Who is Jochen Rindt?

Following on from my previous post who’s George Formby, I happened to be watching the Formula 1 motor racing at the weekend and was reminded of Jochen Rindt which leaves you dear reader with the question, who?

Motor racing has always been a very dangerous profession especially during the 1960’s and 70’s where it was all too often that we would hear that yet another driver had been killed.

I have copied the list of drivers who died in the 60’s and 70’s from Wikipedia but was rather amazed to see they had left off Jim Clark who was one of the best drivers the world has ever seen. Clark was World Champion in both 1963 and 1965 and won the Indianapolis 500 in 1965 but unfortunately died when his car left the track and crashed into a tree whilst racing at Hockenheim in Germany on 7th April 1968.

Image result for Jim Clark

As you can see this was in the days before any form of crash protection at the circuit, and virtually nothing from the exceedingly flimsy cars of that era, so if you went off as Clark did there was nothing to stop you hitting the trees at the edge of the circuit.

Image result for jim clark crash

The following is the list of drivers who died just in Formula 1 in the 60’s and 70’s.

 Harry Schell (USA) May 13, 1960 BRDC International Trophy Silverstone Circuit Cooper T51 Practice [8]
 Chris Bristow (UK) June 19, 1960 Belgian Grand Prix[note 5] Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps Cooper T51 Race [8]
 Alan Stacey (UK) Lotus 18
 Shane Summers (UK) June 1, 1961 Silver City Trophy Brands Hatch Cooper Practice [14]
 Giulio Cabianca (ITA)[note 6] June 15, 1961 Test Autodromo di Modena Cooper T51 Test [15]
 Wolfgang von Trips (GER)[note 7] September 10, 1961 Italian Grand Prix Autodromo Nazionale Monza Ferrari 156 F1 Race [17]
 Ricardo Rodríguez (MEX) November 1, 1962 Mexican Grand Prix Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez Lotus 24 Practice [18]
 Gary Hocking (Rhodesia and Nyasaland) December 21, 1962 Natal Grand Prix Westmead Circuit Lotus 24 Practice [8]
 Carel Godin de Beaufort (NED)[note 8] August 1, 1964 German Grand Prix Nürburgring Porsche 718 Practice [8]
 John Taylor (UK)[note 9] August 7, 1966 German Grand Prix Nürburgring Brabham Race [20]
 Lorenzo Bandini (ITA)[note 10] May 7, 1967 Monaco Grand Prix Circuit de Monaco Ferrari 312 Race [21]
 Bob Anderson (UK) August 14, 1967 Test Silverstone Circuit Brabham Test [22]
 Jo Schlesser (FRA) July 7, 1968 French Grand Prix Rouen-Les-Essarts Honda RA302 Race [23]
 Gerhard Mitter (GER) August 1, 1969 German Grand Prix Nürburgring BMW Practice [8]
 Piers Courage (UK) June 21, 1970 Dutch Grand Prix Circuit Park Zandvoort De Tomaso Race [26]
 Jochen Rindt (AUT) September 5, 1970 Italian Grand Prix Autodromo Nazionale Monza Lotus 72 Qualifying [5]
 Jo Siffert (SUI) October 24, 1971 World Championship Victory Race Brands Hatch BRM P160 Race [27]
 Roger Williamson (UK) July 29, 1973 Dutch Grand Prix Circuit Park Zandvoort March Race [8]
 François Cevert (FRA) October 6, 1973 United States Grand Prix Watkins Glen Tyrrell Qualifying [28]
 Peter Revson (USA) March 22, 1974 Test Kyalami Shadow DN3 Test [29]
 Helmuth Koinigg (AUT) October 6, 1974 United States Grand Prix Watkins Glen Surtees Race [30]
 Mark Donohue (USA)[note 11] August 17, 1975 Austrian Grand Prix Österreichring March Practice [8]
 Tom Pryce (UK)[note 12] March 5, 1977 South African Grand Prix Kyalami Shadow DN8 Race [32]
 Brian McGuire (AUS)[note 13] August 29, 1977 Shellsport International Series Round 11 Brands Hatch McGuire BM1 Practice [33]
 Ronnie Peterson (SWE)[note 14] September 10, 1978 Italian Grand Prix Autodromo Nazionale Monza Lotus 78 Race [35]

However, my post today is about the only driver to have won the World Championship posthumously and that driver is Jochen Rindt.

Rindt was born in Germany in 1942 of Austrian and German parentage. His parents died under Allied bombing in 1943 and he was taken to Graz in Austria where he was brought up by his grandparents.

Image result for Jochen Rindt

He had a very successful F1 career and was considered one of the best drivers by many people but he was very badly affected by the death of his friend Piers Courage and many were convinced that he would retire at the end of the year. Until that time he continued to drive with grim determination but the joy of driving had ended for him.

Rindt went on to win the French, British and German GPs. In his home Grand Prix, at the Osterreichring, Rindt failed to finish and his main rival Jacky Ickx led a Ferrari 1-2. The pressure began to tell on Rindt and he went to Monza for the Italian GP ready to clinch the World Championship that had for so long alluded him. Rindt by that time had decided to quit racing at the end of the season and talked about setting up a sports clothing business.

Practice was held on Friday and Saturday, September 4-5, and half an hour into the Saturday session Rindt’s Lotus veered sharp left under heavy braking into the Parabolica, dived under the Armco crash barriers and bounced back onto the track, its front end torn away. Jochen Rindt was lifted clear by officials, but if he was not already dead there was no hope of his surviving terrible chest injuries. Officially he died in the ambulance on the way to a Milan hospital.

Image result for Jochen Rindt

I am grateful to Wikipedia and Grand Prix History for information used in this post to one of the best drivers in Formula 1 and the only one to have ever won the World Championship posthumously.


About The Diary of a Country Bumpkin

I am a retired actor, although to be honest I only retired because I wasn't getting any work due to losing my agent when I became a full time carer to my mother who had dementia. and the option of becoming an unemployed actor/waiter at my age was ludicrous, especially as my waiting skills are non-existent. Having said I’m retired, I don’t think there really is such a thing as a retired actor for I am still available for work, I just don’t have an agent or any connections with regards to obtaining any worthwhile work. I have over the years done student films when there is nothing else available, always low paid (if at all) the only incentive was always the promised copy of the finished film for your show reel which nine times out of ten always failed to materialise. I spent many years looking after my aged mother and shortly after her death I was lucky enough to run into an ex-girlfriend of many years ago and our romance blossomed once again, resulting in us getting married in 2013. My move to the countryside inspired me to write The Diary of a Country Bumpkin which tells of my continuing dilemmas in dealing with the rigors of the countryside from the unexpectedly large number of pollens, fungal moulds and hay products waiting to attack the unsuspecting townie. I enjoy writing, see my play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori on The Wireless Theatre Company, The Plays Wot I Wrote and The Battle of Barking Creek both available on Amazon.co.uk and am very fond of classic cars so my ideal occupation would be acting in a film I had written set in the 1930s/40s, we live in hopes. I am delighted to say that since venturing to the countryside where space is not quite the premium it is in town, I have due to the availability of two double garages acquired more classic cars to form a small collection the pride of which are a 1947 Bentley Mk VI and a 2000 Bentley Arnage. My various blogs and websites are continually evolving and I’m sure that by following the appropriate links you will find something which will edify or amuse. I have written a number of different books all available on Amazon, so don't be shy should you feel the urge to purchase. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Joe-Wells/e/B06XKWFQHT/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
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