Glory Days: Schlegelmilch's Formula 1 Photographs

Never were fame, exhilaration and tragedy so closely and so visibly interwoven as in Formula 1 in the 1960s. Rainer W. Schlegelmilchs / Motorsport Images photos bear witness to this to this day. Now a selection of his best shots is on display at the Bucherer Gallery in Zurich.
Text Alfred Rzyski
Photo Rainer W. Schlegelmilch / Motorsport Images

The sixties in Formula 1 - an unforgettable time, up to this day: rivals are also friends with each other, even spend the free time between practice and races together. Which, by the way, there was plenty of back then. Especially as there wasn't as much to discuss at team meetings as there is today, given the manageable technology and chassis settings. Graham Hill, the world champion of 1962 and 1968, therefore liked to take the spanner to the wheel himself. Run-off zones? Not a chance! The audience watches the legends at work from close up. Thanks to the half-shell helmets and low-cut cockpits, the facial expressions - from concentration to effort - are clearly visible. And that's exactly what German photographer Rainer W. Schlegelmilch captures. So well that he too becomes an icon - only as a photographer and not as a Formula 1 driver.

His choice of profession is a little less dangerous than that of his protagonists - three-time world champion Jackie Stewart counts at the end of his driving career that he had lost 57 colleagues. First and foremost, his friend Jim Clark at Hockenheim in 1968. Hans Herrmann, now 93, puts it particularly vividly: "When I bought a tube of toothpaste, I sometimes wondered whether I would use it up at all." Why all this? Passion, dedication to the sport, the irrepressible will to conquer what hardly anyone else has mastered. And it is precisely this will that you see in Schlegelmilch's close and authentic photographs.

More photos by Rainer W. Schlegelmilch can be found in the Bucherer Gallery in Zürich and the current ramp #54.


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