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Ferrari and Ickx in 1973


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#1 Gary Davies

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 06:23

First of all, the basics. For 1973, Ferrari fielded their first full monocoque Formula One car, the 321B3, the monocoque having been fabricated by John Thompson’s TC Prototypes in Northampton to Ferrari drawings, this step occasioned by the great work load at Maranello running both F1 and sports car programs. For the first three races of the year, at Buenos Aires, Interlagos and Kyalami, they raced the old 312B2.

The monocoque car first raced at the Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama and, consistent with their earlier testing of it, proved to be unsatisfactory. In particular, cooling was a problem due to the position of the radiators; they tried both side and front radiators in Spain and only one car, for Ickx, started the race.

Cimarosti described 1973 as an “all time low” for Ferrari. In the next four races Ickx gained a fifth and a sixth place whilst poor Merzario was only provided with a car for one of those races in which he finished seventh. They withdrew from the Dutch and German Grands Prix whilst they tried to sort the car out.

Ickx was, according to both DSJ and Cimarosti, ‘released by Ferrari’ at that time. He was not present in Holland, he raced a works McLaren to a good 3rd place at the Nürburgring, he missed the Austrian GP, was entered in a Ferrari at Monza on a ‘one-off’ basis, missed Canada and drove the second Williams at Watkins Glen.

The team scored points on just five occasions during the year, three times with the B2 and twice with the B3 and finished sixth in the World Manufacturers Championship with 12 points.

That I imagine most here know, or at least, knew, 35 years ago.

Today, however, I was looking through Automobile Year 1973 and these words, from José Rosinski’s summary of the year, caught my eye: ”As from Silverstone, in fact, and following its series of bad results, Ferrari had decided not to enter any more races until the B3 was competitive. This was an implicit admission that the car was at fault. But, at the same time, and disregarding the paradox, a press campaign in Italy was accusing the driver of being responsible for the poor results. Convinced that it had been inspired by Maranello, the outraged Ickx had reacted violently and, by common disagreement, the two parties had decided to break the contract.”

My only sources of information at the time were Motoring News and Motor Sport and I recall neither using such colourful descriptors as “outraged” and “reacting violently”. Rosinski likes to be a little colourful with his prose and of course, political machinations and mischief making are well known characteristics of both Ferrari and the Italian press.

So... for those who may know, how hostile did relations between Ickx and Ferrari become during the summer of 1973? Did Ferrari stir the pot with the Italian press or did the Italian press stir the pot all by itself? Was there a blow up, or did Ickx and Ferrari go their separate ways with a degree of decorum? And the ‘one-off’ drive at Monza... did that occur with a happy atmosphere or was it a grudging temporary patch up?

Where lies the reality between the innocuous "released from contract" and "...the outraged Ickx had reacted violently"?

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#2 fines

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 07:50

I'd guess the fact that he did drive a Ferrari at Monza would speak for itself!? Alas, I was too young back then to really know, so I will have to defer to the experts, but it's an interesting question!

#3 Jerome

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 09:07

I can't tell you anything about the specifics of Ferrari and Ickx, but Jacky Icx after 1970 is a bit of a enigma. Untill that year he absolutely seemed destined to greatness, but then, in F1, it seems, he kind of... I don't know. He produced indifferent results, and what I've read, he seemed almost indifferent to F1 and perhaps motorracing. He liked it, obviously, but if there was that hunger and passion...

I've read stories about other teams (Lotus and Ligier), where the teamowners and mechanics could not grasp him. He would show up shortly before official precedings, get in his car, and say: 'The pedals aren't right.' While other drivers would've taken that precautionary measure days in advance.

There's one particular story about Ligier and Ickx, when in 1979 the latter replaced the hurt Depailler. It was a conversation in the pits, between Guy and Jacky, overheard by Heinz Pruller. Ligier: 'Tu est sure tu veux conduire a F1?'
'Oui, oui, bien sur.'
'Vraiment?' (Sorry for the spellingmistakes I make).

Imagine this conversation, held in the pits of a Grand Prix weekend! You could understand it when Ickx would have retired all together shortly after that season. But he would go on for more than a decade in endurance and Paris Dakar and soforth!

