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François Cevert


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#1 Gary Grant

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Posted 05 April 2001 - 22:49

Right - here goes.

For a few weeks now I have been designing a website on Francois Cevert (and to prove it here is the front page - http://www.geocities..._cevert_tribute - tho' none of the links work, believe me, I have got pages worth of material done already! )

I have lots of material from the autobiography 'A Contract with Death/La Mort Dans Mon Contrat'; the recent (October 99?) Motorsport and an excellent essay from FLB (merci beaucoup!;) ), but this is TNF - the place where Andre Lambert and the 1921 GP do Penya Rhin are accurately remembered ;) , so what I ask is:-

Any info, stories, anecdotes, anything about FC I could use for my website....!

I know he isn't as universally as popular a driver as a Moss or an Amon, but I'm sure there must be plenty of stories and info out there I don't know about... Whatever, any reminisces - well known or not - greatfully received.

Thanks,
Gary


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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 April 2001 - 23:51

That's a real nice picture, Gary...

Geocities is proving a problem, isn't it... I've been looking at using Homestead, who give 16 megs and have no problem with linking from the bb.

#3 Gary Grant

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Posted 05 April 2001 - 23:59

Ray, Bugger...does it not link - or is it just really slow?
Its not too late for me to move all my material...

BTW, anyone out there - please, anything at all about FC would make me happy!

#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 April 2001 - 00:24

Just check for yourself... I've posted hundreds of pictures now, and none of them have been available for a couple of weeks. Moreover, if you want to just put down the URL, it won't link.

You have to copy the URL to your browser, then you can get it...

Painful... I have to move everything and then go through the threads and change the URLs...

If you're a bit of a whizz kid you can maybe tell me how I go about moving all my stuff, and how I can perhaps change the URLs easily... wonder if I use search for my domain... suppose that will work...

As for Cevert, I think you'll get some responses soon... patience...

#5 FLB

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Posted 06 April 2001 - 02:55

Originally posted by Gary Grant

I have lots of material from the autobiography 'A Contract with Death/La Mort Dans Mon Contrat'; the recent (October 99?) Motorsport and an excellent essay from FLB (merci beaucoup!;) ), Thanks,
Gary


Y'a pas de quoi! Thank YOU for preserving his memory... :)


#6 Rob29

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Posted 06 April 2001 - 08:16

Ditto,Gary. He was a hero of mine too.Can't access your gallery page,yet but look forward to seeing your site grow.
I have a few photos,taken with my instamatic,circa 67-70,from his F3 & F2 days,but no means of copying them yet-must get a scanner.
Around about '69 I was in the Crystal Palace paddock,practice day for the F2 meeting when I sighted Francois wearing a smart brown business suit.So I asked him "where car?" Answer shrug of shoulders. The Tecno team arrived late missed official practice-were given a late session,? on race morning.Cevert started from back of grid and went on to win!


#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 April 2001 - 08:50

You'll have to get them scanned somewhere and post them, Rob... absolutely... these will be important pictures one day.

To look at the site, as I've said above, just copy the URL to your web browser address window, then hit enter... it comes up that way!

#8 David J Jones

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Posted 06 April 2001 - 09:27

He had a rather nice girlfriend!

#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 April 2001 - 09:51

Was that the one who took him to the clairvoyant who predicted his demise before he turned 30?

#10 David J Jones

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Posted 06 April 2001 - 10:49

Ray

Its ages since I read the book so I don't know.

I was thinking of BB

#11 Megatron

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Posted 06 April 2001 - 10:54

He had several girl friends, if I remember correctly.

Cevert, I think, would have been a walk over for the 74 title. Seeing as how Schecktor was new to the team and got as close as he did, I think it would have been a walk over.



#12 Gary C

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Posted 06 April 2001 - 19:32

Gary, do you have a copy of the 'If You're Not Winning, You're Not Trying Hard Enough' video? OK, it's a year (1973) with JPS Team Lotus, but there's a bit of footage of Francois & JYS and the Tyrrells. A great film anyway!

#13 Megatron

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Posted 03 December 2001 - 10:12

The race before he was to virtually take over as team leader, he was killed in the USGP qualifying (?). What exactly caused his accident? I heard Stewart took a couple of laps after the accident, is that accurate?

