The 1961 Formula One season was the 15th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1961 World Championship of Drivers and the 1961 International Cup for F1 Manufacturers, which were contested concurrently from 14 May to 8 October over an eight race series. The season also included numerous non-championship races for Formula One cars.
Phil Hill of Ferrari won his only Drivers' Championship after his teammate and rival Wolfgang von Trips was killed at the Italian Grand Prix, the penultimate race of the season. Ferrari won its first F1 manufacturers' title.
The first year of the 1.5-litre formula was dominated by a well-prepared Ferrari team. Only Stirling Moss, in an outdated Lotus, was able to beat the Ferraris on two tracks where his skills offset the Ferrari power advantage. Giancarlo Baghetti in a privately entered Ferrari won the French Grand Prix on his championship debut, the only driver to have done so other than Nino Farina, winner of the first F1 World Championship race. Baghetti had also won his only two previous Formula One races, the non-championship events at Syracuse and Naples, but the French race was his only win in the World Championship. The contest for the championship between Ferrari's leading drivers, Phil Hill and Wolfgang von Trips, ended in tragedy when von Trips collided with Jim Clark at Monza, killing the Ferrari driver and 14 spectators. Hill went on to win the championship, the first American to do so. With the change of formula and the introduction of the United States Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 was dropped from the championship.
The number of points awarded to a race winner was increased to nine for the World Championship of Drivers.
Besides von Trips, two other drivers died during this season: Briton Shane Summers during the non-championship Silver City Trophy event at Brands Hatch, and Italian Giulio Cabianca during a test at the Modena Autodrome.
The following eight races counted towards the World Championship of Drivers and the International Cup for F1 Manufacturers.
|Rnd||Race||Circuit||Date||Pole position||Fastest lap||Winning driver||Constructor||Tyre||Report|
|1||Monaco Grand Prix||Monaco||14 May||Stirling Moss|| Richie Ginther
|2||Dutch Grand Prix||Zandvoort||22 May||Phil Hill||Jim Clark||Wolfgang von Trips||Ferrari||D||Report|
|3||Belgian Grand Prix||Spa-Francorchamps||18 June||Phil Hill||Richie Ginther||Phil Hill||Ferrari||D||Report|
|4||French Grand Prix||Reims||2 July||Phil Hill||Phil Hill||Giancarlo Baghetti||Ferrari||D||Report|
|5||British Grand Prix||Aintree||15 July||Phil Hill||Tony Brooks||Wolfgang von Trips||Ferrari||D||Report|
|6||German Grand Prix||Nürburgring||6 August||Phil Hill||Phil Hill||Stirling Moss||Lotus-Climax||D||Report|
|7||Italian Grand Prix||Monza||10 September||Wolfgang von Trips||Giancarlo Baghetti||Phil Hill||Ferrari||D||Report|
|8||United States Grand Prix||Watkins Glen||8 October||Jack Brabham||Jack Brabham||Innes Ireland||Lotus-Climax||D||Report|
The Moroccan Grand Prix, originally supposed to be run on 29 October as the last race of the year, was cancelled for the third year in a row for monetary reasons.
Teams and drivers
1961 World Championship of Drivers – final standings
- * Hill's 3rd-place finish (4 points) at Nürburgring was excluded from the final standings because only the best 5 results counted towards the Championship this year. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points actually scored.
- Italics indicate fastest lap
- Bold indicates pole position
1961 International Cup for F1 Manufacturers – final standings
Points were awarded on an 8–6–4–3–2–1 basis to the first six finishers at each race. However, a manufacturer only received points for its highest placed car and only the best five results from the eight races were retained.
|—||De Tomaso-Alfa Romeo||WD||Ret||0|
- Only the best 5 results counted towards the Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
- Bold results counted to Championship totals.
Non-championship races review
Other Formula One races also held in 1961, which did not count towards the World Championship.
Notes and references
- 1974 FIA Yearbook, grey section, page 118
- 1974 FIA Yearbook, grey section, page 120
- 1974 FIA Yearbook, grey section, pages 120–121
- "Grand Prix Cancelled". Autosport. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
- radnor redivivus (2006-01-11). "RADNORIAN: Mrs Louise Bryden-Brown". Tredelyn.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
- Automobile Year 1961–1962, page 116
- Whitelock, Mark. One and a Half Litre Grand Prix Racing, 1961–65: Low Power, High Tech. pp. 15, 34. Retrieved 2015-06-10.