Ritchie Ginther

Name: Richie Ginther

Nationality: United States of America

Date of birth: August 5, 1930 - Hollywood, California

Date of death: September 20, 1989 - France

This small, freckle-faced Californian grew up in the same bunch of aspiring racers as Phil Hill and the two men would eventually drive for the factory Ferrari team together. Richie made his F1 debut in the 1960 Italian Grand Prix at Monza where he impressed the team with an assured run to second place behind Phil. This clinched his position in the team for '61 and the manner in which he chased Stirling Moss's Lotus home at Monaco really put his name on the map. At the end of the season this shrewd Californian wisely accepted the number two BRM seat alongside Graham Hill, opening a three year phase which saw him joint runner-up with Hill in the '63 Championship. Ginther was a splendid team player and if he lacked the aggressive edge to become a regular winner, he was a test and development driver without peer. These qualities earned him a drive with the Honda F1 team in '65 when he won his sole Grand Prix victory in Mexico City, the final race under the 1.5-liter regulations. Ginther retired spontaneously in '67 as he was sitting waiting to do his qualifying run for the Indy 500. It was a brave and shrewd decision. This popular man was barely 59 when he succumbed to heart failure on holiday in France.

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