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1961 FIA Formula 1 Season (ICM)

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1961 FIA Formula 1 Season (ICM)
Photo Credit: Bernard Cahier.
Champion Constructor: Scuderia Ferrari (IT,1,11)
Putative Constructor: Scuderia Ferrari (IT)
Champion Driver: Phil Hill (US,1,1)
Putative Driver: Phil Hill (US)
Putative Constructor Entry Specification: Model 156 F1 Sharknose, 1.49-liter, six-cylinder vee, light alloy engine, DOHC, three carburetors, five-speed, ventilated disc brakes, steel tubular frame, double wishbone-anti roll bar independent suspension, 205 horsepower (Carlo Chiti).

The FIA amends its Grand Prix formula in 1961 and reduces the displacement restriction for power units to 1.5 liters to encourage more participation from the major manufacturers. Scuderia Ferrari cruises to its first Formula 1 modern era ICM constructors' title as its driver Phil Hill becomes the first American to claim the drivers' crown under tragic circumstances after primary contender and teammate Wolfgang von Trips perishes in a fiery shunt in the penultimate event at Monza in September. The Von Trips shunt also takes the lives of fourteen spectators. F1 makes its inaugural visit to Watkins Glen in October. Departures: Giulio Cabianca, 38, b. Verona, Italy 1923, d. at testing (with two bystanders), Monza, Italy, June. Count Wolfgang von Trips, 33, b. Cologne, Weimar Republic 1928, d. F1 GP Italy, Monza, September. 14 spectators due to Von Trips shunt, d. F1 GP Italy, Monza, September.

HeM applies the Putative Model to all racing seasons for two primary purposes: First, to effectively normalize all racing seasons for empirical comparison across the decades, and second, to step clear of series organizers which score season championships primarily out of commercial interest or to attract manufacturer participation. The Putative Model simply scores all seasons in the same fashion as a standard track and field meeting, with the only purpose of tracking what takes place at the finishing stripe If the Putative Champion differs from the nominal Series Champion, please note the (SC) notation below.

Scuderia Ferrari116     Hill P55
Porsche30     Von Trips44
Lotus Climax28     Moss S28
Walker Lotus Climax27     Gurney27
Cooper Climax16     Ginther20
FISA Ferrari12     Ireland15

Noteworthy 1961 Races

1961 XIX Grand Prix de Monaco Monte Carlo1961 1961 XIX Grand Prix de Monaco At Monaco for the Grand Prix (314.5 kilometers) in May, the race comes to a British Walker Lotus Mk 18 Climax under Stirling Moss (GB) in 2:45:50.1 (average 70.66 mph), under four seconds ahead of a Ferrari driven by Richie Ginther. Moss, unable to convince the major makes to provide him a with competitive entry, moves forward with a year old Lotus and races on to a comfortable victory. Moss ascends as the all-time leader in race wins in the principality with three crosses. Photo Credit: Sutton Images.
1961 X Grote Prijs van Nederland Zandvoort, The Netherlands1961 1961 X Grote Prijs van Nederland At Zandvoort for the Dutch Grand Prix (314.5 kilometers) in May, an Italian Scuderia Ferrari 156 Sharknose under Wolfgang von Trips (DE) takes race honors in 2:01:52.1 (average 96.21 mph), under a second ahead of a companion Ferrari driven by Phil Hill. Von Trips leads wire-to-wire as Ferrari returns to racing form after finally adopting the rear engine configuration. Von Trips stands as the first German driver to win a Grand Prix contest since before World War II. Photo Credit: Attribution Unascertained.
1961 XXI Grote Prijs van Belgie Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium1961 1961 XXI Grote Prijs van Belgie At Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgium Grand Prix (423 kilometers) in June, an Italian Scuderia Ferrari 156 under Phil Hill (US) takes the flag in 2:03:03.8 (average 128.16 mph), under a second ahead of a companion Ferrari in finishing formation. Hill, compelled to drive the race with a pebble lodged into his eye, moves out front after passing teammate Wolfgang von Trips with only six laps remaining before Scuderia Ferrari invokes team orders for both drivers to hold position. Photo Credit: Autosport.
1961 XLVII Grand Prix de l'A.C.F. Reims, France1961 1961 XLVII Grand Prix de l'A.C.F. At Reims for the French Grand Prix (432 kilometers) on a very warm day (90 degrees) in July, an Italian FISA Ferrari 156 under Giancarlo Baghetti (IT) notches a victory in 2:14:17.5 (average 119.79 mph), under a second ahead of a Porsche driven by Dan Gurney. The top-flight Ferraris under the extreme heat begin to fail beginning at Lap 37 and the inexperienced Baghetti, running in his first Formula 1 contest, dices with Dan Gurney in his Porsche for the remaining distance. Baghetti moves out front after passing Gurney with only a few meters remaining on the final circuit as an Italian driver wins a Formula 1 event for the first time since 1954. Baghetti launches one of the most successful career starts in Grand Prix history with a debut victory at Syracuse and a succeeding triumph at Naples before arriving at Reims for his remarkable afternoon. Photo Credit: David Phipps.
1961 XXXII Gran Premio d'Italia Monza, Italy1961 1961 XXXII Gran Premio d'Italia At Monza for the Italian Grand Prix (430 kilometers) in September, an Italian Scuderia Ferrari 156 under Phil Hill (US) crosses first in 2:03:13.0 (average 103.20 mph), under thirty-two seconds ahead of a Porsche entry. Hill moves out front past race leader and teammate Richie Ginther on Lap 13 and in grim fashion coasts to victory after Ginther loses drive ten laps later. The race claims the life of reputed driver Wolfgang von Trips, who tangles with Jim Clark at Parabolica on Lap 2 before his auto careens off the course and into the crowd, killing fourteen spectators along with Von Trips. The somber victory by Hill edges him past the departed von Trips in the points chase and he becomes the first American under tragic circumstances to capture the F1 drivers' title. Recriminations surface afterwards in regards to the tragedy and race organizers subsequently elect to eliminate the high banked section along the Monza track configuration out of concerns for safety. Photo Credit: Attribution Unascertained.
1961 XI Großer Preis der Solitude Stuttgart, West Germany1961 1961 XI Großer Preis der Solitude Near Stuttgart for the Solitude Grand Prix (285 kilometers, non- championship) in July, a British Lotus 21 Climax under Innes Ireland (GB) bests the field in 1:41:04.6 (average 105.27 mph), under a second ahead of a Porsche driven by Jo Bonnier. Bonnier moves past race leader Ireland with only two laps remaining, yet the latter recovers and repasses the Swede on the final homestretch pitch before the finish. Photo Credit: Attribution Unascertained.