• Argentine Grand Prix

Reigning champion opens season with victory

ESPNF1 Staff
January 28, 1973
Jackie Stewart holds off Emerson Fittipaldi © Sutton Images
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Reigning world champion Emerson Fittipaldi opened his 1973 account with a win for Lotus after overtaking Tyrrell's Francois Cevert late in the race.

Pole position went to the BRM of Clay Regazzoni with Fittipaldi second ahead of the Ferrari of Jacky Ickx and Jackie Stewart's Tyrrell.

But the best start came from the French driver Francois Cevert who had qualified sixth but stormed up to challenge for the lead at turn one. He, Fittipaldi and Regazzoni all arrived together and Cevert emerged ahead but his lead was brief as Regazzoni nipped inside a corner later.

Regazzoni stayed ahead until lap 29 when the BRM's tyres went off and he fell back, giving Cevert the lead from Fittipaldi.

Stewart moved up to second to chase his team-mate by lap 32 with Fittipaldi and Ronnie Peterson waiting behind him. On lap 68, of 96, Peterson stopped with an engine problem and Stewart began to develop tyre graining which dropped him behind Fittipaldi who began his pursuit of Cevert. The gap dropped between the two leaders and a battle royal began as the Lotus harried the Tyrrell and eventually moved ahead on lap 86.

Cevert stayed ahead of team-mate Stewart with Ickx taking fourth for Ferrari. The last point went to Emerson's elder brother, Wilson, making it a day to celebrate for the family.

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