- Canadian Grand Prix
Ickx inherits comfortable victory to maintain title hopes
With Lotus not competing in the Canadian Grand Prix after Jochen Rindt's death at Monza two weeks previously, Jacky Ickx capitalised on Jackie Stewart's early retirement to win comfortably at the Mont-Tremblant circuit.
It had been reported that Rindt's fatal accident at Monza was caused by a faulty half-shaft on his works Lotus 72. The team decided not to race again until they had re-designed and installed a new half-shaft.
Stewart, driving the new Tyrrell-Ford for the first time, set a blistering pace in practice, beating Ickx's Ferrari to pole position by a tenth of a second. The stewards had given Stewart an hour to choose which car to race, and he decided on the extra speed and better handling of the Tyrrell over the March. He did so in spite of his team warning that "reliability could be the key" to winning on the bumpy Canadian circuit.
Stewart made a great start and swept into a healthy lead over Ickx and Pedro Rodriguez, who had burst through from seventh on the grid to third. The Tyrrell proved to be extremely fast, but, as predicted, not very reliable, and on the 32nd lap suffered a front axle failure, ending any chance Stewart had of catching Rindt in the drivers' championship.
"The car was absolutely fantastic", Stewart said after dropping out. "I never had to drive hard, never had to extend myself or the car, and when I got 15 and 16 seconds in the lead I was easing off." He had set a new lap record in the first ten laps, with an average speed of more than 102 miles per hour.
Stewart's retirement handed Ickx a lead of nearly half a minute over Clay Regazzoni, also in a Ferrari. They duly came home in first and second, moving Ickx to second in the championship, but still 17 points behind Rindt, meaning he had to win the last two races of the season to snatch the title.