• Argentine Grand Prix

Reigning champion Fittipaldi lays down his marker

ESPNF1 Staff
January 12, 1975
Emerson Fittipaldi leads Ronnie Peterson on his way to victory © Sutton Images

Defending champion Emerson Fittipaldi had a successful start to 1975 by winning the Argentine Grand Prix in Buenos Aires. James Hunt drove his best race yet to finish second in his Hesketh, and the partisan crowd were delighted with Carlos Reutemann's third place.

It was a relatively trouble-free race, but despite pole position going to the Shadow of Jean-Pierre Jarier he ended up a non-starter when his car expired on the green flag lap with a broken gearbox. It left Carlos Pace alone on the first row of the grid.

Reutemann led away in the Brabham and was cheered by his fellow countrymen in the packed out stands. Pace regained the lead on the 14th lap and then promptly spun off. Reutemann was then passed by Hunt on the 27th lap but he in turn yielded to Fittipaldi when he spun off after 35 of the 53 laps.

Hunt said afterwards he had been battling handling issues all day. "It was causing a great strain on my concentration and, to my everlasting regret, I eventually let it get the better of me. I got sideways on the corner, half spun, and Emerson nipped through, and that little mistake cost me the race."

Emerson's brother, Wilson, had bad luck in the maiden race for Brazil's first F1 entry, the Copersucar, which burst into flames after hitting a guard rail. Wilson emerged from the black smoke unhurt, waved to the crowd and then gestured angrily in apparent disgust with his performance.

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