Wolfgang von Trips

 
Wolfgang von Trips was on course to become the first German F1 champion in 1961. |  Trips had previously survived when an America-bound plane he was flying in crashed over Scotland.

FACTFILE

Name: Wolfgang von Trips
DOB: May 4 1928
Place Of Birth: Horrem
Nationality: German
Most Races For: Ferrari - 25
No. Of Races: 27
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PROFILE
Wolfgang von Trips

Wolfgang Alexander Albert Eduard Maximilian Reichsgraph Berghe von Trips. No that’s not a sentence; it is just how long this Formula One driver would end up racing had it not been for his jinx with the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, that tailored his career to become as short as his more known name, Wolfgang von Trips. Son of a noble Rhineland family, Trips was born on May 4, 1928 in Cologne, Germany. He would later be known for his infamous tryst with racing accidents.

Trips’ debut in Formula One came on September 2, 1956 with Scuderia Ferrari but lacked the fireworks one would expect from a team like that. The following season, he just managed to get himself a third place finish in the Italian Grand Prix, one of the three races he competed in that season. Like many less-known Formula One drivers, who raced in many GPs and won few, Trips crashed in many races and also won few. In May 1957, at Nurburgring, Germany, he crashed in a sports car race and his Ferrari was shattered to bits. He escaped with minor concussions. In the 1958 season of the Formula One Championship, Trips was again third in the French Grand Prix and was doing well in Silverstone before his oil-deprived car gave in on the 60th lap. In 1950, Trips raced for Ferrari and Porsche in two races apiece and failed to register any points. The following year was better with Ferrari, when he finished seventh in the Drivers’ Championship.

Justifying his grand name of sorts, Wolfgang von Trips, in his Ferrari was unbelievably close to taking away the Championship title in 1961, when he had to trade his lead with Phil Hill who was more likely to take the championship. He was placed second in the German and the Belgian Grands Prix and had won two outstanding races in Great Britain and Netherlands earlier in the season. If Trips was not destined to crash once again in the Italian GP, he would probably have his F1 dream fulfilled – the Championship title. On September 10, 1961, a third place in Italy meant that Trips would go on to win his first F1 Championship but he collided with Jim Clark’s car and was airborne before hitting the side barriers. He succumbed to his injuries.

Wolfgang von Trips could have been more like Wolfgang won Championships, but his team spirit in 1961 helped him stage a second place in the Drivers’ Championship; his two victories, a pole position, six podiums and 56 points in six years being just a slight glimpse of what could have been.

-Anup Pareek


  • YEARS
  • TEAMS
  • ENGINES
  • GPs
  • CIRCUITS
STATISTICS
YEARS
YearTeamClaGPs WinsPolesPods FLsPts
1957Ferrari14th300104
1958Ferrari11th600109
1959Ferrari, Porsche-200000
1960Ferrari, Cooper7th9000010
1961Ferrari2nd7214033
Total 27216056

Wolfgang von Trips - HEAD TO HEAD (TEAM-MATES)

Wolfgang von Trips - Season Performance

According to stats...

  • Wolfgang von Trips was on course to become the first German F1 champion in 1961.
  • Trips had previously survived when an America-bound plane he was flying in crashed over Scotland.

QUOTES ON WOLFGANG VON TRIPS

“Von Trips and I were racing along the straightaway and were nearing one of the banked curves, the one on the southern end. We were about 100 metres from the beginning of the curve. Von Trips was running close to the inside of the track. I was closely following him, keeping near the outside. At one point Von Trips shifted sideways so that my front wheels collided with his back wheels. It was the fatal moment. Von Trips' car spun twice and went into the guardrail along the inside of the track. Then it bounced back, struck my own car and bounced down into the crowd.”
-Jim Clark



OTHER DRIVERS

Most successful drivers to have raced with Wolfgang von Trips



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