Tales From The Vault – Rindt killed before his title

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Jochen Rindt is Formal Ones only posthumous world champion after he was killed in a race at Monza before he was officially world champion at the following race because no one could catch him in the championship.

Rindt was born in Mainz, Germany during the Second World War which claimed the lives of both his parents in a bombing raid in Hamburg. Following their deaths Rindt moved to Austria to live with his grandparents.

The Austrian’s motor racing career began when he brought a Brabham car to compete in F2 which he began to dominate in his early racing career.  He made a one of appearance for Brabham at the Austrian Grand Prix where he retired because of a steering issue.

His first full season in F1 was the following year when he joined Cooper. During his time with Cooper he went to Ferrari to drive at 1965 Le Mans race which he took victory alongside American Masten Gregory.

In his three seasons and twenty nine races with the team he scored 32 ponits and gained third place in the 1966 championship. It was a difficult season. Rindt retired from most of the races.

In 1968 he moved to Brabham for one season which was bad he retired from ten out of twelve races but the two he finished in South Africa and Germany he was third.

He returned to Lotus the following season where he claimed fourth place with him being in the top four in every race he managed to finish. Rinidt witnessed the deaths of close friends Bruce McLaren and Piers Courage months before his death at Monza.

He promised his wife that he would retire after he won the world championship. However, Rnidt was killed in practice for the Italian Grand Prix after his brakes failed while he was trying to back off from the Ferrari’s he crashed into the barriers killing him.


Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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