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Emerson Fittipaldi in the McLaren M23 at the 1974 Canadian GP.  Copyright Norm MacLeod 2017.  Used with permission.

Formula 1 World Drivers Championship 1974

After Jackie Stewart's retirement, Formula 1 became much more competitive in 1974, with four teams vying for wins, and a total of seven different drivers topping the podium. Lotus's new Lotus 76 was a flop, but a quick return to the Lotus 72E allowed Ronnie Peterson to win three races. His former teammate Emerson Fittipaldi had moved to McLaren, where the McLaren M23 was highly competitive, the Brazilian winning three races and veteran teammate Denny Hulme a fourth. Ken Tyrrell recruited Jody Scheckter and Patrick Depailler to replace Stewart and Francois Cevert, and produced a new Tyrrell 007 following the template of the Lotus 72 and McLaren M23. Scheckter won two Grands Prix. The Ferrari team also returned to form with ex-BRM drivers Clay Regazzoni and Niki Lauda, and Mauro Forgieri's hugely improved Ferrari 312B3/74. Gordon Murray's Brabham BT44 was the other leading car of the season, Carlos Reutemann winning three races.

Behind these four teams, James Hunt had a very strong season in the new Hesketh 308, leaving BRM, Surtees, Shadow, March, Williams and Embassy-Lola as distinctly midfield runners.

When the European season started at the Spanish GP, three new teams appeared: Trojan Racing had built their own car; Chris Amon had done the same; and Bretscher Racing had a customer Brabham, bringing the regular entrants up to 29. John Nicholson's Lyncar was also running, but was yet to attend a GP. This finally gave F1 more cars than were needed, and there were two failures to qualify in Spain, for the first time since the 1972 Italian GP, and only the fourth time since Monaco in 1971. With more teams taking spare cars to races, there were 40 cars present in Spain, beating the record of 37 set in France in 1972. The new Token team then joined in at the Belgian GP, as did Leo Kinnunen with a privately run Surtees, and Brabham joined McLaren and BRM in running a third car, so the numbers rose to 41 at Monaco, 42 in France, and then a massive 50 at the British GP, when the hopeless Maki joined the circus. Many of these smaller teams had no hope of success, and some should really have been sent home. Later in the season, Penske and Parnelli joined F1, with highly professional operations.

The races

13 Jan 1974 > Argentinian Grand Prix at Buenos Aires

27 Jan 1974 > Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos

03 Feb 1974 > Grand Prix Presidente Medici at Brasilia

17 Mar 1974 > Race of Champions at Brands Hatch

30 Mar 1974 > South African Grand Prix at Kyalami

07 Apr 1974 > International Trophy at Silverstone

28 Apr 1974 > Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama

12 May 1974 > Belgian Grand Prix at Nivelles-Baulers

26 May 1974 > Monaco Grand Prix at Monte Carlo

09 Jun 1974 > Swedish Grand Prix at Anderstorp

23 Jun 1974 > Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort

07 Jul 1974 > French Grand Prix at Dijon-Prenois

20 Jul 1974 > British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch

04 Aug 1974 > German Grand Prix at Nürburgring

18 Aug 1974 > Austrian Grand Prix at Österreichring

08 Sep 1974 > Italian Grand Prix at Monza

22 Sep 1974 > Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport Park

06 Oct 1974 > United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen

World Drivers' Championship events shown in bold

1974 World Drivers' Championship table

1Emerson FittipaldiMcLaren M23 - Cosworth DFV V855 pts3 wins
2Clay RegazzoniFerrari 312 B3-74 - f1252 pts1 win
3Jody ScheckterTyrrell 006/2 - Cosworth DFV V8
Tyrrell 007 - Cosworth DFV V8
45 pts2 wins
4Niki LaudaFerrari 312 B3-74 - f1238 pts2 wins
5Ronnie PetersonLotus 72E - Cosworth DFV V8
Lotus 76 - Cosworth DFV V8
35 pts3 wins
6Carlos ReutemannBrabham BT44 - Cosworth DFV V832 pts3 wins
7Denis HulmeMcLaren M23 - Cosworth DFV V820 pts1 win
8James HuntMarch 731 - Cosworth DFV V8
Hesketh 308 - Cosworth DFV V8
Hesketh 308B - Cosworth DFV V8
15 pts 
9Patrick DepaillerTyrrell 005 - Cosworth DFV V8
Tyrrell 006/2 - Cosworth DFV V8
Tyrrell 007 - Cosworth DFV V8
14 pts 
10=Mike HailwoodMcLaren M23 - Cosworth DFV V812 pts 
10=Jacky IckxLotus 72E - Cosworth DFV V8
Lotus 76 - Cosworth DFV V8
12 pts 
12Carlos PaceSurtees TS16-2 - Cosworth DFV V8
Brabham BT44 - Cosworth DFV V8
11 pts 
13Jean-Pierre BeltoiseBRM P160E - P142 V12
BRM P201 - P142 V12
10 pts 
14=Jean-Pierre JarierShadow DN3 - Cosworth DFV V86 pts 
14=John WatsonBrabham BT42 - Cosworth DFV V8
Brabham BT44 - Cosworth DFV V8
6 pts 
16Hans-Joachim StuckMarch 741 - Cosworth DFV V85 pts 
17Arturo MerzarioIso-Marlboro FW (Williams) - Cosworth DFV V84 pts 
18=Vittorio BrambillaMarch 741 - Cosworth DFV V81 pt 
18=Graham HillLola T370 - Cosworth DFV V81 pt 
18=Tom PryceShadow DN3 - Cosworth DFV V81 pt 

Previous: the 1973 season

Next: the 1975 season

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