#14 Zawed

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Posted 03 December 2001 - 10:33

Mega, this is from a thread titled "Accidents Location".

Originally posted by David M. Kane
According to the ambulance driver at Watkins Glen at the time, Cevert had thrown up in his helmet as he was coming up the hill onto the front straight. This blinded him. At the top of the hill you enter a tunnel of blue armco that seems 6-8 feet tall, it then tapers off. Francois hit on the right, bounced off it onto the left armco unside down landing on the armco causing the properly described injuries. I arrived by foot seconds later as Jody Scheckter was returning to his car in dispair. Hulme started to slow down and he just waved him on signaling that it was hopeless.

I then walked back to the pits which was about 1/2 mile away.
When I got there James Hunt was shaking pretty bad and smoking
a cigarette very heavily. I can't remember what it was we were discussing, but we were both trying to get his mind off the horrors of the accident and trying to get our acts back together.

How he got back in the car that day is beyond my imagination.


http://www.atlasf1.c...&threadid=24127

#15 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 December 2001 - 13:13

Originally posted by Megatron
I heard Stewart took a couple of laps after the accident, is that accurate?


It may be - Cevert crashed near the end of the second of three sessions, so Stewart might have gone out in the third. Tyrrell did not officially withdraw his entry until Saturday evening.

#16 Gary Davies

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Posted 03 December 2001 - 14:13

Originally posted by Megatron
I heard Stewart took a couple of laps after the accident, is that accurate?

Andrew Marriott in Motor Sport (Nov 73) reported: "... towards the end of the session the two remaining Tyrrells practiced briefly, Ken deciding that it would be better for everyone to get on with the job for the time being. However, that evening he decided, after lengthy discussion, to withdraw both Stewart and Amon from the race ..."

Interesting to note that Stewart set the seventh fastest time of that (Saturday pm) session, just 0.769 sec away from the fastest time (Reutemann). Cojones!

Amon, incidentally, was entered in the third Tyrrell (005) in both Canada and the Glen, replacing Patrick Depailler, who had broken his leg in a motorcycle scrambling accident.

#17 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 03 December 2001 - 15:17

This is from the November 1973 issue of Motorsport:


After the frustrations of the previous day and, in fact, the previous three Grands Prix James Hunt was back showing his Silverstone form. Running with the conventional nose, Lord Hesketh's driver was making tremendous progress and finished up with a very smooth and regulated 1 min. 40.520 sec. This was just a fraction slower than the times being recorder by Francois Cevert, who was the fastest of the three Tyrrell's. But with only five minutes of the session remaining drivers started to filter into the pits looking very ashen-faced.

Immediately the word spread around that Cevert had crashed in the Esses. He had, apparently, clipped the Armco barrier on the left going in, hit the rail on the opposite side of the road in a violent blow at 130 m.p.h+ and then the car had cannoned back across the road in the air into the Armco on the other side. This impact killed Cevert, and the car was virtually split in half. Naturally the session ended there and then. Drivers acknowledged that this particular section of Watkins Glen is the most difficult and the track is narrow in the middle of the Esses where it forms a bridge over a road into the circuit.

There were no explanations as to the cause of the tragedy but it had certainly robbed France of her number one driver and motor racing in general of a charming and dashing personality with a tremendous skill."


#18 leegle

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Posted 03 December 2001 - 23:12

Has there ever been an explanation of why he threw up? :confused: Actually I would have to ask how the ambulance driver knew he did so before he hit and there is a discrepancy with the report from Motor Sport saying there were three hits and the ambulance driver saying two. :rolleyes: I am not doubting the reports but just pointing out the question marks.

#19 Slyder

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Posted 04 December 2001 - 01:20

I found, to what I know of, the only picture available of Ceverts crash. It's the very first one in this page (you'll notice it due to the "elf" sponsor), and I was wondering if there would be more, or even a video. It's not to be morbid or anything, but I've read somuch about it that I have to see it.

Anyway, the link: WARNING: very distressing!!!!

http://www.f1records...ry/tragedy.html

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#20 David M. Kane

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Posted 04 December 2001 - 14:26

Actually, I was too stunned to ask the ambulance how he knew he threw up before he crashed. Secondly, since he was cut in half instantaneously I doubt he had time to throw up! I have no medical knowledge so that is strictly a guess on my part. In other words, he was decapitated. I had been watching Cevert very closely all weekend and he had seemed even more keyed-up than normal. He was a very high strung driver. I was not aware of the incident with Jody which had gotten him so mad at Mosport the week before.