#4 Bobby Deerfield

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 11:05

Regarding Ickx-Ferrari, I read a Gozzi’s article that gives and indsight about that separation. In particular, some troubling Ickx’s behaviors were the cause of Old Enzo’s irritation, and subsequent release of the driver.

I haven’t the Gozzi’s writing at hand now, so excuse me for the inaccuracies: in a Le Mans (correct me if wrong, could be another endurance race), under rain, Ickx’s car did slide, killing one or two officials. Immediate police investigation, and when the tragic event was settling as “race accident” without penal consequences for Ferrari’s team, Ickx stood out declaring the cause was a mechanical failure of brakes. Even the good-willing head of police was obliged to seize passports, Gozzi’s one and other responsible’s, to inquire.

Now, the case was no more “race accident”, it was “culpable homicide”. The surveyor declared brakes hadn’t failed, so that wasn’t the cause. Ickx turned his accusation toward the differential, seized in his words. New surveying, diff was ok. Gozzi said he wanted the entire car be surveyed, gearbox, engine, shocks etc. nothing wrong was found, and only after (months? Weeks?) they were able to return Italy.

He also described Enzo’s furious reaction to Ickx’s accusations, and to the real danger one of his cars and part of his team were declared guilty of killing. Gozzi also wondered why Jacky did that, and found an answer in the fact that, probably, Ickx wanted to preserve his image of “rain master”.

In the same artcile Gozzi remembered many other Ickx “intemperancies”: a race were he “disappeared” before the start, a Targa Florio where he declared at press his wish for Volcane Etna to burn and bury the entire Sicily, only to find once in race a “mysterious” big pebble on road causing irreparable damage to the car.

#5 917

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 11:38

Not Ferrari, but Jacky Ickx 1973:

Originally posted by Formula Once in the 'Almost-moves' thread
In Heinz Prüller's Grand Prix Story of 1973 it is written that Ken Tyrrell got into a car with Jacky (I believe it was after the Nürburgring race) who drove him to Brussels airport. During this ride they discussed 1974 and by the time they got to the airport Ken (who knew by then Stewart would retire at the end of the year and had of course worked with Ickx before) had decided he found Jacky not ambitous ennough anymore.



#6 Simon Davis

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 12:18

Apart from Ferrari’s workload with both F1 and the sports car programme, it should be noted that Italy was beset with strikes and unrest amongst the Metal Worker’s Union in 1973.

Ferrari’ by Hans Tanner and Doug Nye says the following about Ickx and Ferrari:-

“Ickx in an interview with Mike Doodson published in ‘Autosport’ on August 9th 1973, revealed his dissatisfaction….The matter came to a head and Ickx met with Ferrari to determine the future. The situation was amicably settled with Ferrari agreeing to release Ickx from his contract and allowing him to freelance. The Ferrari programme called for extensive attempts to improve the situation concerning the B3 and Ickx would be free to test and even rejoin the team by mutual agreement. Ickx had already indicated that he would not be with the team in 1974 and it was therefore of no great value to either parties for him to be included in the development of a car that he would not be driving during the 1974 season. He quoted difficulties in communication with Ing. (Sandro) Colombo, the development engineer of the B3, and stressed that the only way a present day Formula 1 team could be successful was as a tight knit family. In the circumstances, it would be better to part company so that neither party would suffer. Ickx had also faced serious criticism in the Italian press which accused him of having lost interest and the will to win. Ickx’ performance on the Nürburgring for the McLaren racing team successfully put paid to these allegations.”

Ferrari’s Drivers’ by Michele Fenu contains the following interesting snippets:-

“Enzo Ferrari recalls (of Ickx) - ‘A combination of daring and calculation. For four years we pursued a title, while on many occasions the imagination of the press attributed to us disagreements about which we knew nothing. His occasional behaviour, which gained him the nickname ‘Pierino terribile’, hasn’t stopped me remembering an adult young man and the impression of his fine driving and fearlessness in the rain.’”

“(Ickx) was fed up and disappointed by the poor competitiveness of his cars – first the 312B, then the B2 and B3 – and made no secret of this by telling everybody. At the same time though, he hated to commit himself to the vitally important testing at Fiorano.”

‘Piloti Che Gente…’ by Enzo Ferrari also refers to the feeling that “irresponsible journalists reported disagreements between us.”

