The 1973 Formula One season was the 27th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1973 World Championship of Drivers and the 1973 International Cup for F1 Manufacturers, which were contested concurrently over a fifteen-race series that commenced on 28 January and ended on 7 October. There were two new races for the 1973 season - the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos in São Paulo and the Swedish Grand Prix at Anderstorp. The season also included two non-championship races which were open to both Formula One and Formula 5000 cars.
The World Championship of Drivers was won by Jackie Stewart, driving for Elf Team Tyrrell, and the International Cup for F1 Manufacturers by John Player Team Lotus. In the World Championship, Lotus teammates Emerson Fittipaldi and Ronnie Peterson raced each other while Stewart was supported at Tyrrell by François Cevert. Stewart took the Drivers' title at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, but then at the final race of the season, the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, Cevert crashed during Saturday practice in the notorious 'Esses' and was killed instantly. Stewart and Tyrrell withdrew from the race, handing the Manufacturers' title to Lotus. At the end of the season Stewart made public his decision to retire, a decision that had been made before the US Grand Prix. By the end of the 1973 season the best car on the track was probably the new McLaren M23, a wedge-shaped car following the same concept as the Lotus 72 but with more conventional suspension and up-to-date aerodynamics. The 1973 season marked the debut of future world champion James Hunt at the Monaco Grand Prix driving a privateer March 731 entered by Hesketh Racing.
The 1973 season saw the intervention of a Safety Car in Formula One for the first time, in the form of a Porsche 914 at the Canadian Grand Prix. However, this safety concept would not be officially introduced until twenty years later, in 1993. As well as Cevert, Briton Roger Williamson was also killed during the season, in a crash at the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.
Another change to the rules introduced this season was the cars doing a full warm-up lap before the race. Prior to this, tracks included a dummy grid a short distance behind a grid proper, and the cars would simply move from one to the other to begin the race.
It was also this season that the numbering system for teams was formalised. In the second race of the season in Brazil, team-mates were paired - Lotus drivers 1 and 2; Tyrrell's 3 and 4 and so on - though the numbers assigned to each team still changed for a couple of races until the fifth race, the Belgian Grand Prix, at which the order was set for the rest of the season. For 1974, the numbers were assigned based on finishing positions in the 1973 constructor's championship, after which teams did not change numbers unless they won the drivers' championship (or signed the current world champion), or if a team dropped out.
The following teams and drivers contested the 1973 World Championship.
|John Player Team Lotus||Lotus-Ford||72D
|Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||G||Emerson Fittipaldi||All|
|Elf Team Tyrrell||Tyrrell-Ford||005
|Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||G||Jackie Stewart||All|
| Motor Racing Developments
Ceramica Pagnossin MRD
Hexagon of Highgate
|Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||G||Carlos Reutemann||All|
|Andrea de Adamich||4-6, 8-9|
|John Watson||9, 15|
|Yardley Team McLaren||McLaren-Ford||M19A
|Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||G||Denny Hulme||All|
|Peter Revson||1-7, 9-15|
|Jody Scheckter||3, 8-9, 14-15|
|Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC||Ferrari||312B2
|Ferrari 001/1 3.0 F12
Ferrari 001/11 3.0 F12
|G||Jacky Ickx||1-9, 13|
|Arturo Merzario||1-3, 6, 8, 12-15|
| Clarke-Mordaunt-Guthrie Racing
Team Pierre Robert
|Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||
|Mike Beuttler||1-7, 9-15|
| STP March Racing Team
March Racing Team
|Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||G||Jean-Pierre Jarier||1-3, 5-8, 12, 14-15|
| Team Surtees
Brooke Bond Oxo Team Surtees
Ceramica Pagnossin Team Surtees
|Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||Mike Hailwood||All|
|Andrea de Adamich||3|
|Jochen Mass||9, 11, 15|
|BRM P142 3.0 V12||Jean-Pierre Beltoise||All|
|Clay Regazzoni||1-13, 15|
|Frank Williams Racing Cars||Iso-Marlboro-Ford||FX3B
|Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||Nanni Galli||1-2, 4-6|
|Henri Pescarolo||8, 11|
|Gijs van Lennep||10, 12-13|
|UOP Shadow Racing||Shadow-Ford||DN1||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||G||Jackie Oliver||3-15|
|Scribante Lucky Strike Racing||Lotus-Ford||72D||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||Dave Charlton||3|
|Blignaut Lucky Strike Racing||Tyrrell-Ford||004||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||G||Eddie Keizan||3|
|Embassy Racing||Shadow-Ford||DN1||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||G||Graham Hill||4-15|
|Martini Racing Team||Tecno||PA123/6||Tecno Series-P 3.0 F12||Chris Amon||5-6, 9-10, 12|
|LEC Refrigeration Racing||March-Ford||731||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||G||David Purley||6, 9-11, 13|
|Hesketh Racing||March-Ford||731||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||G||James Hunt||6, 8-10, 12-15|
|Team Ensign||Ensign-Ford||N173||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||Rikky von Opel||8-10, 12-15|
|1||Argentine Grand Prix||Autódromo Oscar Alfredo Gálvez, Buenos Aires||28 January|
|2||Brazilian Grand Prix||Autodromo de Interlagos, São Paulo||11 February|
|3||South African Grand Prix||Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, Midrand||3 March|
|4||Spanish Grand Prix||Montjuïc circuit, Barcelona||29 April|
|5||Belgian Grand Prix||Circuit Zolder, Heusden-Zolder||20 May|
|6||Monaco Grand Prix||Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo||3 June|
|7||Swedish Grand Prix||Scandinavian Raceway, Anderstorp||17 June|
|8||French Grand Prix||Paul Ricard Circuit, Le Castellet||1 July|
|9||British Grand Prix||Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone||14 July|
|10||Dutch Grand Prix||Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort||29 July|
|11||German Grand Prix||Nürburgring, Nürburg||5 August|
|12||Austrian Grand Prix||Österreichring, Spielberg||19 August|
|13||Italian Grand Prix||Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza||9 September|
|14||Canadian Grand Prix||Mosport Park, Bowmanville||23 September|
|15||United States Grand Prix||Watkins Glen International, New York||7 October|
The Belgian Grand Prix was moved from Nivelles-Baulers to Circuit Zolder, in keeping with the event-sharing arrangement between the two circuits. It also carried the title of European Grand Prix for 1973.