It is possible that when he saw Jody closing up on him, he got even more
excited. Jody's was right behind him at the time of the accident.

Before Cevert would get in the car, he would go through this very long
and very dramatic entry into the car. It was almost a ceremony in which
each step was exactly the same, the mechanics stood in the exact same position each time, the attached his belts exactly the same each time.
So he did everything possible to prepare himself for the highest possible
mental and physical effort.

He was driving very, very agressively and he was throwing the car around
with great risk. It was exciting to watch, but I was saying to myself
why is he driving so hard, so early?

When the car was bought back to the pits on the flatbed, the cockpit area
was covered completely by a blue oil cloth. The car was then unloaded
and taken away by the medical examiner.

I did not see his sister the rest of the weekend, she was Beltoise's wife.
Francois was a very good looking guy, his sister was and is one of the
world's great beauties in my mind. Unlike Francois she is a blond with
fantastic eyes.

Beltoise was very strong that weekend. I was impressed with his calmness
and his strenght. He got in his BRM and drove the race in honor of his
fallen brother-in-law.

#21 peru-f1

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Posted 04 December 2001 - 14:39

Originally posted by Slyder
I found, to what I know of, the only picture available of Ceverts crash. It's the very first one in this page (you'll notice it due to the "elf" sponsor), and I was wondering if there would be more, or even a video. It's not to be morbid or anything, but I've read somuch about it that I have to see it.

Anyway, the link: WARNING: very distressing!!!!

http://www.f1records...ry/tragedy.html




Very distressing pictures, especiall Rindt's accident one.
I cannot identify the third one (between Rindt and Senna), anybody?

#22 Gary Davies

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Posted 04 December 2001 - 14:46

David thank you for that last posting. I found it most touching.

It was only when I re-read the Motor Sport report the other night that I was reminded of the clash with Scheckter at Mosport. Motor Sport reported that in the Mosport crash, "the pedal mounting was twisted at up to 90 degrees" - so it must have been a fair old impact - and that Cevert turned up at Watkins Glen with "his ankles strapped up".

Do you recall anything of his mobility during practice at Watkins Glen and was there ever any suggestion that the condition of his ankles may have been a factor?

Vanwall.

#23 byrkus

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Posted 04 December 2001 - 14:59

peru f1: It's a picture of Jo Schlesser at 1968 French GP, driving a Honda RA302.

#24 cheesy poofs

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Posted 04 December 2001 - 15:02

The third picture is the 1968 crash of french driver Jo Schlesser at Rouen.
He crashed on the fast sweeps on the way down to Nouveau-Monde.
He was at the wheel of a Honda and it was also his first GP.
He stood no chance...

#25 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 04 December 2001 - 16:27

This is also from the November 1973 issue of Motorsport:

Francois Cevert

What was a great season for the ELF team Tyrrell organisation came to an unhappy end at Watkins Glen when their talented French number two driver Francois Cevert was killed in a practice accident.
At the time of his death, Cevert was France's fastest racing driver and had proved his worth as number two to Stewart by taking six second places during 1973. He was to have stayed in the team for 1974 alongside the South African Jody Schekter, so his death means that Tyrrell will be looking for another driver for 1974. A bachelor from Paris, Cevert was 29 years old and had one Grand Prix victory to his credit, the 1971 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, the circuit on which he died.



From what angle is the picture of his crash taken? It's hard to tell on which side of the armco the car is

#26 flyboy

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Posted 04 December 2001 - 16:53

I was at The Glen the day of Cevert's accident and I recall seeing an newspaper photo the next day showing the car upside down on top of the guardrail, sliding along with the rear wheels on the trackside of the guardrail and the nose of the car pointing away from the track. I have never seen this photo since. :(

#27 jondoe955

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Posted 04 December 2001 - 17:13

From the bad old days of racing...