Chris Nixon’s ‘Kings of the Nürburgring’ quotes from the Mike Doodson/Jacky Ickx interview in ‘Autosport’:-

“’I (Ickx) had a long discussion with Ferrari last week. They have decided to withdraw for a period of time, which may be for one week, but might be three months. Mr Ferrari agrees that since he himself does not know how long this period will be – and since I might not be driving for him in 1974 – there would be no point in my trying to develop a car that I was not going to use next year. So we finally reached the decision to bring our existing agreements and contracts to an end now, instead of letting them run to the end of the year.’”

Commenting on his performance in practice at the wheel of the McLaren for the 1973 German GP, Ickx said:-
“’It is good for Ferrari, too. He will not have to ask any more ‘Is it the driver or is it the car?’ Now he will be able to say to the engineer, ‘I regret, Jacky Ickx has done a good time at the Nürburgring with another car. Your job is now to make the Ferrari work properly.’”

“All this was very important to Ickx, for the Italian press had been quick to blame him for Ferrari’s lack of success, claiming that he had lost the will to win.”

It seems to me that between them, Ickx and Ferrari were able to reach a reasonably amiable agreement. I think even Enzo realised that his B3 left something to be desired plus I have read that he was ill during this time which must have been a distraction. Based upon the above quotes I can well believe that Ickx was non too happy and did not hesitate to express his feelings to the world at large. Add to this a sensationalist and biased Italian press and Rosinski’s description of events comes as no surprise.

#7 Gary Davies

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 13:26

Thank you Simon. That was terrific... most interesting stuff of which I was unaware. I too have the Fenu book; overlooked it in preparing my post.

#8 COUGAR508

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 14:46

Not Ferrari, but Jacky Ickx 1973:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Formula Once in the 'Almost-moves' thread
In Heinz Prüller's Grand Prix Story of 1973 it is written that Ken Tyrrell got into a car with Jacky (I believe it was after the Nürburgring race) who drove him to Brussels airport. During this ride they discussed 1974 and by the time they got to the airport Ken (who knew by then Stewart would retire at the end of the year and had of course worked with Ickx before) had decided he found Jacky not ambitous ennough anymore.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If these discussions took place, straight after the German GP, it would be very curious if Ken decided that Jacky lacked ambition or motivation. After all, he had just stepped straight into a McLaren M23 and finished third at the Nurburgring. Then again, Ken was always a good judge of drivers, and Jacky's form with Lotus in 1974/75 would indicate that he made a sound decision!

#9 RStock

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 15:54

Originally posted by Bobby Deerfield


I haven’t the Gozzi’s writing at hand now, so excuse me for the inaccuracies: in a Le Mans (correct me if wrong, could be another endurance race),


Yes , I believe you are correct . 1970 LeMans , at the Ford chicane .

#10 john t

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 08:18

Not only did Ickx finish a solid third at the Nurburgring in 1973 he was the first of the non Tyrrells (Stewart and Cevert were on the podium before the rest had finished racing). He also raced on hard tyres when soft ones should have been selected (Autocourse 1973/74). Interestingly, Autocourse reports that during his one off drives with McLaren and Williams the mechanics found him a joy to work with.

#11 COUGAR508

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 21:02

Originally posted by john t
Not only did Ickx finish a solid third at the Nurburgring in 1973 he was the first of the non Tyrrells (Stewart and Cevert were on the podium before the rest had finished racing). He also raced on hard tyres when soft ones should have been selected (Autocourse 1973/74). Interestingly, Autocourse reports that during his one off drives with McLaren and Williams the mechanics found him a joy to work with.


The performance of Ickx at the Nurburgring in '73 just underlined his inherent class and quality as a racing driver.

I am interested in the mention of the McLaren and Williams mechanics enjoying working with Ickx. I would imagine that McLaren were intrigued to have Ickx's thoughts and input on the then relatively new M23. The Williams boys would have regarded it as a vote of confidence in their team that a driver of Jacky's quality had decided to join them (did he only race for them at Watkins Glen in '73?).

#12 Twin Window

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 21:12

Originally posted by COUGAR508

The Williams boys would have regarded it as a vote of confidence in their team that a driver of Jacky's quality had decided to join them (did he only race for them at Watkins Glen in '73?).

