In photos: New Zealand's Formula 1 racers

In photos: New Zealand's Formula 1 racers

15 October 2017 – Brendon Hartley will become the ninth New Zealander to compete in Formula 1 when he links up with Toro Rosso at the Circuit of the Americas next weekend. GPUpdate.net reflects on the previous eight.

Bruce McLaren (1958 – 1970)


The most famous Kiwi of them all was the nation's first Formula 1 representative in 1958, and his name is still prominent to this day. McLaren claimed four wins during a 12-year career in which he founded his own eponymous team, which has gone on to become one of the sport's most successful operations, with a strong road car business to boot. McLaren, though, was tragically killed during testing at Goodwood in 1970.

Tony Shelly (1962)


New Zealand's second Formula 1 racer was nowhere near as successful as the famous McLaren, during a three-event spell with non-works Lotus machinery in 1962. Shelly qualified for his debut for the British Grand Prix at Aintree, but lasted only six laps before his engine failed. Further appearances at the Nürburgring and Monza resulted in DNQs, and he did not return to the sport.

Chris Amon (1963 – 1976)


Widely regarded as one of the unluckiest racers of all time, Amon took five poles and 11 podiums from 96 starts, racing for the likes of Cooper, BRM and Ferrari. Amon retired from leading positions on several occasions and came close to victory on others, in a career which yielded non-championship F1 wins and triumphs at prestigious events such as the Le Mans and Daytona 24 Hour races.

Denny Hulme (1965 – 1974)


Hulme enjoyed a successful 10-year career, spending the entirety of his Formula 1 stint with either Brabham or McLaren. Hulme became New Zealand's first, and only, World Champion with Brabham in 1967, before switching to McLaren, where he raced for the next seven years. Hulme bowed out of Formula 1 at the end of 1974, having claimed eight wins and 33 podiums.

Howden Ganley (1971 – 1974)


Ganley made his debut with BRM in 1971 and registered his best result of fourth in the season-ending US Grand Prix. Ganley matched the classification in Germany in 1972, but further results were few and far between. A season with Frank Williams' initial foray into Formula 1 led to a sole top-six finish, while outings in 1974 with March and Maki yielded little, as Ganley exited the sport.

Graham McRae (1973)


If Hartley winds up making just one appearance, he will match the feat of McRae, whose only outing in Formula 1 came with Williams' nascent squad as team-mate to Ganley at Silverstone in 1973. In the race famous for the enormous pile-up on the opening lap, Ganley retired from the re-started affair on the first tour due to blocked throttle slides.

John Nicholson (1974 – 75)


The mid-1970s proved to be the high watermark for New Zealanders in Formula 1 as engine builder Nicholson briefly joined the paddock, having commandeered a chassis from Lyncar. Nicholson entered the British Grand Prix in both 1974 and 1975, at Brands Hatch and Silverstone respectively, but qualified only for the latter, classifying 17th despite crashing amid a late rain storm.

Mike Thackwell (1980, 84)


Thackwell became Formula 1's youngest driver when he made his debut, aged 19, claiming a record which he held for almost three decades. However, he ultimately made just five entries, split across 1980 and 1984, qualifying for only two of them, and retiring from both. Thackwell's greatest success came in Formula 2, when he won the 1984 title, but a full-time Formula 1 seat was not forthcoming, and he turned his back on motorsport at the end of the decade, following a spell in sportscars.

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