THE SIXTIES by Luca Dal Monte

In Formula 1, the 1960s are the triumph of Made in England. Ferrari manages to win two world titles, but the entire decade is marked by the consolidation of power by British teams. These are the years of innovators, of drivers who become constructors, of a way of racing that breaks with the past. Constructors disappear. Engine suppliers arrive, to whom teams turn for their cars.

The new decade opens just as the previous one closed. Jack Brabham and Cooper with a Climax engine once again seize the two World Drivers' and Constructors' Championship titles. Following the T51 model comes the T53. But the music doesn’t change. From mid-June to late August, the Australian wins five consecutive Grand Prix races – in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Portugal – and seals the title. Stirling Moss wins two Grand Prix races, Bruce McLaren one. They too drive the unbeatable Cooper-Climax.

The following year, Enzo Ferrari finally accepts the revolution brought to Formula 1 by John Cooper. The 156 is Ferrari's first single-seater with a mid-engine. The drivers of the Prancing Horse battle among themselves and with Moss, who meanwhile has switched to driving a Lotus, still with a Climax engine and still for Rob Walker's team. Moss, German Wolfgang von Trips, and American Phil Hill each win two races. Phil Hill becomes world champion on the day of the tragedy at Monza during which his German teammate loses his life. The 1961 season is also marked by the debut victory of Italian driver Giancarlo Baghetti at the wheel of a Ferrari 156 privately entered by the Sant’Ambroeus team.

Ferrari repeats its success in 1964 when English motorcycle ace John Surtees becomes world champion at the wheel of a 158. And it is perhaps worth noting that the Maranello team participates in the last two races of the season with the white and blue national livery of the United States. Enzo Ferrari has quarrelled with the Italian federation over homologation issues, sending Surtees' and Lorenzo Bandini's two cars overseas for the final two races of the year to be entered to the United States and Mexican Grand Prix by Luigi Chinetti's North American Racing Team, the American importer of the Prancing Horse. But apart from 1964, the rest of the 1960s belong to English teams.

The first is BRM, which, unlike other English teams, also builds its own engine. Englishman Graham Hill dominates, winning four races and becoming world champion. But another English team and driver also burst onto the scene. They are the Lotus of ingenious designer Colin Chapman and driver Jim Clark. In 1962, Clark and the Climax-powered Lotus triumph in three Grand Prix races and finish as runners-up in the world championship. But the following year, the dominance of the Clark-Lotus duo is absolute: seven victories out of ten races, seven pole positions, six fastest laps. The car that Chapman designs for Clark is the formidable Lotus 25, the first single-seater with a monocoque chassis in Formula 1 history.

Clark and Lotus repeat their success in 1965. The duel is once again between Clark and Hill, between Lotus-Climax and BRM. Once again, the Scotsman comes out on top. The car is the Lotus 33, an evolution of the 25. There are six victories, as well as six pole positions and fastest race laps. Hill is the runner-up in the world championship. But in the meantime, a second Scotsman is making his mark. His name is Jackie Stewart, and at the wheel of a BRM P261, he wins the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

In 1966, Jack Brabham returns to the limelight and to victory, winning his third personal world title. But this time he does it at the wheel of a car bearing his name, the Brabham BT19 and, later, the BT20. This is the first and only time this happens, although many drivers will now try their hand at being constructors. The engine is Australian like the driver and constructor, the Repco V8. Brabham wins four consecutive Grand Prix races. The others are left with crumbs. Ludovico Scarfiotti wins with the Ferrari 312/66 at Monza. A Brabham is also world champion in 1967, but it is New Zealander Denny Hulme who takes the title, and at the expense of the team owner, who is the runner-up. Three cars alternate throughout the season, the BT19, BT20, and BT 24.

In 1967, the engine that will influence Formula 1 for the next fifteen years arrives on the scene. It is the Ford-Cosworth V8 developed by English technicians Keith Duckworth and Mike Costin. Chapman has it exclusively for the first year, but from the following season, it is available to anyone who wants to buy it. However, it is Lotus that maximizes its great qualities. With Clark killed in April during a Formula 2 race, Graham Hill becomes world champion for the second time. His Lotus 49 is the first single-seater to abandon the national livery used until then and to be painted in the colours of a sponsor.

The decade closes with Jackie Stewart's first world title. The Scotsman dominates the season with six victories and wins the title at the wheel of the Ford-Cosworth-powered Matra MS80.