The tragic death of Jochen Rindt promoted Fittipaldi to Lotus team leader for 1971 and it proved a tough season, although we witness moments of genius, like his drive back from 17th to 3rd at the French Grand Prix. In 1972 he became the youngest World Champion ever û a record he held for almost 30 years û and we are treated to his calm, controlled driving style at classic circuits like Jarama, Brands Hatch, Monza and the +sterreichring.
The drama continued in 1973, and we see his title defence start with an unforgettable home victory at the very first Brazilian Grand Prix. It ultimately proved a season to forget, nowhere more so than at Zandvoort, where a practice crash left him in agony û the pre-qualifying warning about painkillers having the same affect as æone whiskeyÆ reminds us what a different world Grand Prix Racing was in the 1970s!
The programme concludes with dramatic racing and revealing interviews from throughout 1974, a definitive year in EmoÆs career. He switched to McLaren and despite not having the fastest car and racing wheel-to-wheel with the charging Niki Lauda for most of the season, his thoughtful and mature approach to winning a championship brought him the title at the very last round. With four races to run, Fittipaldi was lying fourth in the championship standings û but his never-say-die commitment ensured he was there at the bitter end, and guaranteed his place as a Grand Prix Hero. Running time: 52mins.