Hill and BRM triumph
Ferrari's star faded in the most dramatic fashion, as BRM and Lotus battled it out for the championship. Graham Hill beat Jim Clark to score his first title win at the beginning of another golden era for the British teams.
The biggest story of the 1962 season occurred in a non- championship race at Goodwood on Easter Monday. Stirling Moss suffered multiple injuries when he crashed his Lotus, and he was never to race at the top level again. Ferrari self-destructed over the winter, as some of the top staff walked out. The team carried on with virtually unchanged cars and drivers Phil Hill and Baghetti.
BRM had a new V8 engine, and Graham Hill was joined by Ginther from Ferrari. Meanwhile, the Climax V8 was the choice of many top teams. Brabham quit Cooper to design his own car, so McLaren became team leader.
Lotus had another new car, the 25, which featured a revolutionary monocoque chassis. Clark and Trevor Taylor were the works drivers. An interesting newcomer was the Lola, entered by the Bowmaker team for John Surtees and Roy Salvadori, while Porsche had a new flat-eight engine for Gurney and Bonnier.
The season opened at Zandvoort in May. Graham Hill scored his first win, and the first for BRM since Bonnier's victory at the same track three years earlier. Taylor finished second in only his second grand prix. McLaren won at Monaco, chased home by Phil Hill in the Ferrari driver's best race of the year.
Spa was a historic occasion, as it marked the first win for Jim Clark. Three marques had won the first three races, and it became four when Gurney gave Porsche its maiden victory at Rouen - but only after three leaders, Clark, Surtees and Graham Hill, had all retired.
Clark became the first repeat winner, dominating the British Grand Prix at Aintree ahead of Surtees and McLaren. Surtees continued his good form at the Nurburgring, finishing second behind Graham Hill's BRM, and just ahead of Gurney's Porsche.
Monza was the turning point in the title battle, for Graham Hill and Ginther gave BRM a one-two after a thrilling race, and Clark failed to finish. Clark fought back at Watkins Glen, heading Graham Hill home. For the first time the finale was held at East London in South Africa in December. Clark took pole position, and was leading the race until his engine failed.
Graham Hill took the win and the championship crown. It was to be BRM's only success. McLaren finished second, and took third in the points after a consistent season as Cooper's top man. It had been a poor year for Ferrari, and the team did not even enter the two final races. Even worse, up-and-coming star driver Rodriguez, who finished fourth at Spa, was killed in practice for the non-championship Mexican Grand Prix. He was just 20.