1974 South African Grand Prix
It was initially uncertain that the South African Grand Prix would go ahead due to the power crisis, but it did so, albeit belatedly in March. Lotus stunned the paddock with an innovative model on display with four pedals and an electric clutch.
However, practice was overshadowed by a tragic accident which cost the life of Peter Revson, his team Shadow withdrawing as a result. Niki Lauda took pole by a fraction from Carlos Pace. The two Lotus cars tangled shortly after the start, also involving Jochen Mass and Henri Pescarolo whilst Tom Belsø's race lasted no more than a few hundred yards due to clutch failure. Lauda led a train of cars consisting of Carlos Reutemann, Clay Regazzoni, Jody Scheckter and James Hunt, whose Hesketh was suffering vibration problems.
Mike Hailwood caught and passed Scheckter when he missed a gear, and then passed Reutemann on lap 9. On lap 75, nearly at the finish, Lauda was forced to retire with ignition problems and low oil pressure, handing the lead to Reutemann. This was the first Argentine victory since Juan Manuel Fangio and Brabham's first since the 1970 South African Grand Prix. Jean-Pierre Beltoise fought his way up through the field to 2nd, capping a fine drive by holding off a determined challenge from Mike Hailwood who took the final podium place.
- While driving the Ford UOP Shadow-Ford DN3 in a test session before the race, Peter Revson suffered a front suspension failure, and crashed heavily into the Armco barrier on the outside of Barbecue Bend (Turn 2), and was killed. Denny Hulme tried to save his life, but to no avail.
- Carlos Reutemann's first Formula One victory.
Standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
Unless otherwise indicated, all race results are taken from "The Official Formula 1 website". Retrieved 2007-06-15.
1974 Brazilian Grand Prix
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1974 Spanish Grand Prix
1973 South African Grand Prix
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1975 South African Grand Prix