John Watson Biography: Northern Ireland-born John Watson is a former British racing driver and current commentator. He participated in Formula One and won five Grands Prix, finishing third in the 1982 championship. He also competed in the 1987 World Sportscar Championship, finishing second.
John Watson Biography
John Watson Biography: John Watson grew up in Belfast and attended Rockport School in Northern Ireland. Watson’s Formula One career began in 1972 when he drove a customer March-Cosworth 721 for Goldie Hexagon Racing in a non-championship event at Brands Hatch, the World Championship Victory Race. Watson made his World Championship debut in the 1973 season, competing in the British Grand Prix in a customer Brabham-Ford BT37 & the US Grand Prix in the third works Brabham BT42. Neither race was wildly successful, as he ran out of fuel on the 36th lap in the British race, and his engine broke after only seven laps in the US event.
Watson earned his first World Championship point while driving for Goldie Hexagon Racing in the 1974 Monaco Grand Prix. He scored six points that season while driving a team-modified customer Brabham BT42-Ford. The following year, he failed to gain Championship points despite driving for Team Surtees, Team Lotus, and Penske Cars. He had the opportunity to win his first professional race at the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix. He was second behind Mario Andretti until he had to stop in the pits for checks after his car began to vibrate. Andretti later retired, and Watson finished seventh after rejoining the race, his highest Championship performance in 1975. He did slightly better in non-championship events, finishing second in the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch and fourth in the International Trophy race at Silverstone.
John Watson Wiki
|Date Of Birth||4 May 1946|
|Birth Place||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
John Watson Career
Watson moved to McLaren in 1979, where he won the 1981 British Grand Prix and secured the first victory for a carbon fiber composite monocoque F1 car, the McLaren MP4/1. The strength of McLaren’s carbon fiber monocoque (designed by John Barnard) was demonstrated by his fiery accident at Monza during the Italian Grand Prix later in the 1981 season. As he left the high-speed Lesmo bends and drove into the barriers, Watson lost control of his car. Similar accidents had previously resulted in deaths, but Watson escaped unhurt from an accident that appeared far worse than it was. After James Hunt’s unexpected retirement after the 1979 Monaco Grand Prix, Watson was the only British F1 driver to compete full-time until the conclusion of his career.
His most successful year was 1982 when he won two Grands Prix and finished third in the Drivers’ Championship. Despite qualifying at the rear of the grid in some races, he attained high finishes. In 1982, at the debut Detroit Grand Prix, he overtook three cars in one lap on a tight, curving track that made passing challenging; starting from 17th on the grid, he charged through the field and won. Watson began the season’s final race at Caesars Palace with a slim possibility of winning the championship. Still, he finished five points behind Keke Rosberg and tied with Didier Pironi.
The following year, in 1983, he repeated the feat at the final Formula1 race in Long Beach; another street la, starting from 22nd on the grid, the most p back from which a modern Grand Prix driver had ever come to win a race. Watson’s final victory included a battle for position with teammate Niki Lauda, who began the race in the 23rd position; however, Watson finished 27 seconds ahead of his two-time World Champion teammate.