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The nationality of the racer Jochen Rindt


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#1 rx-guru

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 13:48

A never ending story…? :rolleyes:

The current rules of the FIA International Sporting Code read: "112. Nationality of a competitor or driver – As far as the application of this Code is concerned, every competitor or driver who has obtained their licence from an ASN takes the nationality of that ASN for the period of validity of that licence. All drivers, irrespective of the nationality of their licence, participating in any FIA World Championship event, shall retain the nationality of their passport in all official documents, meetings, information bulletins and prize-giving ceremonies."

English is not my mothertongue! However, from this I understand that nowadays Jochen Rindt would be seen by the FIA as a German. There seems to be no disagreements that Rindt kept his German nationality all his life and had a German passport, but was racing with an Austrian licence. Therefore, he is seen by a great majority of racing fans as well as 'normal people' as a native Austrian. I just wonder if there was the same rule (or a similar one) already in force at his time. Does anyone here at TNF know better? IMO it does not matter what the "Ösis" or the "Piefke" want, but what he was according to the official motorsport rules between Zeltweg 1964 and Monza 1970.

BTW, a quote of the great Billy Wilder, by roots an Austrian himself, reads: "The Austrians are clever. They made the world believe that Adolf Hitler was a German and Ludwig van Beethoven an Austrian"… :lol:

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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 14:32

I think the distinction may be made in the regulations in order to clarify which ASN is responsible for the driver's conduct and/or his/her defence in the case of a dispute regarding the ISC. Thus if Jochen had transgressed some rule and the Austrians declined to defend him he wouldn't have been able to ask the Germans for help.

However, in the 1969 Yellow Book list of graded drivers, Jochen's nationality is given as Austrian, with his birthplace correctly recorded as Mainz, so perhaps he's the exception that proves the rule. Or maybe he never told the FIA he had a German passport?;)

#3 fines

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 15:09

I don't think the FIA would have been interested, in the sixties! The operative term in the original post being "current rule", I'd think...;)

#4 RS2000

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 15:30

I'm pretty sure it was always the case that the licence-issuing national authority was always considered as the competitor's nationality until the FIA agreed to change the prizegiving etc. aspect in the aftermath of Eddie Irvine (a UK but not GB national competing then with an Irish Republic competition licence) having his family threatened by protestant paramilitaries when the Republic of Ireland flag was flown above him on the podium.

#5 Catalina Park

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 07:26

If nationality of the driver was related to the nationality of the licence Australia wouldn't have any World Champions. :drunk: As far as I know both Jack Brabham and Alan Jones raced with RAC licences.

#6 Terry Walker

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 08:06

The rule actually says: for competition purposes, your "nationality" is that of your ASN, they're who issue and suspend your racing licence; for the national anthem and all the rest, your nationality is what your passport says it is.

So Jack raced on a UK ASN licence but got the Aussie national anthem (even if he had a UK passport, which would have stated his nationality as Aussie anyway). Rindt raced on an Austrian ASN licence and got the German national anthem. No problem there.

#7 alfredaustria

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 08:19

Jochen Rindt was born on the 18th April 1942, This war-baby in a Germany successively looking forward to the end of its state`s existence, son of a spice manufacturer from Mainz at the river Rhine (the company´s name was Klein & Rindt) had never experienced his parents consciously as thousands of kids at that time, too. They died far away from home in one of the disastrous bomb attacks against the city of Hamburg in summer 1943. Jochen moved then to his grandparents to Graz (capital of styria), Austria at the age of one year. He went to school there and spent most of his live in Graz.

#8 Catalina Park

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 08:21

Originally posted by Terry Walker
The rule actually says: for competition purposes, your "nationality" is that of your ASN, they're who issue and suspend your racing licence; for the national anthem and all the rest, your nationality is what your passport says it is.

So Jack raced on a UK ASN licence but got the Aussie national anthem (even if he had a UK passport, which would have stated his nationality as Aussie anyway). Rindt raced on an Austrian ASN licence and got the German national anthem. No problem there.

I think that Jack would have been given the UK anthem (God Save the Queen) for his wins. :cool:

#9 Red Socks

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 08:28

I have never understood how it is possible for David Coulthard-for example- to run the Scottish saltire, or Nicky Grist to run the Welsh dragon when he navigated for the late Colin Mcrae, who had the saltire too on his car, as his national flag. They are , or were all British Nationals on an MSA licence.
But we all know that the rules in International Motor sport are a la carte !!

#10 David McKinney

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 09:40

Originally posted by Catalina Park
I think that Jack would have been given the UK anthem (God Save the Queen) for his wins

No, he was given the Australian National Anthem, God Save the Queen
(Advance Australia Fair did not become the official NA until 1984 :) )

#11 lustigson

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 09:50

Originally posted by Red Socks
I have never understood how it is possible for David Coulthard-for example- to run the Scottish saltire, or Nicky Grist to run the Welsh dragon when he navigated for the late Colin Mcrae, who had the saltire too on his car, as his national flag. They are , or were all British Nationals on an MSA licence.
But we all know that the rules in International Motor sport are a la carte !!

