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#51 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 18:42

What I could find:

June 1973 Jarier contacts Ferrari (again?)
German GP: Lauda is contacted for first time by Montezemolo, urged to sign.
After Zeltweg Niki went to Maranello and tested a car, signed contract there and then. He had to wait as he had Ford and BRM contract.

Around Canada Lauda still believed he would have Revson as teammate. Gozzi had prepared a press release stating their biographies. Revson and Ferrari exchanged many a telex. Revson was even willing to skip Indy. But later changes his mind, upon this Montezemolo made a choice. However according to Prueller Lauda and Montezemolo had to strongly convince Ferrari to take Regazzoni, who was racing a F5000 in Seattle for John Eisert (September 30th) between the Canadian and US GP's.

Sources: Heinz Prueller, 'Grand Prix Story 1973', 'Niki Lauda, Protokoll, Meine Jahre mit Ferrari'

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#52 Ralliart

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 20:56

From My Years With Ferrari by Niki Lauda:"Summer 1973...Ferrari rang up (cousin answered as he was out)...Montezemolo...brought me a proposition from the Commendatore, and asked how much money I wanted. I said a million Austrian schillings a year, and we had a terrible trouble turning that into lire, and showed we were greenhorns. We agreed that after the Austrian Grand Prix I should come into the Ferrari works...I met Montezemolo at a motor road exit, he drove me to Maranello and to the Ferrari test track at Fiorano...I was still under contract to (BRM)...That afternoon Enzo Ferrari came to the test track, kindly, avuncular, nice...Luca translated: would I like to drive? I said yes. BRM had an option on me for next year, but I signed at once for Ferrari and thought I could easily get out of the other thing...I began my job in late Autumn 1973." From Meine Story, Lauda writes, "(In the evening after Monaco GP) I would be paid to drive for (Stanley) provided that I committed myself there and then to a further two seasons with BRM...As of July 1973 Enzo Ferrari had no further doubts about wanting me to drive for him. He sent an emissary (to Zandvoort) to say as much...I was invited down to meet Enzo Ferrari in the autumn of 1973. I was to drive a few laps of the test circuit in Fiorano, then tell the Old Man what my impressions were."
Summed up: As of 3 June 1973 (Monaco) Ferrari has at least one opening. Regga was signed (as we've noted) by the British GP (14 July) and the next race (Dutch two weeks later) Ferrari sent someone (Montezemolo?) to talk. Perhaps a verbal commitment, given his freshly-inked contract with Louis Stanley. Things remain interesting as at the Canadian GP (23 Sep) Lauda lead in the wet before DNF and Revson won. Two weeks later, after Watkins Glen, Lauda tests/meets Enzo/signs ca. 8 Oct '73.

#53 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 13:57

I am quite lost about Prueller stating that Lauda had to convince Montezemolo to take Clay and at the end of September, no less. Besides the fact Ferrari himself chose the drivers - not Montezemolo, who just had joined the Scuderia at the end of June 1973 - who we should trust: Prueller [read Lauda??] or Forghieri? I can't see Forghieri lying on this, he is not boasting that he was instrumental to hire this or that driver, as Lauda probably did with Prueller. AFAIK, Lauda always publicly recognized that Clay was instrumental for him going to Ferrari, until Clay's funeral day.

Well, Prueller is also not fully 100% correct at times. And maybe in 1973 he did not get all information direct from Lauda as in later years. So timing and what went on might be somewhat of.
And yes, Montezemolo was new but came in strong (education, Agnelli, former rally driver) so Ferrari did listen to him of what he thought and had heard at the tracks. Of course Ferrari would make the final decision, and considered all his options well. Also Fittipaldi and Hunt had been on the cards for 1974. Regga was an obvious possibility and was maybe consulted on Lauda first, before being contacted himself. Of course both did become good team mates and made positive statement of each other, albeit that I also read (typical for his racing years) more colder Lauda remarks on Regga. Competition came first.

#54 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 19:31

Indeed, a great "What if", and yes, in 'Piloti che Gente' Ferrari repeats Rega's encouragement of Lauda to Ferrari: "He is young and unknown, but bright and capable to doing a lot for Ferrari". Just a small mention of Revson.
In Franco Gozzi's book (Memoirs of EF), Rega's talent scouting was done during a visit of him in Maranello. No mention he had signed by then.