He also drove for Willys (while they were masquerading as Walter Wolf Racing) in 1976, from the start of the season to around the British GP.

I imagine Marlboro would have helped massage him into one of their seats for the '73 US GP.

#13 COUGAR508

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 21:18

Originally posted by Twin Window

He also drove for Willys (while they were masquerading as Walter Wolf Racing) in 1976, from the start of the season to around the British GP.


I am slightly puzzled by the Ickx drive for Williams at Watkins Glen in 1973. Presumably he did not sign his Lotus contract until well into the following winter, so at this point was his future in F1 uncertain, following his split with Ferrari? If he was still casting around for a seat in a top team, surely driving for the Williams team of 1973 in a one-off race was a strange way to go about it, with no disrespect to Frank.

#14 Twin Window

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 21:41

I'm not sure of Ickx's time-frame with regard to his acceptance of that particular one-off drive, but perhaps it had something to do with Howden Ganley having 'nearly' won the Canadian GP the race beforehand.

Whatever, I've no doubt that Marlboro would have been involved in making it happen.

#15 Formula Once

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 07:49

Come to think of it: Jacky must be the only driver to have left Ferrari twice (end of 68 and in the middle of 73) only to return.

I talked to Ickx several times about his time at Ferrari, of which he said he only had the best and happiest of memories, despite many reports at the time suggesting otherwise. He said that in 1973 (his fifth season with the team already remember) it was just a case of both parties being in a natural need to make a change. As for the mechanics who worked with him at Maranello: they loved him, and still do. When I once organised for Jacky to drive one of Schumacher's F1 Ferrari cars, we also ran a 312 T3 on which some of his old mechanics worked and the 'reunion' in that pitbox between them and their former driver was a touching scene.

As for Germany 1973, don't forget Ickx was a Ringmeister and that by mid-season the M23 was arguably the best car in the field, having won in Sweden (OK, a lucky one...), should have won at Paul Ricard and did win at Silverstone. So Ickx putting that McLaren at that circuit into the top 3 was good, but not much of a surprise I guess.

#16 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 10:00

Originally posted by Formula Once
Come to think of it: Jacky must be the only driver to have left Ferrari twice (end of 68 and in the middle of 73) only to return.


That is a statement I heard/read before (especially from Belgian journos). It is not completely the case :-)

In the post war racing period Ickx returned to Ferrari after two spells, but so did Froilan Gonzalez. After 1951 he went to Maserati only to return for 1954. After 1955 he raced a WC GP with Maserati again as well as in a Vanwall only to be back at the wheel of a Ferrari for the 1957 and 1960 Argentina GP's.

#17 fines

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 10:08

I guess Nuvolari would qualify as well...

#18 Catalina Park

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 10:22

Regazzoni, Andretti.

#19 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 10:27

No-no-no, Formula Once meant two returns. Andretti played with the boxers only to return when the C2 was around (After eating a plate of spaghetti he broke the Fiorano lap record). Rega had a fling with BRM.

Nuvolari of course made a famous return after the war. But then again how to define return to the Scuderia or return to Grand Prix racing with the Scuderia.

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#20 Formula Once

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 10:45

Hmmm, Ferrari may thus very well be the team to whom former drivers returned most often, no?

Apart from Ickx and Gonzales (you are right Arjan, I forgot about him), there were of course Andretti (1971 and 1982) and Regazoni (1970 and 1974), but also Berger (1987 and 1993), while even Lauda almost returned in 1982/83.

Other drivers who returned to former teams I can think of right now are Peterson and Andretti to Lotus, Peterson to March, Regazzoni to Ensign, Modena and Brundle to Brabham, De Cesaris to Jordan and to Alfa Romeo, Martini to Minardi, Ghinzani to Osella, Laffite to Ligier, Herbert to Benetton, Alonso to Renautl, Prost to McLaren, Mansell to Williams, and of course many more (a new thread maybe?) but not so many drivers to one single team I guess. Then again, it's probably because Ferrari have been around longer than anyone else...

