The only such F1 world champion was born 80 years ago


He was born in Mainz, Germany, during World War II, his parents were the victims of a bombing in Hamburg the following year, and the orphaned boy was raised by his maternal grandparents in Graz, Austria. He retained his German citizenship but competed with an Austrian license, and when asked if he considered himself German or Austrian, he always replied, “European.”

The stubborn and rebellious boy got into the family spice company, but he was more excited about the danger and the speed. He broke his limb twice in a school ski race and countless times in his vehicle as he switched to off-roading. The arrogantly confident but extremely talented Rindt started in a touring car championship behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo Giulietta in 1962, followed by one-seater crashes with alarming frequency, many of which he himself was hospitalized, but was the first to be discharged. .

His journey led higher and higher, he was already in the Formula Junior category in 1963, and he achieved surprisingly good results even with an uncompetitive car. The following year, he won two Formula One races, ahead of Graham Hill and James Clark, among others, who “fall into the category”. Thanks to his success in 1964, Rob Walker was able to start behind the wheel of a Brabham in the first Formula One race of his life at the Austrian Grand Prix.

In 1965, he signed a three-year contract with the Formula 1 Cooper team. In addition to his rivals during his time here, he also had to contend with the unreliable car, for example in 1966 it became the third composite without even winning a race. Meanwhile, he won the 24-hour Le Mans race with a Ferrari in 1965 and continued to compete in Formula 2, where he won nine grand prizes in 1967.

His driving style was fast, violent, but he was always clean as he was written, “His car was almost on his side, he was taking turns at an incredible angle, every time it looked like he was going to run off the road now.” He was already a national hero in his homeland, further enriching the legends weaving around his figure when he crashed in Indianapolis, but calmly got out of the already burning car, and his heartbeat remained completely normal, according to a medical examination. In connection with Rindt, the saying attributed to the German Chancellor Bismarck was often quoted: “We Germans are only afraid of God, but nothing else in the world.”

He spent the 1968 season with the Brabham team, where he already had two pole positions, but this car was not competitive with the big ones either. Rindt rebuked those who doubted his abilities the following year: he won his first win in the colors of Lotus. He also had a spectacular accident this season, falling due to the deflection of his spoiler, but escaping with a fracture of the jaw and a concussion.

His last and most perfect season was the 1970s, with five race wins. When the three-time world champion Jack Brabham was defeated in Monaco, he burst into tears of happiness, but in the next few weeks he had to mourn two of his close friends: Bruce McLaren and Piers Courage also lost their lives on the race track. Rindt began to seriously consider retiring, promising his Finnish photo model wife and two-year-old daughter that she would stop racing if she became a world champion.

Fate wanted it differently. On September 5, 1970, at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, he tested a new Lotus, and the rear wing was removed from the car to compete with the Ferraris starting at home. During training, he slipped out of the infamous Parabolica bend and cut to the barrier at a speed of three hundred kilometers per hour. The pilot, who suffered extremely serious injuries, died while being transported to the hospital. The cause of the accident was never revealed, some said the car became unmanageable due to the missing rear wing, others said a technical fault had occurred. There were three more races left at the time, and Belgian Jacky Ickx could have won the championship if he had triumphed on all of them. In the final race, however, Rindt’s teammate, young Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi, won, securing the world championship lead for the already dead Jochen Rindt. The first – and hopefully last – posthumous World Cup champion was taken over by his widow and little daughter.

Rindt was a favorite of fans and photographers, taking countless spectacular “action photos” of him during the race. It was as if there were two people: those who did not like her, considered her arrogant and superior, those she described as close to her, described her as a kind, cheerful individual. He has competed in sixty races during his Formula One career, standing in the first race ten times, winning six and 13 podium finishes. He reaped his victories in nine months, between the 1969 American Grand Prix and the 1970 German Grand Prix.


Source: Vezess by www.vezess.hu.

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