Same goes for Scotland, Wales, England and Northern-Ireland to participate in major sports events with their 'national' teams. That way, Dutch Province Friesland might even be able to participate on it's own. ;-)

#12 GD66

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 10:04

It is said that when Alan Jones won the Austrian Grand Prix the organisers didn't have a copy of "Advance Australia Fair" to play, in the end a drunk played "Happy Birthday" on a trumpet.... :)

#13 jeremy durward

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 10:05

Originally posted by David McKinney

No, he was given the Australian National Anthem, God Save the Queen
(Advance Australia Fair did not become the official NA until 1984 :) )


which would put alan jones in the same boat i presume

#14 RS2000

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 15:16

Originally posted by Terry Walker
The rule actually says: for competition purposes, your "nationality" is that of your ASN, they're who issue and suspend your racing licence; for the national anthem and all the rest, your nationality is what your passport says it is.


That is I'm sure the current rule but it was not the case when Irvine was first on the F1 podium and so would not have been the case in Rindt's day.

I too have a problem with English, Welsh and Scottish flags on cars where the national flag is required. The UK has one seat at the FIA. So much so that I used to attach other flags to my car at the required position on International rallies just to see if it would get picked up. It never was, even by scrutineers like Servais in Belgium, who went on to be ETCC/WTTC scrutineer shortly afterwards. At one point he was actually looking at the crew name size/format but never noticed the totally inappropriate flag next to it. We went through quite a selection of whatever flag stickers were available, including the battle flag of the Confederate States of America, which did not have a seat on the FIA last time I checked...

#15 Stephen W

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 15:52

Originally posted by RS2000
We went through quite a selection of whatever flag stickers were available, including the battle flag of the Confederate States of America, which did not have a seat on the FIA last time I checked...


A major oversight in my opinion seeing as the gave us NASCAR!

:lol:

#16 Racer.Demon

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 15:58

What about Bertrand Gachot? French, Belgian or Luxemburgian? :D

#17 Fatgadget

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 16:18

I believe Eddie Irvine run into a bit of bovver with the IRA vis his nationality. He resolved the issue ingenously apparently. I can't however for the life of me recall how he done it.Anyone?

#18 Racer.Demon

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 16:26

And they are very creative with nationalities in A1 GP these days... :lol:

#19 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 16:53

Jochen Rindt's situation is very clear. Born in Mainz, Germany, he became an orphan only 15 months old. He then stayed with his maternal grandparents in Graz, Austria, where he grew up. His Grandfather was lawyer and made sure that Jochen kept his German citizenship because of his inheritance of his father's business in Mainz. By heart Jochen was Austrian. I met him at race meetings and he spoke Austrian, which sounds different than the various German dialects.

Rindt's case can be closely compared with that of Mario Andretti, who was born in Italy, which he left as a child to emigrate with his parents to America. He became an American not only by heart but became US citizen with US passport.

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#20 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 17:27

Originally posted by RS2000
That is I'm sure the current rule but it was not the case when Irvine was first on the F1 podium and so would not have been the case in Rindt's day.

I too have a problem with English, Welsh and Scottish flags on cars where the national flag is required. The UK has one seat at the FIA. So much so that I used to attach other flags to my car at the required position on International rallies just to see if it would get picked up. It never was, even by scrutineers like Servais in Belgium, who went on to be ETCC/WTTC scrutineer shortly afterwards. At one point he was actually looking at the crew name size/format but never noticed the totally inappropriate flag next to it. We went through quite a selection of whatever flag stickers were available, including the battle flag of the Confederate States of America, which did not have a seat on the FIA last time I checked...


Perhaps it simply indicates that no one really cares if there was nothing said. Or, more likely, their knowledge of flags was somewhat limited....

And, it would mostly likely have been the naval ensign of the thankfully late and completely unlamented CSA -- it was rectangular while the battle flag was square. I am always amused by the "heritage" knuckleheads referring to the battle flag while displaying the naval ensign.... One learns such interesting information when you live in a State accurately described as being "too small for a republic and too large for a lunatic asylum" (James L. Petigru), especially when the bozos hoisted the naval ensign on the flagstaff atop the dome of the State Capitol Building while thinking it was the battle flag. I often have thought Petigru was wrong, by the way concerning the lunatic asylum part, but I digress....

Likewise, I am also amused at the display of Welsh, English, and English flags since it brings to mind both colonel R.E. Lee putting his loyalty to Virginia ahead of that of the United States and how this later led to the change from it being "the United States of America are" to "the United States of America is."

As Hans makes clear, Home is where you say it is, not what a bunch of dim-witted Blazers at the Fumbling Idiots de Automobile want to legislate it as being....

#21 jph

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 19:50

Originally posted by Fatgadget
I believe Eddie Irvine run into a bit of bovver with the IRA vis his nationality. He resolved the issue ingenously apparently. I can't however for the life of me recall how he done it.Anyone?


