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Remembering Jochen Rindt, one of F1's greats

1970 Formula 1 world champion Jochen Rindt at Monza

© F1-Photo.com / Cahier Archive

Jochen Rindt holds a unique position in the annals of Formula 1 - but it's not a happy one. The 28-year-old Austrian driver is the only man to have been crowed world champion posthumously.

In 1970 Rindt was driving for Team Lotus alongside John Miles. He won the Monaco Grand Prix with what his race engineer Herbie Blash called "the race of his life" after Jack Brabham crashed out on the last corner of the final lap.

Engine failure put him out of the Belgian Grand Prix, but he then took four victories back-to-back in the Netherlands, France, Britain and Germany. When he arrived at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix, Rindt (pictured above, with Lotus boss Colin Chapman) was leading the championship.

Tragically, during practice at Monza on September 5, Rindt crashed heavily at the approach to the Parabolica. His car had suffered a right front brake shaft failure. He hit a stanchion head on, and died of throat injuries inflicted by his seat harness.

There were still four races remaining in the season, but no one was able to catch up with Rindt in the world championship standings. He duly won the title by five points from Ferrari's Jacky Ickx. The trophy was presented to his widow Nina by Jackie Stewart in Paris in November.

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