#55 john winfield

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:24

My impression is that after losing the McLaren seat - when he thought he deserved more consideration, after a season with two wins and was often quicker than his teammates - Revson sounded Ferrari - among others - rather than the other way around, but it went nowhere from the start because Ferrari had already his priorities.



Lucio,
It does now seem hard to imagine anything other than the Ferrari/Lauda/Regazzoni combination that had so much success in 1974, 1975 and 1976, followed by Lauda's second championship in 1977. But I still return to the Peter Revson / Leon Mandel book.
As Revson's negotiations with Ferrari eventually came to nothing, I suppose none of this really matters, but, on re-reading the relevant chapters of 'Speed with Style', I was surprised how far contractual discussions between Peter and Maranello had reached. If we are to believe what is written in the book, Peter had a contract in front him, in New York I think, around late September, which he could have signed. In simple terms this would have made him a Ferrari driver.
Perhaps Ferrari were still playing silly beggars, who knows, but, unless you consider the content of the Peter Revson chapters of 'Speed with Style' to be seriously inaccurate, I think it's rather unfair to say that the Ferrari negotiations '..went nowhere from the start.' They nearly went somewhere very interesting! :)

Edited by john winfield, 14 January 2013 - 10:53.


#56 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:13

This would be a great question for a Lauda or Luca inteview. Timing of the contracts, they should be able to clarify.

#57 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 16:36

Just re-read Autosprint n. 29, 16 July 1973, page 27. Regazzoni went to Maranello to sign the contract on Monday 15th, which tallies with what Ralliart said above (post no. 57).

Interesting Lucio! So Rega had a contract by July if AS was correct with the fact that he went down to sign and not just talk.
Ralliart states Lauda was signed after Canada, my sources claim already by August (after Zeltweg).

In any case interesting as several issues are conflicting. Why did Ferrari talk with Revson if he had signed two drivers. Maybe he wanted three drivers for 1974? Or was Rega contracted for Sports Cars and optionally F1? Or had he really signed by July?

#58 andreab

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 16:20

The contract was for the F1, there is no mention of sportscars, I believe by mid-'73 Ferrari knew they were going to shut down that programme, nor I think Clay would have had any interest in doing that. It is implied in the short article of Autosprint 16 July, that Clay may have tested the B3 some time before (June, early July), and Stanley maybe heard about it, even if Clay subsequently denied it to him (before he signed the Ferrari contract, after he couldn't care less of what Stanley thought). At the time Sabbatini (Autosprint's editor-in-chief) had direct access to Enzo Ferrari, they often watched races on TV together at the time.

I really don't get this Revson link. I think at the time you may have had a walk along the pitlane, talk to every team boss you could meet - for example, especially if you had a bag full of sponsorship money available, not Revson's case it appears, but for argument's sake - and each one could be classified as "almost moves": meaningless. He may have had a chat with anybody, Montezemolo included, without having any substance for an actual drive. But not at Ontario, that is another piece of info that puts the whole Revson's link to Ferrari into further doubt. He may have talked to a lot of people at Ontario, but one can be sure nobody from Ferrari or on his behalf.

Maybe Revson saw the writing on wall, that even if he had a good F1 season - the only one - he had to settle just for a Shadow seat after all and he wasn't getting any younger, so maybe he tried to talk up his supposed options, in future perspective. Crucially, Revson [like Jarier, who never got to that point either] was never summoned to Maranello and then he supposed to be going to wait for a contract by fax. It doesn't look the way Ferrari used to work - if he had any interest in a driver, he first wanted to meet him.

Re-reading the thread I still can't avoid laughing at the notion that Revson was "consistently" quicker than Clay. Apologies, can't help it. Clay, one the most underrated drivers ever... Must have been his "Neapolitan" passion for the sport that made him so much underestimated.


Lucio,
i think the only explanation for a Revson contract could be a sportscar contract.
Do you have a precise recollection about "when" the 1974 sportscar programme was declared officially dead?
I ask this because I have in my mind (but I can be tragically wrong) a pale recollection of a black and white picture on a late autumn issue of Autosprint with Clay testing a 312P (not the 73 version but apparently slightly modified). Could this be true or I'm just getting old?

#59 Tim Murray

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 19:58

Here's an earlier thread on the prototype sportscar for 1974, including the photos of Regazzoni testing the car:

1974 Ferrari 312PB 'evo'