Best of the Cahier Archive: Emerson Fittipaldi
“Emmo” as he was known to his huge legion of fans, was Brazil’s first Formula One World Champion.
With two World Championships, 14 wins and six pole positions, Fittipaldi paved the way for future South American greats and sparked a passion for Formula 1 that continues in Brazil today.
Fittipaldi finished sixth in the drivers championship in his first full F1 season in 1971 and then stormed to the Championship in 1972, taking five wins in the Lotus 72. In doing so he became the sports youngest world champion at the age of 25 years and 273 days. The record would stand until Fernando Alonso won the 2005 title, and then was lowered again by Sebastian Vettel in 2010.
Fittipaldi left Lotus at the end of 1973 to sign with the promising McLaren team. Driving the highly efficient McLaren M23, Emmo took three victories and four podiums to claim his second drivers championship in 1974
At the height of his powers Fittipaldi shocked everyone by leaving McLaren to race for older brother Wilson Fittipaldi’s Copersucar-sponsored Fittipaldi Automotive team in 1976 . He remained with the team for five very lean seasons, with a best finish of second, and retired from Formula 1 at the end of 1980.