Champion of Champions
Graham Hill and Jochen Rindt were team mates at Lotus in the late sixties.
But Hill while Hill enjoyed a long career Rindt’s was all too brief and often spent at the wheel of unreliable cars.
Hill started his F1 career in a Lotus in 1958, but moved on to BRM two years later.
The team was ill-prepared for the change of engine formula in 1961, but once its in-hour 1.5-litre unit was ready in 1962 Hill cleaned up. He finished every race, winning three of the last four to clinch the championship.
He enjoyed sustained success with the team, finishing runner-up in the world championship for the next three years in a row. He was especially unfortunate to miss out in 1964, when he had the title in his sights before being hit by Ferrari’s Lorenzo Bandini in the last race of the year.
Rindt made his F1 debut that year in his home race at the wheel of a Brabham entered by Rob Walker. That led to a three-year deal with Cooper but his equipment was clearly not up to the job, although he finished third in the championship in 1966.
He joined Brabham for 1968 but found himself cursed by unreliability there too. That led him to Lotus for 1969, teaming up with Hill.
Hill had joined Jim Clark at Lotus two years earlier and did the development work on the pioneering Cosworth DFV-engined 49. After Clark’s death in early 1968, Hill brought some consolation to Lotus by winning his second world championship.
In 1969 Rindt broke his Grand Prix victory duck and out-scored Hill by 22 points to 19. But Hill was seriously injured in a massive crash in the penultimate race of the year at Watkins Glen caused by a burst tyre.
To the surprise of his doctors he recovered to score a point on his return in the first race of 1970. But he never won another F1 race.
This was to be Rindt’s championship year as he won five times and amassed a considerable points lead. But the season took a tragic turn as Rindt crashed and lost his life at Monza.
His lead in the championship was so great that none of his rivals were able to beat him in the remaining races, and so he became the only driver to win the title posthumously.
Hill remained in F1 for another five years, first with Brabham and then with his own team. But this lengthy postscript to his career was largely devoid of success. In a cruel twist of fate, he lost his life shortly after concluding his 18th year in F1.
Which of these drivers should go through to the next round of the Champion of Champions? Vote for which you think was best below and explain who you voted for and why in the comments.
|Graham Hill||Jochen Rindt|
|Second in title year/s||Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart||Jacky Ickx|
|Teams||Lotus, BRM, Brabham, Embassy||Brabham, Cooper, Lotus|
|Notable team mates||Richie Ginther, Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark||Jack Brabham, Richard Attwood, John Miles|
|Wins||14 (8.00%)||6 (10.00%)|
|Poles||13 (7.43%)||10 (16.67%)|
|Modern points per start1||6.02||5.97|
|% car failures2||33.14||55.00|
|Modern points per finish3||9.00||13.26|
|Notes||Narrowly lost 1964 title to John Surtees after being hit by Lorenzo Bandini||Joined Brabham after three years with struggling Cooper|
|Won second title in 1968 following team mate Jim Clark’s death||Won first race after joining Lotus in 1969|
|Badly injured in 1969 crash at Watkins Glen||The only driver to win the title posthumously|
|Bio||Graham Hill||Jochen Rindt|
1 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of races they started
2 The percentage of races in which they were not classified due to a mechanical failure
3 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of starts in which they did not suffer a race-ending mechanical failure
Which was the better world champion driver?
- Graham Hill (62%)
- Jochen Rindt (38%)
Total Voters: 525
Read the F1 Fanatic Champion of Champions introduction for more information and remember to check back tomorrow for the next round.
Have you voted in the previous rounds of Champion of Champions yet? Find them all here:
Champion of Champions
- Ayrton Senna voted Champion of Champions by F1 Fanatic readers
- Champion of Champions in stats
- Champion of Champions Final: Senna vs Schumacher
- Ayrton Senna vs Juan Manuel Fangio
- Michael Schumacher vs Alain Prost
- Ayrton Senna vs Jack Brabham
- Juan Manuel Fangio vs Jackie Stewart
- Alain Prost vs Niki Lauda
- Jim Clark vs Michael Schumacher
- Jack Brabham vs Lewis Hamilton
Images © Brian Waddell (Hill), John Evans (Rindt)