Welcome to 365 Days of Motoring

An Everyday Journey Through Motoring History, Facts & Trivia

Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.

Mclaren

Mclaren


A chronological day-by-day history of Mclaren.

Saturday 15th March 1958

59 years ago

Bruce McLaren left New Zealand for England, where he would drive for John Cooper. His good friend and mechanic Colin Beanland accompanied him.

Bruce McLaren

Bruce McLaren

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Saturday 10th January 1959

58 years ago

New Zealand Grand Prix at Ardmore was won by Stirling Moss from Jack Brabham and Bruce McLaren all driving 2-litre Cooper-Climaxes.

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Saturday 17th January 1959

58 years ago

Cooper-Climax drivers Bruce McLaren and Syd Jensen battled out the Hudson Trophy race at Levin, NZ, with the older man winning after his rival went off with a sticking throttle.

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Saturday 18th July 1959

57 years ago

Australian Jack Brabham in a Cooper-Climax T51 won the British Grand Prix at Aintree. On the final lap Bruce McLaren became the youngest driver to set a fastest lap in Formula One, aged 21 years and 322 days. This record stood for 44 years until Fernando Alonso, just one day younger relieved him of that achievement with fastest lap in the 2003 Canadian Grand Prix.

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Saturday 12th December 1959

57 years ago

At 22 years and 104 days of age, Bruce McLaren became the youngest driver to win a Grand Prix race as he earned first place at Sebring, Florida. Jack Brabham won the 1959 World drivers title, whilst Cooper-Climax clinched the Constructors' Championship. Brabham ran out of fuel in the final race of the season, the US Grand Prix at Sebring, and had to push his Cooper-Climax half a mile home, still managing to finish an amazing fourth!

Bruce McLaren

Bruce McLaren

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Saturday 6th February 1960

57 years ago

Bruce McLaren drove a Cooper-Climax to victory in the Argentine Grand Prix at Buenos Aires. McLaren won from way back in the 13th spot on the grid, Cliff Allison finished 2nd in a Ferrari, 26 seconds back and Maurice Trintignant finished 3rd in another Cooper. Stirling Moss set fastest lap on his way to finish just off the podium in 4th. He also sat on the pole for that race but could not bring it home for the win.

Bruce McLaren being pushed by a very pleased John Cooper after winning the 1960 Argentine Grand Prix

Bruce McLaren being pushed by a very pleased John Cooper after winning the 1960 Argentine Grand Prix

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Sunday 7th February 1960

57 years ago

Bruce McLaren took his second F1 victory at the season-opening Argentine Grand Prix. The win was rather lucky as both Innes Ireland and Joe Bonnier retired with mechanical failures while running ahead of the New Zealander. McLaren failed to win another race that year but his consistent results meant he finished runner-up in the championship. Stirling Moss finished third in a Cooper Climax he had taken over from Maurice Trintignant on the 66th of 80 laps - he had been leading until the rear springs of his own car broke.

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Sunday 14th August 1960

56 years ago

Jack Brabham led home Bruce McLaren to win in Portugal for a Cooper-Climax 1-2. Jim Clark took his first podium in third.

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Sunday 20th November 1960

56 years ago

Stirling Moss won the season-ending United States Grand Prix at the Riverside International Raceway in California from Lotus team-mate Innes Ireland. But the event failed to capture the imagination of the US public despite local Dan Gurney's involvement and only attracted a crowd of 25,000 people. A PR blunder by organiser Alec Ullmann did not help as he alienated all the local media who consequently ignored the event. Ullmann lost substantial sums on the event but paid Moss's winnings of $7500 and all other creditors out of his own pocket. Gurney endured a miserable race and retired on lap 18 with an overheated engine. Bruce McLaren finished third ahead of newly-crowned world champion Jack Brabham. With nothing at stake, Ferrari opted to stay away but allowed drivers Taffy von Trips and Phil Hill to race with other teams.

Maserati 250F of Juan Manuel Fangio

Maserati 250F of Juan Manuel Fangio

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Monday 23rd April 1962

54 years ago

Bruce McLaren driving a Cooper-Climax T55 won the Lavant Cup at Goodwood.

Bruce McLaren

Bruce McLaren

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Saturday 21st July 1962

54 years ago

Jim Clark in a Lotus-Climax 25 won the last British Grand Prix staged at Aintree. Innes Ireland was out of luck on race day when his car failed to get off the line with a gearbox problem and that allowed Clark to get into the lead with Surtees, Gurney and McLaren chasing. Jack Brabham made a good start in his private Lotus to be ahead of Hill's BRM. Hill retook the position on the seventh lap but otherwise little changed in the early laps. Clark built up his lead with Surtees second while Gurney ran into clutch trouble and so dropped behind McLaren and later G Hill and Brabham. There was very little action for the rest of the afternoon and Clark won by nearly a minute.

Starting grid for the 1962 British Grand Prix at Aintree

Starting grid for the 1962 British Grand Prix at Aintree

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Saturday 23rd March 1963

54 years ago

Ferrari dominated, taking the first six places in the Sebring 12 Hour World Sports Car Championship race. John Surtees and Ludovico Scarfiotti drove a new 3.0 liter 250P to victory with another 250P of Willy Mairesse/Nino Vaccarella second. The American challenge of Cobra, Corvette and Chaparral collapsed and the new Jaguar E-Type of Bruce McLaren and Walt Hansgen had brake trouble to set up the Ferrari sweep.

1963 Sebring 12 Hours start

1963 Sebring 12 Hours start

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Sunday 9th June 1963

53 years ago

Jim Clark won the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa in a Lotus-Climax on his way to clinching his first world drivers Championship.The weather was so bad towards the end of the race, that Colin Chapman, head of Lotus and Tony Rudd, BRM's chief engineer, asked officials to stop it, but their pleas were ignored and the full 32 laps were completed. This race was notable for the debut of the new ATS team, set up by former Ferrari chief engineer Signor Carlo Chiti, with Phil Hill and Giancarlo Baghetti as drivers. They had to wait for their cars to arrive because of customs problems at the Belgian border, and were unable to take part in the practice sessions. As a result, both started at the back of the grid, and were forced out with gearbox problems before halfway. Graham Hill started on pole, but it was Clark who got a sensational start from the third row, taking the lead after only one lap. He soon pulled clear of Hill and after eight laps was over 13 seconds ahead, making up an extra second on each lap. By the halfway stage, Clark was 27 seconds in front of Hill, and when, on the 18th lap, thunder exploded overhead, Hill was forced to retire when his gearbox gave out, leaving Clark to drive on to victory.Dan Gurney now lay second in the Brabham Climax, with Richie Ginther and Bruce McLaren fighting it out for third. The weather then deteriorated rapidly, as lightning forked down through the pine forests and the rain became heavier and heavier. Twenty-foot plumes of spray trailed behind the cars, making visibility for the drivers almost impossible. Clark said afterwards; "Towards the end visibility was appalling. I had to hold the car in top gear for most of the race and my speed was dropping by nearly 100mph in the last stages. Some cars were spinning off on the straights and it was extremely dangerous." Clark, driving brilliantly in the conditions, managed to splash his way to victory well ahead of the five other cars that finished. The pace was drastically slowed in the last six laps as the drivers had to shield their eyes from the blinding rain, making it extremely difficult to drive at high speed. McLaren managed to claw his way up into second and picked up six championship points, putting him ahead of Clark and Hill by one point.

1963 Belgian Grand Prix: Jim Clark leads the field towards Eau Rouge, despite having started in eighth position

1963 Belgian Grand Prix: Jim Clark leads the field towards Eau Rouge, despite having started in eighth position

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Sunday 8th September 1963

53 years ago

Jim Clark secured his fifth grand prix win of the season at Monza for Lotus, and with it the world championship. Clark had dominated to such an extent that it was mathematically impossible for any of the other drivers to catch him, and he became the first driver to clinch the championship with three races still remaining. The Monza authorities had decided to return to the full circuit in 1963, which included the infamous banked section. However, the concrete banking was in such bad condition due to sinking foundations that, after two hours of the first practice session, the cars were stopped and the banked loop of the course was officially closed. Starting from the second row behind John Surtees and Graham Hill, Clark gave chase immediately and by the end of the first lap he was battling for the lead with Surtees, their cars barely more than a yard apart as they scorched down the pit straight. For the next 16 laps, Clark demonstrated the art of slipstreaming, sitting on the Ferrari's tail and hassling Surtees. Suddenly, on the 17th lap, the Ferrari limped into the pits with engine failure, and Clark was in the lead, but Hill, Dan Gurney and Richie Ginther were hot on his heels. Gurney eventually overhauled Clark, but the lead changed over 24 times in the first 56 laps, with Hill, Clark and Gurney all taking turns, flying down the pit straight with only inches between them. Hill then began to slow down as his BRM was suffering from clutch trouble. He held on until lap 50, but eventually had to abandon the race. Clark was now breaking lap records at will and when Gurney had to retire after a spin on lap 63, he went on to win with ease. Ginther was the only driver to finish on the same lap as the champion and Bruce McLaren came in a distant third. Having only started racing in Formula One in 1960, it was an extraordinary achievement by Clark, and he was justifiably delighted; "I had hoped to win the world drivers' championship but I did not expect to make certain of it so soon."

Jim Clark - 1963

Jim Clark - 1963

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Saturday 25th January 1964

53 years ago

Bruce McLaren drove his Cooper-Climax to his third straight Tasman Cup Formula One series victory, winning on the 1.6 mile Teretonga Park circuit, NewZealand. The race was round 4 of the inaugural Tasman Cup championship.

Bruce McLaren

Bruce McLaren

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Friday 5th June 1964

52 years ago

Bruce McLaren won the USAC-sanctioned sports car race at Mosport, Ontario, Canada, driving a Cooper-Oldsmobile.

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Saturday 6th June 1964

52 years ago

The first McLaren race car, a modified Cooper with an Oldsmobile engine, made its debut at Mosport Park, ON and took victory in the hands of designer Bruce McLaren.

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Friday 1st January 1965

52 years ago

Jim Clark in a Lotus-Climax celebrated Hogmanay by dominating the South African Grand Prix at East London, leading from pole and breaking the 100mph barrier, winning by half a minute from Graham Hill and John Surtees and even had time to complete an extra lap after the chequered flag was waved a lap too early. Mike Spence, Bruce McLaren and debutant Jackie Stewart completed the points positions. Goodyear made their Grand Prix début with the Brabham team, challenging the Dunlop monopoly.

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Saturday 18th June 1966

50 years ago

Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon, driving a Ford GT40 Mk2, won the Le Mans 24-hour race, becoming the first to exceed 3,000 total miles during the event.

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Friday 24th March 1967

50 years ago

The inaugural race in the European Formula Two championship was won by Jochen Rindt in a Brabham-Ford. Graham Hill finished 2nd as F1 stars dominated the initial event. Third finisher Alan Rees was the only non-F1 driver in the top 6. Denis Hulme, Bruce McLaren and Jack Brabham finished 4th through 6th and Jackie Stewart, Hill and Rindt tied for the fastest race lap on the 2.7 mile Snetterton circuit.

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Saturday 1st April 1967

49 years ago

Mario Andretti and Bruce McLaren teamed in the new Ford Mk. 4 to win the Sebring 12 Hour World Sports Car Championship race. Changes to the circuit made the course faster than ever as the winners broke all records, averaging 103.13 mph and covering 1,237.6 miles. Like Daytona, Mike Spence set fastest lap in the Chaparral 2F he shared with Jim Hall, only to retire.

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Sunday 23rd April 1967

49 years ago

Mark Donohue drove Roger Penske's Lola-Chevy to an easy victory in the 180 mile United States Road Racing Championship Sports Car race on the 3 mile Stardust International Raceway, Nevada. Mechanical trouble sidelined Frank Matich, Jerry Titus and Bob Bondurant before the start. George Follmer jumped into the lead at the start with Donohue moving from row 2 into 2nd. At the end of the long backstraight the first time around, Follmer spun in oil left from the earlier regional race. A rock went through the oil cooler of Follmer's Lola, which limped to a smoking stop at the start/finish line. Drivers were angry because officials failed to notify them of the oil before the green fell. Sam Posey overreved at the start, which shut his engine off and then spun in his own fuel, but recovered. Peter Revson burned out his clutch on the start and retired at the end of the first lap. By lap 11, Donohue held a 15 second lead over Skip Scott with Lothar Motschenbacher passing defending USRRC champ Charlie Parsons to take 3rd. Parsons retired on lap 15 with a blown engine. On the 45th lap, Motschenbacher pitted his McLaren after losing a cylinder and Scott pitted his Ford powered McLaren with a leaking oil cooler to move Posey's McLaren into 2nd to stay. As Scott roared into the pits, he nearly hit a crewman for another car. When Scott came even closer re-pitting 2 laps later, the crewman, William Ribbs, threw a bucket of water on the McLaren, breaking the windshield. Tempers flared and Scott wanted assault charges filed against Ribbs. The sheriff took Ribbs into custody but cooler heads prevailed and SCCA officials fined the driver of the other car and recommended disciplinary action against Ribbs. Donohue cruised home almost a full lap ahead of Posey, who came across the line 1 minute, 41 seconds later.

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Sunday 6th August 1967

49 years ago

The German Grand Prix held over 15 laps of Nürburgring was won by Brabham driver Denny Hulme after he started from second position. His teammate Jack Brabham finished second and Ferrari driver Chris Amon came in third. Jim Clark (Lotus-Cosworth 49) took the lead at the start while Graham Hill (who had crashed in practice and was down in 13th on the grid) was pushed onto some grass and spun, restarting at the back of the field. Clark stayed ahead of Hulme and Dan Gurney (Eagle-Weslake TG1) for the first three laps but on the fourth he slowed dramatically, his suspension having buckled. He was out. Almost immediately Gurney took the lead from Hulme while Brabham was third after Bruce McLaren (Eagle-Weslake TG1) went out with a split oil pipe. Jacky Ickx (Matra-Cosworth MS7) continued to impress by running fifth on the road behind Stewart. The Scotsman overtook Brabham but then retired with a transmission problem and so Ickx moved to fourth, although Amon soon closed up and overtook the cheeky F2 driver. On the 12th lap the Belgian retired when his front suspension collapsed. On the next lap Gurney suffered a driveshaft failure and Hulme took the lead to win from Brabham and Amon.

Denny Hulme - 1967 German Grand Prix

Denny Hulme - 1967 German Grand Prix

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Sunday 12th November 1967

49 years ago

John Surtees drove a Lola T70-Chevrolet to victory in the Can-Am race at Las Vegas, Nevada. This was Surtee's final Can-Am win while Bruce McLaren clinched the Can-Am Championship.

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Saturday 27th January 1968

49 years ago

In Invercargill, New Zealand, native son Bruce McLaren drove his BRM V12 to an unexpected win in the "Teretonga International", round 4 of the Tasman series. It was McLaren's 4th win in the event on the 1.6 mile Teretonga Park circuit, but his first since 1964. Grid positions were determined by two heat races (one for 2.5 litre cars, one for 1.5 litre cars), but when the 1.5 litre heat wound up being run in improved conditions which would have placed several slower cars at the front of the grid, officials decided to revert to practice times "in the interest of safety".

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Sunday 17th March 1968

49 years ago

The McLaren M7A's raced by Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme finished 1st and 3rd at the non-championship "Race of Champions" at Brand Hatch, England. Pedro Rodriguez finished second in his BRM P133. This race also marked the debut of the Matra MS10-Ford driven by Jackie Stewart who finished 6th.

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Sunday 7th April 1968

48 years ago

The wee Scot, Jim Clark OBE (32), from Kilmany, Fife - one of the greatest grand prix racers of all time, died in a tragic accident during a Formula 2 race in Hockenheim, Germany. Clark, widely regarded as the most naturally gifted Formula One racer of all time, competed his entire career on behalf of Colin Chapman's Team Lotus. He won two World Championships, in 1963 and in 1965. Clark's 1965 season is undoubtedly the sport's greatest individual achievement. At the time of his death, he had won more Grand Prix races (25) and achieved more Grand Prix pole positions (33) than any other driver. In 2009, The Times placed Clark at the top of a list of the greatest-ever Formula One drivers. His first Drivers' World Championship came driving the Lotus 25 in 1963, winning seven out of the ten races and Lotus its first Constructors' World Championship. Clark's record of seven wins in a season would not be equalled until 1984 when Frenchman Alain Prost won seven races for McLaren. The record would not be broken until Brazilian Ayrton Senna won eight races in the 1988 season, also for McLaren (ironically, Senna's team mate that year was Prost who again equalled the old record by winning 7 races). However, Clark's record is favourable compared to Prost and Senna's as the 1963 championship only consisted of 10 rounds (giving Clark a 70% success rate), while 1984 and 1988 were run over 16 rounds giving Prost a success rate of 43.75% and Senna a 50% winning ratio. In 1963 he also competed in the Indianapolis 500 for the first time, and he finished in second position behind Parnelli Jones and won Rookie of the Year honours. The 1963 Indy 500 result remains controversial. Before the race United States Auto Club (USAC) officials had told the drivers that they would black flag any car that was seen to be leaking oil onto the track. Late in the race, Jones' front-engined roadster developed a crack in the oil tank and began to leak oil. With the track surface already being slippery this resulted in a number of cars spinning and led to popular driver Eddie Sachs crashing into the outside wall. USAC officials were set to black flag Jones after the Sachs crash until his car owner J. C. Agajanian ran down pit lane and somehow convinced them that the oil leak was below the level of a known crack and would not leak any further. Colin Chapman later accused USAC officials of being biased because Clark and Lotus were a British team with a rear-engine car. Many, including journalist and author Brock Yates, believed that had it been an American driver and car in second place instead of Clark in the British built Lotus, officials would have black flagged Jones. Despite this neither Lotus or their engine supplier Ford protested the result, reasoning that winning as a result of a disqualification when Jones had led for 167 of the races 200 laps (Clark led for 28 laps) and had set the lap record speed of 151.541 mp/h on lap 114, would not be well received by the public. In 1964 Clark came within just a few laps of retaining his World Championship crown, but just as in 1962, an oil leak from the engine robbed him of the title, this time conceding to John Surtees. Tyre failure damaging the Lotus' suspension put paid to that year's attempt at the Indianapolis 500.[9] He made amends and won the Championship again in 1965 and also the Indianapolis 500 in the Lotus 38. Jim Clark in the Lotus pit at the German GP 1964. He had to miss the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix in order to compete at Indianapolis, but made history by driving the first mid-engined car to win at the fabled "Brickyard," as well as becoming the only driver to date (2014) to win both the Indy 500 and the F1 title in the same year. Other drivers, including Graham Hill, Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi and Jacques Villeneuve have also won both crowns, but not in the same year. At the same time, Clark was competing in the Australasia based Tasman series, run for older F1 cars, and was series champion in 1965, 1967 and 1968 driving for Lotus. He won fourteen races in all, a record for the series. This included winning the 1968 Australian Grand Prix at the Sandown International Raceway in Melbourne where he defeated the Ferrari 246T of Chris Amon by just 0.1 seconds after 55 laps of the 3.1 km (1.92 mi) circuit, the closest finish in the history of the Australian Grand Prix. The 1968 Tasman Series and Australian Grand Prix would prove to be his last major wins before his untimely death. He is remembered for his ability to drive and win in all types of cars and series, including a Lotus-Cortina, with which he won the 1964 British Touring Car Championship; IndyCar; Rallying, where he took part in the 1966 RAC Rally of Great Britain in a Lotus Cortina; and sports cars. He competed in the Le Mans 24 Hour race in 1959, 1960 and 1961, finishing second in class in 1959 driving a Lotus Elite, and finishing third overall in 1960, driving an Aston Martin DBR1. He took part in a NASCAR event, driving a 7-litre Holman Moody Ford at the American 500 at the banked speedway at Rockingham on 29 October 1967. He was also able to master difficult Lotus sportscar prototypes such as the Lotus 30 and 40. Clark had an uncanny ability to adapt to whichever car he was driving. Whilst other drivers would struggle to find a good car setup, Clark would usually set competitive lap times with whatever setup was provided and ask for the car to be left as it was. He apparently had difficulty understanding why other drivers were not as quick as himself. When Clark died, fellow driver Chris Amon was quoted as saying, "If it could happen to him, what chance do the rest of us have? I think we all felt that. It seemed like we'd lost our leader."Jim Clark is buried in the village of Chirnside in Berwickshire. A memorial stone can be found at the Hockenheimring circuit, moved from the site of his crash to a location closer to the current track, and a life-size statue of him in racing overalls stands by the bridge over a small stream in the village of his birth, Kilmany in Fife. A small museum, which is known as The Jim Clark Room, can be found in Duns. The Jim Clark Trophy was introduced in the 1987 Formula One season for drivers of cars with naturally aspirated engines but was discontinued after turbo-charged engines were restricted in 1988 and dropped for 1989. The Jim Clark Memorial Award is an annual award given by the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers to Scots who have contributed significantly to transport and motor sport.[19] The Jim Clark Rally is an annual event held in Berwickshire. Clark was an inaugural inductee into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. The FIA decreed from 1966, new 3-litre engine regulations would come into force. Lotus were less competitive. Starting with a 2-litre Coventry-Climax engine in the Lotus 33, Clark did not score points until the British Grand Prix and a third place at the following Dutch Grand Prix. From the Italian Grand Prix onwards Lotus used the highly complex BRM H16 engine in the Lotus 43 car, with which Clark won the United States Grand Prix. He also picked up another second place at the Indianapolis 500, this time behind Graham Hill.

