Peter Gethin winner of the 1971 Italian Grand Prix, by 0.01 seconds, has died at the age of 71. It is that one Formula One championship race victory he will be remembered for but Peter Gethin like many before and since showed a lot of talent in lower formulas, including F5000 where he was twice British champion, much of this talent though was never realised.

It is ironic that his move from Mclaren to BRM that bought him his biggest success, his win at the 1971 Italian Grand Prix, may have also denied him further success at a time when McLaren were on the up and BRM were on the way down.

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Peter Gethin in the McLaren M19A

Peter Gethin in the McLaren M19A, Photo Courtesy of Michael Dodsworth

Gethin had been successful in F5000 before coming into the Mclaren team in mid 1970 following the tragic circumstance of Bruce McLaren’s death; it was also tragic events that bought him to BRM following the death of Pedro Rodriquez. At the time moving from a Mclaren team with the poor M19A that struggled to finish races for BRM who were on there way to a second place finish in the constructor’s championship in 1971 must have seemed the right one; Peter Revson however, Gethin’s replacement at McLaren for 1972, scored eight podiums and two wins over the next two seasons with the team, in 1974 Emerson Fittipaldi won the Word Championship with McLaren.


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Peter Gethin in the BRM P160

Peter Gethin in the BRM P160, Image Courtesy of Michael Dodsworth


After a difficult 1972 season at BRM Gethin left and in 1973 he was back in F5000. His win in a F5000 car at the Race Of Champions in 1973 in a mixed F5000 and F1 grid could in many ways be seen as his finest achievement, the only time anyone achieved this. Sadly it wasn’t enough to get him a full time drive and one off races in a BRM in 1973 and in a Lola in 1974 driving for Graham Hill Racing were his last two F1 outings.


Peter Gethin would later become team manager at Toleman in 1984, joining in the same season as Senna. He left Toleman in 1986 and set up F3000 team Peter Gethin Racing. Peter Gethin’s death on the 5th off December 2011 comes following a long illness.

December 6, 2011 at 2:10 am by admin
Category: F1 News
Tags: brm, F1, f5000, gethin, M19A, McLaren, P160, toleman