When I arrived at the track that day, they were in the process of cleaning up. I never saw the accident - just heard about it.
Decapatated? Interesting. The following year, on the end of the 'boot' straight (opposite end from me) I saw Koenig(?) drive straight into the Armco. From what people said, his throttle stuck and HE was decapitated. I'm not sure of the result, and have also read that the cause was tire failure.
I have recently gotten back into photography, and was thinking of all the pictures I took from the Glen. None of them was very exciting, but now the nostalgic factor would make them interesting.
But where are those pictures???

#28 David M. Kane

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Posted 04 December 2001 - 19:39

Vanwall:

At the time I did not know of the Jody incident, so I didn't look at his walk anymore than usual. However, as someone who played football and basketball my entire life I would have noticed any limp since I have sprained my ankles so many times I have lost count. I even tore an ankle
ligament once, so I know about sprained ankles.

In fact, he looked extremely fit, robust and was bouncing all over the place. The weather was extremely nice that weekend, kinda a Indian summer day if I remember correctly. I even saw him in the garage with his driver suit tied at the waist as he walked around bare chested in a sorta macho flexing attitude. He seemed brimming with confidence.

I read somewhere that he was a classical pianist. He was very well educated
I understand. Also, he grandfather founded Cartier. He was from a very well
to do Parisian Jewish family. It is ironic that Jody is also Jewish. Being
Catholic I always competed harder against my own kind, I don't know if that
has to do with having gone to Catholic school my whole life or what? I do
know that Grand Prix drivers are extremely complex pyschological beings.

Unfortunately, I was also at the Glen when Helmut Koenigg had his fatal
accident in his Surtees, that was equally sad day as he too had enormous
potential and was considered a bright rising star.

Francois also knew Jackie was leaving and he now had to show he was the number one guy at Tyrrell.

Basically, I think he just trying too hard that day.

#29 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 05 December 2001 - 16:12

I'm not entirely familiar with how the Esses at the Glen were back in 1973, but it sound strange to me that he would "clip the armco barrier on the left going in" without experiencing some sort of trouble. Maybe he vomited, but has a mechanical failure of some sort been exculded as a cause of the accident? As far as I've understood it would be very hard to find out what that might be as the car was more or less totally destroyed

#30 David M. Kane

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Posted 05 December 2001 - 22:40

He hit on the right side of the armco, then shot across the track and hit
the armco on the right with such velocity that the car climbed the armco
while at the same time flipping over so that the exposed cockpit landed on
the armco and slide down it causing the fatal injuries.

Since I can only take this man at his word, I can only assume there was no
mechanical failure. Apparently, Jody in his debrief indicated that he saw
no puncture or suspension failure.

Having driven this track many times I can assure you that if you hit the
right armco, you are going to bounce into the left side too just like a billard ball.

You might consider contacting the Watkins Glen Research Center and see what kind of accident and medical reports they have. I don't know what else to tell you.

#31 Brian O Flaherty

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Posted 06 December 2001 - 12:10

Originally posted by peru-f1
Very distressing pictures, especiall Rindt's accident one.
I cannot identify the third one (between Rindt and Senna), anybody?


If you hover your mouse over each picture, it gives details of the picture. That, too, is the most distressing picture of Rindt's crash I have seen, and I have the footage of the crash :(

#32 Maldwyn

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Posted 06 December 2001 - 14:29

I've just found this site about Francois Cevert which may provide more info...

#33 stavelot

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 23:03

Originally posted by David M. Kane

Unfortunately, I was also at the Glen when Helmut Koenigg had his fatal
accident in his Surtees, that was equally sad day as he too had enormous
potential and was considered a bright rising star.


David,

did it happen on the same place, on the Esses or on the end of the Backstraight?

#34 Slyder

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 23:28

I read it happened in the boot section, I've opened a thread about this to anyone who wants to bring up information or discuss the accident here

http://www.atlasf1.c...&threadid=32671

#35 Vilcornell

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 09:15

I would like to know were the incident happends. Someoe told me that was the esses, is it right?

Thank you

#36 Pikachu Racing

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 09:54

http://www.atlasf1.c...ght=cevert glen
and
http://www.atlasf1.c...&threadid=24127

#37 Vitesse2

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 09:56

Originally posted by Pikachu Racing
http://www.atlasf1.c...ght=cevert glen
and
http://www.atlasf1.c...&threadid=24127


Beaten by a short head! :lol:

#38 Vilcornell

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 10:49

mercì

#39 tyrrellp34

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 17:29

Looook here


http://www.atlasf1.c...ighlight=Cevert

:smoking:

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#40 tyrrellp34

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Posted 06 October 2003 - 09:40

It was today 30 years ago, when a young guy from Paris apeared at the Glen to drive the last race of the 1973 F1 season. He thought, that the following year would be HIS year even with a team-mate he didn't want to have.