Jim Clark

Jim Clark

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Sunday 28th April 1968

48 years ago

Mark Donohue drove Roger Penske's McLaren 6A-Chevy to victory in the United States Road Racing Championship Sports Car race at Riverside International Raceway. Jim Hall won the pole in his Chaparral 2G at a record 118.481 mph, but broke a halfshaft in final practice, badly damaging a new automatic transmission he was experimenting with. Hall later said he lost the half shaft in the pits "fooling around". With his main opposition not making the start, Donohue took the lead on the green and immediately began stretching it. Donohue led by 4.5 seconds in 3 laps and 10 seconds after 7 laps. 3rd running Peter Revson retired on lap 21 with a bent shifting fork on his Shelby Racing Lola-Ford. Donohue's run was not without incident, at one point spinning backwards through the tire markers after getting into turn 7A "too hot". He was quickly able to restart his motor and be on his way. Leading by more than a minute with 2 laps to go, Donohue's ignition failed and the 427 c.i., fuel injected Traco Chevy engine began misfiring. Donohue said he "just began flipping switches and the last one worked". He went on to take the checkered flag 49 seconds ahead of Lothar Motschenbacher's McLaren 6D-Gurney/Weslake-Ford. Sam Posey drove his Caldwell to 3rd, 1 lap down. Moises Solana finished 5th to hold a 1 point lead over Donohue in the USRRC standings after 2 races.

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Sunday 26th May 1968

48 years ago

Lotus driver Graham Hill, who started from pole position, won the Monaco Grand Prix. Richard Attwood, driving for BRM, gained second place and recorded the fastest lap, while Lucien Bianchi finished in third position in a Cooper, in what was to be these drivers' only podium finishes. Johnny Servoz-Gavin took the lead from Hill at the start, while Bruce McLaren took out the other Lotus of Jackie Oliver at the chicane on the first lap. Servoz-Gavin was struck by bad luck on lap 3 when he suffered a drive shaft failure and crashed. This set the tone for the rest of the race, when after a series of accidents and mechanical failures, only five cars finished the race, with everyone from 3rd-place finishing at least four laps down on eventual winner Hill, who cemented his reputation as "Mr. Monaco"[3] by taking his fourth win in the principality. It was however a close finish, with BRM replacement Richard Attwood surprising by finishing just 2 seconds behind the Englishman. Even though Hill broke the Monaco lap record three times during the race, it was Attwood who ultimately recorded fastest lap, the only one of his career.

Monaco Grand Prix - 1968

Monaco Grand Prix - 1968

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Sunday 9th June 1968

48 years ago

The Belgian Grand Prix became the first race in which Formula One cars carried rear wings. The race was won by Bruce McLaren in a Ford-Cosworth powered McLaren M7A. Only 5 of the 23 cars that started managed to reach the finish line.

The noisy start of the 1968 Belgian Grand Prix.

The noisy start of the 1968 Belgian Grand Prix.

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Sunday 8th September 1968

48 years ago

There was to be no fairytale ending for Graham Hill (Lotus-Ford) starting his hundredth grand prix in Monza as Denny Hulme (McLaren-Ford)went on to take victory from Johnny Servoz-Gavin (Matra-Ford) and Jacky Ickx. (ferrari) Hill had qualified fifth but he disappeared after ten laps when a wheel nut fell off. John Surtees secured the first pole position in Honda's history and vied for the lead in the early stages with Bruce McLaren (McLaren-Ford) and Jackie Stewart (Matra-Ford) but when all three also fell by the wayside, Hulme was left to take the chequered flag. The result meant that the top four in the standings were separated by just six points.

Graham Hill - 1968

Graham Hill - 1968

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Saturday 14th September 1968

48 years ago

Miss Patsy Burt broke the Brighton standing kilometer start record with a time of 20.21 seconds (110.69 mph) in a McLaren Oldsmobile. She was the first lady to win the event.

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Sunday 3rd November 1968

48 years ago

Graham Hill completed his second world championship with victory at the Mexican Grand Prix, narrowly pushing Jackie Stewart into second place. Hill went into the weekend with a three-point lead over Stewart and the pair were head to head for the first third of the race, Stewart even leading from the third to the seventh lap, before he fell back to seventh with engine failure. "I had a lovely time," Hill said after his win. "The car went beautifully. I am very pleased to have won." Denny Hulme had a lucky escape when the suspension on his McLaren broke and he piled into a wall.

Graham Hill

Graham Hill

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Sunday 10th November 1968

48 years ago

Jim Hall's Can-Am driving career was ended by injuries suffered in an accident during the Stardust GP Can-Am race in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Denny Hulme in a McLaren M8A-Chevrolet won the race and the championship.

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Sunday 27th July 1969

47 years ago

Moises Solana (33) died when his McLaren M6B crashed during the hillclimb at Valle de Bravo-Bosencheve in Mexico.

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Sunday 27th July 1969

47 years ago

Denny Hulme drove his McLaren M8B to victory in the Can-Am race in Edmonton, Canada. Chris Amon in a Ferrari 612 was second. This was the best ever Can-Am finish for Ferrari.

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Sunday 31st August 1969

47 years ago

Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme finished 1-2 in their Team McLaren M8B-Chevrolets in the Can-Am race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, USA.

Bruce McLaren

Bruce McLaren

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Sunday 7th September 1969

47 years ago

Jackie Stewart took his sixth victory of the season at Monza and in so doing secured his first world championship with three races remaining. It was hardly a surprise as he started the day needing only six points, and even then had he failed, Jacky Ickx, Bruce McLaren or Graham Hill would have needed to win all four remaining rounds. However, the race itself was a classic with a thrilling finish. Jochen Rindt in his Lotus-Ford qualified quickest on a sultry Saturday although less than a second separated the first five drivers which included Stewart in third. Stewart squeezed through Rindt and Denny Hulme on the first lap but there then followed a bitter contest which at times featured as many as seven cars within striking distance of each other. After 20 laps three-and-a-half seconds split the seven. John Surtees had an early escape when Hill's exhaust pipe fell off and part of it hit him on the head. That had less of an effect than his engine also being damaged. His BRM team-mate Jackie Oliver also had troubles, having to pit when his fire extinguisher was hanging off. The lead swapped between the seven until Stewart took the lead on the 23rd lap, and thereafter it was a charging Hill who posed the main threat, although Rindt, McLaren and Piers Courage were almost side-by-side behind the leaders. Jean-Pierre Beltoise in a Matra charged through the pack to challenge Hill, taking second when Hill's Lotus cruised to a stop on the 64th lap. "Stewart's car was too fast," Hill shrugged. "I could never manage to overtake." On the last lap the 100,000 spectators stood cheering as Stewart, Beltoise, Rindt and McLaren stormed round the circuit at times almost inseparable. Beltoise lead out of the Parabolica but that allowed Stewart and Rindt to slipstream him. As the line approached The Times reported Stewart "by what seemed a stroke of magic urged his car ahead of Rindt by a nose - officially 8/100ths of a second - to win the most thrilling grand prix battle I have seen". So close was the finish that 0.19 seconds covered the first four home. "I had wanted to win in the most convincing way possible," Stewart said. "We had an absolutely terrific scrap, I feel utterly exhausted. But at this moment I couldn't be happier." Stewart's day wasn't over yet as fans poured onto the circuit to celebrate and he and his wife were forced to escape from Monza by climbing out of a washroom window and then hiding in the Dunlop truck before he could be smuggled away.

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Sunday 28th September 1969

47 years ago

Team McLaren drivers, Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme finished 1-2 in the only Can-Am event ever held at Michigan International Speedway, US.

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Sunday 12th October 1969

47 years ago

Bruce McLaren won and Denny Hulme finished second, both driving McLaren M8B-Chevrolets, in the Laguna Seca, California, USA, Can-Am race. It was the seventh 1-2 finish by Team McLaren during the season.

Bruce McLaren

Bruce McLaren

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Saturday 25th October 1969

47 years ago

Denny Hulme drove a Team McLaren M8B-Chevrolet to victory in the Can-Am race at Riverside, California.

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Sunday 9th November 1969

47 years ago

New Zealander Bruce McLaren drove his McLaren M8B-Chevrolet to victory in the final Can-Am race of the year, in College Station, Texas, to clinch the Drivers Championship. Amazingly, the McLaren team won all 11 races that season.

Bruce McLaren

Bruce McLaren

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Saturday 10th January 1970

47 years ago

The 1970 New Zealand Grand Prix was a race held at the Pukekohe Park Raceway. The race had 20 starters. It was the 16th New Zealand Grand Prix, and doubled as the second round of the 1970 Tasman Series. Frank Matich won his first New Zealand Grand P in his McLaren Formula 5000 ahead of British racer Derek Bell driving a Tasman Formula specification Brabham-Cosworth. The first New Zealand driver to finisrih was Graeme Lawrence in the 1969 Chris Amon Ferrari.

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Sunday 19th April 1970

46 years ago

In the Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama, Jackie Stewart took his March 701 from the third spot on the grid left the field behind. At the end, he was the only one out of five finishers with 80 laps completed in a time of 2:10:58. The second place man, Bruce McLaren in his own car, finished one lap down and Mario Andretti the the other March, came in third. Jack Brabham, the pole sitter and fastest lap man, had an engine failure on lap 61 that put him out. This was the first F1 win for March.

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Sunday 19th April 1970

46 years ago

John Cannon drove a Carl Hogan owned, Chevrolet powered McLaren M10B to victory in the SCCA Continental Championship (Formula 5000) race at Riverside International Raceway in California. Pole sitter Cannon and 2nd fastest Ron Grable pulled clear at the start of the 40 lap race. Entering turn 9 the first time, Chuck Parsons slid sideways and tapped 3rd qualifier Bob Williams, sending Williams' Wayne Jones Eagle-Plymouth into the wall and Parsons into a 360 degree spin. Williams was out with a bent A-frame and dead motor while Parsons stalled and fell to last before getting his Lola T190 restarted. The race settled in with Cannon leading, Grable filling his mirrors and young Japanese driver Hiroshi Fushida all alone in 3rd in another Jones Eagle-Plymouth. 1967 champ Gus Hutchison moved into 4th in his F1 Brabham-Ford. Fushida retired with a blown motor on lap 28, moving Hutchison to 3rd and he began to close on Grable. Grable's challenge came to an end when his throttle stuck wide open entering turn 6 with 6 laps to go. Despite simultaneously braking, downshifting and hitting the kill switch, Grable's Lola took a hard hit into the boiler plate wall, tearing off both left side wheels. When the wrecker moved quickly to assist Grable, Hutchison had to spin to avoid. Without a clutch since the early going, Hutchison had trouble restarting and fell to 8th. With his only serious challenger out, Cannon cruised across the line over a lap ahead of Dave Jordan's AIR Eagle-Chevy. Jordan in turn, just barely held off Parsons, who had come back from his lap 1 spin to take 3rd.

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Sunday 26th April 1970

46 years ago

"I've been trying to win a Formula 1 race for seven years, and it's very nice to have done it at last." were the words Chris Amon said after winning the non-championship F1 'International Trophy' on the Silverstone circuit. With the damage and death at the Spanish Grand Prix and the conflict with the Sports Car 1000Km at Monza, a small entry was expected so organizers made the race a combined F1/Formula 5000 event. BRM withdrew due to their stub axle failures in Spain and Surtees due to engine shortages, but even so, 11 F1 and 14 F5000 cars lined up. The front row was Amon, Jackie Stewart, Denis Hulme and Pete Gethin, who was fastest of the F5000 cars. Team Lotus' Jochen Rindt lined up in row 5 (18th) and John Miles row 7 (23rd). Hulme was first away at the drop of the green, but Amon took the lead under braking for Stowe Corner and had a lead of 100 yards by the end of lap 1. Jack Brabham moved into 2nd when Hulme pitted to have a front wheel tightened. The 72s looked twitchy. For a while it looked like Brabham might catch Amon, but then he dropped back a little before the engine failed on his Brabham-Ford on lap 23. From there, Amon went on to take the win in the first segment. Having set the angle of his front wings by guesswork, Stewart was fighting understeer and did well to finish 12.1 seconds behind with Courage 3rd having come from last (25th) on the grid. A lap down to Amon, Gethin won the F5000 category. Rain between segments, with a threat of more, led to a half hour delay as teams sorted out which tire to use. In the end, Amon, Stewart, Courage and Rindt chose intermediates, the McLaren team on rain tires and Hill gambled by going with dry tires on his Rob Walker Lotus. When the flag finally fell, Stewart went into the lead over Amon and Gethin. For a few laps, Stewart pulled away and looked like he might make up the deficit from segment 1, but soon Amon started to close the gap and by lap 10 was right on the tail of Stewart's car. Rindt was getting nowhere with the new Lotus and pitted to retire on lap 7, followed shortly by teammate Miles with a broken throttle pedal. Stewart did a masterful drive to stay ahead of Amon, lapping within 2 seconds of the lap record while on a slick surface. Hulme lost 3rd place when he ran out of fuel with 3 laps to go and Gethin lost the F5000 overall win when a rocker arm broke. Amon backed off when one of the exhaust pipes came loose on Stewart's Ken Tyrell entred March and Stewart went on to cross the line 1.9 seconds ahead of Amon, who picked up the overall win. Afterwards, Amon said: "I didn't want to be put out by a silly thing like that. If I won races every week I would probably have had a go at getting past him, but there wasn't any point." With Gethin's retirement, Frank Gardner took the F5000 win for segment 2, but Mike Hailwood claimed the overall F5000 win on aggregate.

Chris Amon

Chris Amon

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Tuesday 12th May 1970

46 years ago

Denny Hulme sustained second and third degree burns to his hands and feet during a cockpit fire in his McLaren during practice for the Indy 500.

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Tuesday 2nd June 1970

46 years ago

New Zealand race-car designer and manufacturer Bruce McLaren died at the age of 32, after crashing at the Goodwood Circuit in Sussex. He had been testing his new M8D Can-Am car when the rear bodywork came adrift at speed, leading to the loss of aerodynamic downforce and destabilising the car, which spun, left the track and hit a bunker used as a flag station.

Bruce McLaren

Bruce McLaren

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Sunday 12th July 1970

46 years ago

The Chaparral 2J 'sucker car' with vacuum assisted road hold ing features made its racing debut in the Cam-Am Challenge race in Watkins Glen, New York, but driver Jackie Stewart retired with minor mechanical problems.On the chassis' sides bottom edges were articulated plastic skirts that sealed against the ground (a technology that would later appear in Formula One). At the rear of the 2J were housed two fans (sourced from a military tank engine) driven by a single two stroke twin cylinder engine. The car had a "skirt" made of Lexan extending to the ground on both sides, laterally on the back of the car, and laterally from just aft of the front wheels. It was integrated with the suspension system so the bottom of the skirt would maintain a distance of one inch from the ground regardless of G forces or anomalies in the road surface, thereby providing a zone within which the fans could create a partial vacuum which would provide a downforce on the order of 1.25–1.50 G of the car fully loaded (fuel, oil, coolant). This gave the car tremendous gripping power and enabled greater manoeuvrability at all speeds. Since it created the same levels of low pressure under the car at all speeds, down-force did not decrease at lower speeds. With other aerodynamic devices, down-force decreases as the car slows down or achieves too much of a slip angle, both of which were not problems for the "sucker car". The 2J competed in the Can-Am series and qualified at least two seconds quicker than the next fastest car, but was not a success as it was plagued with mechanical problems. It ran for only one racing season, in 1970, after which it was outlawed by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). Although originally approved by the SCCA, they succumbed to pressure from other teams, McLaren in particular, who argued that the fans constituted "movable aerodynamic devices", outlawed by the international sanctioning body, the FIA, a rule first applied against the 2E's adjustable wing. There were also complaints from other drivers saying that whenever they drove behind it the fans would throw stones at their cars. McLaren argued that if the 2J were not outlawed, it would likely kill the Can-Am series by totally dominating it — something McLaren had been doing since 1967. A similar suction fan was used in Formula One eight years later on the Brabham BT46B, which won the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix, but Brabham reverted to the non-fan BT46 soon afterwards due to complaints from other teams that the car violated the rules. The car was found to be within technical specifications allowing the victory to remain.

Chaparral 2J

Chaparral 2J

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Sunday 18th October 1970

46 years ago

Denny Hulme drove a McLaren M8D to victory in the Laguna Seca, California, USA, Can-Am race.

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Friday 9th April 1971

45 years ago

Frank Gardner passed Brian Redman with 2 laps to go and went on to win the European Formula 5000 series race on the Snetterton circuit. Gardner hung a few car lengths back of Redman until making the pass down the long Norwich Straight on the 23rd of 25 laps. Gardner took his works Lola T192 across the line 4 tenths of a second ahead of Redman's McLaren M18. Only 13 cars entered and just 11 managed to start in the wake of crashes at the opening race at Mallory Park and test/practice mishaps. Opening round winner Mike Hailwood was absent after wrecking his car in a Goodwood test while Gordon Spice and Graham McRae crashed in private practice the day before.

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Monday 12th April 1971

45 years ago

Brian Redman drove his McLaren M18A to victory in both 20 lap heats of the European Formula 5000 race held on the Brands Hatch circuit. Heat 1 saw Mike Hailwood take the lead on the rolling start, but Redman was in front just past turn 1 and went on to take a 6 second win. The second heat saw Hailwood into an immediate lead. Since combined time determined the winner of two heat format F5000 races, Hailwood tried to build up a margin on Redman. But the Chevy motor in Hailwood's works Surtees, assembled using parts from various blow ups, was overheating and spraying oil onto Redman's visor, forcing Redman to back off. With 4 laps to go, Hailwood's motor gave out and Redman went on to take a comfortable win over Frank Gardner, who finished 2nd on time aggregate.

