Austria has quite an impressive racing history, despite the small size of the country. In rally sport, motocross as well as in F1 our country, over the years, has produced some renowned racers and world champions.
The three best known I guess are Jochen Rindt, Niki Lauda and Gerhard Berger but also Alexander Wurz and Christian Klien made their name in racing.
JOCHEN RINDT (1942-1970) started his career successfulIy in Formula 2 (by winning for instance the 1964 London Trophy) but kept on choosing the wrong F1 cars. He made his F1 debut for Rob Walker Racing Team in the 1964 Austrian Grand Prix. Having raced for Cooper Car Company and the Brabham team Rindt, an exceptionally fast driver with superb car control and reflexes, moved to Lotus and it was with Lotus that his career took off.
1970 his life ended tragically during the fifth lap of the final practice session for the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. Braking for the Parabolica corner Jochen's car weaved slightly and then swerved sharp left into the crash barrier.
A joint in the crash barrier parted, the suspension dug in under the barrier and the car hit a stanchion head on. The front end of the car was destroyed. Although Rindt was rushed to hospfital, he was pronounced dead. Jochen had only recently acquiesced to wearing a simple lap belt, and had slid underneath where the belt buckle cut his throat.
He was the second Lotus team leader to be killed in two years, as Jim Clark had been killed in 1968. An Italian court later found that the accident was initiated by a failure of the car's right front brake shaft, but that Rindt's death was caused by poorly installed crash barriers.