16

interesting background, thanks. im still intrigued by the fact that Jo was taken on at BRM as a paid works driver after so many years as a privateer owner/driver - presumably the main source of income from driving prior to this was the Porsche sports car contract?

peter