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1971 Monza winner Gethin dies 05 Dec 2011

Winner Peter Gethin(GBR) BRM P160, the closest margin of victory in GP history Italian GP, Monza, 5 September 1971 Winner Peter Gethin(GBR) BRM P160 (right), Ronnie Peterson(SWE) March 711 and Francois Cevert(FRA) Tyrrell 002(left) Italian GP, Monza 5 September 1971 (L to R): Peter Gethin (GBR) BRM celebrates the then closest ever GP victory and the highest ever average race speed on the podium with Louis Stanley (GBR) BRM Team Owner. Italian Grand Prix, Monza, 5 September 1971.

British driver Peter Gethin, winner of the 1971 Italian Grand Prix, has died at the age of 71 after succumbing to a long illness. During 30 Formula One starts, Gethin raced for McLaren, BRM and Graham Hill’s Embassy team.

Surrey-born Gethin made his F1 debut, aged 30, for McLaren in 1970, the team drafting him in following the death of founder Bruce McLaren. However, he was best known for his Monza triumph, which saw the top five finishers covered by just 0.61s.

Gethin’s victory came in only his second Grand Prix for BRM, after he had switched from McLaren for the 1971 season, again stepping into the breach following the death of a team’s star driver, in this case Mexico’s Pedro Rodriguez.

The ’71 Italian race - then the fastest Grand Prix in F1 history in terms of average speed - was to be Gethin’s only Formula One triumph and he scored just one more world championship point, with sixth place for BRM again at Monza in 1972.

After a single appearance for BRM in 1973 he concluded his Formula One career with a one-off outing for Graham Hill’s eponymous team at his home Grand Prix in 1974, though he later returned to the sport as team manager for Toleman in the mid ‘80s.

It was arguably Gethin’s adventures in other series, however, that best illustrated his versatility as a driver. He notably won the 1973 Race of Champions at Brands Hatch at the wheel of an F5000 car, in doing so beating a strong line-up of F1 drivers and machinery.