Jim CLARK & COLiN CHAPmAN
very different relationship. Rindt wasn’t
prepared to accept Chapman’s judgment on
technical things, especially after his massive
accident when the rear wing broke on his
49B in the Spanish GP at Montjuich Park. He
even wrote to magazines condemning wings.
Chapman went ballistic. The following year,
Rindt refused initially to drive the Lotus 72.
When Mario Andretti returned to
Chapman’s fold in the 1970s, they were
initially hugely successful. But that
relationship, too, could be fractious.
“Working with Colin was no trip to Paris,
you know?” Mario says. “He and I had
monumental arguments. He was getting
more and more downforce out of the car,
but he’d do nothing about its stiffness.”
When Andretti staged a demonstration
of the shortcoming in Spain in 1980,
Chapman went ballistic again. “He hit the
ceiling! He just did not accept the driver
having any kind of an engineering input.”
Perhaps that’s another reason it
worked so well with Clark; he wasn’t
overly technical, as Jack Brabham and
John Surtees will confirm, but accepted
In a report quoted widely by Graham
Gauld in the second edition of his book,
Jim Clark Remembered, Peter Jowitt
made some interesting observations.
Chapman had initiated an enquiry into
Clark’s crash and asked Jowitt, the senior
engineer specializing in military prototype
airplane accidents at the UK’s Experimental
Aircraft Department, to carry it out.
“The accident investigation left a greater
impression upon me than any other that
I have ever done,” Jowitt wrote. “There are
not too many men of the caliber of Jimmy
Clark. I had to revise my view of Colin
Chapman. He knew that he could expect
nothing but the unvarnished result of the
investigation, but was absolutely determined
to have the truth, no matter how hurtful.
I felt that he was being tortured (not a word
I would use very frequently) by the thought
that he had in some way contributed to
the death of a man who was to him very
much more than his team leader.
“After Jimmy’s accident I saw a
Chapman I think very few people saw, or
even suspected existed.”
Jackie Stewart saw a great deal of
Chapman’s relationship with Clark – and it
was one reason why he had not accepted
the former’s invitation to join the team. He
drove a Lotus 33 in the Rand Grand Prix at
Kyalami in late 1964, replacing Clark after
the older Scot had slipped a disc during a
snowball fight at the launch of a revised
Ford Cortina, and had won the second heat
after a DNF in the first. But he was canny
enough to know that there was room for
Clark’s victory at the 1963 Italian GP
sealed a first Formula 1 World
Championship both for himself and his
mentor, Lotus founder Colin Chapman.
New Year’s Eve, 1967,
at the Kyalami Ranch.
Clark (RIGHT) and
Chapman carry out a
pincer attack on Jack
Brabham. The next
day, Clark would take
his 25th and final F1
race win in the 1968
South African GP.