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Emerson Fittipaldi – Monza 1971 (Photo of the day)

Submitted by on September 6, 2014

Emerson FittipaldiEmerson Fittipaldi and his gas-turbine powered Lotus 56B, Monza 1971.

What you’re staring at is the Golf Leaf gas turbine powered Lotus 56B, tearing around Monza in 1971. It’s a dramatic looking photograph, however Emerson wouldn’t go on to make the podium – he’d finish the race in eight position whilst Peter Gethin, Ronnie Peterson and Francois Cevert took the top three spots respectively. It was the only Formula One World Championship Grand Prix that Gethin would win during his career. Ronnie Peterson was just 0.01 of a second behind.

MORE: The very best of Emerson Fittipaldi (gallery)

Although the Gold Leaf Lotus looked fantastic, 1971 wasn’t Fittipaldi’s greatest year. He’d place sixth overall after taking second place in Australia, as well as third in Great Britain and France. This must have been frustrating for Fittipaldi in his first full year of Formula One competition, after winning the USA Grand Prix during his debut half-season in 1970.

MORE: Magic Moments – Nigel Mansell vs Emerson Fittipaldi (video)

As the story goes, 1972 would be the turning point for Emerson, he’d win a huge five Formula One World Championship Grands Prix and win the Drivers Championship outright. It was to be the first of his two World Championship titles. For now however, let’s drink in the sights of that Gold Leaf turbine powered 56B screaming towards the lens at Monza.

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