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Saturday 3rd July 1971

45 years ago

Mark Donohue, driving the Penske Sunoco McLaren M16, wins the inaugural USAC Schaefer 500 at Pocono International Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, US, for Team Penske's first Indy car win.

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Sunday 18th July 1971

45 years ago

Mark Donohue drove his McLaren to victory in the 200 mile USAC Championship race on the 2 mile banked Michigan International Speedway. It was Donohue's 2nd consecutive USAC Champ win, having won the prior round at Pocono.

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Sunday 25th July 1971

45 years ago

Peter Revson and Denny Hulme, driving McLaren M8F-Chevrolets, finished 1-2 for Team McLaren in the Can-Am race at Watkins Glen, New York, US.

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Sunday 12th September 1971

45 years ago

Peter Revson and Denny Hulme, driving McLaren M8F-Chevrolets, finish 1-2 for Team McLaren in the Can-Am race at Donnybrook, Minnesota, US.

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Sunday 31st October 1971

45 years ago

Denny Hulme drove a McLaren M8F-Chevrolet to victory in the Can-Am race at Riverside, California, USA. His Team McLaren teammate Peter Revson finished second.

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Saturday 8th January 1972

45 years ago

Racer Bryon Faloon was killed during the New Zealand Grand Prix in Auckland, after an accident on the back straight with Graeme Lawrence in the closing laps of the race. It was the 18th New Zealand Grand Prix, and doubled as the first round of the 1972 Tasman Series. Australian Frank Gardner won his first NZGP in his McLaren Formula 5000 ahead of British Grand Prix motorcycle racing champion Mike Hailwood. The first New Zealand driver to finish was Robbie Francevic in the McLaren Formula 5000 who came in 9th place.

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Sunday 19th March 1972

45 years ago

Emerson Fittipaldi drove his Lotus to victory in the non-championship F1 'Race of Champions' at Brands Hatch. Fittipaldi grabbed the lead from polesitter Peter Gethin's McLaren at the green and went on to take the checkered flag 14 seconds ahead of Mike Hailwood's Surtees. It was the first win for Lotus in more than a year. Jackie Stewart and the Ferrari and Brabham teams skipped the event.

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Sunday 23rd September 1973

43 years ago

Confusion in Canada after the safety car is deployed. Peter Revson was eventually declared the winner after starting from second on the grid, driving a McLaren M23. This turned out to be Revson's last victory and podium finish in Formula One. As of 2015, this is the last Grand Prix to be won by an American born driver. Emerson Fittipaldi took second position for Team Lotus, while Jackie Oliver took his first podium in five years, and would turn out to be his last.

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Sunday 27th January 1974

43 years ago

The F1 circus once again returned to Brazil, but the start of the race was delayed because the circuit had to be swept clean of broken glass, caused by over exuberant parties by the fans. There were concerns as the surface began to show signs of breaking up and rain shortly before the start washed away the edges of the track, and caused mud to cascade over other parts of it. A torrential downpour continued led the race to be suspended and then abandoned after 31 of the 40 laps with Emerson Fittipaldi 15 seconds ahead of Clay Regazzoni. It was Fittipaldi and the McLaren teams tenth grand prix victory, but his first since joining them.

Emerson Fittipaldi

Emerson Fittipaldi

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Friday 22nd March 1974

43 years ago

Racer Peter Revson (35) was killed when his Shadow-Cosworth Formula 1 car crashed during a practice run at the Kyalami track in South Africa. The nephew of Revlon Cosmetics industry magnate Charles Revson, he was an heir to his father Martin's fortune (reportedly worth over $1 billion). He was a young, handsome bachelor who was described as a "free spirit". Revson began racing while at Cornell University. In 1968 he was part of the new Javelin racing program established by American Motors (AMC). At the first Trans-Am Series attempt, the 12 Hours of Sebring, Revson and Skip Scott drove to a 12th overall and took 5th in their class. In 1970 he teamed with Steve McQueen to place second in the 12 Hours of Sebring. Also in 1970, Revson was teammates with Mark Donohue in the Penske Racing AMC factory-team Javelins in the SCCA Trans Am. Revson joined McLaren in 1971 and became the first American to win the Can-Am Championship. That same season he finished second in the Indianapolis 500 after posting the fastest qualifying time. He competed in the Indy 500 each year from 1969-1973. In 1972, Revson was named to the McLaren Formula One team. He remained with the team for two years, winning the British Grand Prix and Canadian Grand Prix in 1973, before moving to Shadow in 1974. He is the last American born driver to win a Formula One race (Mario Andretti, who won in later years, is a naturalized American).

Peter Revson

Peter Revson

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Sunday 26th May 1974

42 years ago

In the Monaco Grand Prix, Lotus driver, Ronnie Peterson set the fastest lap of the race, coming from his third place starting position to win in a time of 1:58:03. Jody Scheckter in his Tyrrell was 28 seconds back after starting fifth. JP Jarier was third with his Shadow, he started sixth. Clay Regazzoni was fourth after starting second in his Ferrari and Emmo fifth in the McLaren coming up from the 13th spot on the grid. The last point went to John Watson in his Brabham, he started all the way back in 23rd position. Pole sitter, Niki Lauda was out with ignition problems in his Ferrari on lap 32.

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Sunday 12th January 1975

42 years ago

The Fittipaldi brothers created Formula 1 history as Emerson won the opening round of the 1975 season in Argentina as reigning World Champion for McLaren and Wilson debuted the family clan’s own Formula 1 team in the self-built Copersucar FD01.

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Sunday 26th January 1975

42 years ago

The Brazilian Grand Prix was run at Interlagos and Carlos Pace took the top honors, the circuit was to be later named after Pace. He and his Brabham won in 1:44:41. after qualifying in the 6th spot. Emerson Fittipaldi in his McLaren was only 5 seconds behind to finish 2nd and Jochen Mass in the other McLaren took 3rd. Jean-Pierre Jarier took pole and had the fastest lap of the race but retired with a fuel metering problem.

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Sunday 16th March 1975

42 years ago

Johnny Rutherford won the USAC Championship 'Bricklin 150' at FasTrack International Raceway, Cashion, Arizona. Rutherford's Offy powered McLaren led the last 61 laps on the 1 mile paved oval, crossing the line 5.3 seconds ahead of Gordon Johncock despite a yellow that bunched up the field with 5 laps left. 19 cars started on a track surface that deteriorated badly, cutting many tyres.

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Friday 25th April 1975

41 years ago

One of the most controversial and tragic race weekends in the Formula 1 history after the death of five spectators who were hit by the crashing Hill GH1 of Rolf Stommelen at the Spanish Grand Prix at Montjuich Park. It was also the race in which Lella Lombardi became the first and so far only woman to score points towards the World Championship. It was the 21st Spanish Grand Prix since the race was first held in 1913. It was the fourth, and last, Grand Prix to be held on the Montjuïc street circuit. The race was shortened to 29 of its scheduled 75 laps, a race distance of 109 kilometres. The race was won by German driver Jochen Mass driving a McLaren M23. It would be the only Formula One win of his career. Mass had just a second lead over the Lotus 72E of Belgian driver Jacky Ickx when the race was declared. Argentine racer Carlos Reutemann was declared third in his Brabham BT44B, a lap behind the race leaders after a penalty was given to Jean-Pierre Jarier.

Five spectators were killed by Stommelen's flying car with the driver suffering a broken leg, a broken wrist and two cracked ribs.

Five spectators were killed by Stommelen's flying car with the driver suffering a broken leg, a broken wrist and two cracked ribs.

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Sunday 11th May 1975

41 years ago

The Monaco Grand Prix was won by Austrian driver Niki Lauda giving the new Ferrari 312T its first win. The win broke a 20 year drought at Monaco for Ferrari. Lauda dominated the race, only losing the lead during a pitstop. He won by two seconds over the McLaren M23 of Emerson Fittipaldi. Carlos Pace finished third in his Brabham BT44B.

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Sunday 6th July 1975

41 years ago

Austrian driver Niki Lauda won the French Grand Prix in dramatic fashion after a late race dogfight with British driver James Hunt in his Hesketh 308, while West German driver Jochen Mass closed rapidly on the fighting pair in his McLaren M23. It was Lauda's fourth win for the season, giving him a 22 point lead in the points over Brabham driver Carlos Reutemann.

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Saturday 19th July 1975

41 years ago

Emerson Fittipaldi in a McLaren-Cosworth M23 won the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. It was the 30th British Grand Prix to be held since the race was first held in 1926 and the 17th time the race had been held at Silverstone. The race was held over 56 of the scheduled 67 laps of the four kilometre venue for a race distance of 264 kilometres.The results were overshadowed by a heavy hail storm from Lap 53, which caused three out of the top four cars (Jody Scheckter, James Hunt, and Mark Donohue), to aquaplane and crash in the same corner, bringing an early finish to the race, and a significant absence on the podium. A number of other cars crashed at the same corner as well, including Wilson Fittipaldi, Jochen Mass, and John Watson. The race results were finalised the lap after the lap most cars crashed, giving Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi, who had been the race leader prior to the storm, a one lap win in his McLaren M23. Carlos Pace, who was one of the crashers in his Brabham BT44B was classified in second position with another of the crashers, Tyrrell 007 driver Jody Scheckter classified third.

1975 British Grand Prix - heavy rains caused Wilson Fittipaldi (No. 30), James Hunt (No. 24), Brian Henton and others to spin off, stopping and ending the race.

1975 British Grand Prix - heavy rains caused Wilson Fittipaldi (No. 30), James Hunt (No. 24), Brian Henton and others to spin off, stopping and ending the race.

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Sunday 7th September 1975

41 years ago

Clay Regazzoni won the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in a Ferrari 312T. It was Regazzoni's third win, Ferrari's fifth win for the season. Regazzoni took a sixteen-second win over the McLaren M23 of outgoing world champion, Brazilian driver Emerson Fittipaldi. Behind Fittipaldi was the second Ferrari of Austrian driver Niki Lauda. Third place was enough for Lauda to secure his first world championship.

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Friday 5th March 1976

41 years ago

The South African Grand Prix at Kyalami was won by Austrian driver Niki Lauda in a Ferrari 312T. The win was Lauda's third win in succession. He finished 1.3 seconds ahead of British driver and Lauda's season long rival James Hunt in a McLaren M23. Hunt's McLaren team mate, West German driver Jochen Mass finished third.

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Sunday 14th March 1976

41 years ago

James Hunt won his second in a row at the non-championship Race of Champions at Brands Hatch with his McLaren M23. He also set fastest lap on the way to victory. Alan Jones was second in his Surtees and Jacky Ickx finished third in one of Lord Hesketh's cars. This was also the race debut of the Ferrari 312T2. The cars unfortunately DNF'd. Lauda was out with a brake problem 17 laps in, and Martini crashed his in the warm-up.

James Hunt

James Hunt

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Sunday 2nd May 1976

40 years ago

The Spanish Grand Prix was held at Jarama. Austrian Ferrari driver Niki Lauda driving a Ferrari 312T2 was initially declared the winner extending his Drivers' Championship lead to 23 points. After crossing the line first James Hunt had his McLaren M23 disqualified in post-race scruitineering. Swedish driver Gunnar Nilsson took his Lotus 77 to second place with Carlos Reutemann finishing third in his Brabham BT44B. McLaren appealed the disqualification and in July the appeal was upheld and Hunt re-instated as winner of the Spanish Grand Prix.

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Sunday 13th June 1976

40 years ago

The 1976 Swedish Grand Prix held at the Scandinavian Raceway in Anderstorp, Sweden, is the only ever Formula One race to be won by a car other than four-wheeled – indeed, the best four-wheeler could do no better than third, and it was the second race in succession that it took no less than 16 wheels to bring home the podium-finishers: South African Jody Scheckter and Frenchman Patrick Depailler in six-wheeled Tyrrell/Ford P34s and Austrian Niki Lauda in a four-wheeled Ferrari 312T2. The six-wheel design, with four 10-inch-diameter (250-mm) wheels at the front to reduce drag and increase grip, was banned by the FIA in 1983. When it was revealed it was the instant sensation of the 1976 season. The car was a photo opportunity on wheels – six of them, which was precisely why – and must have given Elf more free publicity in the 1976 pre-season and beyond than it garnered during the whole of 1974 and 1975. Tyrrell's Jody Scheckter took pole, with Patrick Depailler in fourth. In the race it was Mario Andretti in the Lotus 77 who led for much of the race. Andretti however had been penalised sixty seconds for jumping the start. Andretti's engine failed on lap 46 while attempting to build his lead over the two Tyrrells. They went on to finish first and second, Jody Scheckter leading Patrick Depailler to the line for his second Swedish Grand Prix victory. The South African, who when later probed confided that he thought the six-wheeled concept ridiculous, was beaming on the podium. However the Swedish walkover proved to be the only win for the P34. It was retired at the end of the 1977 season. Eight laps before Andretti's retirement Chris Amon crashed his Ensign N176 after a suspension failure, allowing championship leader Niki Lauda to move into the position that became third in his Ferrari 312T2. Jacques Laffite continued to show the promise of the Ligier JS5 in fourth. James Hunt was fifth in his McLaren M23 and Clay Regazzoni climbed into the final point in the second Ferrari late in the race.

Tyrrell P34

Tyrrell P34

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Sunday 4th July 1976

40 years ago

The 54th French Grand Prix and the fourth to be held at the Paul Ricard circuit was won by the eventual 1976 world champion James Hunt driving a McLaren M23. Hunt won by twelve seconds over the Tyrrell P34 of Patrick Depailler. It was Hunt's second win for the year and his third career Grand Prix victory.

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Sunday 29th August 1976

40 years ago

British driver James Hunt driving a McLaren M23 won the Dutch Grand Prix on his 29th birthday. The weekend was marred by the death of track marshal Ron Lenderink (29) during a touring car support race.

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Sunday 5th September 1976

40 years ago

James Hunt used a weekend off in his successful title campaign to race in the Formula Atlantic series in Canada at Trois Rivieres. It was the highlight of the Formula Atlantic season and the street circuit attracted a host of F1 names. However, all of them were soundly beaten by championship leader Gilles Villeneuve, who Hunt, on his return to the UK, immediately recommended to his McLaren team. In 1977 Villeneuve took part in a couple of races for McLaren before being signed up by Ferrari.

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Sunday 10th October 1976

40 years ago

James Hunt won the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, New York, in a McLaren M23.

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Sunday 24th October 1976

40 years ago

James Hunt’s third place in the first Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji was good enough to secure him the world title by one point from Niki Lauda, who quit on lap two because of torrential rain had made the conditions too dangerous for his liking. Lauda’s caution was understandable given the horrific head injuries he had suffered 11 weeks earlier. The 1976 Formula One season was the 27th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1976 World Championship of F1 Drivers and the 1976 International Cup for F1 Manufacturers[2] which were contested concurrently over a sixteen race series which commenced on 25 January and ended on 24 October. The season also included two non-championship races for Formula One cars. In an extraordinarily political season the World Championship went to McLaren driver James Hunt by one point from Ferrari's defending champion Niki Lauda, although Ferrari took the International Cup for F1 Manufacturers. Hunt had moved from the Hesketh team to McLaren, taking the place of dual World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi who had moved to drive for his brother Wilson's Fittipaldi Automotive team for the season. The controversy began in Spain where Hunt was initially disqualified from first place, giving the race to Lauda, only for the decision to be overturned on appeal months later. The six-wheeled Tyrrell P34 confounded the skeptics by winning in Sweden, with Lauda third and Hunt fifth. Hunt won in France and, it seemed, in Britain, but the race had been restarted after a first lap pile-up and Hunt drove on an access road returning to the pits, which was against the rules. He was eventually disqualified after an appeal from Ferrari. Lauda became the official race winner. Lauda then crashed heavily in West Germany and appeared likely to die from his injuries. Hunt won the race and finished fourth to John Watson's Penske (the team's only win) in Austria. Miraculously, Lauda returned to finish fourth in Italy, where Hunt, Jochen Mass and Watson were relegated to the back of the grid for infringements of the regulations. Hunt won in Canada and in the US but Lauda took third to lead Hunt by three points going into the final race in Japan. In appalling weather conditions Mario Andretti won, Lauda withdrew because of the hazardous conditions, and Hunt eventually finished third to take the title. Chris Amon, drove his last grand prix in Germany, failing to win a single championship race. The 1976 Wolf-Williams cars were originally Heskeths, and Williams had left the team by September. The 2013 film Rush is based on this season, focusing on the rivalry and friendship between James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

James Hunt - 1976

James Hunt - 1976

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Sunday 9th January 1977

40 years ago

In the smouldering heat of the Argentine Grand Prix Jody Scheckter on the 1977 seasons opening in Buenos Aires with the brand new, Dr. Harvey Postlethwaite designed Wolf WR1. it was reigning world champion James Hunt who started off his title defence with pole position in his McLaren. Countryman John Watson shared the front row with him in the Brabham, and Patrick Depailler in the six-wheeled Tyrrell was third on the grid. The weather was, as was very often the case in Buenos Aires oppressively hot, which contributed to the attrition of this race. Watson took the lead at the start with Hunt second. Watson led for the first 10 laps until Hunt moved ahead and pulled away, with Mario Andretti's Lotus third, but soon the other McLaren of Jochen Mass took the place. Mass had to retire soon after with an engine failure which caused him to spin, and a suspension failure took teammate and race leader Hunt out three laps later. Watson took the lead again, but he also had suspension failures and let teammate Carlos Pace through. Watson eventually retired, and Pace struggled towards the end due to heat in his cockpit and was passed by Jody Scheckter's Wolf and Andretti, but the latter retired then with a wheel bearing failure. Scheckter took the first win of 1977, with Pace second, and home hero Carlos Reutemann completing the podium for Ferrari. The race is notable as the last time a Formula One constructor won the first Grand Prix the team entered.

Jody Scheckter

Jody Scheckter

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Saturday 5th March 1977

40 years ago

A.J. Foyt won the 200 mile Indy Car race on the 2.5 mile Ontario Motor Speedway. Foyt averaged 154.073 mph in his Foyt/Coyote. The Indy Car opener saw new cars, the new Cosworth engine and new USAC rules requiring a pop-off valve for qualifying runs. Powered by one of the new Cosworth motors, Johnny Rutherford put his McLaren on the pole at 197.36 mph, a full second and 4 mph faster than 2nd fast Tom Sneva in Roger Penske's McLaren-Cosworth. Alan Jones qualified the Theodore Racing McLaren, but uncomfortable, was replaced by Steve Krisiloff for the race.

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Saturday 16th July 1977

39 years ago

The British Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Silverstone was won by James Hunt driving a McLaren M26, and marked the debut of Canadian driver Gilles Villeneuve. The race was the first outing for the first turbocharged Formula One car, the Renault RS01, driven by Jean-Pierre Jabouille.

1977 British Grand Prix

1977 British Grand Prix

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Sunday 4th December 1977

39 years ago

At Indianapolis, Tom Sneva drove his famed Norton Spirit McLaren M24/Cosworth racer for car owner Roger Penske, and became the first driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 at a speed of 200 mph (321.9 km/h) or more. He set a one-lap track record of 200.535 mph (322.7 km/h).

