1965 was the final year of the 1½
-liter formula, saw Lotus dominant again, with the latest 33 winning six races for Clark. BRM relied once again on updated P261S, which often proved to be the fastest cars of all. With the induction tracts between the camshafts, the V8 was now able to better 210 bhp.
The swansong of the formula was to have been a flat-16 engine from Coventry Climax, for Lotus, Brabham and Cooper only. This FWMW had a crankshaft compounded of two separate single-plane units, phased at 90 degrees to each other and joined by a central, spur gear, driving the eight cams and all ancillaries. This effectively divided the engine into four banks and demanded four separate cylinder heads.
Although the engine showed 220 bhp at 12,000 rpm on test, it never raced, as the company withdrew from the sport due to financial reasons. While Climax tested the FWMW, the final race was being won by possibly the most powerful and imaginative car of the formula, the Honda V12. The Japanese motor cycle company had revealed their car at the Nurburgring
Extensive use of needle roller bearings, common to motor cycle practice, allowed up to 13,000 rpm, and large piston area and four valves per cylinder coaxed from it a reputed 230 bhp, on Keihin carburetors and coil ignition. This engine and a six-speed gearbox were mounted transversely in the monocoque chassis, which featured inboard front suspension. The beautifully prepared car's undoubted speed silenced most sceptics.
Far from being dull and underpowered, the cars of the 1½
-liter formula had provided fast, close and technically fascinating racing. In five brief years, Grand Prix design particularly of chassis, tyres and suspension, had made huge strides. No less than 22 ostensibly separate makes had attempted to qualify for World Championship races in the period, and a handful of them are remembered even to this day. It remains a matter for conjecture what stirring contests might have ensued between the V12 Honda, flat-12 Ferraris and the Climax flat-16 Lotuses had the formula not changed again for 1966.
1965 was dominated again by the man who had always been the one to beat, Jim Clark. Clark scored six more victories to add to his growing tally, at a time when the competition was stronger than ever. Clark won in South Africa, Belgium, France, Britain, Holland and Germany; Hill scored his Monaco hat trick and won at Watkins Glen and his young Scottish team-mate at BRM, J ackie Stewart marked himself as the greatest find for some years with several good performances culminating in victory in Italy. The final race of the formula saw a new make of car on the list of winners when Ritchie Ginther gave Honda a popular win in Mexico. Hill's Monaco victory was a classic, achieved through pure skill and determination, after he had-to go down the escape road at the chicane after 24 laps, to avoid Bob Anderson's Brabham.
Hill gradually caught and passed the field to win a memorable race by just over a minute from Bandini's Ferrari and his own team-mate, Stewart, at an average speed of 74.30mph. Hill's fastest lap was 76.72mph. Clark and Gurney had both been missing from Monaco, driving for Team Lotus in the Indianapolis 500. Clark won. During the Monaco race, Paul Hawkins had a lucky escape when he crashed his Lotus 33 into: the harbour, without injury! " . Clark returned from America to score his fourth successive victory at Spa, again in atrocious conditions which kept visibility and lap speeds down. Clark's winning average was I I7.I6mph and his fastest lap was I24.72mph. The other 'Flying Scot', Stewart, was second, from McLaren, while Ginther gave Honda their first championship point with sixth place.