So, in October 6th, 1973 we lost Francois Cevert "le petit prince de la vitesse"

#41 DOHC

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Posted 06 October 2003 - 10:00

30 years ago already. How time flies.

I saw Francois Cevert on track a few times in his last season. It was interesting; a season dominated by a fight between Tyrrell and Lotus. The "old" guys, JYS and Emmo, who had already pocketed some championships, were heavily challenged by the "youngsters," Francois Cevert and Ronnie Peterson. As they were "junior" teammates (Ronnie was actually older than Emmo) and drove the same cars it was especially fun to watch. Good year, 1973, but it ended in a sad way.

So it's also 30 years ago since JYS retired, without having run his last GP, the 100th that would never be because of Cevert's unfortunate accident.

RIP Francois Cevert.

#42 JohnH

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Posted 06 October 2003 - 10:54

Was wondering when this thread was going to show up......checked here a few hours ago and nothing yet....Thank you for posting this.....Such a tragic shame.....what a loss!!! Was thrilled to see some great footage of Francois's second place drive at the 73 German GP on Speedchannel last week, with David Hobbs and Jackie narrating. This aired during the coverage of the US GP. I just recently read that Francois was jewish, but changed his name from Goldberg to Cevert to avoid any negativity. Sad that he had to do that but another interesting fact about him. During the broadcast last week, Jackie and David commented how dashing he was and that he was a great teammate.

JH

#43 Olivier Favre

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Posted 06 October 2003 - 12:08

In fact, he did not change his name. At his birth, he was declared under his mother's name. In 1944 in occupied France, it could be dangerous to be born with a name like "Goldenberg".

Anyway, his death is a very bad souvenir for me. I remember me reading the newspaper of October 7th almost like if it was yesterday. I was only seven years old and I felt very sad : my hero had gone. So the 6th of October is always a special day for me.

Like you tyrrellp34, I have always been convinced that 1974 would have been his year. He was ready to take the leadership in F1. Apart of this, he was not only an excellent driver but also a remarkable man. So really a great loss.

#44 doc540

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Posted 06 October 2003 - 14:40

I also admired him for having tapped Bridget Bardot, the hottest of all time.

R.I.P. Francois

#45 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 06 October 2003 - 15:55

I'm too young to have seen him drive in person, but to me there's no doubt that he was a man that possessed all the necessary skills to become Champion.

#46 delaner

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Posted 06 October 2003 - 17:04

Today, thirty years ago, we lost the man that may have been the 1974 World Champion, Francois Cevert.

On his day, he could about beat Stewart, in what is unquestionably an almost impossible car to drive.

Not on his day, he could about keep up with Stewart. Ask Sir Jackie... he'll tell you.

Unfortunately, even for the major "safety upgrades" of 1971, we lost a helluva driver and a great personality on October 6th, 1973, in a terrifying crash.

Let it be a reminder... We miss Cevert!

#47 delaner

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Posted 06 October 2003 - 17:13

OH!

Cool Cevert Sites:

http://www.TeamTyrre...ers/cevert.html

http://www.TeamTyrre...tics/index.html

http://www.geocities...cevert_tribute/

http://www.grandprix...drv-cevfra.html

http://www.f1-legend.../pil_cevert.htm

http://home.pi.be/~mathiasg/cevert.htm

http://www.glenphoto...coiscevert.html

May he live forever in our memories...

#48 D-Type

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Posted 06 October 2003 - 17:18

This has already been posted today see http://forums.atlasf...&threadid=62178
I hope I've done the link correctly.

#49 delaner

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Posted 06 October 2003 - 17:24

Thank you, sorry! Had a quick look through and simply missed it... DOH. Regardless, the point was to put up some web sites about the guy (which hadn't made it up, as yet).

Cheers

#50 delaner

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Posted 06 October 2003 - 17:26

Thank you, tyrrellp34... Good note!