Tom Sneva

Tom Sneva

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Sunday 16th July 1978

38 years ago

Carlos Reutemann in a Ferrari 312T3 won the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. At the start of the race, Mario Andretti (Lotus) took the lead from Ronnie Peterson (Lotus), with Jody Scheckter (Wolf) holding third and Alan Jones (QWilliams)moving up to fourth. The Lotuses quickly pulled out a large gap, and looked set to dominate, until Peterson retired on lap 7 with a fuel leak. Andretti continued to lead until a puncture forced him to pit on lap 24, before his engine failed five laps later. Scheckter inherited the lead, closely followed by Jones, Niki Lauda and Riccardo Patrese. On lap 27, Jones's driveshaft failed, before Scheckter began to suffer gearbox problems. On lap 34, Lauda overtook the South African, who retired three laps later. This left Patrese in second, with Reutemann up to third, Watson fourth, Didier Pironi fifth in the second Tyrrell and Keke Rosberg sixth in the ATS.On lap 41, Patrese suffered a rear puncture which led to a suspension failure. Pironi also retired on this lap with gearbox trouble, promoting Rosberg to fourth. The Finn soon came under pressure from Depailler, who got by on lap 49. Reutemann closed up to Lauda and passed him for the lead on lap 60, as the two were lapping the McLaren of Bruno Giacomelli. The Argentine held off the Austrian for the remaining laps, eventually taking his third win of the season by 1.2 seconds. Watson finished 36 seconds behind Lauda and 36 ahead of Depailler, while a suspension failure for Rosberg on lap 60 meant that the final points went to Hans-Joachim Stuck in the Shadow and Patrick Tambay in the McLaren.

Start of the 1978 British Grand Prix

Start of the 1978 British Grand Prix

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Thursday 28th February 1980

37 years ago

Qualifying for the South African Grand Prix was marked by spectacular crashes involving Marc Surer and Alain Prost. Surer failed to negotiate a bend and smashed head-on into a trackside wall. He was trapped for half an hour before he could be freed and taken to hospital. Prost, meanwhile, had his second accident of the week - two days earlier he had damaged his McLaren during unofficial practice. He walked away without injury both times. Off track, a stormy meeting of the drivers was held in the light of a decision to ban skirts on cars in 1981, with Alan Jones and John Watson reportedly resigning in protest.

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Sunday 29th March 1981

36 years ago

David Prophet (43), British racing driver, who participated in two Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, died. A keen amateur who was a regular at British and European circuits during the 1960s, he also raced in South Africa during the British winter months and twice started that country’s Grand Prix. Working for Austin Motors from the early 1960s, Prophet started to race in British Formula Junior at the time. He fitted his FJ Brabham BT6 with a Ford twin cam engine and shipped it to South Africa for its 1963/64 season. Second in the Rhodesian GP, he also took part in the South African GP that was the final round of the 1963 World Championship. Prophet qualified in 14th position despite engine problems before retiring on his GP debut. Formula 2 with a Lotus 23 and then a Brabham BT10 followed in 1964 but Prophet returned to South Africa at the end of the year. He took part in the GP again – held on New Year’s Day and now the opening round of the 1965 season. Prophet finished 14th in his second and final world championship GP. By now he was running a successful garage in King’s Norton that funded his hobby and an impressive house outside Stratford-upon-Avon. Prophet, who always prepared his own racing cars, continued in F2 before switching to sports cars with some national success. He also shared the Lola T70 with which Paul Hawkins qualified on pole position for the 1969 Spa 1000Kms. The launch of Formula 5000 in 1970 enticed Prophet back into single-seaters with a McLaren M10B-Chevrolet. He finished fourth in the 1971 Argentine GP – a non-championship F1/F5000 event – and drove the car until the end of the following season without outright success. Prophet remained a keen enthusiast after he stopped racing himself. He was at Silverstone for the opening European F2 race of 1981 and was returning home when the helicopter he was flying crashed shortly after take-off, killing Prophet and his three passengers.

David Prophet

David Prophet

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Thursday 23rd April 1981

35 years ago

The FIA ruled that the Lotus 88 "twin chassis" F1 car was illegal, though the rules did not exclude it. The 88 used an ingenious system of having a twin chassis, one inside the other. The inner chassis would hold the cockpit and would be independently sprung from the outer one, which was designed to take the pressures of the ground effects. The outer chassis did not have discernible wings, and was in effect one huge ground effect system, beginning just behind the nose of the car and extending all the way inside the rear wheels, thereby producing massive amounts of downforce. The car was powered by the Ford Cosworth DFV engine. Lotus drivers Nigel Mansell and Elio de Angelis reported the car was pleasing to drive and responsive. To make the aerodynamic loads as manageable as possible, the car was constructed extensively in carbon fibre, making it along with the McLaren MP4/1 the first car to use the material in large quantity.

Lotus 88

Lotus 88 "twin chassis" F1 car - 1981

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Saturday 18th July 1981

35 years ago

John Watson won his first race for five years, and McLaren's first since James Hunt's victory at the 1977 Japanese Grand Prix at the British Grand Prix The race also marked the first victory for a carbon fibre composite monocoque F1 car, the McLaren MP4/1.

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Sunday 9th May 1982

34 years ago

At the Belgium Grand Prix at Zolder, John Watson in his McLaren set the fastest lap of the race after starting way back in 12th spot where he went on to win the race in a time of 1:35:41. Keke Rosberg in the Williams was second, seven seconds back and Eddie Cheever was third from starting 16th. Polesitter Alain Prost in his Renault spun off on lap 59 and was done for the day. The other Ferrari of Didier Pironi was withdrawn by the team out of respect for the loss of Gillles Villenuve who perished in qualifying the day before.

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Saturday 18th December 1982

34 years ago

The first TAG turbo V-6 racing engine developed jointly by Porsche and McLaren was tested in preparation for use in the McLaren MP4/1D chassis.

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Sunday 13th March 1983

34 years ago

The Brazilian Grand Prix at Jacarepagua was won by Nelson Piquet in a Brabham-BMW BT52 from the 4th place spot on the grid. Niki Lauda was second, 51 seconds,back in a McLaren and Jacques Laffite had a great drive from 18th spot to finish third. Keke Rosberg sat on pole but was DQ'd after he stalled and was push started.

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Sunday 27th March 1983

34 years ago

One of the most remarkable drives of modern times saw John Watson storm to victory after starting the Long Beach Grand Prix in 22nd place on the grid. Nobody has come from further back to win a race. His McLaren team-mate, Niki Lauda, started in 23rd and took second place despite suffering from leg cramps in the closing stages. The pair had struggled in qualifying as the team struggled to find a tyre and chassis combination, but shortly before the start Watson chose the same compound as he had used in Detriot the season before when he won after qualifying in 17th. "After a dismal practice Michelin were as perplexed as we were," Watson said. "So I decided to take a gamble and try the tyre compound … and it worked."

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Sunday 25th September 1983

33 years ago

Doctor Jonathan Palmer made his Formula 1 debut at Brands Hatch in the European Grand Prix driving for Williams. He scored a total of 14 championship points, with a career best finish of 4th. In 1987 he won the Jim Clark Cup for drivers without turbocharged engines, with team-mate Philippe Streiff his main rival. He also had a spell as McLaren test driver in 1990. He is the majority shareholder and chief executive of MotorSport Vision, whose portfolio includes the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, England, the PalmerSport corporate driving event at Bedford Autodrome in England, and the rights to the British Superbike Championship.

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Sunday 25th March 1984

33 years ago

Ayrton Senna made his Formula One debut at Jacarepagua, Brazi, racing for Toleman Motorsport. It was the first round of the 1984 Formula One season and the first race where the FISA mandated 220 litre fuel limit came into effect, with the re-fueling of 1983 now banned. Many of the drivers correctly predicted that this would turn Grand Prix racing into fuel economy runs rather than actual races. Alain Prost won the race in a McLaren MP4/2-TAG.

Aryton Senna - 1984

Aryton Senna - 1984

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Sunday 22nd July 1984

32 years ago

Niki Lauda won the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in a McLaren MP4/2-TAG. Derek Warwick finished second in a Renault, with Ayrton Senna third for the Toleman team.

Winner Niki Lauda, McLaren MP4/2 - 1984 British Grand Prix ...

Winner Niki Lauda, McLaren MP4/2 - 1984 British Grand Prix ...

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Sunday 21st October 1984

32 years ago

Second place in the final race of the season, the Portuguese Grand Prix, gave Niki Lauda the world motor-racing championship for the third time. The man who won the race, Lauda’s McLaren team-mate, Alain Prost, was pipped to the title by the narrowest of margins, just half a point. McLaren dominated the season, with Prost winning 7 races to equal the season wins record set by Jim Clark in 1963, and Lauda winning 5, making the McLaren MP4/2 the most dominant single season car in the sports history to that point. The team also scored four 1–2 results during the season to easily win the Constructors' Championship with a then-record 143.5 points, some 86 points in front of second-placed Ferrari. McLaren won 12 of the season's 16 races, with Brabham's reigning World Champion Nelson Piquet scoring two wins. Michele Alboreto (Ferrari) and Keke Rosberg (Williams-Honda) were the only other winners in the season with each winning a single race. For Japanese giant Honda, Rosberg's win in the Dallas Grand Prix in the United States would be the first of 40 wins for their turbocharged V6 engines until the turbos were banned following the 1988 season. It was also Honda's first win in Formula One since John Surtees had won the 1967 Italian Grand Prix at Monza driving the V12 powered Honda RA300 in its debut race. The Dallas Grand Prix was a one-off race, as the race was inexplicably run during the 100F heat of a Texas July summer; the weather and track temperatures were so high that the track broke up very badly. Aside from those problems, the circuit and the organization were well-received, and race was a classic- but only 7 cars finished. This was similar to the previous race in Detroit, where only 6 cars finished. Renowned British motorsports journalist Denis Jenkinson referred to these 2 American races as "demolition derbies". Zolder held its last Formula One Grand Prix when it hosted the third round Belgian Grand Prix. Fittingly at the track where Ferrari's Gilles Villeneuve had been killed in 1982, Michele Alboreto took pole and won the race carrying Villeneuve's #27 on his car. The Dijon-Prenois circuit also hosted its final Grand Prix when it hosted the French Grand Prix (Rd.5) won by Niki Lauda.

1984 champion Niki Lauda on the podium

1984 champion Niki Lauda on the podium

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Sunday 21st October 1984

32 years ago

Alain Prost won the Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril in a McLaren MP4/2-TAG.

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Sunday 7th July 1985

31 years ago

Nelson Piquet won the French Grand Prix driving a Brabham BT54-BMW. It turned out to be the Brabham team's last victory in Formula One. It was also the first Grand Prix victory since their return to Formula One for Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli. Piquet won the race by six seconds over pole winner Keke Rosberg driving a Williams FW10-Honda. Third was French driver Alain Prost driving a McLaren MP4/2B-TAG Porsche. Prost's podium finish allowed him to close to within five points of championship leader Michele Alboreto (Ferrari).

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Sunday 18th August 1985

31 years ago

French driver Alain Prost driving a McLaren MP4/2B won the Austrian Grand Prix held at Österreichring. It was Prost's fourth victory of his championship-winning season. Prost won by 30 seconds over Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna driving a Lotus 97T. Italian driver Michele Alboreto driving a Ferrari 156/85 finished third, tying Alboreto and Prost in the championship. In what was to be the last race for the venerable Cosworth DFV V8 engine until 1987, Tyrrell's Martin Brundle failed to qualify giving the race the distinction of being the first ever all-turbo Formula One Grand Prix starting grid.

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Sunday 25th August 1985

31 years ago

Niki Lauda won the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort in a McLaren MP4/2B-TAG. The race was the 34th and last Dutch Grand Prix and the 25th and last Grand Prix victory for triple (and defending) World Champion Niki Lauda. Lauda's team mate Alain Prost was second in his McLaren MP4/2B with Brazilian racer Ayrton Senna third in his Lotus 97T.

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Sunday 8th September 1985

31 years ago

The Italian Grand Prix was won by Frenchman Alain Prost driving a McLaren MP4/2B. It was Prost's fifth and final victory of the 1985 season as he powered towards the first of his four Formula One world championships. Prost won by almost 52 seconds over the Brazilian duo Nelson Piquet (Brabham BT54) and Ayrton Senna (Lotus 97T).

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Sunday 15th September 1985

31 years ago

Ayrton Senna driving a Lotus 97T won the rescheduled Belgium Grand Prix. It was Senna's second World Championship victory and the first of five he would win at Spa-Francorchamps. Senna won by 28 seconds over British driver Nigel Mansell driving a Williams FW10. Third was World Championship points leader, French driver Alain Prost driving a McLaren MP4/2B. The win promoted Senna to third in the drivers' standings and third place allowed Prost to expand his lead over Ferrari driver Michele Alboreto to 16 points.

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Sunday 3rd November 1985

31 years ago

Keke Rosberg signed off from Williams with victory in the inaugural Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide in front of 110,000 and in 30 degree heat. He survived a collision with Ayrton Senna midway through the race - Senna rammed the rear of Rosberg's car, sustained damage to his own front aerofoil, returned after repairs, retook the lead but then had to retire with engine trouble. If Rosberg was diplomatic, Nigel Mansell was not, labelling Senna "a total idiot". Niki Lauda's F1 farewell ended when his McLaren spun into a wall … he left saying "now it's time to grow up and start some sensible work". The late drama was provided by the Ligiers of Jacques Laffite and Philippe Streiff which collided on the penultimate lap when behind Rosberg. Streiff misread his pit signals and believed he was being caught by another car and so tried to pass Lafitte and the only succeeded in hitting him. Laffite came second while Streiff limped across the line at which point his wheel fell off.

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Sunday 17th August 1986

30 years ago

Alain Prost won the Austrian Grand Prix at the Osterreichring in a McLaren MP4/2C-TAG.

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Sunday 12th April 1987

29 years ago

Reigning world champion, Frenchman Alain Prost driving a McLaren MP4/3 won the Brazilian Grand Prix at Jacarepagua. It was Prost's fourth victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix, expanding his own record. Prost won the race by 40 seconds over local hero Nelson Piquet driving a Williams FW11B.

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Sunday 3rd May 1987

29 years ago

Nigel Mansell driving a Williams FW11B won the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola. It was Mansell's eighth Grand Prix victory, his first (of two) at the Imola circuit. Mansell finished 27 seconds ahead of Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna driving a Lotus 99T. Third was Italian driver Michele Alboreto driving a Ferrari F1/87. The win gave Mansell a one point lead in the championship over French McLaren driver Alain Prost.

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Sunday 17th May 1987

29 years ago

The Belgian Grand Prix was held at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Spa. It was the third race of the 1987 Formula One season. It was the 45th Belgian Grand Prix and the 33rd to be held at Spa. It was the fourth since the circuit was redeveloped in 1979. The race was won by French McLaren driver Alain Prost driving a McLaren MP4/3. It was Prost's second win in the Belgian Grand Prix and his 27th Grand Prix victory, equalling Jackie Stewart's all-time record. Prost won the race by 25 seconds over his Swedish team mate Stefan Johansson.

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Sunday 5th July 1987

29 years ago

British driver Nigel Mansell in a Williams FW11B won the French Grand Prix. It was Mansell's second win of the year and his second victory in the French Grand Prix. Mansell finished seven seconds ahead of team mate Brazilian two-time World Champion Nelson Piquet. Reigning champion Frenchman Alain Prost driving a McLaren MP4/3 finished third.

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Sunday 12th July 1987

29 years ago

Nigel Mansell squeezed every last drop out of his Williams, overtaking team-mate Nelson Piquet three laps from the end of the British Grand Prix before running out of fuel on his lap of honour. Piercarlo Ghinzani had a less than memorable day after he ran out of fuel and was then push started by his mechanics. Add in that he had already angered stewards with a couple of extra laps at the end of qualifying, they wasted no time in disqualifying him. At the start, Prost was the quickest and took the lead, only to be passed by Piquet at Maggotts; Mansell soon followed his teammate. The race then became a close fight between the two Williams drivers, as neither Senna (also Honda powered) nor Prost were a match for them. Lotus were finding that while the active suspension worked well on bumpy street circuits, at smoother tracks like Silverstone finding balance with the car was proving difficult. Piquet led most of the race. By lap 35 Mansell was around 2 seconds behind his teammate. Both Williams drivers were scheduled to complete the race without a tyre change, but Mansell and the team elected to make a stop in order to change tyres. Mansell rejoined the race some 29 seconds behind Piquet, with 28 laps remaining. On fresh rubber Mansell began an epic charge which saw the lap record broken 8 times to the delight of the over 100,000 strong British crowd. By lap 62 the two cars were nose to tail and on lap 63 Mansell performed his now famous 'Silverstone Two Step' move, selling Piquet a dummy on the Hangar Straight and then diving down the inside into Stowe Corner. 2 corners after crossing the finish line, Mansell's car slowed down and was engulfed by the crowd. Initially it was thought that he had run out of fuel, but he had actually blown up the engine, out of the stress of running the last 6 laps on "Q" mode (which gives the engine +100hp), and risking running out of fuel at any moment (his fuel display was reading "minus 2.5 laps"). In fact that incident was the last straw for the patience of the Honda management, since it had – again – threatened their easily attainable 1, 2 result. Honda moved to McLaren the following year, leaving Williams with no options but to sign for underpowered Judd V8 units. Nelson Piquet went on to sign with Lotus on the following weeks, a move that kept Honda powering that team in 1988 as well. Senna finished a quiet race in third place while his teammate Satoru Nakajima had his best F1 finish by coming home 4th. Rounding out the points were Derek Warwick (Arrows-Megatron) and Teo Fabi (Benetton-Ford).

Nigel Mansell - 1987 British Grand Prix

Nigel Mansell - 1987 British Grand Prix

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Friday 14th August 1987

29 years ago

Stefan Johansson destroyed his McLaren but was unhurt after hitting a deer at nearly 180 mph during practice for the Austrian Grand Prix at the Oesterreichring.

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Sunday 27th September 1987

29 years ago

The Spanish Grand Prix was won by British driver Nigel Mansell driving a Williams FW11B. Mansell took victory by 22 seconds over Frenchman Alain Prost driving a McLaren MP4/3. Prost's Swedish team mate Stefan Johansson finished third. It was Mansell's fifth victory of the 1987 season. That win, along with Nelson Piquet's fourth place, secured for the Williams F1 team their third constructors' championship with three races still remaining in the season.

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Tuesday 29th September 1987

29 years ago

John Foulston, who a year earlier had bought Brands Hatch, Oulton Park and Snetterton for £5.2 million, was killed while testing a McLaren IndyCar at Silverstone. He was 40.

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Sunday 15th May 1988

28 years ago

Monaco Grand Prix at Monte Carlo was won by Alain Prost driving a McLaren-Honda MP4/4. With Senna on pole, Prost made a bad start and found himself blocked by Gerhard Berger, allowing Senna to pull out a full 54s lead. When the Frenchman moved into second, Senna at first allowed him to close up, but on lap 66 suddenly panicked, forced the pace and made an elementary mistake, losing control of his McLaren and crashing into the barrier at Portier, when he had the race won. Senna was so ashamed he went straight to his Monte Carlo apartment and would not speak to the press. Senna said, "I changed a lot my strategy as far as driving was concerned from that day on, and it was all a consequence of the mistake at Monaco. It was a difficult day, not such a good result, but a necessary result, perhaps, that gave me so much success after it." A highly religious man, Senna later commented that "I think I was going through a period of adjustment, of discovery, of some important aspect of life, which is God"

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Sunday 29th May 1988

28 years ago

At the Mexico Grand Prix held in Mexico City, McLaren teammates started 1-2 with Senna on pole and Prost outside him. At the finish, it was Prost winning by 7.104 seconds over Senna. Prost also set fastest lap to do it. Gerhard Berger was third in the Ferrari, his starting position. His teammate, Alboreto advanced one position to finish fourth, though 1 lap down. Arrows driver, Derek Warwick came from ninth to finish fifth. Eddie Cheever was sixth in his Arrows.

