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Karl Jochen Rindt (April 18, 1942 Mainzmarker, Germanymarker - September 5, 1970 Monzamarker, Italymarker) was a Germanmarker racing driver that represented Austriamarker over his entire career. He is the only driver to posthumously win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship (in ), after being killed in practice for the Italian Grand Prix. Away from Formula One Rindt was highly successful in other single-seat formulae, as well as sports car racing. In he won the 24 Hours of Le Mansmarker race, driving a Ferrari 250LM in partnership with American Masten Gregory.

Biography

Cooper-Maserati T86, of the type driven by Jochen Rindt in 1967
Jochen Rindt at the Nürburgring in 1969


Jochen Rindt was born in Mainzmarker, Germanymarker, but after his parents were killed in a bombing raid in Hamburg during the Second World War, he moved to live with his grandparents in Grazmarker, Austriamarker, where he grew up and started motor racing. Although Rindt never became an Austrian citizen, he did drive his entire career under an Austrian racing licence.

Despite being very successful in Formula 2 (by winning for instance the 1964 London Trophy), Rindt kept on choosing the wrong F1 cars. Rindt made his Formula One debut for Rob Walker Racing Team in the 1964 Austrian Grand Prix. It was to be his only Grand Prix of the year. From 1965 to 1967, Rindt raced for Cooper Car Company, scoring 32 points in 29 races. In 1968, Rindt raced for Brabham, but Rindt's season wasn't what he had hoped for, due to technical problems. Rindt also raced in the Indianapolis 500marker in both 1967 and 1968, but finished no better than 24th.Rindt was noted for being an exceptionally fast driver with superb car control and reflexes, but rarely had a car equal of his talent until 1969 when Rindt moved to Lotus and it was with Lotus that Rindt's career took off. Rindt clinched the first Grand Prix victory of his career in the Grand Prix of the USA in Watkins Glenmarker. Rindt finished that year with 22 points, giving him fourth place in the World Drivers' Championship. Rindt occasionally had a fraught relationship with Colin Chapman as he preferred a stable technological footing as opposed to Chapman's need to innovate and invent, but the two forged a successful partnership. Rindt's 1970 season started with a dramatic last corner win at Monaco. Thereafter armed with perhaps the greatest Formula one car of all time, the Lotus 72, Rindt won four more Grands Prix in The Netherlands, France, Britain and Germany that year.

During practice for the 1970 Italian Grand Prix in Monzamarker, near Milanmarker, Chapman and Rindt agreed to follow the lead of Jackie Stewart (Tyrrell) and Denny Hulme (McLaren) and run without wings in an attempt to reduce drag and gain a higher top speed. The more powerful Flat-12 Ferraris of Jacky Ickx and Clay Regazzoni had been up to faster than the Lotus at the previous race in Austria. Rindt's team mate John Miles was unhappy with the wingless setup in Friday practice, reporting that the car 'wouldn't run straight'. Rindt reported no such problems, and Chapman recalled that Rindt reported the car to be 'almost 800 rpm faster on the straight' without wings.

On the following day, Rindt ran with higher gear ratios fitted to his car to take advantage of the reduced drag, increasing the cars' potential top speed to . On Rindt's fifth lap of the final practice session, Hulme, who was following, reported that under braking for the Parabolica corner: 'Jochen's car weaved slightly and then swerved sharp left into the crash barrier.' A joint in the crash barrier parted, the suspension dug in under the barrier and the car hit a stanchion head on. The front end of the car was destroyed. Although Rindt was rushed to hospital, he was pronounced dead. Rindt had only recently acquiesced to wearing a simple lap belt, and had slid underneath where the belt buckle cut his throat. He was the second Lotus team leader to be killed in two years, as Jim Clark had been killed in 1968. An Italian court later found that the accident was initiated by a failure of the car's right front brakeshaft, but that Rindt's death was caused by poorly installed crash barriers.

Rindt is buried at the central cemetery (Zentralfriedhof) in Grazmarker.

At the time he died Rindt had won five of that year's ten Grands Prix, which meant that he had a strong lead in the World Drivers Championship. At that stage he theoretically could have been overtaken by Ferrari driver Jacky Ickx. However Rindt's Lotus team mate, Emerson Fittipaldi, won the penultimate Grand Prix of the year at Watkins Glen, depriving Ickx of the points he needed to win the title, and so Rindt became motor racing's first posthumous World Champion. The trophy was presented to his Finnish widow Nina Rindt nee Lincoln, daughter of famous Finnish racer, Curt Lincoln. In a tragic twist of irony, it was learned that Jochen had promised Nina he would retire from F1 if he won the world championship.

Complete World Championship Formula One results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)
Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 WDC Points
1964 Rob Walker Racing Team Brabham BT11 BRM V8 MON

NED

BEL

FRA

GBR

GER

AUT
Ret
ITA

USA

MEX

NC 0
1965 Cooper Car Company Cooper T73 Climax V8 RSA
Ret
13th 4
Cooper T77 Climax V8 MON
DNQ
BEL
11
FRA
Ret
GBR
14
NED
Ret
GER
4
ITA

8
USA

6
MEX

Ret
1966 Cooper Car Company Cooper T81 Maseratimarker V12 MON
Ret
BEL
2
FRA
4
GBR
5
NED
Ret
GER
3
ITA

4
USA

2
MEX
Ret
3rd 22 (24)
1967 Cooper Car Company Cooper T81 Maseratimarker V12 RSA

Ret
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
13th 6
Cooper T81B Maseratimarker V12 NED
Ret
BEL
4
FRA
Ret
USA

Ret
MEX

Cooper T86 Maseratimarker V12 GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
ITA

4
1968 Brabham Racing Organisation Brabham BT24 Repco V8 RSA
3
ESP
Ret
MON
Ret
12th 8
Brabham BT26 Repco V8 BEL
Ret
NED
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER

3
ITA

Ret
CAN

Ret
USA

Ret
MEX

Ret
1969 Gold Leaf Team Lotus Lotus 49B Ford V8 RSA

Ret
ESP
Ret
MON

NED
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
4
GER
Ret
ITA

2
CAN
3
USA

1
MEX

Ret
4th 22
1970 Gold Leaf Team Lotus Lotus 49C Ford V8 RSA

13
MON
1
BEL
Ret
1st 45
Lotus 72 Ford V8 ESP
Ret
Lotus 72C Ford V8 NED
1
FRA
1
GBR
1
GER
1
AUT
Ret
ITA

DNS
CAN

USA

MEX



Notes



References



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