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1973 German GP - Why did Ickx drive a McLaren?


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#1 John Fransson

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Posted 04 February 2003 - 23:35

Was looking over my picture collection, and I noticed that Jacky Ickx raced a McLaren M23 at The Ring.

Why was this? Ickx drove a Ferrari the rest of the races, at Monza he was back in the Ferrari again, which makes this change makes even less sense to me. Perhaps some of the Gurus here can help out?

- John :wave:

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#2 scheivlak

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 00:11

Originally posted by John Fransson
Was looking over my picture collection, and I noticed that Jacky Ickx raced a McLaren M23 at The Ring.

Why was this? Ickx drove a Ferrari the rest of the races, at Monza he was back in the Ferrari again, which makes this change makes even less sense to me. Perhaps some of the Gurus here can help out?

- John :wave:


Unfortunately I'm not a Guru (and neither a sanyasin or whateveryoucall'm)... The fact is that Ferrari was in a total mess f1-wise in 1973 (sports cars was an entirely different matter that year, starring Ronnie Peterson, perhaps a Swede could have done a better job with F1 snow-plough?), so they temporarely quit in mid-season. I remember my disappointment all to well visiting the Dutch GP and being submitted to some kind of F1 Formula Ford circus...
Anyway, here comes the 'Ring, no Ferrari entry at all, because they lack any kind of competitiveness. And this is pre-Concorde/Max&Bernie-days, so McLaren (Teddy M.?) says to Ickx:"Hey, you're a 2 times winner at the Nordschleife, some 'Ringmeister, would you like to drive our third car?" Things just went like this, early seventies style... And Jacky drove a McLaren to a podium finish - well, if they had a podium. Come Monza, and who wouldn't be lurked into trying to give Ferrari just some kind of glory in front of that crowd? All to no avail, because even after the umptiest redesign the B3 still remained the worst F1 car Ferrari ever built. And so, Jacky Ickx finished the season in Watkins Glen - in an Iso Marlboro..., driving for Frank Williams.

(Hey, at least this is remarkable- I don't think there are that many drivers racing for Ferrari, McLaren and Williams in one season! :p )

#3 John Fransson

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 00:16

Thanks Scheivlak. :)
I've always been wondering about that Ferrari. Why did they use that nose layout, with the 60's style air intake, when most of the other teams simulated the low-profile nose of the Lotus72?

- John :wave:

#4 scheivlak

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 00:26

Originally posted by scheivlak
(sports cars was an entirely different matter that year, starring Ronnie Peterson, perhaps a Swede could have done a better job with F1 snow-plough


Oops, I messed things up - Peterson drove Ferrari sportscars in '72, not '73... And in '73 Ferrari often had a hard time struggling against the Matra 670Bs...

#5 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 05:15

Originally posted by scheivlak
(Hey, at least this is remarkable- I don't think there are that many drivers racing for Ferrari, McLaren and Williams in one season! :p )

I remember when Mansell joined McLaren in 1995 he made a big fuss about being the only driver to have raced for the four top teams Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Lotus. Yet Ickx did it in (for him) four consecutive races in 1973/4 - the German GP for McLaren, Italian GP for Ferrari, US GP for Williams and the 1974 Argentine GP for Lotus. (He missed the Austrian and Canadian GP). Of course, it would be pushing it a bit to call Williams a top team in 1973. :lol:

#6 Henri Greuter

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 07:34

I believe I once read it had something to do with Ickx being an acknowledged master of the `Ring`, with Ferrari in shambles at the time available for a ride and McLaren taking up the opportunity to hire a `Ringmeister`for a one-off drive and score a good GP result.
Never found out what the other McLaren drivers thought about it.....


Henri Greuter

#7 Mohican

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 08:22

The Ferrari 312 B3 was NOT the worst car they ever built - in the context of its competition at the time. That honour belongs to the 312 T5 of 1980, or the F92A of 1992.

As for SuperWhinger Nigel Mansell, please do not mention him at the same time as Jacky Ickx.

#8 Yorgos

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Posted 08 February 2003 - 22:25

Originally posted by scheivlak


....All to no avail, because even after the umptiest redesign the B3 still remained the worst F1 car Ferrari ever built. .........


Their 1974 car was also a 312B3 and it was quite good.

Yorgos

#9 Paul Parker

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Posted 11 February 2003 - 12:14

Jacky Ickx was already more than fed up with Ferrari's 1973 F1 efforts long before the German GP of that year.

Ferrari missed the German GP (as did March, Ensign, Hesketh and Tecno) and released Ickx to drive for McLaren. By the time Monza came around where he finished 8th Ferrari and all those appropriate knew that Ickx was leaving.

The irony is that Ferrari's 1974 car and its new driver Niki Lauda were immediately competitive with two wins and three seconds during the championship season, if not wholly reliable. Ickx meanwhile unwisely moved to Lotus who despite Ronnie Peterson were in decline with a very poor new car (the 76) that Ronnie hardly drove, preferring very wisely to stick with the still race winning 72. Jacky for whatever reasons was not as quick as his Swedish team mate and indeed his F1 career never recovered although of course he continued in F1 after Lotus with Frank Williams/Walter Wolf, Team Ensign and finally Ligier ending at the 1979 US GP at Watkins Glen.

#10 Mohican

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Posted 11 February 2003 - 12:17

"Jacky for whatever reasons was not as quick as his Swedish team mate."

Of course he wasn't; nobody was.

#11 Paul Parker

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 17:05

In response to Mohican's comment. I believe that several drivers were as quick as Ronnie Peterson during his F1 career, but given the quixotic nature of F1 and the great variations in machinery at any given time, comparisons are invidious.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to surmise that Ickx began to lose motivation, at least in single seaters, and also that Lotus had a record of not making best use of its new F1 drivers at this time (excepting 1973 of course).

#12 Yorgos

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 13:52

........ Ickx meanwhile unwisely moved to Lotus ..................


.....After being let down by Texaco who financed a new M23 for him but then switched allegiance to Emerson Fittipaldi. By then, Ickx had lost his option with Tyrrell and the only seat available in a top team was that at JPS.

(From an interview published in Sport-Auto early in 74).

Cheers
Yorgos