Who'd have thought Jim Clark, one of the cleanest and fairest of WDCs, would ever blatantly jump a Grand Prix start?
1963 belgian GP at Spa. ON this old, 14km per lap version of the great ciurcyuit, the pits were immediately after La Source hairpin, on the right-hand side going downhill towards Eau Rouge. IN practice Lotus had been having trouble with their gearboxes and change mechanisms, so Clark got in only a few laps . Consequently he started P8, last on the third row of the 3-2-3 grid.
Before the flag fell however, Clark's monocoque Lotus-Climax 25 started creeping along in the pitlane (no Armco barriers then), and by the time the field reached the Eau Rouge River bridge, Clark was in the lead. He led to the end and won by a huge margin after heavy rain storms.
Thirty years earlier there was an even more blatant jumped start: Louis Chiron. Chiron was one of the top drivers from 1928 to 1936, on a par with Nuvolari, Varzi, Caracciola, Wimille and Rosemeyer. 1934 French GP at Montlhery: Chiron was driving for Alfa Romeo, who were determined to beat the new, advanced Mercedes-Benz and Auto-Union cars. Grid positions were by ballot then, and Chiron was miffed at drawing only P8, last on the third row of the 3-2-3 grid. Same position as Clark in 1963! Before flag fall though, Chiron imitated clutch creep and jumped across the line before the others had moved. A start pic shows Chiron 20 metres ahead of the furious pack, cheekily watching them in his mirror. Chiron dominated to lead 32 of the 40 laps to win one of his greatest races.
A big difference between Chiron and Clark though, is that Chiron habitually jumped the start. His argument to officialdom 'Let me please explain, Monsieur Whiting: the race starts at the line'. His comment to journalists: "If I am not in second gear when the flag falls, I consider that I have made a bad start."
Wonder what message Vettel would have had for the race directors, had he been on pole in those two races?