|Born||28 April 1942|
Mainz, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
|Died||5 September 1970 (aged 28)|
Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Lombardy, Italy
|Formula One World Championship career|
|Team(s)||Rob Walker, Cooper, Brabham, Lotus|
|First Grand Prix||1964 Austrian Grand Prix|
|Entries||62 (60 starts)|
|Career Points||107 (109)|
|Drivers' Championships||1 (1970|
|Final Grand Prix||1970 Italian Grand Prix|
'Karl Jochen Rindt (born 18 April 1942; died 5 September 1970) was a German-born racing driver who represented Austria during his career. He became the only driver to posthumously win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship (in 1970), after being killed in practice for the Italian Grand Prix.
Overall, he competed in 62 Grands Prix, winning six and achieving 13 podium finishes. Rindt was also 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.
Jochen Rindt was born in Mainz, Germany, but after his parents were killed in a bombing raid in Hamburg during the Second World War, 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.
Despite being very successful in Formula 2, 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.
In 1968, Rindt raced for Brabham, but his season wasn't what he had hoped for because of 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 to his talent until 1969 when he 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.
During practice for the 1970 Italian Grand Prix in Monza, near Milan, Chapman and Rindt agreed to follow the lead of Jackie Stewart (Tyrrell) and Denny Hulme (McLaren) and run without wings in an attempt to reduce drag and gain a higher top speed. The more powerful Flat-12 Ferraris of Jacky Ickx and Clay Regazzoni had been up to 10 mph (16 km/h) faster than the Lotus at the previous race in Austria. Rindt's team mate John Miles was unhappy with the wingless setup in Friday practice, reporting that the car "wouldn't run straight". Rindt reported no such problems, and Chapman recalled that Rindt reported the car to be "almost 800 rpm faster on the straight" without wings.
On the following day, Rindt ran with higher gear ratios fitted to his car to take advantage of the reduced drag, increasing the car's potential top speed to 205 mph (330 km/h). On Rindt's fifth lap of the final practice session, Hulme, who was following, reported that under braking for the Parabolica corner: "Jochen's car weaved slightly and then swerved sharp left into the crash barrier." A joint in the crash barrier parted, the suspension dug in under the barrier, and the car hit a stanchion head on. The front end of the car was destroyed. Although the 28 year old Rindt was rushed to hospital, he was pronounced dead. Rindt had only recently acquiesced to not wearing the crotch straps, as he wanted to be able to get out of the car fast in case of fire. He was the second Lotus team leader to be killed in two years, as Jim Clark had been killed in 1968 in a Formula 2 race at Hockenheim. An Italian court later found that the accident was initiated by a failure of the car's right front brakeshaft, but that Rindt's death was caused by poorly installed crash barriers.
At the time he died Rindt had won five of that year's ten Grands Prix, which meant that he had a strong lead in the World Championship. At that stage he theoretically could have been overtaken by Ferrari driver Jacky Ickx. However Rindt's Lotus team mate, Emerson Fittipaldi, won the penultimate Grand Prix of the year at Watkins Glen, USA, depriving Ickx of the points he needed to win the title, and so Rindt became motor racing's only posthumous World Champion. The trophy was presented to his Finnish widow Nina Rindt nee Lincoln, daughter of famous Finnish racer, Curt Lincoln. It was later learned that Jochen had already promised Nina he would retire from F1 if he won the world championship.
Complete Formula One resultsEdit
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)