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OBSCURE F1 A-Z: WOLFGANG VON TRIPS


In this 26 part series of posts I will be going through the alphabet and for each letter, a profile piece on an obscure driver - some you may have heard of before some you may never knew even sat in an F1 car let alone raced one. I have chosen a driver for each letter choosing them based on their surnames.

Von Trips raced in F1 in some of the most dangerous years - the German driver raced from 1956 up until his death in 1961. During his time in F1 Von Trips raced for Ferrari, Porsche and Scuderia Centro Sud. He entered just 29 races starting 27.

His first Formula One race was at the 1956 British Grand Prix - where his finishing position or if he even started the race is unknown. Five years on from his 'debut' Von Trips took victory at the 1961 Dutch Grand Prix the second race that year after leading all 75 laps he finished just 0.9 seconds ahead of Ferrari teammate Phil Hill.

Three races later at the 1961 British Grand Prix held at Aintree Von Trips once again beat Ferrari teammate Phil Hill to the chequered flag but this time by 46 seconds after 75 laps. In the penultimate race of the 1961 season at Monza - Von Trips came into the weekend leading the championship.

Unfortunately for the German driver he would never walk away from this race weekend after a first lap crash with the Lotus of Jim Clark caused the German's car to fly up the banking on the circuit at around 100mph throwing Von Trips from the car and hitting 15 spectators killing three. Von Trips suffered fatal injuries from the accident and was killed - he laid on the side of the track as the rest of the grid flew past him.

Before his untimely death Von Trips achieved

0 Fastest Laps

1 Pole Position

56 Career Points

6 Podiums &

2 Wins

1961 should have been the year Von Trips won the Drivers World Championship.

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