The first champ: Emmo

50 Years Of F1

What goes through your mind the day you’re about to win a world championship? How do you calm the nerves?

At Watkins Glen 1974, Brazilian legend Emerson Fittipaldi was troubled. “I’ve never felt as much pressure in my life and I lay sleepless in my hotel room the night before,” said Emmo. As he pulled his M23 into P8 on the starting grid, he couldn’t bear to look at title rival Clay Regazzoni, P9 behind him. “And I saw my mechanics couldn’t look at the Ferrari mechanics either.

The atmosphere was intense, electric even.” The relief came later. Fourth placed secured his second title and McLaren’s first.

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