Jackie Stewart in his Matra MS80 at the 1969 Canadian Grand Prix. Copyright Norm MacLeod 2017.  USed with permission.

1969 Formula 1 season

The dominance of the Cosworth DFV had reshaped Formula 1 as the 1969 season began, with the new Matra team of Ken Tyrrell and the nearly-new McLaren team joining Lotus as the top teams. Eagle had withdrawn during 1968, and Cooper could not find the funding to return for 1969. Honda also withdrew, as even John Surtees could not make their overweight cars competitive, and Matra temporarily withdrew their works team to focus on the Matra MS80 for Ken Tyrrell and driver Jackie Stewart. Brabham continued, but replaced the Repco engine in the Brabham BT26 with Cosworths. As the Cosworth became more readily available, new teams moved into F1, the most notable being Frank Williams, who ran a Brabham for Piers Courage. Other privateers included Rob Walker, who continued to run a Lotus 49B for Jo Siffert, Colin Crabbe's Antique Automobiles with a McLaren M7A for Vic Elford, and Silvio Moser's tiny operation with a Brabham BT24.

The only teams left not using the Cosworth DFV were BRM and Ferrari, and both needed fresh thinking as the BRM P139 and Ferrari 312/69 were off the pace. BRM's hand was forced by Surtees, who moved from Honda, and soon insisted on the departure of long-time chief engineer Tony Rudd and killed off his resource-sapping H16 engine project. Ferrari were working on a flat-12 engine, but this would not be ready until the end of the season, leaving the team to run a single V12 car for Chris Amon.

Many of the teams were distracted during 1969 by four-wheel-drive projects, and Colin Chapman's insistance that the Lotus 63 was the way forward may have undermined his team's chance of retaining its title. Jacky Stewart only used his 4WD Matra MS84 in practice and focused on the orthodox Matra MS80, dominating the season and winning the title by 26 points.

The races

01 Mar 1969 > South African Grand Prix at Kyalami

16 Mar 1969 > Race of Champions at Brands Hatch

30 Mar 1969 > International Trophy at Silverstone

13 Apr 1969 > Gran Premio de Madrid at Jarama

04 May 1969 > Spanish Grand Prix at Montjuich Park

18 May 1969 > Monaco Grand Prix at Monte Carlo

21 Jun 1969 > Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort

06 Jul 1969 > French Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand

19 Jul 1969 > British Grand Prix at Silverstone

03 Aug 1969 > German Grand Prix at Nürburgring

16 Aug 1969 > Gold Cup at Oulton Park

07 Sep 1969 > Italian Grand Prix at Monza

20 Sep 1969 > Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport Park

05 Oct 1969 > United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen

19 Oct 1969 > Mexican Grand Prix at Mexico City

World Drivers' Championship events shown in bold

1969 World Drivers' Championship table

1Jackie StewartMatra MS80 - Cosworth DFV V863 pts6 wins
2Jacky IckxBrabham BT26A - Cosworth DFV V837 pts2 wins
3Bruce McLarenMcLaren M7B - Cosworth DFV V8
McLaren M7C - Cosworth DFV V8
26 pts 
4Jochen RindtLotus 49B - Cosworth DFV V822 pts1 win
5Jean-Pierre BeltoiseMatra MS80 - Cosworth DFV V8
Matra MS84 - Cosworth DFV V8
21 pts 
6Denis HulmeMcLaren M7A - Cosworth DFV V820 pts1 win
7Graham HillLotus 49B - Cosworth DFV V819 pts1 win
8Piers CourageBrabham BT26A - Cosworth DFV V816 pts 
9Jo SiffertLotus 49B - Cosworth DFV V815 pts 
10Jack BrabhamBrabham BT26A - Cosworth DFV V814 pts 
11John SurteesBRM P138 - P142 V12
BRM P139 - P142 V12
6 pts 
12Chris AmonFerrari 312/69 - V124 pts 
13Richard AttwoodLotus 49B - Cosworth DFV V83 pts 
14Vic ElfordCooper T86 - Maserati Tipo 10 V12
McLaren M7B - Cosworth DFV V8
3 pts 
15Pedro RodriguezBRM P126 - P101 V12
Ferrari 312/69 - V12
3 pts 
16Silvio MoserBrabham BT24 - Cosworth DFV V81 pt 
17Jackie OliverBRM P133 - P101 V12
BRM P133 - P142 V12
BRM P138 - P142 V12
BRM P139 - P142 V12
1 pt 
18Johnny Servoz-GavinMatra MS84 - Cosworth DFV V81 pt 

Previous: the 1968 season

Next: the 1970 season

All cars are 3-litre Formula 1 cars unless otherwise noted.