• Brazilian Grand Prix

Emo overcomes broken glass and deluge to win in Brazil

Laurence Edmondson January 27, 1974
Carlos Reutemann sprints into the lead after a chaotic start © Sutton Images
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Emerson Fittipaldi won his second Brazilian Grand Prix, but only after the 40-lap race at Interlagos was shortened by nine laps because of rain. Clay Regazzoni's Ferrari took second place, while Jacky Ickx gave Lotus its first points of the season with third. Fittipaldi's win was the second in a row for a McLaren after Denny Hulme's fortuitous victory at the Argentine earlier in the month.

It was a generally chaotic day. The start was delayed after a party in the stands got out of control and several glass bottles made their way over the catch fencing and on to the track. The clean-up process kept the drivers waiting and then the engine in Arturo Mezario's Iso-Marlboro gave up, delaying the start further.

When the race finally got underway Carlos Reutemann and Ronnie Peterson made lightning starts from the third row to lead into the first corner. However, Reutemann overcooked his tyres by lap four, leaving a battle between Peterson and Fittipaldi for the lead. On lap 16 the intense fight came to end when Peterson peeled into the pits with a puncture - most likely from glass left on the track.

Fittipaldi took full advantage to lead from Regazzoni, but on lap 31 a tropical downpour hit Sao Paulo and made driving near impossible. The edges of the circuit, which had already broken up during practice, were washed away by the deluge and mud streamed across the tarmac, making for very slippery conditions.

The race organisers waved the red flag on the next lap and Fittipaldi was declared the winner, prompting another party in the grandstands.

Laurence Edmondson is an assistant editor on ESPNF1

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Laurence Edmondson is deputy editor of ESPNF1 Laurence Edmondson grew up on a Sunday afternoon diet of Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell and first stepped in the paddock as a Bridgestone competition finalist in 2005. He worked for ITV-F1 after graduating from university and has been ESPNF1's deputy editor since 2010