Jackie Stewart in Tyrrell 003 at the Canadian Grand Prix in September 1971.  Copyright Norm MacLeod.  Used with permission.

1971 Formula 1 season

The Tyrrell/Stewart combine continued to be a major force in Formula 1, but now with their own Tyrrell 002/003 cars instead of using customer cars and Stewart dominated the season. It should have been Ferrari's year, but the new Ferrari 312B2 was a step backwards from the 1970 car, and engine reliability also became a problem. BRM became the most competitive V12 team with the BRM P160 but lost both its lead drivers during the year, Pedro Rodriguez in a sports car race in July and then Jo Siffert in a non-championship race in October. March introduced a much more sophisticated design, the March 711, for their second season but Chris Amon's relationship with the team had soured and he moved to Matra, who had a very poor season. Emerson Fittipaldi could not get the Lotus 72 on the pace of the Tyrrells, McLaren floundered with the complex new McLaren M19A, Brabham failed to build on the early promise of the Brabham BT34, and Surtees went backwards after a strong start with the Surtees TS9.

As sponsorship became more critical to a team's success, it became more normal for a driver to finance a seat in a team throughout his own sponsorship deals. Rolf Stommelen took his Auto Motor und Sport and Eifelland Caravans money from Brabham to Surtees, where Rob Walker's Brooke Bond Oxo money was used to run the main works car. This was also the basis of Frank Williams' team, which returned to using customer cars in 1971, and was financed chiefly by Motul money brought by Henri Pescarolo. The structure of BRM's sponsorship deal with Yardley encouraged Louis Stanley to expand from three to four cars, and even to five at the Watkins Glen race, stretching the team's resources to the limit.

Nearly all the major F1 teams were also involved in racing in other categories, and most partly supported themselves through the production of customer cars (Brabham, Lotus, March, McLaren and Surtees), but this was starting to change, as more money was now available from sponsorship and the established F1 teams soon extracted themselves from customer racing car production, Lotus after 1971, McLaren after 1972, Brabham after 1973 and Surtees after 1974, although McLaren continued to build Indy cars until the end of the 1970s.

The races

24 Jan 1971 > Argentinian Grand Prix at Buenos Aires

06 Mar 1971 > South African Grand Prix at Kyalami

21 Mar 1971 > Race of Champions at Brands Hatch

28 Mar 1971 > Questor Grand Prix at Ontario Motor Speedway

09 Apr 1971 > Spring Trophy at Oulton Park

18 Apr 1971 > Spanish Grand Prix at Montjuich Park

08 May 1971 > International Trophy at Silverstone

23 May 1971 > Monaco Grand Prix at Monte Carlo

13 Jun 1971 > Jochen Rindt Trophy at Hockenheim

20 Jun 1971 > Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort

04 Jul 1971 > French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard

17 Jul 1971 > British Grand Prix at Silverstone

01 Aug 1971 > German Grand Prix at Nürburgring

15 Aug 1971 > Austrian Grand Prix at Österreichring

21 Aug 1971 > Gold Cup at Oulton Park

05 Sep 1971 > Italian Grand Prix at Monza

19 Sep 1971 > Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport Park

03 Oct 1971 > United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen

24 Oct 1971 > World Championship Victory Race at Brands Hatch

World Drivers' Championship events shown in bold

1971 World Drivers' Championship table

1Jackie StewartTyrrell 001 - Cosworth DFV V8
Tyrrell 003 - Cosworth DFV V8
62 pts6 wins
2Ronnie PetersonMarch 711 - Cosworth DFV V833 pts 
3François CevertTyrrell 002 - Cosworth DFV V826 pts1 win
4Jacky IckxFerrari 312B/71 - f12
Ferrari 312B2/71 - f12
19 pts1 win
5Jo SiffertBRM P160 - P142 V1219 pts1 win
6Emerson FittipaldiLotus 72C- Cosworth DFV V8
Lotus 72D- Cosworth DFV V8
Lotus 56B - Pratt & Whitney turbine
16 pts 
7Clay RegazzoniFerrari 312B/71 - f12
Ferrari 312B2/71 - f12
13 pts 
8Mario AndrettiFerrari 312B/71 - f12
Ferrari 312B2/71 - f12
12 pts1 win
9Peter GethinMcLaren M14A - Cosworth DFV V8
McLaren M19A - Cosworth DFV V8
BRM P160 - P142 V12
9 pts1 win
10Pedro RodriguezBRM P160 - P142 V129 pts 
11Chris AmonMatra MS120B - MS12 V129 pts 
12Reine WisellLotus 72C- Cosworth DFV V8
Lotus 72D- Cosworth DFV V8
Lotus 56B - Pratt & Whitney turbine
9 pts 
13Denis HulmeMcLaren M19A - Cosworth DFV V89 pts 
14Tim SchenkenBrabham BT33 - Cosworth DFV V85 pts 
15Howden GanleyBRM P153 - P142 V12
BRM P160 - P142 V12
5 pts 
16Mark DonohueMcLaren M19A - Cosworth DFV V84 pts 
17Henri PescaroloMarch 701 - Cosworth DFV V8
March 711 - Cosworth DFV V8
4 pts 
18Mike HailwoodSurtees TS9 - Cosworth DFV V83 pts 
19John SurteesSurtees TS9 - Cosworth DFV V8
Surtees TS9B - Cosworth DFV V8
3 pts 
20Rolf StommelenSurtees TS9 - Cosworth DFV V83 pts 
21Graham HillBrabham BT34 - Cosworth DFV V82 pts 
22Jean-Pierre BeltoiseMatra MS120B - MS12 V121 pt 

Previous: the 1970 season

Next: the 1972 season

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