The Dutch Grand Prix returned to the calendar in 1973, it was cancelled in 1972 due to safety upgrades that were not completed at the Zandvoort Circuit in time for the 1972 race. The upgrade were ready including new asphalt, new barriers, a change in the circuit's layout and a new race control tower for the race on 29 July.
The following races counted towards both the 1973 World Championship of Drivers and the 1973 International Cup for F1 Manufacturers.
|Round||Grand Prix||Pole position||Fastest lap||Winning driver||Winning constructor||Tyre||Report|
|1||Argentine Grand Prix||Clay Regazzoni||Emerson Fittipaldi||Emerson Fittipaldi||Lotus-Ford||G||Report|
|2||Brazilian Grand Prix||Ronnie Peterson|| Emerson Fittipaldi
|3||South African Grand Prix||Denny Hulme||Emerson Fittipaldi||Jackie Stewart||Tyrrell-Ford||G||Report|
|4||Spanish Grand Prix||Ronnie Peterson||Ronnie Peterson||Emerson Fittipaldi||Lotus-Ford||G||Report|
|5||Belgian Grand Prix||Ronnie Peterson||François Cevert||Jackie Stewart||Tyrrell-Ford||G||Report|
|6||Monaco Grand Prix||Jackie Stewart||Emerson Fittipaldi||Jackie Stewart||Tyrrell-Ford||G||Report|
|7||Swedish Grand Prix||Ronnie Peterson||Denny Hulme||Denny Hulme||McLaren-Ford||G||Report|
|8||French Grand Prix||Jackie Stewart||Denny Hulme||Ronnie Peterson||Lotus-Ford||G||Report|
|9||British Grand Prix||Ronnie Peterson||James Hunt||Peter Revson||McLaren-Ford||G||Report|
|10||Dutch Grand Prix||Ronnie Peterson||Ronnie Peterson||Jackie Stewart||Tyrrell-Ford||G||Report|
|11||German Grand Prix||Jackie Stewart||Carlos Pace||Jackie Stewart||Tyrrell-Ford||G||Report|
|12||Austrian Grand Prix||Emerson Fittipaldi||Carlos Pace||Ronnie Peterson||Lotus-Ford||G||Report|
|13||Italian Grand Prix||Ronnie Peterson||Jackie Stewart||Ronnie Peterson||Lotus-Ford||G||Report|
|14||Canadian Grand Prix||Ronnie Peterson||Emerson Fittipaldi||Peter Revson||McLaren-Ford||G||Report|
|15||United States Grand Prix||Ronnie Peterson||James Hunt||Ronnie Peterson||Lotus-Ford||G||Report|
Points were awarded on a 9-6-4-3-2-1 basis to the first six finishers in each race. For classification, only the seven best results from the first eight races and the six best results from the last seven races were retained. Drivers who scored an equal number of points were awarded equal championship classifications, regardless of the relative number of wins, second places, etc. scored by each driver. The FIA did not award a championship classification to those drivers who did not score points in the championship.
+ Cevert suffered a fatal accident in qualifying for the United States Grand Prix.
Points were awarded on a 9-6-4-3-2-1 basis to the first six finishers in each race. Points were only awarded for the position filled by the best placed car from each manufacturer. For classification, only the seven best results from the first eight races and the six best results from the last seven races were retained, Points in the table outside of the parentheses are the points which contributed to the championship, points within parentheses show the total points scored.
Ensign, which did not score points during the championship, was not given a classification in the official FIA results.
|Race Name||Circuit||Date||Winning driver||Constructor||Report|
|VIII Race of Champions||Brands Hatch||18 March||Peter Gethin||Chevron-Chevrolet||Report|
|XXV BRDC International Trophy||Silverstone||8 April||Jackie Stewart||Tyrrell-Ford||Report|