Jody Scheckter at the 1973 Canadian Grand Prix in the Yardley McLaren M23.  Copyright Richard Bunyan.  Used with permission.

Formula 1 World Drivers Championship 1973

Jackie Stewart and Tyrrell regained their edge over Team Lotus in 1972, and Stewart took his third World Championship with two races to spare. Stewart announced his retirement after the final race, but in a body blow for the Tyrrell team, his teammate and intended successor François Cevert was killed during practice for that last race. For Lotus, Emerson Fittipaldi was very strong in the first half of the season, leading the title race after six races, and Ronnie Peterson was very strong in the second half, winning four races. Alongside the Tyrrell 005/006 and the Lotus 72, the third outstanding car of the season was the new McLaren M23, which won three races in the hands of Denny Hulme and Peter Revson. Carlos Reutemann and the new Brabham BT42 moved Brabham back up the grid after two poor seasons, but Ferrari, BRM and Surtees were all stuck in mid-grid. The find of the season was James Hunt in Hesketh Racing's well-developed March 731.

With Matra's withdrawal at the end of 1972, design and construction of F1 cars was now almost entirely located in England. John Thompson's TC Prototypes built the first two Ferrari 312B3 monocoques as well as the monocoques for the Williams IR series and for the new Tecno E731 designed by Gordon Fowell.

Lotus, Tyrrell, Williams and the new Shadow team ran two-car teams, Brabham continued to run three at most races, as did McLaren, but Surtees ran a third car much less often in 1973. BRM rationalised down to a three-car operation. March had sufficient STP money for one car and ran their second as a hire car, while also supporting two customer cars, the Hesketh Racing car raced by James Hunt and the "stockbroker car" for Mike Beuttler prepared by Space Racing, both teams being new to F1. The other regular team using a customer car was the new Graham Hill Racing with a Shadow DN1, with a tub also fabricated by the busy Thompson. Tecno ran a one-car team, as did new marque Ensign from mid-season.

The races

28 Jan 1973 > Argentinian Grand Prix at Buenos Aires

11 Feb 1973 > Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos

03 Mar 1973 > South African Grand Prix at Kyalami

18 Mar 1973 > Race of Champions at Brands Hatch

08 Apr 1973 > International Trophy at Silverstone

29 Apr 1973 > Spanish Grand Prix at Montjuich Park

20 May 1973 > Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder

03 Jun 1973 > Monaco Grand Prix at Monte Carlo

17 Jun 1973 > Swedish Grand Prix at Anderstorp

01 Jul 1973 > French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard

14 Jul 1973 > British Grand Prix at Silverstone

29 Jul 1973 > Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort

05 Aug 1973 > German Grand Prix at Nürburgring

19 Aug 1973 > Austrian Grand Prix at Österreichring

09 Sep 1973 > Italian Grand Prix at Monza

23 Sep 1973 > Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport Park

07 Oct 1973 > United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen

World Drivers' Championship events shown in bold

1973 World Drivers' Championship table

1Jackie StewartTyrrell 005 - Cosworth DFV V8
Tyrrell 006 - Cosworth DFV V8
71 pts5 wins
2Emerson FittipaldiLotus 72D - Cosworth DFV V8
Lotus 72E - Cosworth DFV V8
55 pts3 wins
3Ronnie PetersonLotus 72D - Cosworth DFV V8
Lotus 72E - Cosworth DFV V8
52 pts4 wins
4François CevertTyrrell 006 - Cosworth DFV V847 pts 
5Peter RevsonMcLaren M19C - Cosworth DFV V8
McLaren M23 - Cosworth DFV V8
38 pts2 wins
6Denis HulmeMcLaren M19C - Cosworth DFV V8
McLaren M23 - Cosworth DFV V8
26 pts1 win
7Carlos ReutemannBrabham BT37 - Cosworth DFV V8
Brabham BT42 - Cosworth DFV V8
16 pts 
8James HuntMarch 731 - Cosworth DFV V814 pts 
9Jacky IckxFerrari 312B2/73 - f12
McLaren M23 - Cosworth DFV V8
Iso-Marlboro IR (Williams) - Cosworth DFV V8
12 pts 
10Jean-Pierre BeltoiseBRM P160D - P142 V12
BRM P160E - P142 V12
9 pts 
11Carlos PaceSurtees TS14A - Cosworth DFV V87 pts 
12Arturo MerzarioFerrari 312B2/73 - f126 pts 
13George FollmerShadow DN1 - Cosworth DFV V85 pts 
14Jackie OliverShadow DN1 - Cosworth DFV V84 pts 
15=Andrea de AdamichSurtees TS9B - Cosworth DFV V8
Brabham BT37 - Cosworth DFV V8
Brabham BT42 - Cosworth DFV V8
3 pts 
15=Wilson FittipaldiBrabham BT37 - Cosworth DFV V8
Brabham BT42 - Cosworth DFV V8
3 pts 
17=Niki LaudaBRM P160D - P142 V12
BRM P160E - P142 V12
2 pts 
17=Clay RegazzoniBRM P160D - P142 V12
BRM P160E - P142 V12
2 pts 
19=Chris AmonTecno PA123 - f12
Tyrrell - Cosworth DFV V8
1 pt 
19=Gijs van LennepIso-Marlboro IR (Williams) - Cosworth DFV V81 pt 
19=Howden GanleyIso-Marlboro FX3B (Williams) - Cosworth DFV V8
Iso-Marlboro IR (Williams) - Cosworth DFV V8
1 pt 

Previous: the 1972 season

Next: the 1974 season

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