"The best purveyor of visual motorsport entertainment bar none, Duke." Henry Hope Frost, Autosport
Brunswick Films were pioneers in the embryonic days of Formula One production, when sponsors controlled the demand for footage, and before the era of global TV coverage began.
They have skilfully combined film from their famous archive - including some previously unseen material - to create reviews that capture the essence of a very special era in Grand Prix racing.
The coverage is not as comprehensive as in modern FOM reviews, but each year features the majority of races and you’ll see all the key drivers and cars on and off the track.
1970 was the year of transition in Grand Prix
racing; the season that pitched the old guard against a feisty new breed of
racers intent on pushing Formula One forward into the new decade. Nothing
symbolised this battle more than the cars used by top contenders: Jacky Ickx’s
Ferrari 312B relied on brute force to compensate for its outdated styling,
whereas Jochen Rindt’s Lotus 72 showed that radical aerodynamics represented a
brave and (potentially) faster way forward.
the technological battles came a fascinating season’s racing.
Stewart was the defending champion, but took nothing for granted. When
different drivers won the first four races, Stewart, and the world, knew that
the championship was wide open. Thrilling battles ensued until triumph and
tragedy came together in one fatal collision: on the 5th of September 1970
championship leader Rindt died during practice at Monza. He was to become the
sport’s first posthumous champion.
1971 Ferrari’s aging flat-12 powered 312 earned
debutant Mario Andretti a welcome win in the first race of the season but once
’69 World Champion Jackie Stewart found his stride with the monocoque Tyrrell
003 it was clear the writing was on the wall for the old-fashioned Ferrari.
season progressed Stewart and Tyrrell developed a magical formula that combined
radical aerodynamics with Stewart’s sublime talent. The season wasn’t just
about drivers and cars, as this review shows. It tells the story of the
intensifying tyre-war as the first slicks hit the tarmac, the year driver
safety became a genuine concern and the year of Niki Lauda’s first Grand Prix.
1972 The Lotus 72 marked a serious
step-change in Formula One car design, although it took a couple of seasons to
iron out the niggles. Arguably it was at its best in 1972 in the hands of John
Player Team Lotus stars Emerson Fittipaldi and Ronnie Peterson.
Wearing the iconic gold and black livery, Fittipaldi proved
an unstoppable force, relegating reigning champion Jackie Stewart to second after
a thrillingly climactic showdown
at Monza – Fittipaldi’s spiritual home. Stewart’s broken clutch put him out of
the race, ensuring Fittipaldi’s place in the record books: at just 25 years of
age, ‘Emmo’ became the, then, youngest-ever World Champion.
1973 saw Jackie
Stewart out for revenge on Lotus after his disappointment the previous year.
With the new Tyrell 006 and aided by the fast and glamorous François Cevert as
his team mate Stewart came out of the blocks as fast as lightning, but not as
quickly as Fittipaldi’s Lotus.
For the rest of the season there was a brilliant
back-and-forth battle between the two teams (by then the biggest in the World)
as they exchanged race wins so there was only one point between them by
mid-season. A thrilling end to the year lay ahead, but heavily tinged by
1974 The events
at Watkins Glen at the end of the ’73 season led to Jackie Stewart’s retirement
from F1 racing, meaning that, along with the brilliant Brazilian, Emerson
Fittipaldi, now driving for the McLaren-Ford team nobody started in 1974 as
What followed was a sensational year of racing as a host of racers, old and new, flung
themselves into the battle for the Championship. By the final race of the
season Emerson Fittipaldi, Clay Regazzoni driving for the resurgent Ferrari and
Jody Scheckter (Tyrrell) were locked in a fascinating three-way battle for the
title. It went right down to the very last lap!
1975 With the arrival of the 312T and the rise of
Niki Lauda to the very top, Ferrari was definitely on the ascendant in 1975.
The season got off to a fairly unpredictable start as five different drivers
took wins in the first five races including one-off wins for Jochen Mass and
Carlos Pace (later in the season Vittorio Bambilla also took his only career F1
win), but once Lauda hit his stride with the new car there was no stopping him.
footage of the 312T in full race mode, this review of the season also gives a
good idea of the unsettled atmosphere off-track: safety issues and money
worries well to the fore…
1976 Possibly the most famous season’s racing in the
long history of Formula One. With Lauda dominant and Fittipaldi (2nd
in 1975) lured from McLaren to Copersucar there was a big hole in the British
team’s line-up. A hole that was filled by James Hunt, better known on the grid
as ‘Hunt the Shunt’ for his do-or-die driving style.
Lauda’s horrific crash at the Nürburgring the world thought his title chances
had, almost too literally, gone up in smoke. His brave fight back became an
instant legend, although Hunt’s momentum was too much to overcome by that
1977 Lauda’s return to the cutting edge of the sport
saw him win through consistency rather than flair. Nevertheless, 1977 saw what
must class as one of the greatest returns in motorsport history as the badly
burned Austrian closed the title fight with three races to go, and promptly
Gilles Villeneuve who took over the Ferrari seat and, although very fast,
proved to be quite hard on the relatively fragile F1 machines.
1978 Was the year of Andretti’s domination with the
revolutionary Lotus 79 – and proved to be the team’s swansong as a manufacturer
and force to be reckoned with in F1.
were the Lotus cars that only Ronnie Peterson could challenge Mario for the
title. A seemingly fairly innocuous injury at Monza proved much more dangerous
for Peterson than at first suspected. The Formula One world was once more left
in mourning, and forced to confront the major safety issues that lurked beneath
1979 There was another new World Champion in 1979,
as Jody Scheckter’s patience and resolve was finally rewarded with a strong,
consistent season in the Ferrari 312T4 although the width of the flat-12 was
starting to be a disadvantage in the ground effect era in comparison to the
narrower Ford DFV V-8.
driving for the still fledgling Williams team demonstrated the car’s pace,
winning four out of the last six races. As Jones pointed to the sport’s future,
two greats of its past – Hunt and Lauda – decided to call it a day.
1980 Coming from a season in which he’d won four of
the last six races Alan Jones clearly had momentum on his side. Ferrari on the
otherhand seemed to completely lose their way, suffering what must rank as
their worst ever year in F1: 10 retirements, 10th overall in the
constructors’ championship, no podium finishes at all and failing to qualify
one of their cars at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Ferrari went through their annus horribilis, Williams with Carlos Reutemann and
Jones and Brabham’s Nelson Piquet ran riot, winning 9 of 14 races between them.
But even as these young guns made hay the next big change was on F1’s horizon:
The coming of the turbo-era.