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Sunday 19th June 1988

28 years ago

Ayrton Senna's third win of the season at the Detroit Grand Prix made it six out of six for McLaren in 1988, on the way to an unprecedented 15 wins and ten 1-2 finishes in 16 races.

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Sunday 7th August 1988

28 years ago

Ayrton Senna led home Alain Prost at the Hungarian Grand Prix for the 10th consecutive McLaren win of the season.

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Sunday 28th August 1988

28 years ago

Ayrton Senna led home Alain Prost in a McLaren 1-2 to win the Belgian Grand Prix.

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Sunday 11th September 1988

28 years ago

Gerhard Berger led home Michele Alboreto for a timely Ferrari 1-2 at the Italian Grand Prix as McLaren failed to win for the only time in the season. As usual, the two McLarens lined up on the front row with Ayrton Senna on pole, the Ferrari duo behind. The order did not change until Prost uncharacteristically retired with an engine failure on lap 35, leaving Senna to close in on another easy victory in the closing laps. But coming up to lap Jean-Louis Schlesser's Williams, Senna left the Frenchman with precious little space and the pair collided, leaving the Brazilian beached and out of the race.

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Sunday 2nd October 1988

28 years ago

Alain Prost secured a crucial victory at the Spanish Grand Prix, his second win in eight days, to gain five-point lead over McLaren team-mate and rival Ayrton Senna, who managed fourth after problems with his fuel consumption computer. Post-race, March complained its driver Ivan Capelli had been blocked for 30 laps by the "adolescent driving tactics" of Riccardo Patrese in a Williams, but stewards dismissed the protest.

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Sunday 13th November 1988

28 years ago

Alain Prost recorded his 35th career win at the Australian Grand Prix despite suffering major handling problems after hitting debris while McLaren team-mate Ayrton Senna took second despite a malfunctioning gearbox. It was a sign of how dominant the McLarens had been that even with these handicaps the pair still finished well ahead of the field. Gerhard Berger realised his Ferrari had no chance of winning and told his fellow drivers he was out to enjoy himself. "I'm going to come past you," he grinned at Prost, "but you don't have to worry about it." Berger set off at a crazy pace which ensured he would run out of fuel long before the end but in the event his race ended when he piled into a slow-going Rene Arnoux.

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Sunday 23rd April 1989

27 years ago

At the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola, Ayrton Senna in his McLaren won from his pole position in a time of 1:26:51. His rival, teammate, Alain Prost was second after starting next to him. Alessandro Nannini in the Benetton, had a great drive from 7th on the grid to finish 3rd, though one lap down from Senna and Prost. There were 12 finishers and Jonathan Palmer had a good drive from all the way back in 25th in his Tyrrell. He came through for a point in sixth at the end.

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Sunday 28th May 1989

27 years ago

The Mexican Grand Prix held at the Autodrome Hermanos Rodriguez, was won from pole position by Ayrton Senna driving a McLaren-Honda MP4/5 in a time of 1:35:21. Fifth place starter. Riccardo Patrese drove well to finish second 15.5 seconds behind Senna. Michele Alboreto in the Tyrrell was third after starting seventh. Alessandro Nannini had a splendid drive coming from 13th on the grid in his Benetton to finish fourth. Prost was fifth in the other McLaren and Gabriele Tarquini in the AGS took sixth. Nigel Mansell took fastest lap of the race in his Ferrari but gearbox gremlins took him out on lap 43.

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Sunday 1st October 1989

27 years ago

A flag-to-flag victory for Ayrton Senna in a McLaren at the Spanish Grand Prix only came after he held of a determined challenge from the Ferrari of Gerhard Berger. Alain Prost, who took third, still held a commanding lead in the drivers' championship, but team-mate Senna's victory kept him in the hunt. "It was Mission Impossible," Prost said. "I just sat back and drove my taxi home for third place."

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Sunday 11th March 1990

27 years ago

The first round of the 1990 season took place in Phoenix, Arizona and was won by Ayrton Senna driving a McLaren Honda. However, he didn't have it easy, rain during qualifying shook up the order and Jean Alesi, just in his second season of F1 racing, took an early lead in the Tyrrell. Senna, who started in fifth, closed the gap and sat behind Alesi, expecting the Tyrrell's Pirelli tyres to wear at a faster rate than his Goodyears. However, when it became clear that the Pirellis would hold up Senna made his move. The world champion expected it to be a cut and shut job, but Alesi held his line and retook the lead at the next corner. Senna was in no mood to mess around and on the next lap took a more ruthless approach to ensure he gained the lead. The move stuck, but Alesi held on for an impressive second-place finish, over 45 seconds ahead of third-placed Thierry Boutsen and just eight seconds off Senna.

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Sunday 25th March 1990

27 years ago

The Brazilian Grand Prix was held at Interlagos. The race was won for the sixth time by the reigning world champion Alain Prost driving a Ferrari 641. The win extended Prost's record for most wins of the Brazilian Grand Prix. Prost's winning margin was 13 seconds over Austrian driver Gerhard Berger driving a McLaren MP4/5B. Berger's Brazilian team mate Ayrton Senna was third.

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Sunday 13th May 1990

26 years ago

Italian driver Riccardo Patrese driving a Williams FW13B won the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola. It was Patrese's third Grand Prix victory, his first since 1983 and his first for Williams. Patrese took a five second victory over Austrian driver Gerhard Berger driving a McLaren MP4/5B. Third was Italian driver Alessandro Nannini driving a Benetton B190.

Riccardo Patrese (1982)

Riccardo Patrese (1982)

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Sunday 27th May 1990

26 years ago

The 48th Monaco Grand Prix held over 78 laps of the three kilometre circuit for a race distance of 259 kilometres was won by defending race champion Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna, who led every lap of the race driving a McLaren MP4/5B. Like his previous win in the US, Senna's rival for the race was the unexpected form of young French driver Jean Alesi driving a Tyrrell 019. Senna held a one second gap over Alesi at the finish. It was Senna's third win at the Monaco Grand Prix. The only other driver to complete full race distance was Senna's Austrian team mate Gerhard Berger.

Monaco Grand Prix - 1990

Monaco Grand Prix - 1990

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Sunday 10th June 1990

26 years ago

Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna driving a McLaren MP4/5B won the Canadian Grand Prix held at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the second time. It was Senna's third win for the season having won the season-opening United States Grand Prix and the Monaco Grand Prix just two weeks earlier. Senna won by ten seconds over fellow Brazilian Nelson Piquet who drove a Benetton B190. Three second further back in third was British driver Nigel Mansell driving a Ferrari 641.

Canadian Grand Prix - 1990

Canadian Grand Prix - 1990

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Sunday 24th June 1990

26 years ago

Alain Prost driving a Ferrari 641/2 won the Mexican Grand Prix held at Hermanos Rodriguez. In winning Prost became only the second multiple-winner in Mexican Grand Prix history, joining British driver Jim Clark. It was Prost's second win for the year after winning the Brazilian Grand Prix. Prost won the race by 26 seconds over his British team mate Nigel Mansell. Third was Austrian driver Gerhard Berger driving a McLaren MP4/5B. Prost's win and Berger's third coupled points leader Ayrton Senna stopping with a puncture late in the race allowed both drivers to close to be eight points behind Senna.

Winner Alain Prost (FRA) Ferrari 641 leads Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell at the 1990 Mexican GP

Winner Alain Prost (FRA) Ferrari 641 leads Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell at the 1990 Mexican GP

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Sunday 8th July 1990

26 years ago

The French Grand Prix almost saw one of the most remarkable upsets in Formula One history with the Leyton House Racing team of Italian driver Ivan Capelli and Brazilian driver Mauricio Gugelmin running first and second for an extended period of the race in their Leyton House CG901s. French driver Alain Prost claimed the lead late in the race to take the win in his Ferrari 641 by eight seconds over Capelli. Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna finished third in his McLaren MP4/5B.

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Sunday 29th July 1990

26 years ago

The last Formula One Grand Prix to be held in West Germany prior to its re-unification with East Germany, was won by 1988 World Champion, Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna driving a McLaren MP4/5B. He took a six second victory over Italian driver Alessandro Nannini driving a Benetton B190 who was just two seconds in front of Senna's Austrian teammate Gerhard Berger.

1990: Ayrton Senna of Brazil in action in his McLaren Honda during the German Grand

1990: Ayrton Senna of Brazil in action in his McLaren Honda during the German Grand

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Sunday 12th August 1990

26 years ago

Belgian driver Thierry Boutsen driving a Williams FW13B took his third and final Grand Prix win in Hungary after leading the entire race. Italian driver Alessandro Nannini driving a Benetton B190 challenged for a while, before being eliminated in a collision with Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna. Senna, driving a McLaren MP4/5B survived the incident and finished inches behind Boutsen with Brazilian three time world champion Nelson Piquet driving a Benetton B190 finishing third.

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Sunday 26th August 1990

26 years ago

Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna claimed his fifth race victory for the season at the Begium Grand Prix in his McLaren MP4/5B taking a four-second win over the Ferrari 641 driven the reigning world champion, Frenchman Alain Prost. It was Senna's fourth victory in the Belgian Grand Prix, and his third in succession. Senna's Austrian team mate Gerhard Berger finished third, while further back Maurício Gugelmin scored a rare point for the Leyton House team in his Leyton House CG901.

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Sunday 23rd September 1990

26 years ago

British driver Nigel Mansell took his only victory of the season in his Ferrari 641, and his last for Scuderia Ferrari at Portugeuse Grand Prix. He finished over two seconds ahead of Brazilian driver and series points leader Ayrton Senna driving a McLaren MP4/5B. Mansell's team mate French driver Alain Prost kept his fading championship hopes alive with a third placed finish.

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Sunday 30th September 1990

26 years ago

The first of three retirements in the last three races of the season by Ayrton Senna allowed rival Alain Prost to win the Spanish Grand Prix, team-mate Nigel Mansell making it a one-two weekend for Ferrari. Senna's day ended when the radiator on his McLaren was punctured by debris from backmarker Yannick Dalmas, allowing Prost to coast home and cut his lead to nine points. The weekend was overshadowed by a serious crash involving Martin Donnolly on the Friday which ended his career.

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Sunday 21st October 1990

26 years ago

Suzuka staged the Japanese Grand Prix. The race is best remembered for the first corner collision between World Championship rivals Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna (McLaren) and French driver Alain Prost (Ferrari), the second consecutive year the two had collided at this race with heavy championship repercussions. It immediately put both cars out of the race and secured for Senna his second World Championship. With Ferrari scoring no points after Nigel Mansell's retirement, the McLaren team secured their sixth and third consecutive constructor's championship.

1990 Japanese Grand Prix

1990 Japanese Grand Prix

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Sunday 10th March 1991

26 years ago

The United States Grand Prix in Phoenix, the opening race of the 1991 season, saw Ayrton Senna take it to the streets in his McLaren in just over 2 hours. He started from pole ahead of second man, Alain Prost in his Ferrari and finished ahead of the Frenchman by 16.3 seconds. Nelson Piquet brought his Bennetton home in third. Jean Alesi set fastest lap of the race in the other Ferrari but finished 9 laps down. There were some notable new faces at the race. Future World Champion Mika Hakkinen made his first grand prix start for Lotus and impressed by qualifying in 13th. It was also the first Formula One race for the Jordan team.

Start of the 1991 US Grand Prix

Start of the 1991 US Grand Prix

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Sunday 25th August 1991

25 years ago

Michael Schumacher made his Formula One debut at Spa. He drove for Jordan after replacing Betrand Gachot, who had been jailed for assaulting a London taxi driver the year before. Schumacher immediately caught the world's attention by qualifying seventh, albeit 3.4 seconds off the pole time set by Ayrton Senna. In the race the clutch failed on the grid and he retired immediately while Senna led a McLaren one-two at the front of the field. However, Schumacher had made his mark on the sport and was immediately snapped up by Flavio Briatore to race for Benetton at the next event, much to the anger of Eddie Jordan.

Michael Schumacher meeting Bernie Ecclestone

Michael Schumacher meeting Bernie Ecclestone

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Sunday 26th July 1992

24 years ago

Contested over 45 laps of Hockenheim, the German Grand Prix was won by Williams driver (and polesitter) Nigel Mansell. Ayrton Senna finished the race in second place for the McLaren team whilst Michael Schumacher took the final podium spot in his Benetton.

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Sunday 27th September 1992

24 years ago

Nigel Mansell won the Portuguese Grand Prix from pole position, in the process setting new records for most wins (nine) and most points (108) in one season, with McLaren drivers Gerhard Berger and Ayrton Senna second and third. However, the race is best remembered for the accident between Berger and Mansell's Williams team-mate Riccardo Patrese. Intending to make a pit stop, Berger moved towards the right side of the track at the beginning of the start/finish straight, with Patrese following in his slipstream. Failing to realise Berger's intentions, Patrese swerved to avoid him, but his right front wheel hit Berger's left rear and the Williams was launched into the air, almost hitting a pedestrian bridge over the track. Patrese escaped the accident shaken but unhurt, and neither driver was punished by the stewards. The debris from the crash, however, caused numerous other incidents.

Nigel Mansell - 1992

Nigel Mansell - 1992

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Wednesday 10th February 1993

24 years ago

Ron Dennis announced his McLaren driver line-up as Mika Hakkinen and Michael Andretti, leaving three-time F1 champion Ayrton Senna without a drive. It had been no secret that Senna wanted to drive for Williams in the upcoming season but his fierce rival Alain Prost, who was already confirmed at the team, vetoed the move. Facing a year on the sidelines, Senna decided to go back to McLaren and took Hakkinen's place for the opening round in South Africa. He scored five victories in his final year with the team but Williams dominated and Prost took the title. Senna finally moved to Williams in 1994 but was killed in an accident at the San Marino Grand Prix.

Ron Dennis

Ron Dennis

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Friday 12th March 1993

24 years ago

Alain Prost answered those who doubted he could return from his year's sabbatical as sharp as he was before by setting the fastest time for the South African Grand Prix, the first round of the 16-race 1993 world championship. Prost, driving a Williams-Renault FW15C, beat fierce rival Ayrton Senna's McLaren MP4/8 to whet the appetite of fans who had to endure an easy title win for Nigel Mansell the previous season. But Senna continued to seethe, blaming Prost for keeping him out of the Williams set-up. "The way he is behaving is like a coward," Senna said. "He has everything laid out for him in 1993. It's like running a 100 metre race with him in running shoes and everybody in lead boots."

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Sunday 9th May 1993

23 years ago

Alain Prost driving a Williams-Renault FW15C won the Spanish Grand Prix held at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona from p[ole position in a time of 1:32:27. Ayrton Senna was second in his McLaren 16 seconds back and Michael Schumacher in his Benetton set the fastest lap of the race to come in third from his fourth starting position.

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Tuesday 15th June 1993

23 years ago

James Simon Wallis Hunt (45) died from a heart attack in his house in Wimbledon, England shortly after having asked his fiancée Helen to marry him. James Hunt made a first impression in motor racing with frightening accidents in Formula 3. But once he graduated into Formula 1 with Lord Hesketh’s March privateer team, his career progressed well. Winning the 1975 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, now in the Postlethwaite-designed Hesketh 308, opened the doors to replace Emerson Fittipaldi at McLaren the following season. Hunt took the title challenge all the way to the final race at Mount Fuji where third place in torrential rain was enough to secure the title. Having reached the pinnacle, James somewhat seemed to have lost a target to focus on and his career went into a dive. He retired in 1979, finding F1 too dangerous and not worth the risk. After a couple of years away he returned as a TV commentator for the BBC and got more than once in hot water for his laid back commentary style.

James Hunt

James Hunt

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Sunday 11th July 1993

23 years ago

Alain Prost secured his 50th grand prix win at Silverstone, aided by early leader Damon Hill's engine blowing up and Ayrton Senna's McLaren dying on the last lap. Hill had seemed on course for victory despite Prost slowly closing on him, but the gap was wiped out when a safety car was brought out after Luca Badoer crashed his Lola; on the restart Prost was right behind Hill, capitalising when his car gave up the ghost.

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Tuesday 15th March 1994

23 years ago

Alain Prost ended months of speculation by ruling out a second comeback to Formula One with McLaren-Peugeot. Rumours had started after he test-drove the new McLaren MP4 9 at Estoril. "I am not ready to take the risks anymore," he said. "To be truthful, I haven't changed my mind since I made my original decision. I did the test drive to see if I really wanted to start all over again. The answer is no."

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Sunday 25th September 1994

22 years ago

The Portuguse Grand Prix was won by Damon Hill driving for the Williams team. David Coulthard finished second in the other Williams, with Mika Häkkinen third in a McLaren car. Hill's win was his fifth of the season and his third consecutive win having won both the preceding Belgian and Italian Grand Prix.

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Tuesday 3rd January 1995

22 years ago

Nigel Mansell's plans to return to F1 were all but ended with Williams' announcement they had opted David Coulthard for the coming season. Mansell had switched to CART racing after winning the drivers' championship in 1992 and was looking for a way back after racing for Williams at the end of 1994, with his career fizzling out after a handful of races for McLaren in 1995.

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Sunday 26th February 1995

22 years ago

Ray Bellm and Maurizio Sandro Sala won the 4 Hours of Jerez, Spain, driving a Gulf McLaren F1 GTR.

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Sunday 12th March 1995

22 years ago

Ray Bellm and Mauricio Sandro Salla won the Four Hours of Paul Ricard in France driving a Gulf McLaren F1 GTR.

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Sunday 23rd April 1995

21 years ago

Ray Bellm and Maurizio Sandro Salo lead a McLaren F1 sweep of the top five positions in the BPR Global GT Endurance Series sports car race on the Nurburgring in Germany. In 1997 this series became the FIA GT Championship.

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Sunday 14th May 1995

21 years ago

The Spanish Grand Prix held at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona proved to be the final race for former champion Nigel Mansell, who quit the McLaren team after the race. Both Damon Hill and Rubens Barrichello experienced gearbox problems on the final lap, Hill dropping from 2nd (which would have kept him in the lead of the championship) and Barrichello from 6th. This gave the Benetton team their first 1-2 finish since the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix.

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Friday 10th November 1995

21 years ago

In the Friday Afternoon session for the 1995 Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide, Mika Hakkinen in his McLaren suffered a rear puncture heading towards Brewery Bend, causing him to spin over the curbs and to crash heavily. Hakkinen was given an emergency tracheotomy at trackside, before getting rushed to hospital. As with Ayrton Senna’s fatal accident the year before at Imola, information wasnít coming forth and some feared the worst. Thankfully Mika recovered well from the accident and went on to become a double World Champion. With today’s safety features, like HANS and lateral cockpit protection, Mika would have walked away unscathed.

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Sunday 12th November 1995

21 years ago

Damon Hill won the Australian Grand Prix by two complete laps. This had only been achieved once before in the history of the Formula One World Championship, at the 1969 Spanish Grand Prix when Jackie Stewart took his Matra to a two-lap victory over Bruce McLaren at Montjuich Park in Barcelona.

