|1975 Austrian Grand Prix|
|Date||17 August 1975|
|Official name||XIII Memphis Großer Preis von Österreich|
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||5.911 km (3.673 miles)|
|Distance||29 laps, 171.419 km (106.517 miles)|
|Scheduled distance||54 laps, 319.914 km (198.342 miles)|
The 1975 Austrian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Österreichring on 17 August 1975. It was race 12 of 14 in both the 1975 World Championship of Drivers and the 1975 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers. It was the eighth Austrian Grand Prix and the sixth to be held at the Österreichring. It was held over 29 of the scheduled 54 laps of the six kilometre circuit for a race distance of 171 kilometres. The race was shortened by heavy rain, meaning that only half points were awarded. The weekend itself was marred by the deaths of Mark Donohue and a track marshal in a practice crash.
Mastering the wet weather, the race was won by Italian driver Vittorio Brambilla driving a March 751. It was Brambilla's only Formula One win in his seven-year Grand Prix career. He took a 27-second win over British driver James Hunt in his Hesketh 308. Eight seconds further back was the Shadow DN5 of British driver Tom Pryce in the first of just two podiums in his abbreviated career.
Niki Lauda delighted his home crowd by claiming his seventh pole position of the year. Rolf Stommelen returned after his crash in Spain but could only muster 26th position for qualifying. Chris Amon had returned for Ensign but only being able to qualify in 24th. Brett Lunger qualified well in his début for Hesketh to start 17th.
Practice was marred by a series of accidents, Brian Henton crashing his Lotus when he hit an oil patch and Wilson Fittipaldi breaking two bones in his hand. During the warm-up on Sunday morning, Mark Donohue had a tyre failure and crashed at Vöest-Hügel, the flat-out right hander after the pits. The car went through catch fencing and advertising billboards lining the track. One track marshal was killed and another marshall was injured. Donohue was injured but suffered a brain hemorrhage after the accident and died two days later.
As the grid formed up, there were reports of rain at the far side of the track. Thunderclouds were forming ominously and the cars were returned to the pits to change to wet tyres.
By lap 12, it was obvious that Lauda's car was not set up fully to cope with wet conditions and by lap 15 Hunt stormed by to lead for the fifth time this season. However, this was to be short-lived. The Hesketh's engine was running on only seven cylinders and Brambilla was clambering all over the back of the car. Ahead of them Lunger was driving carefully in his first wet race and could not see the leaders approaching him. Brambilla seized the lead and it took a further two laps for Hunt to finally pass his teammate. Peterson had to pit to replace a faulty visor, whilst the Brabham drivers found they had been racing with one of their own rear tyres and one of their teammates'. Jochen Mass spun out of third place, and soon there was frantic activity between the Grand Prix Drivers' Association and the race officials as to whether the race should continue - it was brought to a halt on lap 29.
As Brambilla took the flag, he crashed into the barriers and the March team celebrated a historic victory. However, behind the scenes, there was confusion. Some teams were preparing for a restart, but as the race had been stopped with a chequered flag only, this could not happen. The race results would stand, but with only half points awarded. Brambilla, the oldest man in the field at 37, had won his first Grand Prix.
With neither Carlos Reutemann nor Emerson Fittipaldi featuring in the points, Niki Lauda's sixth position actually allowed him to expand his points lead to 17.5 points. If Lauda scored any points at all at the Italian Grand Prix the Austrian driver could claim the championship.
|4||10||Hans Joachim Stuck||March-Ford||1:35.38||+0.53|
*Positions in red indicate entries that failed to qualify.
|2||24||James Hunt||Hesketh-Ford||29||+ 27.03||2||3|
|3||16||Tom Pryce||Shadow-Ford||29||+ 34.85||15||2|
|4||2||Jochen Mass||McLaren-Ford||29||+ 1:12.66||9||1.5|
|5||5||Ronnie Peterson||Lotus-Ford||29||+ 1:23.33||13||1|
|6||12||Niki Lauda||Ferrari||29||+ 1:30.28||1||0.5|
|7||11||Clay Regazzoni||Ferrari||29||+ 1:39.07||5|
|8||3||Jody Scheckter||Tyrrell-Ford||28||+ 1 Lap||10|
|9||1||Emerson Fittipaldi||McLaren-Ford||28||+ 1 Lap||3|
|10||18||John Watson||Surtees-Ford||28||+ 1 Lap||18|
|11||4||Patrick Depailler||Tyrrell-Ford||28||+ 1 Lap||7|
|12||31||Chris Amon||Ensign-Ford||28||+ 1 Lap||24|
|13||25||Brett Lunger||Hesketh-Ford||28||+ 1 Lap||17|
|14||7||Carlos Reutemann||Brabham-Ford||28||+ 1 Lap||11|
|15||23||Tony Brise||Hill-Ford||28||+ 1 Lap||16|
|16||22||Rolf Stommelen||Hill-Ford||27||+ 2 Laps||26|
|17||29||Lella Lombardi||March-Ford||26||+ 3 Laps||22|
|NC||33||Roelof Wunderink||Ensign-Ford||25||+ 4 Laps||28|
|Ret||10||Hans Joachim Stuck||March-Ford||10||Accident||4|
|DNS||28||Mark Donohue||March-Ford||0||Fatal accident||21|