Peter Gethin dies aged 71

Formula One race winner Peter Gethin died today aged 71 after a long illness.

In 1970, the British racing driver signed for McLaren, taking part in a few races that season and picking up a single point from finishing sixth in Canada. In 1971, he switched mid-way through the season to BRM, and picked up his only point in a shocking – and very close – win at Monza. In fact, it was the closest win ever in F1, by 0.01s on Ronnie Peterson, and only 0.61s from fifth-place finisher Howden Ganley. Taking place on the current Monza circuit but minus the chicanes, until 2003 it was the fastest Grand Prix ever to take place.

Gethin continued to drive for BRM, and scored one more point in 1972 – again at Monza. He raced once in 1973 and once in 1974, failing to score any points as he retired each time. But as a Grand Prix race winner, he clearly had talent. It is possible that, had he been in more reliable cars, he would have been able to have a more successful F1 career. But he will always go down in history as the winner of the closest victory ever.

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