- September 10 down the years
Double tragedy at MonzaWhat happened on this day in Formula One history?
The penultimate race of the season was set for a classic showdown as Ferrari drivers Phil Hill and Taffy von Trips went head-to-head in a duel for the drivers' title at Monza. But the racing was overshadowed by a horrific accident at the start when Jim Clark and von Trips collided as they approached the Parabolica, an area considered so dangerous several British drivers had boycotted the grand prix a year earlier . Clark escaped unharmed but von Trips' car hit a flimsy fence and was thrown into a roll, killing the driver and 14 spectators. Hill went on to win and secure the drivers' title, overtaking von Trips who had gone into the race with a slender lead. He become America's first F1 champion but his victory was overshadowed by the tragedy.
Another of motorsport's darkest days at the same circuit when three drivers died during the three-heat Monza Grand Prix. While leading the second heat, 41-year-old Giuseppe Campari, a legendary figure who was set to retire at the end of the season, skidded on an oil slick and was killed instantly as his car hit a wall, left the track and overturned. Baconin Borzacchini, lying in second, tried to avoid the wreck and died when his own car, along with two others, veered off the circuit. In the final heat Count Stanislas Czaykowski crashed at the same spot and burned to death when trapped upside down in his blazing car.
Clark lined up at Monza again and this time the spectators at the circuit were treated to a truly great drive. Clark led from the start but a flat tyre on his Lotus forced him to stop and he lost a whole lap to the leaders. Clark then drove out of his skin to make up the deficit and re-take the lead. He looked set for a remarkable victory before fuel ump problems on the final lap dropped him to third behind John Surtees and Jack Brabham.
Niki Lauda won the Italian Grand Prix from John Watson and Carlos Reutemann but the race will be remembered for a multi-car pile-up on the first corner that ultimately cost the life of the supremely-talented Ronnie Peterson. Riccardo Patrese collided with James Hunt, setting off a chain-reaction that launched Peterson's Lotus into the barriers, tearing it in half before it burst into flames. Hunt ran back and braved the flames to drag Peterson clear of the wreck with Clay Regazzoni. With Peterson in hospital, Andretti was champion but there was no celebrating. It seemed that Peterson's injuries were not dangerous and he had not been burned. But that night he underwent an operation on his legs. There were complications with a clot forming in his blood stream and the Swede slipped into a coma and died early the next morning.
The Italian Grand Prix marked a milestone in Kimi Raikkonen's F1 career as the Finn made his 100th grand prix start. There was to be no fairytale victory, however, as Michael Schumacher, running two laps longer than Raikkonen, made his tactical advantage count to beat the McLaren man to the chequered flag.
Schumacher went head-to-head with another McLaren driver at the Italian Grand Prix, beating championship rival Mika Hakkinen to the finish line. In doing so, Schumacher equalled the great Ayrton Senna's tally of 41 grand prix victories but it was a sad day for the sport as trackside marshal Paolo Gislimberti was killed by Jarno Trulli's detached left rear tyre after an accident involving the Italian and Heinz-Harald Frentzen.
Johnny Herbert was a driver with a point to prove, shortly after discovering that his services were no longer required at the Benetton team for the following season. And the popular Englishman did just that, making the most of the misfortune of others to take his second grand prix victory. David Coultard had been unstoppable in qualifying only to inexplicably spin off on the parade lap. A midfield pile-up meant that Coulthard took the re-start in the spare, but a wheel-bearing failure spun him into the sand trap. Jean Alesi then took the lead from Ferrari team-mate Gerhard Berger and when a camera mounted on Alesi's car fell off into Berger's path, smashing his front suspension, Alesi led from Herbert. But with eight laps to go, the racing gods smiled on Herbert as a wheel-bearing failure put the Frenchman out and Herbert cruised to an unlikely victory.
Emerson Fittipaldi was crowned world champion after winning the Italian Grand Prix from Mike Hailwood and Denny Hulme. Hulme had needed to win the final three races of the season with Fittipaldi failing to score in any of them to win the title. It was a tall order at best but Fittipaldi made the equation academic by taking the race win and winning the title in style.