Jochen Rindt

Rindt had promised his wife Nina that he would quit racing after he won the Championship. |  In 1965, Rindt won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, driving a Ferrari 250LM.


Name: Jochen Rindt
DOB: Apr 18 1942
Place Of Birth: Mainz, Germany
Nationality: Austrian
Most Races For: Cooper - 28
No. Of Races: 60
Jochen Rindt

If you met God and he told you that you had only a few years left before He called you back, you might want to take a peek into Karl Jochen Rindt’s last few years for some references. Even Casanova would have his eyes lit up if he saw the kind of girls Rindt was accompanied by, like they were just pulled out from a ramp in the Haute-Couture city of Paris. On holidays, he would be spotted nonchalantly enjoying dinners at the best places in the western world. He partied like there was no tomorrow and then, he just happens to be one of the greatest champions in Formula One.

Originally from Mainz, Germany, Rindt lost his parents in a bombing raid in Hamburg during the World War II after which he was looked after by his grandparents in Graz, Austria. Born on April 18, 1942, Rindt always had affinity for motorsports. Despite being successful in Formula 2 and winning the 1964 London Trophy, Rindt never ceased to dream the Formula One dream and so he settled for less when he debuted in 1964, racing for Rob Walker’s Racing Team in the Austrian Grand Prix. That was to be his first and the last race of the season.

From 1965 to 1967 the Cooper Car Company hired Rindt’s services and he made his mark in an outstanding season of 1966 with three podium finishes and third in the Drivers’ standings. The other two seasons were not as impressive and could just be perceived as Rindt’s grooming years.

Known for his aggressive driving, inch-perfect precision and great car-control, for a while it looked like Rindt would not get his fair share of opportunity, but when Brabham Racing signed him for the 1968 season of the Formula One Championship, he showed what he could do with even a mite better engine. He was on the podium twice in that season. Colin Chapman, the Lotus team boss, agreed to race Rindt for the 1969 season when he saw the kind of potential this Austrian had displayed in the previous year. Rindt won his first F1 Grand Prix in USA that year and finished fourth in the Drivers’ Championship with 22 points.

In 1970, Rindt was still racing for the Lotus team and was on a roll with a nail-biting race and a victory on the last corner of the Monaco tracks. The Lotus 72C, with a Ford V8 engine humming inside was probably the best cars on the track when it was introduce mid-season and Rindt on the wheel of that car made for a threatening combination. With four straight wins in Netherlands, France, Great Britain and Germany, Rindt just reigned the season with 45 points to his credit.

The Ferraris were the only cars that came close to pushing the Lotus a bit as they were a tad (about 10mph) too fast for them. In the quest for more speed, Rindt insisted on his car wings being removed in order to reduce drag and increase speed in the practice session before the Italian Grand Prix. He was right when the car showed an impressive 800rpm boost and went a step ahead to increase his gear-ratios, which propelled him further to a high of 205mph, the full capacity of the engine. In the fifth lap of the final practice, the Austrian at his fastest best at the Parabolica corner, somehow lost control of his car and crashed into the barriers. A joint on the crash-barrier destroyed the car’s front and Rindt was rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead.

Like a warrior would rather be a martyr on the battlefield than die, Rindt lost his life to nothing but his life – Formula One. He was pronounced the 1970 Formula One World Champion without racing for the remaining season, to become the first and only posthumous champion of the F1 world.

-Anup Pareek

  • GPs
YearTeamClaGPs WinsPolesPods FLsPts
Total 60610133109


Jochen Rindt - Season Performance

According to stats...

  • Rindt had promised his wife Nina that he would quit racing after he won the Championship.
  • In 1965, Rindt won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, driving a Ferrari 250LM.


"We Germans fear God and nothing else."
-Jochen Rindt


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