BRM logo with text, BRM The Inside Story


We've decided to skip 1961, simply because we haven't been able to definitively identify any photos from that season.

1961 was a year to forget for BRM anyway. A single third place was the highlight of the season, and a meagre seven points was the total haul in the constructor's championship. A change in engine regulations had meant that BRM were forced to use Climax engines, which meant they couln't match Ferrari on power, and they couldn't match the lightness and agility of Cooper and Lotus.

To be honest, we haven't got many photos from 1962 either, but for reasons which may already be obvious, and if not will certainly become so, we just couldn't ignore such an important year for British Racing Motors.

German Grand Prix 1962

5th August 1962

The 1962 German Grand Prix, or XXIV Grosser Preis von Deutschland, was the sixth race of the season. Graham Hill had won the first race of the year for BRM, and maintained his lead in the championship thus far. But Jim Clark, in the revolutionary monocoque chassised Lotus, had fought back to win at Spa and Aintree to sit just a single point behind Hill.

Ferrari meanwhile, had not even made it to the last couple of races, because of a strike by staff. Phil Hill had been second in the Driver's Championship when the strike began, but he was down to fourth when Ferrari came back.

Practise & Qualifying

Though it was August when the F1 circus rocked up in Germany, the fearsome Nürburgring circuit was for the most part cold and wet, making the huge track an even more daunting and unpredictable prospect.

But Graham Hill, Bruce McLaren, and Tony Maggs were to face an even more unpredictable, and potentially lethal danger, German television.

The national broadcaster had bolted a large camera onto the back of Carol de Beaufort's car, but according to Denis Jenkinson's race report...

Going down the steep descent into Fuchsrohre the camera mounting broke and the large TV camera fell off the back of de Beaufort’s Porsche...
Soon afterwards Graham Hill came charging down the hill at 140mph, to find this large object lying in the road. There was no possible hope of avoiding it and as the BRM ran over it the oil radiator and pipes were ripped off and the oil poured out onto the road and the car’s rear tyres, and Hill found himself spinning through the bushes and trees. By a miracle the car stayed upright, even though the right-hand rear wheel and suspension was ripped off, and with a crashing of undergrowth the car came to rest, with Graham shaken and bruised.

Fortunately, having noticed the dust and general disturbance, McLaren slowed down and avoided the danger. Maggs however did not. He hit the oil spilled from Hill's car at full speed and span off into the trees and hedges. Like Hill he was battered and bruised but not seriously hurt. He and Hill probably counted themselves lucky to escape without serious injury.

The Grid

Porsche had completed many hours of testing at Nürburgring whilst developing their car, so it was no great surprise that Dan Gurney took pole position. Graham Hill qualified second in the BRM P57, followed by Jim Clark, John Surtees, and Bruce McLaren.

Nürburgring Nordschleife

The fearsome Nürburgring track was built in the 1920s around the village and medieval castle of Nürburg in the Eifel mountains. The "Green Hell" as it was nicknamed by Jackie Stewart, was a huge 20.8 km long circuit with an elevation change of over 300 metres.

Nürburgring Nordschleife Policar Track Plan

German flag

Footprint :- 13.38 x 8.91m

Lanes :- 2

Lane Length :- 47.21m

Track :-Policar

Nurburgring Policar layout perspective view Nürburgring Policar layout colour coded
Track List
P0??½ R1x9
P043½ R2x5
P023½ Sx18

The Race

On the day of the race it had been raining all the previous night, and it continued to rain for most of the day. As the start of the race approached, torrential rain forced a postponement of an hour.

Many of the hollows out on track had been flooded, and the earth banks had washed mud onto the road. Workers had cleared the track, but conditions were far from ideal. Eventually the field were sent out for a sighter lap, so that all of the drivers had fair warning of the treacherous track conditions.

1962 German GP programme cover


As the race began it was still drizzling, but Dan Gurney got away without incident to lead Graham Hill up the back straight with Phil Hill jumping several places into third, and Surtees right behind him.

Jim Clark however had a disastrous start. He'd been so preoccupied with making sure his goggles weren't steamed up that he forgot to switch on the fuel pumps. He was stranded on the grid as the rest of the field passed him.

The 360,000 strong crowd were no doubt delighted to see the Porsche in the lead, but Graham Hill was pushing hard in an attempt to pass.

Meanwhile Clark, no doubt furious with himself, was pushing hardest of all and passed 17 cars on the first lap.


At the start of lap three, Hill managed to pass Gurney to take the lead, meanwhile Surtees had passed Phil Hill for third. The three leaders continued in tight formation, but established a clear gap back to McLaren, now in fourth. On lap six Surtees managed to pass Gurney to take second, as the Porsche driver struggled with a loose battery.

Clark meanwhile, was slicing seconds off the leaders' lap times, and was up to fourth place. He might well have managed to catch them, but the risks he was taking on the unpredictable track were perhaps beginning to seem to more of a gamble as he moved into a points scoring position. After a couple of huge slides on lap 11, he seemed to take the decision to back off a bit and settle for a hard earned fourth place.

The three leaders could not be separated, in a tense finale over the final laps. But Graham Hill just managed to stay ahead of Surtees and Gurney to take a hard fought, soaking wet victory for BRM.

2½ hours of racing at Nürburgring in the dry must be difficult enough, but add in the constant rain and a slippery track surface, and that must surely be a recipe for total exhaustion.


The win allowed Graham Hill to stretch out his single point lead over Clark to a more comfortable seven points. It also allowed BRM to snatch back the lead in the Constructors' Championship from Lotus.

A win a piece in the next two races would mean that either Hill or Clark could still win the Championship in the last race of the season in South Africa.

Race Results

1962 Nurburgring GP track layout graphic
Pos No Driver Constructor
1 11 Graham Hill BRM
2 14 John Surtees Lola-Climax
3 7 Dan Gurney Porsche
4 5 Jim Clark Lotus-Climax
5 9 Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax
6 3 Ricardo Rodríguez Ferrari
7 8 Jo Bonnier Porsche
8 12 Richie Ginther BRM
9 10 Tony Maggs Cooper-Climax
10 2 Giancarlo Baghetti Ferrari
11 25 Ian Burgess Cooper-Climax
12 19 Jo Siffert Lotus-Climax
13 18 Carel Godin de Beaufort Porsche
14 32 Heini Walter Porsche
15 26 Nino Vaccarella Porsche
16 21 Lucien Bianchi ENB-Maserati
Ret 20 Jackie Lewis Cooper-Climax
Ret 1 Phil Hill Ferrari
Ret 16 Jack Brabham Brabham-Climax
Ret 27 Keith Greene Gilby-BRM
Ret 15 Roy Salvadori Lola-Climax
Ret 17 Maurice Trintignant Lotus-Climax
Ret 4 Lorenzo Bandini Ferrari
Ret 28 Heinz Schiller Lotus-BRM
Ret 31 Bernard Collomb Cooper-Climax
Ret 6 Trevor Taylor Lotus-Climax

Championship Standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Graham Hill 28
2 Jim Clark 21
3 John Surtees 19
4 Bruce McLaren 18
5 Phil Hill 14
Pos Constructor Points
1 BRM 31
2 Lotus-Climax 27
3 Cooper-Climax 23
4 Lola-Climax 19
5 Porsche 16