LAT Archive: Matra’s time as a successful Formula 1 oddity

Despite spending only five years as a fully fledged F1 constructor, Matra won both driver and team titles as well as harboured lofty sports car ambitions

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Later this year, one of three Matra MS650s will return to the French public roads for the Tour Auto Optic 2000.

The 3-litre V12 sports car, built to Group 6 regulations, may have failed to achieve its ultimate target – winning the Le Mans 24-hours in 1970 – but Matra’s Formula 1 team duly delivered the top prize the year before. Thanks to LAT Images, AutoClassics reflects on the team’s glorious but brief stint in F1.

Mexican Grand Prix

Mexico City. October 22, 1967

Jonathan Williams (Ferrari 312) in eighth position, leads Jean-Pierre Beltoise (Matra MS7-Cosworth) in seventh position.

Italian Grand Prix

Monza. September 6-8, 1968

After considerable success in the junior formula, Matra makes its F1 debut in 1968. Johnny Servoz-Gavin (Matra MS10 Ford) leads Jochen Rindt (Brabham BT26 Repco). Servoz-Gavin finishes in second position.

German Grand Prix

Nürburgring. August 1-3, 1969

Jean-Pierre Beltoise (Matra MS80 Ford).

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Mexican Grand Prix

Mexico City. October 23-25, 1970

Jean-Pierre Beltoise (Matra-Simca MS120) in fifth position.

South African Grand Prix

Kyalami. March 4-6, 1971

The field gets away at the start, with Clay Regazzoni (Ferrari 312B) leading from Emerson Fittipaldi (Lotus 72C Ford), Chris Amon (Matra MS120), Jacky Ickx and Mario Andretti (Ferrari 312B), Denny Hulme (McLaren M19A Ford), Jackie Stewart (Tyrrell 001 Ford) and, running wide, Peter Gethin (McLaren M14A Ford).

French Grand Prix

Clermont-Ferrand. June 30-July 2, 1972

Chris Amon (Matra MS120D) in third position.

United States Grand Prix West

Long Beach, California. March 28, 1976

Jacques Laffite (Ligier JS5-Matra) in fourth position

Austrian Grand Prix

Österreichring, Zeltweg. August 14-16, 1981

Jacques Laffite (Talbot Ligier JS17 Matra) takes the chequered flag for first position.

Images courtesy of LAT Archive

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