One-time Grand Prix winner Jochen Mass will make his debut as the drivers’ representative on the FIA Stewards’ panel at this weekend’s German Grand Prix.
The German, 67, has an unusual claim: he remains the only F1 driver whose sole race win earned half-points, after claiming victory in the red-flagged Spanish Grand Prix in 1975 when Rolf Stommelen’s Embassy Hill crashed and killed four spectators.
Mass started his motorsport career in sprints and hillclimbs, but shot to prominence due to his exploits in touring cars and Formula 2 in the early 1970s.
He F1 debut came at the 1973 British Grand Prix driving for Surtees, and in 1974 he switched to the Yardley-backed McLaren M23 that had previously been piloted by Mike Hailwood and David Hobbs.
Paired with Emerson Fittipaldi in the Marlboro-backed McLaren in 1975, he was joined by James Hunt in 1976 and despite a pair of podiums each in 1976 and 1977, he couldn’t match Hunt’s speed behind the wheel as the Briton took the championship title.
A switch to ATS in 1978 proved wretched, and culminated in a leg-breaking smash at Silverstone during testing. He joined Arrows in 1979, but achieved a total of seven points in two seasons.
Formula 1 left him behind in 1981, but he returned the following year to pilot the awful RAM March, and was wrongly blamed for the practice collision at Zolder with Gilles Villeneuve that took the French-Canadian’s life. The accident prompted his departure from F1 at the end of the season, and deeply affected Mass for years afterwards.
He subsequently went on to enjoy plenty of success in the world of sports car racing, peaking with a much sought after win at the 1989 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Sauber Mercedes.
Image via F1 Nostalgia
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