Peter Gethin

Peter Gethin

Brief Overview:

Peter Gethin, not a widely-celebrated name in Formula 1, but he made a mark with one spectacular race that defined his career. Born in Ewell, Surrey, Gethin could have followed in his father’s footsteps as a jockey, yet his passion for motorsports led him down a different path.

Early Career:

  • Beginnings: Gethin’s journey in racing began in 1962 with the Racing Club.
  • Transition to Formula 2: In 1965, he entered Formula 2, but without significant success initially.
  • Formative Years: His real breakthrough came in the British Formula 5000, where he secured championship titles in 1969 and 1970 driving a McLaren.

Formula 1 Entry:

  • McLaren Stint: Gethin’s F1 debut wasn’t remarkable, although he managed a sixth-place finish at the Canadian Grand Prix.
  • Move to BRM: In 1971, after a lackluster performance with McLaren, Gethin transitioned to BRM. This move proved pivotal.

Memorable Victory:

  • Italian Grand Prix 1971: Gethin’s standout moment in F1 occurred at the Italian Grand Prix, where he clinched an astonishing victory. Starting 11th, he surged to the front, leading the race in its closing laps. This win was significant for two reasons:
    • Record Speed: His average speed of 242.616 km/h set a record for the fastest F1 race, which stood until 2004.
    • Narrowest Winning Margin: Gethin won with a margin of just 0.01 seconds over Ronnie Peterson, the closest in F1 history at that time.

Later Career:

  • 1972 Season: The subsequent season didn’t mirror his earlier success, with Gethin scoring only a single point.
  • Formula 2 Achievement: He won the Grand Prix of Pau in F2, showcasing his talent for winning with tight margins.
  • Final F1 Races: Gethin’s last F1 appearances were less impactful, including his final race in 1974 with Lola.

Post-Racing Life:

  • Can-Am and Retirement: After a brief hiatus, Gethin competed in the Can-Am series in 1977, achieving a notable victory at Elkhart Lake. He retired shortly thereafter.
  • Continued Automotive Involvement: Post-retirement, Gethin remained involved in the automotive world, managing a driving school at Goodwood.
  • Passing: Gethin passed away in December 2011 due to a brain tumor.
Peter Gethin

Peter Gethin

  • Full Name: Peter Kenneth Gethin
  • Nationality: United Kingdom
  • Date of Birth: February 21, 1940
  • Place of Birth: Ewell, Surrey, England
  • Date of Death: December 5, 2011 (age 71)
  • Cause of Death: Brain Tumor
  • First Grand Prix: Monaco 1970
  • Last Grand Prix: Britain 1974
  • Best Result: 1st place
  • Best Grid Position: 2nd
  • Best World Championship Ranking: 9th in 1971
  • Total F1 Involvements: 58
  • Total F1 Grands Prix: 52
  • Total F1 No Starts: 6
  • Teams Raced For: 6 constructors over 5 seasons
  • Engine Builders: 2 different engine builders
  • Total Car Models Raced: 11
  • Total F1 Wins: 1 (representing 1.92% of total races)
  • Total Podiums: 14 (26.92%)
  • Total Fastest Laps: 3 (5.77%)
  • Total Retirements: 15 (28.85% of total races)
  • Non-World Championship Involvements: 18
  • Total Points: 107
  • Points Per Grand Prix: 2.06
  • Average Points Per Season: 15.29
  • Total Laps Led: 116
  • Total Kilometers Led: 737 km
  • Total Laps Raced: 2,931
  • Total Kilometers Raced: 16,014 km
  • Average Starting Grid Position: 7.19
  • Average Finishing Position: 5.28

Peter Gethin’s career in Formula 1 was marked by his remarkable win at the 1971 Italian Grand Prix, which he won by the smallest margin in F1 history, and his ability to secure victories with minimal advantages. After retiring from racing, he remained involved in the automotive world, including running a driving school at Goodwood. Gethin passed away in 2011 due to a brain tumor.

Legacy Peter Kenneth Gethin:

Gethin’s career, though not filled with constant triumphs, will always be remembered for that incredible victory at Monza in 1971, showcasing his skill and determination in the world of Formula 1 racing.

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