McLaren celebrates 700 GPs - the 100th race
|1975 Brazilian GP - Interlagos, January 26 1975
||Carlos Pace||Brabham-Ford||40 laps in 1hr 44m41.17s||(Grid: 6)|
||Emerson Fittipaldi||McLaren-Ford||+ 5.79s||(2)|
||Jochen Mass||McLaren-Ford||+ 26.66s||(10)|
||Clay Regazzoni||Ferrari||+ 43.28s||(5)|
||Niki Lauda||Ferrari||+ 1m01.88s||(4)|
||James Hunt||Hesketh-Ford||+ 1m05.12s||(7)|
Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd started in a very businesslike fashion – gaining experience building cars for other series before moving into Formula 1. Having founded the team in 1963 and built up his technical squad, Bruce felt ready to enter F1 with a McLaren chassis in 1966, appearing in just four grands prix with the M2B. Designed using aerospace technology and built using the early composite material Mallite, the M2B scored its highest position of sixth at the 1966 US GP at Watkins Glen. Bruce retired from the next race, the Mexican Grand Prix, where our future chairman Ron Dennis was starting his career at Bruce’s former team, Cooper.
We entered six grands prix in 1967, once again as a single-car entry with Bruce driving the BRM-engined M4B. He was running third at Monaco when he had to stop briefly for a new battery, finishing fourth.
In 1968 we ran as a two-car entry for the first time; Bruce was joined by World Champion Denny Hulme. The M7A, powered by the iconic Ford DFV engine, made its debut at the Spanish Grand Prix. Denny and Bruce qualified third and fourth, and Denny finished second. Bruce was running third when his oil pressure dropped – he then took our first win, in Belgium, with Denny scoring two more wins in Italy and Canada. The M7A took another win and three podiums in 1969.
Bruce achieved his last F1 podium before his untimely death at the Spanish Grand Prix in 1970, driving an M14A. Though his accident devastated the team, we finished the season with three more podium finishes thanks to Denny.
Mark Donohue claimed another podium in 1971 aboard an M19A, and Denny set our first fastest lap, but our next win would not come until 1972 when Denny triumphed at Kyalami with Peter Revson in third place. Although Lotus was the dominant force in 1972, our M19 chassis delivered eight podium finishes that year as well as our first pole position, plus another two podiums and a pole position in 1973 before we brought in the M23, which would deliver World Championships with Emerson Fittipaldi in 1974 and James Hunt in 1976.
By the time Emerson finished second in the 1975 Brazilian Grand Prix, our 100th race and the second round of the 1975 season, the M23 had notched up eight wins and 10 podium finishes…
Elsewhere in 1975
In a public display of détente between the USA and the USSR, Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft are launched and spend 44 hours docked in orbit conducting collaborative scientific experiments. But the first job is for astronaut Tom Stafford and cosmonaut Alexey Leonov (the first man to walk in space, in 1965) to shake hands through the open hatch. It is the last mission for the Apollo spacecraft following the cancellation of manned visits to the moon.
In the USA, the principal Watergate conspirators receive jail sentences. Having pardoned former President Richard Nixon for his part in the Watergate affair in September 1974, President Gerald Ford grants a posthumous pardon to Confederate general Robert E Lee.
In the UK, the rate of inflation hits 25 per cent and Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman to be elected leader of the Conservative Party, defeating Edward Heath. Silent movie star Charlie Chaplin receives his knighthood from Queen Elizabeth. The Bay City Rollers spend six weeks at number one with Bye Bye Baby, only to have that achievement eclipsed in November when Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody hits the top and stays there for nine weeks.
Unemployed teacher Wilhelmus de Rijk vandalises the Rembrandt painting The Night Watch at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Steve Harris forms the rock band Iron Maiden, but among the biggest hits of the year in the US Billboard chart are Mandy by Barry Manilow and Jive Talkin’ by the Bee Gees.
Muhammad Ali is named Heavyweight Boxing Championship of the World after beating Joe Frazier in the Thrilla in Manila.
Bill Gates and Paul Allen leave Harvard to found Microsoft, and the home entertainment format wars begin in earnest as Sony introduces its Betamax videotape format in competition with JVC/Matushita’s VHS.
The era of the summer blockbuster movie begins. After enduring a troubled production, held up by poor weather on location and the repeated malfunctioning of its prosthetic star, Jaws captures the imagination of the public and becomes the first film to gross over $100million in the USA.