• Spanish Grand Prix

Lauda ends Ferrari's drought

Laurence Edmondson April 28, 1974
Ferrari team manager Luca di Montezemolo jumps for joy as Niki Lauda crosses the line © Sutton Images

Niki Lauda took his maiden victory during a wet/dry race at Jarama, and with it secured Ferrari's first win since 1972. It was a triumphant one-two for the Italian team, with Clay Regazzoni finishing over half a minute behind his team-mate.

It was raining at the start and Ronnie Peterson's Lotus led in the early stages after starting second on the grid. Lauda trailed in Peterson's spray, while Regazzoni and Jacky Ickx, in the second Lotus, kept a watching brief.

Midway through the race the rain abated and the track started to dry, prompting a flurry of pit stops. Amid the stopping and starting Peterson's engine overheated and he retired from the race handing the lead to Lauda. Lotus's challenge soon dissipated altogether when a loose wheel nut meant Ickx had to pit twice, dropping him well down the order.

On lap 38 Arturo Merzario lost control of his Iso-Marlboro and it catapulted over the Armco barriers into a group of spectators - remarkably no one was hurt.

The race finished on lap 84 when it reached its two hour limit and Lauda led Regazzoni across the line with Emerson Fittipaldi, whose car had been misfiring all afternoon, a lap down in third.

Laurence Edmondson is an assistant editor on ESPNF1

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Laurence Edmondson is deputy editor of ESPNF1 Laurence Edmondson grew up on a Sunday afternoon diet of Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell and first stepped in the paddock as a Bridgestone competition finalist in 2005. He worked for ITV-F1 after graduating from university and has been ESPNF1's deputy editor since 2010