|Date of Birth||18-4-42|
Rindt is Formula 1's only postumous World Champion, crowned in 1970 several races after his death during qualifying at the Italian GP. His death has been attributed to running his Lotus 72 without wings (both front and rear) and higher gearing (in order to increase straight-line speed) as well as relatively unscrubbed tyres which were a different compound on either side of the car. The excess stress (an untested 205mph compared to the normal 190mph) on the car caused the front brake-shaft to fail, and the car briefly slid under some badly installed guard rails instead of bouncing off, which caused the front of the car to be ripped off. He also wasn't wearing a crotch strap (to enable him to get out of the car in case of fire), which allowed him to slide forward in the car, trapping his feet in the pedals and crushing his chest and thorax.
Before joining Team Lotus, Rindt had driven in F1 (unsuccessfully) for Cooper and Brabham. He was, however, an excellent F2 (what could now be described at Formula GP2) driver, remaining unbeaten in six-and-a-half years against such competitors as Jim Clark, Jackie Stweart and Graham Hill.
Upon joining Lotus he hit a winning streak and according to Stewart would have probably won several more championships. Though he had said he'd retire at the end of the 1970 season. Of the forthcoming Lotus 72 he said "Just you wait until I get my new Lotus - it will make this lot look a load of junk". In qualifying at Monza he was unable to keep up with the pace of the Ferrari of Clay Regazzoni and with the approval of Colin Chapman made changes to his car. Of those changes John Miles (Rindt's team mate) said "I don't want to run without wing because this is the first time in my life that I was really frightened in a racing car".