Damon Hill - Australian Grand Prix 1995

Damon Hill - Australian Grand Prix 1995

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Monday 13th November 1995

21 years ago

Mika Hakkinen left the intensive care unit after his life threatening crash during practice for the Australian Grand Prix just over a week earlier. Hakkinen suffered a punctured tire in the high-speed Brewery Bend and his McLaren arrived in the corner sideways in fifth gear. As the car spun, it hit the kerbing backwards and was launched into the air. It then hit the ground just before smashing against the wall. It later emerged that Hakkinen suffered a fracture around the base of his skull and some internal bleeding as a result. Doctors were initially worried that Hakkinen's brain might swell inside the skull and cause brain hemorrhaging. That is what killed American F1 racer Mark Donohue two days after he crashed in Austria in August 1975. In fact, it was not a problem, and in the course of Saturday Hakkinen regained consciousness.

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Monday 26th August 1996

20 years ago

One of the most iconic F1 sponsorship deals came to an end when the Philip Morris tobacco company announced it would not renew its sponsorship of McLaren in 1997. Philip Morris' European president said: "During our 23 years of sponsorship, the Marlboro McLaren team has had unprecedented success, winning nine drivers' world championships, seven wolrd constructors' championships and 96 grands prix. We are very proud of that record."

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Friday 14th February 1997

20 years ago

The Spice Girls and Jamiroquai attended one of the most extravagant F1 launches of all time, as McLaren unveiled its 1997 challenger at Alexandra Palace in London. The car was the first McLaren to feature a striking silver Mercedes livery after years of running red and white Marlboro sponsorship. It also marked a turning point in the team's fortunes as it scored a victory on its debut outing, the team's first since Ayrton Senna left in 1993. One year later and McLaren had won the title with Mika Hakkinen.

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Sunday 9th March 1997

20 years ago

David Coulthard won the Australian Grand Prix for McLaren from fourth on the grid, the team's first victory in 50 races. Itvwas also the first win for a Mercedes engine since Juan Manuel Fangio wrapped up the world championship at Monza in 1955. Williams, which had won both titles in 1996, was expected to dominate but Jacques Villeneuve was taken out by Eddie Irvine within seconds of the start, while team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen spun into the gravel three laps from the end as he sought to recover from a botched pit stop. Defending champion Damon Hill, who had left Williams to join Arrows, qualified in 20th but broke down on the parade lap. His only, albeit scant, consolation was that neither team which had also tried to sign him - Jordan and Stewart - managed to finish the race either.

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Sunday 27th July 1997

19 years ago

Contested over 45 laps, the German Grand Prix was won by Gerhard Berger for the Benetton team, from a pole position start. Michael Schumacher finished second in a Ferrari, with Mika Häkkinen third for the McLaren team.

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Sunday 29th March 1998

19 years ago

Mika Hakkinen completed his third straight victory and McLaren secured its third straight 1-2 finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Hakkinen started from pole and led from start to finish, with the fastest lap thrown in for good measure. The race was notable for Damon Hill being disqualified for having an underweight car. 'I don't think it gets much worse than this,' he said.

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Tuesday 31st March 1998

18 years ago

Andy Wallace drove a standard McLaren F1 production car at 240.14 mph (386.46 kmh) at the Volkswagen Proving Ground, Wolfsburg, Germany.

McLaren F1

McLaren F1

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Friday 3rd April 1998

18 years ago

McLaren announced the signing of a 13-year-old karting whiz kid, Lewis Hamilton. Ron Dennis said Hamilton had the ability to go all the way to the top and made him a member of the team's prestigious driver support programme. "We did not expect this so soon," Hamilton's father said. "When McLaren first spoke to us our reaction was one of disbelief. What McLaren is giving us is a complete package, making sure Lewis's education stays on the right track and he keeps his feet on the ground. It is almost as if the motor-racing side is a bonus. But Lewis will have to produce the results they are looking for."

Lewis Hamilton - 1998

Lewis Hamilton - 1998

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Sunday 30th August 1998

18 years ago

Damon Hill secured the first ever victory for the Jordan F1 team, winning his first grand prix since 1996 and leading home Ralf Schumacher for a team 1-2. McLaren's David Coulthard triggered a massive accident at the start of the race, with 13 cars involved. After the restart, Michael Schumacher forged into the lead and looked to have the race victory sewn up before he crashed into the back of David Coulthard whilst trying to lap him. A furious Schumacher then had to be restrained by Ferrari staff after he marched into the McLaren garage ranting at Coulthard, even claiming the Scot had tried to kill him. His younger brother was also an unhappy man after the race as he felt he should have been allowed to race his team-mate for the victory.

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Sunday 27th September 1998

18 years ago

The Ferrari pair of Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine took the front row of the grid, but it was Mika Hakkinen in a McLaren who won the Luxembourg Grand Prix in front of a capacity crowd at the Nurburgring, giving him a four-point lead in the drivers' championship with one race to go. He out-braked Irvine on the 14th lap and then ate into Schumacher's lead, and then passed him by staying out an extra five laps when the German made his pit stop.

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Sunday 1st November 1998

18 years ago

Mika Hakkinen's flag-to-flag victory at the Japanese Grand Prix clinched him the first of two world titles and also gave McLaren its first constructors' crown since 1991. The only real challenge was likely to be from Michael Schumacher, but he had to start from the back of the grid and then he suffered a 165 mph blowout when he ran over debris from an earlier crash, needing all his skill to bring his Ferrari to a safe stop. "I don't know how to start explaining my feelings," Hakkinen said. "I was aware of the pressure falling on me." Ferrari boss Jean Todt was not a happy man. "We have shown we are capable of winning grands prix," he said. "But we must show one day we are capable of winning a world championship." He need not have worried.

Mika Hakkinen

Mika Hakkinen

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Thursday 7th January 1999

18 years ago

The High-Speed Circuit lap record at MIRA in Warwickshire was broken by a McLaren F1 road car, driven by Peter Taylor, averaging 168mph (270.36km/h) round the 2.82-mile (4.53km) banked circuit. With a lap time of 1 minute 00.56 seconds, the F1 comfortably exceeded the previous record of 161.655mph (260.15 km/h) set in April 1967 by the Jaguar XJ13 sports-racing prototype.

McLaren F1

McLaren F1

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Thursday 15th April 1999

17 years ago

Dr. Harvey Postlethwaite (55), a prolific and successful designer of Formula 1 cars for teams such as Hesketh, Wolf, and Ferrari in the 1970's, 80's, and into the 90's, died. Working to modify and improve the novice team's March 731 chassis, Postlethwaite elevated the team into serious contention and the following year designed the team's car from scratch. 'Doc' Postlethwaite's 1974 Hesketh 308 secured a number of podium positions. The following year he further developed the car's unusual rubber spring suspension and saw his creation take victory at the Dutch Grand Prix in the hands of James Hunt. By 1976 Lord Hesketh could no longer afford to run the team and sold out. Postlethwaite went with his cars to the newly founded Wolf-Williams Racing, headed by Walter Wolf and Frank Williams, but the results were poor and the owners soon went their separate ways. Postlethwaite remained with Wolf, designing the team's 1977 challenger, the WR1. Success was immediate with Jody Scheckter taking victory at the season's opening race. Two more wins and a number of podium results followed and Scheckter eventually finished second in the drivers' championship. Although Postlethwaite remained with the team until 1979 they were never to repeat their 1977 success. When Walter Wolf closed the team down at the end of 1979 he transferred, along with the Wolf cars and driver Keke Rosberg to the Fittipaldi Automotive team. He produced a new design, the F8, for the latter half of 1980 but left to join Ferrari in early 1981. At the time the Italian team were considered amongst the best engine builders in the sport, but amongst the worst chassis designers. Postlethwaite was selected personally by Enzo Ferrari to rectify this problem and by the following year everything was in place for success. The 1982 126C2 Ferrari took the constructors' title despite several serious setbacks, including the practice crash at Zolder which claimed the life of Gilles Villeneuve. Despite the loss of their inspirational Canadian driver, Postlethwaite's updated design, the 126C2B, took the constructors' title again in 1983. Postlethwaite remained with Ferrari until 1987. After 1983 his cars took several more wins, but were unable to compete with McLaren and Williams for title victory. He was eventually replaced by John Barnard and moved to Tyrrell, where he worked for four years. During his tenure as technical director Tyrrell's results improved noticeably, culminating in the 1990 season opener in Phoenix, where Jean Alesi was able to challenge Ayrton Senna's McLaren for victory and finished second in a Tyrrell 018. Alesi repeated the feat in the Postlethwaite's novel 019 – the first of the 'high nose' Formula One cars – at Monaco. At the car's launch Postlethwaite proved the structural integrity of its unusual front 'gull wing' by standing on it. While at Tyrrell Postlethwaite employed Mike Gascoyne, who became his assistant and protégé. In 1991, Postlethwaite was signed as technical director of the Sauber team who planned to enter Formula One in 1993. Taking Gascoyne with him, Postlethwaite relocated to Switzerland and designed the team's first car. Despite leaving Sauber before the start of 1993, the designer's car went on to considerable success in the hands of JJ Lehto and Karl Wendlinger regularly scoring points. Postlethwaite moved back to Tyrrell in 1994 where he remained until 1998 when the team was sold to become British American Racing. Although by the late 1980s and 1990s Tyrrell was a small, and largely uncompetitive team, the designer remained well respected within the sport and was hired as technical director of the abortive in-house Honda F1 project in 1999. Although Honda had not committed to race in Formula One the project produced an evaluation car, designed by Postlethwaite and built by Dallara, and it was during testing of this car at Barcelona in Spain that he suffered a fatal heart attack. The project was subsequently discontinued, although Honda began supplying engines again from the 2000 season onwards, eventually taking over the BAR team for 2006.

Harvey Postlethwaite

Harvey Postlethwaite

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Sunday 16th May 1999

17 years ago

The Monaco Grand Prix, contested over 78 laps, was won by Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher after starting from second position. His team-mate Eddie Irvine finished second with Mika Häkkinen third for the McLaren team.

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Sunday 15th August 1999

17 years ago

Mika Häkkinen driving for the McLaren team won the Hungarian Grand Prix after starting from pole position. David Coulthard finished second in the other McLaren with Eddie Irvine finishing third for Ferrari. The remaining points-scoring positions were filled by Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Jordan), Rubens Barrichello (Stewart) and Damon Hill (Jordan). Häkkinen's victory was his fourth of the season, and McLaren team's fifth.

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Monday 18th October 1999

17 years ago

Racer John Cannon (66) was killed in an aircraft accident when an air supply fault led to a fatal crash-landing in a cornfield in New Mexico, US. Though Cannon was born in London, England he was a Canadian who put in the drive of his career on the 13th of October at the Laguna Seca round of the 1968 CanAm series. From 15th on he not only won the rain-race and put in the fastest lap but lapped the whole field which included Denny Hulme (2nd) and Bruce McLaren (5th). After winning the 1970 SCCA Formula A title in a McLaren M10B, Cannon got a chance to drive a BRM P153 in the 1971 US Grand Prix and a March 701 in the Questor Grand Prix in Ontario, Canada. However, he continued racing in F5000 with occasional drives in USAC and Can-Am, finishing second in the 1976 Rothmans F5000 series.

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Monday 25th October 1999

17 years ago

Comedian Rowan Atkinson crashed his £650,000 McLaren F1 supercar £650,000, bought to celebrate the success of his movie in the role of Mr Bean. The front of the McLaren F1 supercar was wrecked in the collision with the rear of a Rover Metro in Lancashire. The driver of the Metro, suffered minor whiplash injuries, while Mr Atkinson was unhurt in the accident on the A6 at Forton, Lancashire.

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Sunday 31st October 1999

17 years ago

Mika Häkkinen driving a McLaren clinched the 1999 World title in Suzuka by winning the Japanese Grand Prix. It had been one of the most controversial finales in Formula 1 history. The Ferraris of Eddie Irvine and Michael Schumacher which had been disqualified at the previous race in Malaysia for using illegal deflectors, but their points from the race had been restored by the FIA’s officials. For Mika it meant he had to win the Japanese Grand Prix to beat championship leader Eddie Irvine to the title. And that’s exactly what the Finn did at Suzuka, despite constant pressure from Michael Schumacher.

Mika Häkkinen

Mika Häkkinen

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Thursday 3rd February 2000

17 years ago

Mercedes parent company Daimler bought 40% of McLaren, solidifying its engine supply deal that had been in place since 1995. The deal was also part of a plan for the two companies to build sports cars together. In 2003 the McLaren Mercedes SLR was launched but by 2009 McLaren announced its plans to build its own road cars and Mercedes set up its own F1 team. McLaren is now gradually buying back Mercedes' 40%.

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Sunday 26th March 2000

17 years ago

Brazil hosted the second round of the championship; five of the top six finishers were disqualified after the race because of problems with the wooden running board under their cars. After an appeal the cars were scrutineered again and everyone, except David Coulthard, was reinstated. The wing-end plates on Coulthard car were found to be 7mm lower than permitted. On the eve of the race Jean Alesi had a narrow escape when he hit an advertising hoarding that had collapsed onto the pit straight at 180mph. Sauber had to withdraw both its cars after the dreadfully uneven track had caused rear-wing failures, even though the whole circuit had been relaid. Bernie Ecclestone was slammed in the press for his failure to criticise the track - he had attacked Silverstone and Malaysia - which they claimed was simply because he owned the commercial rights to the event at Interlagos. Jensen Button became the youngest Formula 1 Championship points winner when he finished in sixth place in the Brazilian Grand Prix aged 20 years and 67 days old. Driving for the Williams team in his first season in Formula One, Button originally finished the race in seventh position, but later McLaren driver David Coulthard was disqualified from his second place finish and Button was promoted to a points scoring position.

Jensen Button - 2000

Jensen Button - 2000

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Sunday 23rd April 2000

16 years ago

The 55th British Grand Prix was held at the Silverstone. The race held over 60 laps of the 5.1-kilometre circuit was won by David Coulthard in front of his home crowd driving a McLaren MP4/15. The win was Coulthard's and McLaren's first win of the season and the first race not won by eventual 2000 world champion Michael Schumacher.

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Sunday 21st May 2000

16 years ago

Eventual 2000 world champion, Michael Schumacher driving a Ferrari F1-2000 won the European Grand Prix at Nürburgring. The win was Schumacher's fourth win of the season and his third European Grand Prix victory, a new record. McLaren drivers, Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard, finished second and third, respectively.

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Sunday 4th June 2000

16 years ago

Contested over 78 laps, the Monaco Grand Prix was won by McLaren driver David Coulthard after starting from third position. Rubens Barrichello finished second in a Ferrari with Giancarlo Fisichella third for the Benetton team. Championship leader Michael Schumacher started from pole position alongside Jordan driver Jarno Trulli. The race was aborted due to an software glitch in the starting procedure and Jenson Button and Pedro de la Rosa collided which started a traffic jam. At the second start, Michael Schumacher maintained his lead into the first corner. After the second round of pit stops, Michael Schumacher's exhaust broke causing a left rear suspension failure and his retirement from the race. Coulthard, in second place, became the new race leader on lap 57. Coulthard maintained his lead throughout the remainder of the race and secured his second victory of the season, with Barrichello a further 15.8 seconds back. Coulthard's victory allowed him to narrow the lead of Michael Schumacher in the World Drivers' Championship to 12 points. Häkkinen retained third with Barrichello a further seven points behind. In the World Constructors' Championship, Ferrari retained their lead which was reduced to five points over McLaren. Fisichella's strong result reduced the gap to Benetton's rivals Williams to one point, with ten races of the season remaining.

Monaco Grand Prix - 2000

Monaco Grand Prix - 2000

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Sunday 16th July 2000

16 years ago

Finnish driver, Mika Häkkinen driving a McLaren MP4/15 took the checkered flag at the Austrian Grand Prix staged at the A1-Ring circuit. The win was Hakkinen's second of the season and McLaren's fifth. Hakkinen won by twelve seconds over his British team-mate David Coulthard. Third was Brazilian driver Rubens Barrichello driving a Ferrari F1-2000.

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Sunday 30th July 2000

16 years ago

The 62nd German Grand Prix and the 24th to be held at Hockenheim was held over 45 laps of the 6.8-kilometre circuit for a total race distance of 307 kilometres.The race was won by Brazilian driver Rubens Barrichello driving a Scuderia Ferrari F1-2000 in his debut Grand Prix victory. Barrichello won by 7 seconds over Finnish driver Mika Häkkinen in a McLaren Mercedes MP4/15. Häkkinen's British team-mate David Coulthard was third.

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Sunday 27th August 2000

16 years ago

Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher went head-to-head at the Belgian Grand Prix, producing the overtaking manoeuvre of the season. Schumacher was leading after Hakkinen had spun at Stavelot earlier in the race but the McLaren was the faster car overall. Schumacher put up a spirited defence once Hakkinen was on his tail meaning the McLaren driver had to do something special to find a way past. With just four laps to go Hakkinen got a great run through Eau Rouge and was right on the gearbox of Schumacher down the Kemmel straight. As the pair approached the braking zone for Les Combes they came across Ricardo Zonta's BAR, Schumacher went to the left but Hakkinen jinked to the right and the three cars went side-by-side towards the right hander. Hakkinen had the inside line and managed to sneak in front of Schumacher who cut back across Zonta but could not defend the position. Hakkinen went on to win the race but, four races later, Schumacher took the title.

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Friday 16th March 2001

16 years ago

In a sign of things to come, McLaren and Ferrari team officials squared up in the pits at the Malaysian Grand Prix. The incident happened when a Ferrari technician stood in front of the adjacent McLaren-Mercedes garage looking in at the cars. A mechanic from the McLaren team then bumped into the Ferrari man, who refused to move away until he was accused of spying and finally pushed out of the garage area. McLaren team boss Ron Dennis said: 'I didn't see the incident, but I know the Ferrari guy concerned and his body language is always pretty infuriating. But it is a pit lane. He is not the traditional tyre-spotter and we all live with each other's tyre-spotters. 'He was … generally being a bit of a Nosy Parker. There is nothing in the regulations to stop that happening, but when you step back over him as, in this instance, one of our guys did, then in this heat, with a bit of jet lag, the sympathy is not there."

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Sunday 1st April 2001

15 years ago

David Coulthard in a McLaren won the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

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Sunday 10th June 2001

15 years ago

The Canadian Grand Prix (formally the XXXIX Grand Prix Air Canada) held at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal was won by Ralf Schumacher driving for the Williams team. Michael Schumacher finished second, driving a Ferrari car, with Mika Häkkinen third for the McLaren team. Ralf Schumacher's win was his second of the season and also marked the first time that two brothers finished first and second in a race.

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Sunday 24th June 2001

15 years ago

Michael Schumacher driving a Ferrari F2001 won the European Grand Prix at Nürburgring. Juan Pablo Montoya finished second driving for Williams, with David Coulthard third driving for McLaren. The race was Michael Schumacher's fifth win of the season, his third at the Nürburgring, and the result meant that he extended his lead in the Drivers' Championship to 22 points over Coulthard and 36 ahead of Rubens Barrichello. Ferrari maintained their lead in the Constructors' Championship, 41 points ahead of McLaren and 57 ahead of Williams, with 8 races of the season remaining.

Michael Schumacher leads the Grand Prix field at the 2001 European Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher leads the Grand Prix field at the 2001 European Grand Prix

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Saturday 14th July 2001

15 years ago

The British Grand Prix race saw five drivers retire, as Jarno Trulli's Jordan collided with David Coulthard's McLaren in the first corner; Jacques Villeneuve's BAR pushed his teammate Olivier Panis off the track at the start, forcing Panis to retire. Mika Häkkinen won the race for McLaren.