#21 fines

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 11:12

Then again, Tommy Milton, Joe Boyer, Roscoe Sarles, Pete de Paolo (twice!), Babe Stapp, Dave Evans, Thane Houser, Ira Hall, Eddie O'Donnell, Eddie Hearne and Wade Morton (also twice) all returned to race for Duesenberg, in just over ten years!;)

#22 rl1856

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 12:28

Fangio- Mercedes. Temporada Series 1951, GP team 1954-55

Moss- Vanwall. Silverstone Non Championship Race 1956, GP team 1957-58.

Best,

Ross

#23 Formula Once

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 12:37

Some more...

Danner Zakspeed (1985 and 1987)
Watson McLaren (1979-83 and 1985)
Alboreto Tyrrell (1981-83 and 1989)
Alliot Ligier (1986 and 1990)

#24 john winfield

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 14:24

Vanwall, do you realise that Formula Once is off to see Mauro Forghieri soon? Perhaps MF has something interesting to add to the Jacky Ickx discussion, even IIRC he wasn't directing the F1 effort in early 1973.

#25 Formula Once

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 14:31

John, good idea and I am going to ask him about Jacky, although Forghieri in 1973 was indeed "sent to Siberia" for a while, as Stewart put it at the time.

#26 SEdward

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 15:02

As a fervent Ickx fan from the early 70s, I have always felt that he simply lost interest after the 1972 season. He has said on record that he had never driven better than in 1972 and that he and Ferrari should have won the championship that year. He was let down by unreliable hardware. He should have won the British and Italian GPs that year, but the bloody thing broke!

He was never the same in F1 again.

Edward

#27 Spaceframe

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 17:53

Originally posted by COUGAR508


I am slightly puzzled by the Ickx drive for Williams at Watkins Glen in 1973. Presumably he did not sign his Lotus contract until well into the following winter, so at this point was his future in F1 uncertain, following his split with Ferrari? If he was still casting around for a seat in a top team, surely driving for the Williams team of 1973 in a one-off race was a strange way to go about it, with no disrespect to Frank.

Tom Belsø was scheduled to drive the Iso-Marlboro at Watkins Glen in 1973, but Ickx got the seat - I seem to remember sponsorhip pressure being mentioned as the reason.

#28 COUGAR508

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 18:34

Originally posted by SEdward
As a fervent Ickx fan from the early 70s, I have always felt that he simply lost interest after the 1972 season. He has said on record that he had never driven better than in 1972 and that he and Ferrari should have won the championship that year. He was let down by unreliable hardware. He should have won the British and Italian GPs that year, but the bloody thing broke!

He was never the same in F1 again.

Edward


We all know that 1973 was a miserable year for Ferrari, but was there a chance that Ickx could have seen out the year, and benefitted from the Ferrari resurgence in '74? Or was the breakdown in relations between Jacky and the Ferrari hierarchy so pronounced by mid-season that they were both glad to see the back of each other? Maybe the Ferrari managment saw the departure of Ickx as an essential part of team rebuilding? It has been suggested that Merzario was more the flavour of the month than Ickx at that stage, anyway.

#29 RStock

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 18:45

Originally posted by Arjan de Roos


Nuvolari of course made a famous return after the war. But then again how to define return to the Scuderia or return to Grand Prix racing with the Scuderia.


There was also the famous falling out with Enzo and falling back in with Enzo before the war .

#30 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 15:03

Originally posted by Vanwall


...

In the next four races Ickx gained a fifth and a sixth place whilst poor Merzario was only provided with a car for one of those races in which he finished seventh. They withdrew from the Dutch and German Grands Prix whilst they tried to sort the car out.


...


At Zeltweg Arturo Merzario in the B3 "rebuilded" by Forghieri qualified in a fine 6th place and during the race moved up to 4th place behind the Lotuses of Fitti and Ronnie and Carlos Pace's Surtees, until he had problems (gearbox? don't remember) before halfway the race. He manged to finish 7th. A very solid race for Merzario.
Three weeks later at Monza, Ickx returned to the Scuderia. Merzario started from a good 7th place (retired on 2nd lap, suspension failure) while Ickx qualified in a poor 14th place, behind Mike Beuttler's CMGD March and Rolf Stommelen's Pagnossin-Brabham, and finished 8th one lap behind SuperSwede after an anonymous race as a backmarker.