I vaguely recall an interview with him where he said that he added green stripes to his orange crash helmet to pacify the IRA. I suspect it would have required a bit more than a couple of stripes on a crash helmet, however....

#22 RS2000

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 20:40

Originally posted by HDonaldCapps

And, it would mostly likely have been the naval ensign of the thankfully late and completely unlamented CSA -- it was rectangular while the battle flag was square.


Most of the way there though - 99% of people in Britain capable of recognising the design would wrongly refer to it as the flag, not the battle flag or the naval ensign? (presumably a lot of the confusion over the latter two comes from seeing a flag in the painting of " the Monitor and the Merrimack"? - which should correctly have been "the Monitor and the Virginia"?).

#23 David Shaw

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 21:00

At various times during the 1950s and 60s Brabham did have an Australian issued competition licence and at other times he did not.

#24 Alan Lewis

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 21:28

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
...Rindt's case can be closely compared with that of Mario Andretti, who was born in Italy...


Specifically, a part of Italy which soon afterwards became Yugoslavian...

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#25 RA Historian

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 03:50

Originally posted by HDonaldCapps
And, it would mostly likely have been the naval ensign of the thankfully late and completely unlamented CSA -- it was rectangular while the battle flag was square. I am always amused by the "heritage" knuckleheads referring to the battle flag while displaying the naval ensign.... One learns such interesting information when you live in a State accurately described as being "too small for a republic and too large for a lunatic asylum" (James L. Petigru), especially when the bozos hoisted the naval ensign on the flagstaff atop the dome of the State Capitol Building while thinking it was the battle flag. I often have thought Petigru was wrong, by the way concerning the lunatic asylum part, but I digress....

Although I have long been a fan of military history, and have a good sized library of books on the subject, once again Col. Capps tells me something that I did not know.

Thanks, Don.
Tom

#26 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 09:55

Flags on cars are team preference and not down to the FIA, so David Coulthard can run the Scottish flag on his suit and car but he will get the Union Jack on anything official. Results, on screen graphics, etc, et al.

Likewise I can run the flag of the State of Arizona all over my body, or indeed the Untied Nations, but I'd get the USA flag if I legally stumbled myself upon the podium.

#27 RS2000

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 13:41

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
Flags on cars are team preference and not down to the FIA


I wouldn't know about F1 but on an International Rally in the period we are discussing the names of both crew members together with their national flags (the flag of their licence) had to be displayed on both sides of the car. Very recently of course all that has changed and apparently only the driver's surname must be displayed, modern saloon car race style, along with a competition number of a size and location that would be illegal under virtually all national regulations. The co-driver now has to be unrecognised, despite still having to hold the relevant FIA licence...

...and the FIA wonders why we have no confidence in it...

#28 D-Type

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 19:58

I think that because he grew up in Austria Jochen considered himself to be Austrian. If his grandparents were living in Austria were they, and hence one of his parents, Austrian?

Nationality in racing is very nebulous. In front of me I have a photo of a car in the 1958 Safari. It says 'Tanganyika' on the roof as it was entered from there. Next to the three drivers names painted on the side there are Swedish, English (cross of St George) and Australian flags. But in the official entry list the drivers would have been listed as either EAT or EAK depending on where they were living at the time.

#29 RS2000

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 20:05

Originally posted by D-Type
In front of me I have a photo of a car in the 1958 Safari. It says 'Tanganyika' on the roof as it was entered from there. Next to the three drivers names painted on the side there are Swedish, English (cross of St George) and Australian flags. But in the official entry list the drivers would have been listed as either EAT or EAK depending on where they were living at the time.


Go back that far and the Safari was probably the only major rally allowing anything to be written on the car apart from the number!

#30 D-Type

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 20:19

Very true. It was in 1956 that the organisers allowed cars to carry advertising to allow the largely amateur competitors to defray expenses

#31 stevewf1

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 20:19

Originally posted by Racer.Demon
What about Bertrand Gachot? French, Belgian or Luxemburgian? :D


I remember reading once several years ago (sorry, I can't find the source) that Gachot considered himself a "European".

#32 ensign14

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 16:39

Gachot had the Euro flag on his helmet, then again so did Sospiri. Jack Brabham in "When The Flag Drops" said he was proud to have been the first British world champion in a British car. :p

Originally posted by Fatgadget
I believe Eddie Irvine run into a bit of bovver with the IRA vis his nationality. He resolved the issue ingenously apparently. I can't however for the life of me recall how he done it.Anyone?



He was asked, at Japan 1993, about his helmet colours. He said it was a "bit political" and the orange was because he was a Protestant and the green was to stop the IRA shooting him. Eddie Jordan was a bit taken aback. "Jaysus, Eddie! A BIT political!!!" There's another thread on Irvine's pre-cheetah arse helmet, he didn't bother with a design till he got to F3000 then copied Senna's with an orange rather than yellow background. Which looked identical. He made it a bit more distinctive in Japan.