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Sunday 29th July 2001

15 years ago

Juan Pablo Montoya dominated qualifying and the first part of the German Grand Prix in his Williams car, until he retired after the first pit stop with a broken engine. The race was won by the other Williams driver Ralf Schumacher. Rubens Barrichello finished second in his Ferrari and Jacques Villeneuve finished third in his BAR-Honda. The race was marked by an airborne accident going into the first corner involving Michael Schumacher and Luciano Burti for Prost, which caused the track to be scattered with shreds of carbon fibre and the race restarted as a result. Both Williams drivers retained their positions at the end of the first lap, with Michael Schumacher passing Häkkinen for third. Over the course of the race, Montoya extended a considerable lead over Ralf Schumacher. Montoya lost the lead on lap 24 when an issue with a refulling rig caused him to be stationary for more than 20 seconds. Ralf Schumacher thus inherited the lead and held it to win his third victory of the season. As a consequence of the race, Michael Schumacher retained his points advantage in the Drivers' Championship over nearest rival David Coulthard as both drivers retired from the event. Ralf Schumacher moved ahead of Barrichello to take over third position. In the Constructors' Championship, Ferrari retained their lead, while Williams reduced the deficit to McLaren by ten points, with five races of the season remaining. This was the last Grand Prix to be held on the former Hockenheimring circuit; the race was he

Start of the 2001 German GRand Prix: Burti

Start of the 2001 German GRand Prix: Burti "does a Webber" in his Prost over the slow-starting Ferrari of Michael Schumacher.

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Monday 13th August 2001

15 years ago

The Hungarian Grand Prix saw Michael Schumacher win his fourth World Championship and equal Alain Prost's record of 51 Grand Prix victories. Rubens Barrichello in the other Ferrari finished second and McLaren driver David Coulthard finished third.

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Sunday 19th August 2001

15 years ago

Michael Schumacher won his fourth World Championship and equalled Alain Prost's record of 51 Grand Prix victories at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Rubens Barrichello in the other Ferrari finished second and McLaren driver David Coulthard finished third.

Michael Schumacher - 2001 Hungarian Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher - 2001 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Friday 14th September 2001

15 years ago

In 2001 Mika Hakkinen announced he would be taking a sabbatical year from Formula One, and fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen would take his McLaren seat. In the end the double world champion never returned to the sport despite a number of offers from high-profile teams. After a career spanning four decades, starting karting in 1974 at the age of five, Hakkinen expressed a desire to spend more time with his wife and son.

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Sunday 30th September 2001

15 years ago

Mika Hakkinen's last win before he retired came in front of 170,000 spectators at the US Grand Prix. "This was one grand prix I wanted in my record book," he said. "A wonderful win. It's incredible and I'm very happy." Hakkinen's day started badly when his McLaren was demoted from second to fourth on the grid after exiting the pit lane under a red light, but after early domination by the Ferraris, a slick pit-stop strategy enabled him to go on to take the chequered flag. Coming three weeks after the 9/11 attacks, it was an emotional day. Michael Schumacher, who drove with a Stars and Stripes emblem on his helmet, had seriously been considering retirement from F1 because of the emotional trauma he found himself in after the attacks. It was also the final race as a full-time TV commentator for Murray Walker. At the end he was presented with a rare gift: an original brick from the Indianapolis track ('The Brickyard').

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Sunday 6th April 2003

13 years ago

The Brazilian Grand Priz was held at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace (Interlagos). The controversial race was decided by a court case. When the final result was announced, it emerged that none of the drivers were standing on the correct steps of the podium, as the 1st and 2nd place drivers were in each other's position, while 3rd place Fernando Alonso was receiving medical attention at the time of the ceremony. The race was eventually won by Giancarlo Fisichella of Jordan, demoting McLaren driver Kimi Räikkönen, the initial winner, to second place. The race, which was the Jordan team's final victory, was also the team's 200th Grand Prix.

Fisichella follows the safety car through the crash debris at Interlagos in 2003

Fisichella follows the safety car through the crash debris at Interlagos in 2003

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Sunday 18th May 2003

13 years ago

The Austrian Grand Prix, contested over 69 laps, was won by Michael Schumacher driving a Ferrari F2003-GA after starting from pole position. Kimi Raikkonen finished second driving for McLaren with Rubens Barrichello third in the other Ferrari. It was the last Austrian Grand Prix to be held until it returned to the renamed Red Bull Ring in 2014.

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Friday 13th June 2003

13 years ago

The first Goodwood Festival of Speed was held, in the grounds of Goodwood House, West Sussex, UK. In the summer of 1936, Freddie March - the 9th Duke of Richmond - hosted a private hillclimb for the Lancia Car Club in the grounds of Goodwood House. In 1993, his grandson, the present Earl of March hosted his own Hillclimb and created the Festival of Speed. It all kicks off with Press & Preview Day on Thursday for the latest road cars, while the rest of the weekend sees heritage cars taking on the 1.16 mile Hillclimb, which challenges the world's greatest drivers and riders, including today's Formula 1 and Moto GP stars. The track has an elevation change of 92.7 metres, for an average gradient of 4.9%. The record time for the hillclimb was set in 1999 when Nick Heidfeld drove a McLaren MP4/13 Formula One car up the hill in 41.6 seconds (100.385 mph). For safety reasons Formula One cars are no longer allowed to do official timed runs, and often focus on demonstrations that are spectacular rather than fast. In 2006 Heikki Kovalainen completed the course in a Renault R25 F1 car and was unofficially timed below 40 seconds. From 2000 to 2004 this was a downhill race for gravity-powered cars. Starting from just below the hill-climb finish line, to a finish line in front of the house. It included entries from Cosworth, Prodrive, and other top companies. With some famous riders/drivers piloting them, including Barry Sheene. However, there were frequent accidents. Despite an official cap on the cost of cars, the unofficial costs were becoming too high, so it did not return in 2005.

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Sunday 3rd August 2003

13 years ago

Contested over 67 laps, the German Grand Prix was won by Juan Pablo Montoya driving for the Williams team after starting from pole position. David Coulthard finished second in a McLaren car, with Jarno Trulli third in a Renault.

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Sunday 24th August 2003

13 years ago

Fernando Alonso became the youngest ever grand prix winner aged 22 years and 104 days after clinching his maiden grand prix victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix. 43 years since Bruce McLaren became the youngest ever winner, Alonso made the most of appalling starts from the Williams duo of Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher. The faster Kimi Raikkonen was held up along with all the other Alonso pursuers by Mark Webber's Jaguar, allowing Alonso to stretch his lead and win by almost 17 seconds from Raikkonen and Montoya by the chequered flag. Perhaps more importantly, the victory set up an amazing finish for the drivers' championship with Michael Schumacher on 72 points, Montoya on 71 points and Raikkonen on 70 points.

Fernando Alonso - 2003

Fernando Alonso - 2003

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Friday 13th February 2004

13 years ago

Williams boss Patrick Head reopened old wounds with his driver Juan Pablo Montoya, when he speculated that the Colombian had signed a contract with McLaren for 2005 because of an argument he had with him at the2003 French Grand Prix. Montoya swore at his team over the radio when he believed it had altered the strategy of his team-mate Ralf Schumacher to give the German an advantage. Head said: "I think that Juan was not impressed at having his knuckles rapped and I know the decision to sign with McLaren was taken within a few days of that. Juan incorrectly thought that we had notified Ralf of his actions and called Ralf in one lap early. So he was pretty strong on the radio, abusing the team verbally for the next ten minutes."

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Saturday 13th March 2004

13 years ago

Deep discontentment at McLaren after a poor Australian Grand Prix, with newspapers reporting long-time boss Ron Dennis was under pressure to quit. "There are a lot of disillusioned people in the camp, people who have stood by Ron Dennis for many years," an insider told the Sunday Mirror. "Ron has got a real problem on his hands. They could see what was coming - they knew the car wasn't good enough. They feel Ron has taken his eye off the ball, that he's too concerned about style and image. He seems to have forgotten the fundamentals and lost sight of the fact that McLaren is supposed to be, first and foremost, a racing team." He survived

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Sunday 21st March 2004

13 years ago

The Malaysian Grand Prix took place at the Sepang circuit; Michael Schumacher took pole position and went onto win the race. The event also saw Britain's Jenson Button stand on the podium for the first time, finishing in third position. With all drivers starting on dry tyres, the action started sooner than expected as on the parade lap Kimi Räikkönen spun but was able to retake his grid position. Mark Webber, starting from P2, made a woeful start and slid down the field to be 9th by the 1st lap. Fernando Alonso on the other hand, made a brilliant start from 19th (2nd last) and was up behind Webber in 10th after lap 1. Michael Schumacher led from the start while drivers behind jostled for position. By the second lap, rain started to fall and cars were starting to lose traction on the dry tyres. Trulli overtook Button but the Brit promptly took the place back again. Alonso barreled past Webber for eighth and closed in on the McLaren of David Coulthard. From the back to a points position within four laps was an outstanding performance from Alonso but it was the best he got all race. By this time Michael Schumacher had already built up quite an advantage, but this was quickly eroded by the hard-charging Juan Pablo Montoya. It was to prove to be just a brief shower as soon the precipitation passed and Schumacher was back on his way. Webber managed to get past Ralf but the Williams retaliated and got ahead again, puncturing the Jaguar's rear right tyre on his way. Takuma Sato spun into the gravel but recovered the BAR smartly and Webber had to pit for a tyre change. To add insult to injury he got a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane and finally compounded his misery by spinning out of the race a few laps later. A string of cars in the midfield were jostling for position, starting with Nick Heidfeld's Jordan in 11th, then Cristiano da Matta's Toyota, the second Jaguar of Christian Klien, Sauber's Giancarlo Fisichella and da Matta's teammate Panis. In the first round of pit stops Heidfeld's fuel rig failed and he had to go out and back in again. He eventually pulled into the pits to retire with a gearbox problem. Trulli got ahead of Coulthard in the first stops and running order at the front, where not much was happening, was Michael, Montoya, Raikkonen. Montoya was falling away from the Ferrari in the second stint of the race but not letting him get too far ahead. Alonso took Coulthard for sixth but then the pair pitted for the second time and the McLaren got out ahead. Alonso swapped to a two-stop strategy but it gave him no advantage and he seemed resigned to staying behind Coulthard, while Trulli, who had been on quite an early charge, also seemed to lose momentum. Ralf's engine unexpectedly gave up midway through the race, the first failure for BMW for 17 races. Felipe Massa, who was having a pretty good race, got held up by a Minardi and did a bit of agitated hand waving as he went by. The gap between Michael and Montoya was holding at around four seconds and Button moved up to third, jumping Raikkonen in the second pit stops. Both of the Finn's stops seemed quite long and eventually he pulled off to the side of the track with a transmission failure. Disappointing for Raikkonen and McLaren as Kimi was showing good pace until then. Panis ducked into the pits only to find no crew ready for him and had to go straight back out. Then next lap he was back in again to serve a drive-through for speeding on his previous effort. Not a good day for Panis, or Toyota in general. Da Matta finished ninth after a fairly anonymous race. In the final laps the BAR crew froze as one of the cars pulled off with an engine failure but it was Sato rather than third placed Button. Bad luck for Sato but the relief that it wasn't his teammate was palpable. Barrichello was gaining ground on Button but with only a few laps to go, he was not in a position to challenge. Michael took the win with Montoya five seconds behind. BAR and Button were by far the happiest of the lot and the Englishman got the biggest cheer from the crowd as he lifted his first trophy on the third step of the podium.

Start of 2004 Malaysian Grand Prix

Start of 2004 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Tuesday 15th February 2005

12 years ago

A massive crash during testing for Kimi Raikkonen meant the team had to cut short its running programme due to a lack of replacement suspension components. A brake failure caused Raikkonen's car to snap violently across the Circuit de Catalunya track and smash into the barriers. The accident completely demolished the left hand-side of the car, meaning the team couldn't continue testing that day. McLaren called for the doctor to see the dazed Raikkonen who had a badly bruised thumb. The car he was testing, the MP4-20, turned out to be incredibly competitive and went on to score ten victories that season, despite appalling reliability.

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Monday 28th February 2005

12 years ago

At 12:08 hrs local time, in Nardò, Italy, the Koenigsegg CCR supercar broke the record for the fastest production car in the world, having attained 388.87 km/h (242.91 mph), breaking the record previously held by the McLaren F1.

Koenigsegg CCR

Koenigsegg CCR

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Sunday 6th March 2005

12 years ago

Giancarlo Fisichella in a Renault R25 won the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne. The first attempt to start the race was yellow flagged, due to the stalled McLaren of Kimi Räikkönen, who would eventually start the abbreviated race (57 laps from 58) in pit lane. When the red lights did finally go out, front row starters Fisichella and Jarno Trulli protected their positions and led the rest of the field through the first lap. Starting third in his home grand prix, Mark Webber– in his Williams debut– was outsprinted to the first corner by David Coulthard's Red Bull. Rubens Barrichello and Fernando Alonso each moved up three spots on the first lap, showing more of their cars' true potential than what was seen in the rain-soaked qualifying. Sato made the best start, moving from last place to 14th. Jacques Villeneuve had the worst start– his first in the Sauber– as he dropped five positions on the opening lap after losing forward momentum in a first-corner position skirmish. As Fisichella and Trulli raced away at the front, Coulthard began to gradually fall back, holding up Webber, Nick Heidfeld (also making his Williams debut), Christian Klien, Juan Pablo Montoya and Barrichello. Several seconds further back was Villeneuve, struggling to hold off a charging Alonso, who was himself just ahead of Jenson Button and Ralf Schumacher (in his first start for Toyota). Close behind were Felipe Massa, Sato, the elder Schumacher, and Räikkönen, who doggedly pursued the champion but could not find a way past. The four rookies were a little further back: the two Jordans of Tiago Monteiro and Narain Karthikeyan led the Minardi duo of Patrick Friesacher and Christijan Albers. Alonso passed Villeneuve, only to have the Canadian retake the position moments later. But just before the first round of pit stops, Alonso would finally find a way around the former champion, saving any podium hopes for the young Spaniard. While passing backmarkers on lap 15, Coulthard and Webber nearly collided with one another; Webber briefly went onto the grass, but no serious damage was done. After lap 17, unable to pull out of the pits due to a gearbox problem, Albers retired his Minardi, which had lost second gear as early as the formation lap. This was the only mechanical retirement of the afternoon. Fisichella remained firmly in command after his first pit stop, although he briefly relinquished the lead while refueling. Barrichello gained the most in the pits, as he moved up from eighth to fourth place; Alonso continued his hard charge, gaining four positions as well. However, Trulli's Toyota slowly began dropping back, getting passed again and again; it would later turn out to be a blistered rear tyre, which would affect him for the remainder of the race. Teammate Ralf Schumacher had a problem of his own, and was forced to pit twice in quick succession to tighten a loose safety harness. Räikkönen was able to get by the elder Schumacher into tenth (his starting grid position) and pull away from the champion in pursuit of Heidfeld. After Michael Schumacher's second stop, he emerged from the pitlane just ahead of Heidfeld, who thought he saw an opening going into the third turn. Schumacher, who momentarily lost sight of Heidfeld's Williams in his mirrors, closed the door on his fellow German, forcing him onto the grass. With no traction on the grass, Heidfeld braked in vain, sliding into the side of the F2004M, pushing both cars into the gravel. Heidfeld's race was finished; although Schumacher was able to get his Ferrari back on track, nevertheless he retired in the pits soon thereafter, due to collision damage. Montoya went onto the grass briefly at Turn Eight as he prepared to make his second call to pitlane; this, plus another off-track excursion while tangling with a backmarking rookie, cost him valuable time. When he later lost part of his rear deflector, Montoya eased up to finish the race and to preserve his Mercedes-Benz power plant for the next race. Teammate Räikkönen also lost a significant portion of his deflector, which became imbedded under his side barge board; mechanics were later seen removing it during a pit stop. After the second round of stops, the final order of finish was nearly determined. While most of the field slowed to conserve engines, Alonso continued pushing hard on Barrichello's heels. Barrichello, despite battling a brake balance problem, was able to answer the challenge, and held off Alonso for second. Fisichella, who flawlessly managed the gap to his nearest opponent all race long, easily took the chequered flag for his second career victory, with his only other victory coming for Jordan in 2003. He never put a foot wrong, and his R25 chassis, although not seriously challenged, performed flawlessly to claim the inaugural race of the season. Teammate Alonso clocked the fastest lap of the race, and was noticeably the fastest car on track for most of the event. Interestingly, both BARs pulled into the pits on the final lap of the race; by not officially finishing the event, they effectively exempted themselves from the new two-race engine rule. By taking advantage of this loophole in 2005 regulations, they were entitled to replace the cars' Honda engines in Malaysia without incurring any penalty. The loophole was immediately closed, as a car was in future required to have a genuine technical problem to be entitled to a new engine.

Giancarlo Fisichella, Australian Grand Prix  2005

Giancarlo Fisichella, Australian Grand Prix 2005

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Sunday 8th May 2005

11 years ago

The Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona was won by Kimi Räikkönen, driving a McLaren-Mercedes MP4-20. Häkkinen's win was his first of the season, his third consecutive win in Spain and the race was the second consecutive win for the McLaren team as Coulthard had won the preceding British Grand Prix.

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Saturday 14th May 2005

11 years ago

The seventh Gumball 3000 rally began at Trafalgar Square and progressed 3000 miles from London to Brussels, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, and onto to Dubrovnik in Croatia. The cars then were transported by ferry to Bari, Italy, followed by a transit to the Targa Florio circuit in Sicily, before heading north to Rome and Florence. The finish line was in Monaco's Casino Square prior to the Formula One Grand Prix. Participants included Daryl Hannah, rock stars and supermodels driving vehicles ranging from the Dukes of Hazzard General Lee to Ferrari Enzos and Mercedes SLRs. Known to be heading towards London, five drivers were arrested on May 9, 2005 by the Catalonian traffic police when caught speeding between Sagunto and Tarragona. The Spirit Trophy was awarded to Sue Bellarby and Kathy Huddart, whose Caterham 7 broke down just shy of the finish line. The two were transported to the finish line by Gumball legend Alex Roy in his "Guardia Civil" Team Polizei BMW M5 who finished 2nd dressed as a Spanish cop. The year's unofficial winners were Greg and "Kalbas" in a Mercedes 2004 CLK-DTM, who edged out a week-old Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren because a tyre was destroyed just short of the finish line.

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Sunday 29th May 2005

11 years ago

The European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring was won by championship leader Fernando Alonso for the Renault team. McLaren driver Kimi Räikkönen almost won but crashed at the start of the final lap whilst leading, due to a suspension failure caused by heavily degraded tyres.

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Sunday 3rd July 2005

11 years ago

Renault driver Fernando Alonso won the French Grand Prix at Magnys Cours. McLaren driver Kimi Räikkönen, Alonso's main title rival, finished the race in second position whilst Michael Schumacher completed the podium for the Ferrari team.

