The 1961 Italian Grand Prix is remembered for two reasons. First is was where Phil Hill became the first American to win the Formula 1 World Championship and to date the only American to have been born there, the previously Italian Mario Andretti only becoming a naturalised American at the age of 24. Second, of course, was the terrible accident that took the life of Wolfgang von Trips and over a dozen spectators. It remains the worst accident in the history of Formula 1 and I think second only to Le Mans 1955 in all of racing.
Phil Hill is an underrated F1 champion | Thank Frankel it’s Friday
Andrew Frankel has been racing cars for over 20 years and testing them for nearer to 30. He is senior contributing writer to both Autocar and MotorSport magazines, sits on the Car of the Year jury and was chief car tester for the Sunday Times for 15 years. He cites driving and writing as the only disciplines for which he has any talent and therefore considers himself vocationally employed. When he is not working he lives quietly in the Wye Valley with his family, a small and unimportant accumulation of cheap old cars and some sheep.