• Italian Grand Prix

Hill tightens his grip on title

ESPNF1 Staff
September 16, 1962
Willy Mairesse completes another lap on his return from injury at Monza © Sutton Images

Graham Hill continued his charge towards the world championship with a convincing win in the Italian Grand Prix. After the death of Wolfgang von Trips and 14 spectators the previous year, the infamous banking section of the Monza circuit was finally abandoned, so the race was run on the shorter 3.57 mile version of the track.

Jim Clark took pole position with Hill and Richie Ginther alongside him in their dark green V8 BRMs. Clark sped off into an early lead, but was soon overtaken by Hill and retired on the 14th lap with gearbox and electrical problems. John Surtees, always a favourite in Italy, took up the chase, and found himself in a major battle with Ginther. For 30 laps the two were neck and neck, driving almost side by side at times, until Surtees was forced to drop out with engine trouble.

The two British BRMs were now leading the race, while a tremendous scrap for third was taking place behind them, between Bruce McLaren in a Cooper and the two Ferraris of Willy Mairesse (back racing for the first time since his accident at Spa) and Giancarlo Baghetti. At the finish McLaren was just inches ahead of Mairesse, with Baghetti, who had spun on the 60th lap, fighting his way back up to fifth.

But it was Hill's day, driving serenely to win, nearly 30 seconds ahead of team-mate Ginther, ensuring the Lincolnshire BRMs recorded their first one-two result - undoubtedly their finest hour and confirming their complete and utter dominance of the Ferraris.

Hill was now looking a good bet for the world championship title with 36 points and only two races remaining. McLaren was second on 22, with Clark just one point further back.

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