Jody Scheckter was selected by Ken Tyrrell for the 1974 season. Merzario, who told to the Italian press (Director Marcello Sabbatini ;) ) how bad was the B3 before-Forghieri... was fired by Ferrari at the end of the season, and a young, wealthy Austrian came to Maranello in 1974.
But this is another history...

#31 Formula Once

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 15:32

I believe Merzario primarily lost his Ferrari drive due to his behaviour in 1973 during the sports car races he did for the team with the 312 PB, at one stage even having to be dragged out of his car during a pit stop for ignoring team orders.

#32 COUGAR508

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 20:52

Merzario does seem to have been very hard done by in the decision-making at the end of 1973. By all accounts he showed real determination and enthusiasm in very difficult circumstances, whilst Ickx seemed to be drifting away. He surely deserved a chance to sample Ferrari's bright new dawn.

#33 Vitesse2

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 22:52

Originally posted by Nanni Dietrich
... a young, wealthy Austrian came to Maranello in 1974.
But this is another history...


Young, yes. But wealthy? Later, maybe, but surely not then. IIRC he was juggling loans and promises between banks and teams in those days.

But to stay on topic: with all due respect, even given Jacky's increasing predilection for sports cars over F1, in period 'Little Art' wasn't viewed as being in the same class as Ickx. Surely it was only Marlboro money - lots of it, and for obvious reasons - that got Merzario a Ferrari drive of any sort in the first place?

#34 fines

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 06:57

... and an Italian passport, perhaps?

As for Lauda, he came from a wealthy family, but financed his racing all by himself. It is all in his first book, and recommended reading of a man with unfailing determination! :up: You don't get these things with today's drivers anymore, and more's the pity! :(

#35 Formula Once

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 07:08

It wasn't Marlboro money. Philip Morris got involved in F1 through Jo Siffert (PM's headoffice being based in Lausanne) in the early seventies, before sponsoring the BRM team big time in 1972 (although the American office didn't like it at all). That same season Merzario made his F1 debut for Ferrari at Brands Hatch after Clay Regazzoni had broken his arm in a game of soccer. Although Arturo was (personally) sponsored by Marlboro in 1973 as part of their World Championship Team program, that kind of money (normally about 10.000 dollars) would not have made any difference in getting him the drive. In those days, Ferrari would pay its drivers and allow them to sell the space and their overalls to personal sponsors. I think maybe at the time Enzo had decided that for whatever reason (probably to keep the Italian press happy) he could do with an Italian driver again for the first time since 1970. Merzario was good enough to get the drive, but not that good to keep it and certainly not 'technical' like Ickx, leave alone Lauda. And, as said, his behaviour in the sports car team didn't help either.

#36 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 12:21

Do not agree.

At the time Merzario was 30. He is still racing now (65-year-old :) ) but in the early 70s he was a very good driver indeed.
You wrote about his behaviour in 1973 during sportscar races... :confused: don't understand. I remember sometime Merzario, who was always the fastest of the team, was "reduced" by his team mate Carlos Pace (Nurburgring, Le Mans and several other races). Think they (Merzario and Pace) had not-good relationship at the end of the year...

Not good enough? In the following seasons 1974 and 1975 he won in sportscar races with Alfa Romeo (1975 World Champion) and in Formula 1 he was good enough to score very good results in that "boat" of the Iso-Williams... He lost his way (and a lot of money) when he decided to build his own car, not a good idea.

Merzario (and Regazzoni) had a sponsorship by Astor cigarettes in the early 70s, Marlboro money arrived later(don't remember if in 1973, or 1974)

#37 Formula Once

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 12:32

Fortunately everbody is entitled to his own opion and you don't have to agree of course.

As for the sportcar races, the problem (I was told by team members) was that Arturo had trouble sticking to team orders during a year in which Ferrari was locked into a close batlle with Ferrari. Yes, he was often the fastest, but that was the problem, if you know what I mean, as it was all he cared about, even at times when it didn't matter and others worked on the far more important race pace.

To not have a good relationship with Carlos Pace was quite an achievement in itself, I guess.

As for good results in the ISO, well, those where funny days, remember Howden Ganley even nearly won a GP in that car... The Astor sponsorship is correct, and the Marlboro deal did start in 1973. Don't get me wrong, Arturo was quick, I am only saying I don't think he was unlucky or under rated or whatever, and he certainly wasn't the man to resurect Ferrari.

