1976

Formula One Legends: World Championship 1976

The 27th Formula One world championship was composed of sixteen races and ran from January 25th and ended on October 24th.

Some changes among the cars, with Wolf-Williams substituting Heskeths and the Boro-Ford team which was renamed Ensign-Ford.

There’s a team which arrived with a real news, Tyrrell with a six wheeled car: many skeptics criticized the technical choice made by Tyrrell but with when in Sweden, Jody Scheckter won the race everyone turned to admire the 6 wheeled car.

1976 championship will be remembered for the several political decisions taken during the year, with disqualifications and talks in the boxes which influenced the championship destiny.

The championship was a battle in between James Hunt and Niki Lauda: in Spain Hunt, who had won the race was disqualified for irregularity, but this decision was then reverted on month later.

Also in Britain Hunt was disqualified again, for having restarted the race with a spare car and as such infringing the rules. Ferrari made an appeal, even if this would have caused to its own driver Regazzoni to be disqualified too, since he had also restarted the race with a spare car. But that was enough to give Niki Lauda, the driver whom Ferrari was supporting the most, the final victory of the race. Lauda seemed to have all the chances to win another title, but during the race in West Germany had a terrible crash and most of the spectators thought he was actually death.

That moment all the hopes of Ferrari seemed to vanish, but Lauda was able to come back for the Italian GP, where incredibly arrived fourth, while in the same race Hunt went relegated to the back of the grid for, once again, irregularities. Lauda and hunt reached the last race with the Austrian leading with three points. In Japan the last race was conditioned by an heavy rain: Lauda couldn’t see out of his helmet and decided to give up due to this horrible weather conditions. Mario Andretti won the race and Hunt, finishing third, was able to grab the final title for one point. Scheckter arrived third at the end of the championship, Depailler fourth and Clay Regazzoni again fifth.

nlaudainjured.jpg

Grand Prix Date Winning Driver Team Laps Time
Brazil 25/01/1976 Niki Lauda Ferrari 40 1:45’16.78
South Africa 06/03/1976 Niki Lauda Ferrari 78 1:42’18.4
USA West 28/03/1976 Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 80 1:53’18.471
Spain 02/05/1976 James Hunt McLaren-Ford 75 1:42’20.43
Belgium 16/05/1976 Niki Lauda Ferrari 70 1:42’53.23
Monaco 30/05/1976 Niki Lauda Ferrari 78 1:59’51.47
Sweden 13/06/1976 Jody Scheckter Tyrrell-Ford 72 1:46’53.729
France 04/07/1976 James Hunt McLaren-Ford 54 1:40’58.60
Great Britain 18/07/1976 Niki Lauda Ferrari 76 1:44’19.66
Germany 01/08/1976 James Hunt McLaren-Ford 14 1:41’42.7
Austria 15/08/1976 John Watson Penske-Ford 54 1:30’07.86
Netherlands 29/08/1976 James Hunt McLaren-Ford 75 1:44’52.09
Italy 12/09/1976 Ronnie Peterson March-Ford 52 1:30’35.6
Canada 03/10/1976 James Hunt McLaren-Ford 80 1:40’09.626
USA East 10/10/1976 James Hunt McLaren-Ford 59 1:42’40.741
Japan 24/10/1976 Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford 73 1:43’58.86

World Championship Drivers Standing

1              James Hunt           69

2              Niki Lauda              68

3              Jody Scheckter     49

4              Patrick Depailler  39

5              Clay Regazzoni     31

6              Mario Andretti    22

7              John Watson         20

8              Jacques Laffite    20

9              Jochen Mass         19

10           Gunnar Nilsson    11

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