Jochen Rindt

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Karl Jochen Rindt (April 18, 1942 Mainz, Germany - September 5, 1970 Monza, Italy) was a German racing driver who represented Austria during his career.[2] He is the only driver to posthumously win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship (in 1970), after being killed in practice for the Italian Grand Prix. Away from Formula One, Rindt was highly successful in other single-seater formulae, as well as sports car racing. In 1965 he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, driving a Ferrari 250LM in partnership with Masten Gregory from the United States of America. He was a close friend to Jackie Stewart, and was a neighbour to the Scotsman in Switzerland.

Contents

Biography

Jochen Rindt was born in Mainz, Germany, but after his parents were killed in a bombing raid in Hamburg during the Second World War,[3] he was raised by his grandparents in Graz, Austria, where he grew up and started motor racing. Although Rindt never became an Austrian citizen, he did drive his entire career under an Austrian racing licence.[4]

Despite being very successful in Formula 2 (by winning for instance the 1964 London Trophy), Rindt kept on choosing the wrong F1 cars. Rindt made his Formula One debut for the Rob Walker Racing Team in the 1964 Austrian Grand Prix. It was to be his only Grand Prix of the year. From 1965 to 1967, Rindt raced for the Cooper Car Company, scoring 32 points in 29 races. In 1968, Rindt raced for Brabham, but his season wasn't what he had hoped for due to technical problems. He also raced in the Indianapolis 500 in both 1967 and 1968, but finished no better than 24th.

Rindt was noted for being an exceptionally fast driver with superb car control and reflexes, but rarely had a car equal of his talent until 1969 when Rindt moved to Lotus and his career took off. Rindt clinched the first Grand Prix victory of his career in the 1969 Grand Prix of the USA in Watkins Glen. Rindt finished that year with 22 points, giving him fourth place in the Formula 1 World Championship. Rindt occasionally had a fraught relationship with Colin Chapman as he preferred a stable technological footing as opposed to Chapman's need to innovate and invent, but the two forged a successful partnership. Rindt's first victory in the 1970 season was at Monaco, where he overtook Jack Brabham in the last corner. With the Lotus 72, Rindt won four more Grands Prix in The Netherlands, France, Britain and Germany that year.

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