A polite and friendly man with very sweet blue eyes
“I was aware, from the beginning of my career, about the risks that I was taking. I was always able to tame my fear, or even better, I never gave it enough space to rise. Because, if you start being scared, doing this job becomes difficult, if not impossible…”.
The first races that he participated in were hill races, then the euphoria of F3. “When I started with the first few races, my aspiration was to get to sit down on an F1 car’s driving seat”.
It was July 1973, on the Silverstone track, Mass was in the sixth position on the starting grid, waiting on the green light and driving a Surtees. “That GP was some kind of victory to me and I wanted to show all of those who trusted me that I deserved to be there. While…” an accident involving several cars occurred on the second lap, including his own. Jochen Mass had to watch his first F1 race from the pits, after all the effort that he put in the qualifying session!
In 1975, he won his first GP at Montjuïc, in a McLaren. It was a tragic race, where Stommelen lost his car’s spoiler and it flew in amongst the public. Mass won the race, as he was in the first position when the race was stopped.
In 1978, ATS gave him a car and he became their first driver. Two years later in Arrows, he ended his F1 career driving a March. Afterwards, the Teutonic driver focused on Sports cars, winning the Sebring 12-hour race with a Porsche and the Le Mans 24-hour race with Sauber. He continued to work in the motorsports world as a commentator.
The sea and boats were always his second passion.