Jochen Rindt in the Lotus 72 at Zandvoort in June 1970.  Copyright Jim Culp.  Used with permission.

1970 Formula 1 season

1970 saw a boom in Formula 1, as new teams took advantage of the readily available Cosworth DFV engine and Hewland DG300 gearbox and a flurry of new marques appeared. The biggest new entrant was March, formed by Max Mosley and designer Robin Herd, and with ambitious plans to run cars in F1, F2, F3 and Can-Am. John Surtees, after two seasons of struggle with Honda and BRM, formed his own team and produced the Surtees TS7. Two other privateers took the same path, Frank Williams facilitating new cars built by De Tomaso, and Silvio Moser arranging for a car built by Bellasi.

Ken Tyrrell split from Matra over the French constructor's insistence that only Matra's V12 engine could be used in Matra cars, and shocked the motor racing world by buying cars from the upstart March. Stewart won one race but the March 701 kept breaking, and before the end of the season Tyrrell revealed the team's own car, the Tyrrell 001.

Ferrari and BRM both bounced back from transitional seasons in 1969. Ferrari's flat-12 engine was a great success, and from mid-1970 to mid-1971, the Ferrari 312B was the car to beat. The revitalised BRM team had the BRM P153 from the pen of new designer Tony Southgate, as well as Tim Parnell as team manager and Louis Stanley taking over from Alfred Owen as team principal.

Lotus introduced a ground-breaking new car, the Lotus 72, and after some difficulty getting it working properly, proceeded to dominate the middle of the season, Jochen Rindt winning four races in succession. Rindt died in an accident at Monza but his points lead was sufficient for him to become motor racing's only posthumous world champion. With Bruce McLaren and Piers Courage having also died earlier in the season, Jackie Stewart led calls for improved safety standards.

The races

07 Mar 1970 > South African Grand Prix at Kyalami

22 Mar 1970 > Race of Champions at Brands Hatch

19 Apr 1970 > Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama

26 Apr 1970 > International Trophy at Silverstone

10 May 1970 > Monaco Grand Prix at Monte Carlo

07 Jun 1970 > Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps

21 Jun 1970 > Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort

05 Jul 1970 > French Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand

18 Jul 1970 > British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch

02 Aug 1970 > German Grand Prix at Hockenheim

16 Aug 1970 > Austrian Grand Prix at Österreichring

22 Aug 1970 > Gold Cup at Oulton Park

06 Sep 1970 > Italian Grand Prix at Monza

20 Sep 1970 > Canadian Grand Prix at Mont-Tremblant

04 Oct 1970 > United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen

25 Oct 1970 > Mexican Grand Prix at Mexico City

World Drivers' Championship events shown in bold

1970 World Drivers' Championship table

1Jochen RindtLotus 49C - Cosworth DFV V8
Lotus 72 - Cosworth DFV V8
Lotus 72C - Cosworth DFV V8
45 pts5 wins
2Jacky IckxFerrari 312B/70 - f1240 pts3 wins
3Clay RegazzoniFerrari 312B/70 - f1233 pts1 win
4Denis HulmeMcLaren M14A - Cosworth DFV V8
McLaren M14D - Cosworth DFV V8
27 pts 
5Jackie StewartMarch 701 - Cosworth DFV V8
Tyrrell 001 - Cosworth DFV V8
25 pts1 win
6Jack BrabhamBrabham BT33 - Cosworth DFV V825 pts1 win
7Pedro RodriguezBRM P153 - P142 V1223 pts1 win
8Chris AmonMarch 701 - Cosworth DFV V823 pts 
9Jean-Pierre BeltoiseMatra MS120 - MS12 V1216 pts 
10Emerson FittipaldiLotus 49C - Cosworth DFV V8
Lotus 72C - Cosworth DFV V8
12 pts1 win
11Rolf StommelenBrabham BT33 - Cosworth DFV V810 pts 
12Henri PescaroloMatra MS120 - MS12 V128 pts 
13Graham HillLotus 49C - Cosworth DFV V8
Lotus 72C - Cosworth DFV V8
7 pts 
14Bruce McLarenMcLaren M14A - Cosworth DFV V86 pts 
15Reine WisellLotus 72C - Cosworth DFV V84 pts 
16Mario AndrettiMarch 701 - Cosworth DFV V84 pts 
17Ignazio GiuntiFerrari 312B/70 - f123 pts 
18John SurteesMcLaren M7C - Cosworth DFV V8
Surtees TS7 - Cosworth DFV V8
3 pts 
19John MilesLotus 49C - Cosworth DFV V8
Lotus 72 - Cosworth DFV V8
Lotus 72C - Cosworth DFV V8
2 pts 
20Jackie OliverBRM P153 - P142 V122 pts 
21Johnny Servoz-GavinMarch 701 - Cosworth DFV V82 pts 
22François CevertMarch 701 - Cosworth DFV V81 pt 
23Peter GethinMcLaren M14A - Cosworth DFV V81 pt 
24Dan GurneyMcLaren M14A - Cosworth DFV V81 pt 
25Derek BellBrabham BT26A - Cosworth DFV V8
Surtees TS7 - Cosworth DFV V8
1 pt 

Previous: the 1969 season

Next: the 1971 season

All cars are 3-litre Formula 1 cars.