Monza, also in April, was a must-win for Ferrari. It sent three cars with low-drag bodies, F1 exhausts for its 3-litre flat-12, and 30lb of lead in their noses. Still Cevert was untouchable in qualifying. In the race, however, Matra broke two front hubs and Ickx/Redman led a vital Ferrari 1-2.
Both teams, however, hit trouble in May: a DFV-powered Gulf-Mirage won at Spa and Porsche again embarrassed Ferrari at the Targa Florio. Matra stumbled at the Nürburgring, too, a spate of engine failures being blamed on a recent splitting of resources: race team at Paul Ricard, spare parts from Vélizy, a distance of 500 miles.
But Ferrari was far from unified, too. Told to hold station, Arturo Merzario passed team-mate Ickx, dropped behind him and gave him a couple of taps.
Redman: “It got pretty heated at the Nürburgring. Merzario clenched the wheel and didn’t look up. They had to prise him out of the car, physically. Jacky asked me to take the first stint at Le Mans [in June] because of that: he didn’t want the battle with Merzario.”
Schenken: “We chose a middling pace at Le Mans and Merzario lapped me before the first fuel stop. He locked up, bounced over the kerbs, kicked up some dust – I laughed out loud.”