#38 Twin Window

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 12:46

Originally posted by Formula Once

The Astor sponsorship is correct, and the Marlboro deal did start in 1973.


Indeed it did; but I believe it was struck after at least the first race of the season had been run. Ickx meanwhile replaced his Kent deal with a Marlboro one that same season.

#39 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 12:47

Formula Once: :)

You said:

Originally posted by Formula Once

...

Don't get me wrong, Arturo was quick, I am only saying I don't think he was unlucky or under rated or whatever, and he certainly wasn't the man to resurect Ferrari.


Who knows?

I'd have payed to see Merzario in the B3 and in the 312T in 1974/75, alongside Rega (or alongside Lauda, why not?) :rolleyes:
Probably the Scuderia could have resurected the same (or even better...)

:cool:

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#40 Formula Once

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 13:40

I think many drivers would do well in a good car, but not so many are actually part of creating a good car, which Lauda was in the winter of 1974. Like Arturo, there are many drivers we now talk about in terms of 'what if', but the really good ones tend to erase that factor, don't they?. Of course, Merzario would have done well in a 312 T, just as Irvine did well in F399. But how good would that F399 have been if Schumacher hadn't been around?

#41 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 16:58

Think the greatest part of the work in winter of 1973/74 was done by Rega.

To be clear, Niki Lauda is one of my beloved drivers, in my opinion he has been one of the top-ten in history.
But nobody knows, now, whether Arturo Merzario could have been able to do the same (or something similar) at the wheel of that specific fantastic car (312B3/1974 and 312T/1975), or not.

Our opinion on Merzario is "ruined" by the memory of what happened to him several years later (the unfortunate Merzario F1, the "undertaker-sponsorship" :rolleyes: , a number of DNQs etc.). But from 1973 to 1977 Merzario was a very very good driver, a top level driver.

#42 COUGAR508

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 18:40

It's just a shame that a way could not be found to run a third Ferrari for Merzario in 1974, even if only for selected races. After all, McLaren and BRM were still running three-car teams that year.

#43 VDP

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 18:43

I always remember his fantastic drive at the Targa in 1972. Also one of his best race in F1 with the underdog March 761 ovoro sponsored at the Swedish GP.

#44 Tim Murray

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 19:26

He also put in a tremendous drive at the 1976 GP at Brands - until the March broke, of course.

#45 Formula Once

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 19:49

And how about qualifying that Iso 3rd at Kyalami in 1974, 3 places ahead of Regazzoni?

#46 COUGAR508

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 19:59

Originally posted by Formula Once
And how about qualifying that Iso 3rd at Kyalami in 1974, 3 places ahead of Regazzoni?


Wasn't the time-keeping regarded as somewhat suspect on that occasion, though?

Those 1974 Iso-Williams cars for me epitomised that era of F1.

#47 Twin Window

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 22:30

Much as I appreciate Merzario - he was one of my favourite drivers of the 1970s - this is supposed to be a thread about Ferrari and Ickx in 1973...

For those who are interested, however, there is already a Merzario thread waiting to be added-to. ;)

#48 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 07:27

Just to set the time frame. In 1973 Ferrari of course did not yet have the two drivers line up that we know today (with test drivers backing up). 1973 always seemed a particular year as Ferrari had so many drivers in the Scuderia, of course racing in the 312 PB sports car: Reutemann, Schenken, Redman, Pace, Arturo and X, or is it just me? Maybe a clue for Ferrari's preference for Jacky as he could also have put Reutemann or Schenken in the F1. Or were those all contract bound?

#49 Formula Once

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 08:12

Well, already in 1972 they had many (Ickx, Regazzoni, Andretti, Peterson, Merzario, Redman, etc.) and both Reutemann and Pace had F1 contracts.

#50 COUGAR508

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 06:11

I have often wondered whether after the events of 1973, Ickx subconsciously regarded himself as a sportscar driver, and from then on saw F1 as a bonus, or almost a side-show for him personally? Did he realise that he was unlikely again to have the same machinery and support which he had enjoyed in the period 1968-1972? His time with Lotus seemed to have a half-hearted quality about it,as if neither party was fully committed to the union.