BIOGRAPHY
Full Name Peter John Arundell
Nationality British
Born 8 November 1933, Ilford
Died 16 June 2009, King’s Lynn – 75 years
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FORMULA 1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CAREER
Entries Races Non-Starts Best Grid Wins Podiums F/L Pts DNFs
13 11 2 4/20 0 2 0 12 3
First Grand Prix Last Grand Prix
1964 Monaco Grand Prix 1966 Mexican Grand Prix
Season Team Chassis Engine Races Poles Wins Podiums F/L Pts Rank
1963 Lotus 25 Climax 1.5 V8 0 0 0 0 0 0 NC
1964 Lotus 25 Climax 1.5 V8 4 0 0 2 0 11 8th
1966 Lotus 43
33
33
BRM 3.0 H16
BRM 2.0 V8
Climax 2.0 V8
1
5
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
17th
FORMULA 1 NON-CHAMPIONSHIP HIGHLIGHTS
Year Event Team Chassis Engine Result
1963 Solitude Grand Prix
Mediterranean Grand Prix
Team Lotus 25 Climax V8 2nd
2nd
1964 News of the World Trophy
Syracuse Grand Prix
Aintree 200
BRDC International Trophy
Team Lotus 25 Climax V8 2nd
3rd
3rd
3rd
1966 South African Grand Prix Team Lotus 33 Climax V8 3rd
OTHER CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Season Series Team Races Poles Wins Podiums F/L Pts Rank
1961 Monaco Junior Race Team Lotus 1 0 1 1 0 1st
1964 French Formula 2 Team Lotus 2 0 0 1 0 4 10th
1966 British Saloon Car Team Lotus ? ? ? ? ? 38 3rd

Peter Arundell, Team Lotus BRM 25 - 1966 French Grand Prix


Biography

Peter Arundell should have been a star on the Formula 1 World Championship stage, but his time in the limelight was cut short by a massive Formula 2 accident at Reims.

He began his racing career in a MG TC in 1957, later going on to race a Lotus XI and then a Lola sports car.  Victory in an end-of-season Formula Junior race in a front-engined Elva was enough to impress Team Lotus founder Colin Chapman, who signed the Essex driver to his Formula Junior team for 1960.  Arundell repaid Chapman’s faith by beating, on occasion, teammates Jim Clark and Trevor Taylor.

While Clark progressed to Formula 1, Arundell stayed on for another season with Team Lotus as number-two to Taylor and the highlight of his season was victory in the Monaco Junior race.

Remaining for a third season as team leader, Arundell romped to the BARC Formula Junior Championship title with 18 wins from 25 starts.

He should have graduated to Formula 1 in 1963, but decided to forego a drive at a rival team and instead committed himself to another season of Formula Junior.  A superb drive in the non-championship Formula 1 Syracuse Grand Prix netted him second place, and he repeated the feat at the Mediterranean Grand Prix.  Surely, by now, he would land a seat in the World Championship.

Chapman duly awarded him a drive for the 1964 season, and Arundell – resplendent in his vermillion red crash helmet – repaid him with a podium on debut at the Monaco Grand Prix, and repeated the feat next time out at Zandvoort.  His performances were equally impressive on the non-championship stage, with a second place at the inaugural News of the World Trophy, and a trio of third placings at the Syracuse Grand Prix, Aintree 200 and International Trophy.

Arundell was also on the grid for the inaugural Formula 2 Championship, placing third at the Pau Grand Prix and second at the Grovewood Trophy race.  Then came the fateful race at Reims, where his spinning Lotus was T-boned by Richie Ginther and Arundell’s car was sent into an earth bank.  Thrown out of the cockpit, a severely concussed Arundell suffered a broken arm, collarbone and femur.

A lengthy rehabilitation kept him out of the cockpit for 1965, but Chapman promised him a place in the team when he could return to full fitness.  He returned to the F1 stage at the non-championship South African Grand Prix on New Year’s Day, placing third.  As the season progressed, however, Arundell did not.  To be fair, his equipment was not up to the task either and his sole points’ finish was a sixth place at Watkins Glen.

When Chapman signed Graham Hill for the 1967 season, Arundell was squeezed out.

He moved to the United States and later founded the Mystique software company – its most notorious claim to fame was the production of a number of unlicensed pornographic video games.

Serious illness triggered his return to the United Kingdom, although his ill health did not prevent him from outings at occasional historic festivals.  After a lengthy ill spell, he passed away at the age of 75 in 2009.

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