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Sunday 10th July 2005

11 years ago

Before the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, a minute of silence was held as a mark of respect for those who had lost their lives in the London bombings three days earlier. The race was won by Juan Pablo Montoya driving a McLaren-Mercedes MP4-20. For the second consecutive race, Renault's Fernando Alonso took pole position while his championship rival, McLaren's Kimi Räikkönen, was demoted ten places on the grid following an engine failure. Räikkönen, who had originally qualified second with a time just 0.027 seconds slower than Alonso's, suffered this engine failure during Saturday free practice. This promoted BAR's Jenson Button, in his home race, to the front row, with the top ten being completed by Juan Pablo Montoya in the second McLaren, Jarno Trulli in the Toyota, Rubens Barrichello in the Ferrari, Giancarlo Fisichella in the second Renault, Takuma Sato in the second BAR, Ralf Schumacher in the second Toyota, Michael Schumacher in the second Ferrari, and Jacques Villeneuve in the Sauber. Jordan's Tiago Monteiro started at the rear of the grid after failing to set a time, following an engine failure during Friday practice. The weather was hot, with air temperature at 30 °C, and the track temperature at 45 °C as the cars completed the formation lap. Sato stalled as he came to the grid, but race director Charlie Whiting nonetheless started the race, with the safety car being deployed on lap 2 to allow the marshals to safely return the BAR to the pit lane. Sato would eventually rejoin the race, two laps behind the leaders. Montoya made a fast start, passing Button off the grid and then overtaking Alonso for the lead into Becketts. After the safety car period, Montoya retained the lead until the first round of pit stops, although Alonso remained no more than a second and a half behind as he and the Colombian traded fastest laps. Button held third, while Barrichello and Fisichella passed a slow-starting Trulli, who in turn was holding up Michael Schumacher. Räikkönen, already up four places, was thus able to close up behind Schumacher and Trulli, but was unable to overtake them until the pit stops. The race was won by Juan Pablo Montoya, his first victory for McLaren. Montoya made his first pit stop on lap 21, a lap earlier than planned due to traffic.[2] Alonso followed on lap 23, rejoining the race almost side-by-side with Montoya, who again held his line. Fisichella led for the next two laps, setting the fastest lap in the process, before making his first stop. On lap 28, with every driver except Sato having pitted, Montoya led Alonso by three seconds, followed by Fisichella, Button, Barrichello, Räikkönen, Michael Schumacher and Trulli. On lap 32 Barrichello, on a three-stop strategy, made his second stop. This enabled Räikkönen, now the fastest man on the track, to close up behind Button. Montoya responded to his team-mate's pace, and to Alonso, by setting back-to-back fastest laps on laps 40 and 41, increasing his lead over the Spaniard to over six seconds. On lap 43, Räikkönen took fourth when Button made his second stop, easily retaining this position after his own stop two laps later. Montoya pitted on lap 44, putting Alonso back in front, before Barrichello made his third stop on lap 45. On lap 46 Fisichella, on course for his first podium since winning the opening race of the season in Australia, made his second stop, but stalled as he tried to leave the pits, promoting Räikkönen to third. Alonso led for five laps before pitting on lap 49, but lost time trying to lap Trulli. This meant that he did not have a big enough lead to make his stop and rejoin the race in front of Montoya, though he was comfortably ahead of Räikkönen. In the end, the Colombian took his first win for McLaren by 2.7 seconds. Räikkönen set the fastest race lap on the final circuit to finish less than 12 seconds behind Alonso, while Fisichella ended up 3.5 seconds behind the Finn. Button finished a distant fifth, ahead of Michael Schumacher and Barrichello, while Ralf Schumacher edged out Toyota team-mate Trulli for the final point. The result allowed Alonso to increase his lead over Räikkönen in the Drivers' Championship by two points, 77 to 51. Michael Schumacher remained in third on 43 points, while Montoya moved up to sixth with 26. In the Constructors' Championship, McLaren reduced the deficit to Renault by three points, 102 to 87, Ferrari remaining in third on 74.

2005 British Grand Prix

2005 British Grand Prix

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Sunday 24th July 2005

11 years ago

Renault driver Fernando Alonso won the German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring, taking his sixth victory of the season, whilst Juan Pablo Montoya finished second for the McLaren team. BAR-Honda driver Jenson Button, completed the podium by finishing in third position. It was his first podium finish of the season, because the BAR team had been disqualified from the San Marino Grand Prix.Kimi Räikkönen qualified first and maintained this position after the start and first round of pitstops. Meanwhile, his team mate Juan Pablo Montoya, had gained nine positions in the first lap after he had failed to set a qualifying time and started last on the grid.However, on lap 35, Räikkönen's car suffered a hydraulics failure forcing his retirement from the race. This meant that Fernando Alonso inherited first position. It was Räikkönen's fifth consecutive retirement at the circuit. Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello suffered from the poor durability of the Bridgestone tyres on their Ferraris again, particularly Schumacher who had chosen a softer compound. This allowed Jenson Button to overtake Schumacher to take second place, although he quickly pitted, allowing Montoya take gain the position. Montoya then managed to stay ahead of Button after his own second stop. In the final laps of the race, Schumacher's problems allowed Giancarlo Fisichella to take his fourth place. During the race Jacques Villeneuve was in three separate collisions; he clashed with Barrichello on lap 1, Robert Doornbos on lap 4, and Tiago Monteiro on lap 27.

2005 German Grand Prix

2005 German Grand Prix

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Sunday 31st July 2005

11 years ago

The Hungarian Grand Prix saw the beginning of the end of tobacco advertising in F1 due to the Europe-wide ban. McLaren (West) and B·A·R (Lucky Strike) ran with tobacco livery on Friday and Saturday before withdrawing it for the race, while Ferrari (Marlboro) and Renault (Mild Seven) ran full tobacco livery for the entire weekend. McLaren announced that Scotch whisky producer Johnnie Walker would take over the team's title sponsorship for the remainder of the year. Kimi Räikkönen won the race in a McLaren-Mercedes MP4-20.

Hungarian Grand Prix start 2005

Hungarian Grand Prix start 2005

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Sunday 4th September 2005

11 years ago

The Italian Grand Prix marked only the second time in history that every car that started the race was still running at the finish. It was won by Juan Pablo Montoya in his McLaren from the Renault's of Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella, who dedicated his podium finish to Michele Alboreto, the last Italian on the podium at Monza before him.

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Sunday 25th September 2005

11 years ago

Fernando Alonso won the Formula One World Drivers' Championship title at the age of 24 years and 58 days, at the time making him the youngest Formula One World Drivers' Champion. After retaining the title the following year, Alonso also became the youngest double Champion. He joined McLaren in 2007, before returning to Renault for two seasons in 2008 and 2009, and in 2010, he joined Scuderia Ferrari.

Fernando – 2005

Fernando – 2005

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Tuesday 8th November 2005

11 years ago

Red Bull announced designer and aerodynamics expert Adrian Newey would be joining the team as chief technical officer, luring him away from the McLaren team Ron Dennis had persuaded him to join in 1996. Ironically, the very thing that had been Dennis' weapon in 1996 - money - was his undoing with Newey reportedly demanding a salary hike from $6 million to $10 million to stay. "It's a massive recruitment for us," Christian Horner, Red Bull's sporting director, said. "Given the choice of Adrian or Michael Schumacher, I'd go for Adrian every time. It's of that kind of magnitude. I think that it sends out exactly the right message in that we are totally serious about what we want to do and what we want to achieve." In 2001 Newey agreed to join the Jaguar team as technical director only to reverse his decision days later after a series of highly-charged meetings with Dennis.

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Wednesday 15th February 2006

11 years ago

The 1,000th Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren rolled off the production line at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, England. The vehicle, which was painted black and equipped with its unique trademark carbon bodyshell, was designated for a customer in Japan.

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

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Sunday 12th March 2006

11 years ago

The Bahrain Grand Prix (formally the III Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix) was held at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain. The race, contested over 57 laps, was the opening round of the 2006 Formula One season and the third running of the Bahrain Grand Prix. It was won by the 2005 World Champions, Fernando Alonso and the Renault team. Ferrari driver and polesitter Michael Schumacher began his final season in Formula One (before his return with Mercedes in 2010) with second position. Kimi Räikkönen completed the podium after he finished in third place with the McLaren team, despite starting in last position.

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Thursday 20th April 2006

10 years ago

The Caparo T1, a British mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, two-seat supercar built by Caparo Vehicle Technologies, was officially unveiled by His Serene Highness The Sovereign Prince of Monaco, at the Top Marques auto show in Monaco. The show car unveiled was a prototype, painted orange as historic McLaren cars were due to the nature of the T1's designers being ex-McLaren engineers, had a maximum speed of 205 miles per hour (330 km/h). From a standing start, it had an estimated 0–100 kilometres per hour (0–62 mph) time under 2.5 seconds and onto 160 kilometres per hour (99 mph) in 4.9 seconds.

Caparo T1 at the British Motor Show

Caparo T1 at the British Motor Show

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Sunday 25th June 2006

10 years ago

Polesitter Fernando Alonso took his sixth win of the season at the Canadian Grand Prix and increased his championship lead over Michael Schumacher, who finished second after passing Kimi Räikkönen with two laps remaining when the Finn ran wide. Räikkönen subsequently finished in third position, completing the podium for the McLaren team. Alonso had now taken six wins and three second places from the first nine races.

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Saturday 15th July 2006

10 years ago

A supercar set a new land speed record for central London of 175.7mph on an airport runway. The £317,500 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren hit the top speed during a challenge event at London City Airport.

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

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Sunday 29th October 2006

10 years ago

Mercedes-Benz World was opened at the famous Brooklands race circuit in Surrey. Spread over three floors with over 100 cars on display, including a 300SL Gullwing and a McLaren Mercedes SLR sports car, Mercedes-Benz World offered driving lessons to anyone over 1.5 metres tall, including children.

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Friday 24th November 2006

10 years ago

Twenty-one year old Lewis Hamilton was confirmed as Fernando Alonso's team-mate at McLaren for the following season, despite still not having driven an F1 car. It was the culmination of a relationship which had started 11 years earlier with a handshake between Ron Dennis and Hamilton. "We reviewed the grid and, apart from the top three, we reckoned most of them had plateaued," Dennis said. "I am distinctly unimpressed with the majority of drivers currently involved in F1. I feel Lewis is well equipped to deal with these drivers who fall into that category." Hamilton himself admitted he was "overwhelmed". He added: "It was a surreal feeling. I was sat on a couch opposite Ron at his home. He told me that McLaren had decided to take me on as their new driver. It didn't kick in. I put on a professional face. I could see Ron was excited. He said I should be, too. Inside I was. But it had been such a long wait. It was a warm feeling knowing the seat was mine. Now I have to get on and prepare.'' The decision to appoint Hamilton was made after Monza in late September but had been kept secret.

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Tuesday 28th November 2006

10 years ago

The start of Lewis Hamilton's F1 career came on the test track in Barcelona but lasted two laps before his McLaren broke down. Testing alongside David Coulthard and Anthony Davidson, Hamilton was given some words of warning by Coulthard who said he needed a season of testing before being thrown into the fray. "I value David's opinion," Hamilton countered. "He is extremely experienced and I have always looked up to him. In some ways he could be right, but I've done all I need to do to get to F1. I have got plenty of time to do the testing pre-season and so we will have to wait and see. I am young, fresh and extremely determined to do well in this sport. I want to win." As it was, he came within one race of winning the title in his first season.

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Thursday 25th January 2007

10 years ago

After only 11 days behind the wheel of an F1 car, rookie Lewis Hamilton had a lucky escape after he crashed his McLaren at 165mph during practice in Spain. "I'm completely fine and was conscious throughout," he said. It was an equally frustrating day for Jenson Button as his new Honda broke down during the first lap of a warm-up session in Barcelon

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Sunday 18th March 2007

10 years ago

Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen won on his Ferrari debut at the first round of the 2007 championship, held in Australia. He had defected from previous team McLaren after a number of race victories but no championships. McLaren had replaced him with young hotshot Lewis Hamilton who impressed everyone in the paddock and around the world with his measured and mature drive to third in his fist ver Formula One race. There was criticism for Bridgestone, as the markings on the softer of the two tyre options could not be easily seen when the car was on track, at the following race the small dot was replaced with a white line in the second groove of the tyre.

Kimi Raikkonen, Australian Grand Prix 2007

Kimi Raikkonen, Australian Grand Prix 2007

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Sunday 8th April 2007

9 years ago

The Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang was won by Fernando Alonso in a McLaren-Mercedes MP4-22. McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton finished second. This marked McLaren's first one-two finish since the 2005 Brazilian Grand Prix.

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Tuesday 3rd July 2007

9 years ago

The Royal Mail issued six Grand Prix stamps to celebrate one hundred years of UK motorsport and the 50th anniversary of Stirling Moss winning the British Grand Prix. The six stamps featured Moss’s 1957 Vanwall, Graham Hill’s 1962 BRM P57, Jim Clark’s 1963 Lotus 25 Climax, Jackie Stewart’s 1973 Tyrrell 006/2, James Hunt’s 1976 McLaren M23 and Nigel Mansell’s 1986 Williams FW11.

Royal Mail Grand Prix stamps

Royal Mail Grand Prix stamps

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Tuesday 17th July 2007

9 years ago

The £200k Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster was unveiled to the press. Powered by a supercharged (Kompressor) 5.5-litre, 617-bhp, AMG V8 engine, the SLR McLaren Roadster had a top speed of 207 mph and could accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds.

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

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Sunday 22nd July 2007

9 years ago

After being declared fit to race after a crash in practice, Lewis Hamilton spun off in a torrential downpour at the European Grand Prix at Nürburgring, eventually coming home ninth - ending his run of nine successive podiums - behind race winner Alonso. It started a dry race with a chance of rain and clouds hanging overhead. At the start of the warm-up lap, the timing screens displayed the warning that the rain was going to begin falling in about 3 minutes. This did not concern the Ferraris who led into the first corner as a pair with Alonso trailing in third. Markus Winkelhock for Spyker was the only driver to pit after the warm up lap to change to the wet tyres, although this meant he had to start from the pits at the beginning of the race. It did pay off when all the other drivers were having to pit or spin off during the first lap. Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, coming back from his 10th-place qualifying made a good start and was up to sixth at the first corner, but a collision between the two BMWs caused Hamilton to take avoiding action and the diffuser of Kubica's car caused a puncture in Hamilton's left-rear tyre causing him to fall back into the rest of the pack. This was only the beginning of the first lap chaos. The time it took for the rain to arrive and the sheer amount was heavily underestimated by everybody but Spyker, and so during the first lap it started to rain heavily and people had been caught out. David Coulthard skated across the gravel at turn five as everybody tried to drive around a slow Hamilton and there was a small impact between Rubens Barrichello and Nico Rosberg at the newly named Schumacher 'S' corner in the mid-field with Barrichello's Honda the worst affected. As Rosberg recovered, he was extremely lucky not to have been clipped by Ralf Schumacher who sped past but the luck did not last and the first lap chaos had not ended there as Adrian Sutil was also caught up with the recovering Rosberg towards the end of the lap at the back. Alexander Wurz also missed the final chicane after getting two wheels on the soggy grass. Somewhat amazingly, all of the drivers' cars had survived, and they returned to the pit lane at the end of lap one to change from grooved dry tyres to intermediates - though it would later show intermediate tyres were still the wrong tyres to be on. Debutant Markus Winkelhock took advantage of a gamble which meant he started on wet tyres and from the pit lane which gave him a surprising lead at his home Grand Prix after everyone in the field pitted for intermediates or stayed out on dries; the first time that a Spyker had led a Grand Prix. Everyone would have normally pitted at the end of lap one as it was raining heavily but an error from then-leader Kimi Räikkönen resulted in him slipping wide on the paint and he missed the pit entry completely which meant he had to do an extra lap on the dry tyres slipping him to a net seventh place. Others had stayed out in the hope that the rain would stop, such as Jarno Trulli but this lost him time. As the weather worsened, it turned out that full wet tyres were required, rather than intermediates. Being on the wrong tyres, almost every driver had to slow down to prevent sliding off the track. The sole exception was Markus Winkelhock of the Spyker Ferrari, who started the race on wets. The gamble he took against the weather paid off handsomely, and he managed to lead the race by 33 seconds ahead of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso, who had pitted at the end of lap one along with other drivers. By the start of lap three, the weather had become so bad that water was flowing round turn 1 and was nicknamed the 'turn 1 river'. Another big winner in the chaos was Jenson Button who moved up from a mid grid position to 4th despite coming in on the 1st lap to change tyres. However, he spun off into the wall at the start of the 3rd lap, quickly followed by Lewis Hamilton who locked up. Adrian Sutil had a huge spin into the same place as Button and Hamilton and just missed both of them as he hit the wall. Nico Rosberg and Scott Speed were the latest casualties of the turn 1 "river". Anthony Davidson then locked up at the "river" but stopped his car just before the gravel and was able to reverse out. The safety car crept out to slow down the race, then quickly sped off around the corner as Vitantonio Liuzzi came into the 1st corner backwards at 150 mph. The gravel trap slowed him and he gently tapped a recovery tractor. Amazingly, Hamilton had kept his engine running and was hoisted back on the circuit to continue a lap down. Not long after the safety car was deployed, race director Charlie Whiting decided the conditions were too dangerous to continue, and the race was red flagged. The race was the first to be red-flagged since the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix, when a crash by Fernando Alonso halted the race. However, it was the first race to be red-flagged and restarted since the 2001 Belgian Grand Prix, when a crash by Luciano Burti stopped the race but was restarted after repairs to the wall. At about 2:20 p.m. local time the rain stopped and the drivers were pushed on to the starting grid, in the order that they were one lap before the red flag. Jenson Button, Adrian Sutil, Nico Rosberg, Scott Speed and Vitantonio Liuzzi did not take the restart as they all aquaplaned off the track at turn one on lap three, causing the red flag. The race restarted under safety car conditions, after one and a half minutes (as agreed by the team bosses), any lapped cars are allowed to over take all the cars in front (including the safety car) and unlap themselves. The only lapped car was that of Lewis Hamilton, who proceeded around the track (much to the confusion of some other drivers). He then proceeded to pit and change to the dry tyres, a gamble which did not pay off due to the track still being too wet and Lewis subsequently skidded off the track for several laps. When the safety car returned to the pit, race leader Markus Winkelhock lost the lead very early on after another gamble which resulted in him keeping wet weather tyres on while everybody else was on the more suitable intermediate tyre in the hope further rain would fall. It would not and eventually he was forced into retirement after a hydraulic failure on lap 15. He had, however, already made his point and it was an impressive debut considering he had only driven the car for three days in total before the race. All of those days were also dry and so this was also Winkelhock's first experience of wet weather in a Formula One car. He was later joined by Takuma Sato and Ralf Schumacher, with the latter of which involved in a collision with Nick Heidfeld who continued. Pole position holder Kimi Räikkönen was also forced to retire due to mechanical problems while catching up to the leaders running third. From then onwards, it seemed it was normal service resumed and a normal dry race with the faster Ferrari of Massa leading Fernando Alonso and slowly pulling away. Mark Webber, whose reliability problems seemed to be behind him, was driving a strong race in third with Alexander Wurz chasing him hard. But on lap 52, the rain once again fell onto the track, albeit not so heavily but it caused all the drivers to dive into the pits for the intermediate tyres. Except for Lewis Hamilton who gambled that the rain would not be heavy enough to need intermediate tyres and that he would benefit from everyone else pitting. He managed to get up to a points position of eighth, before having to pit, dropping him back down to tenth. From then onwards, Fernando Alonso's McLaren came into its own and he passed Massa on lap 56 in dramatic fashion around the outside at turn five. They had made contact and he proceeded to win the race, taking McLaren's first win at the Nürburgring since 1998 and came on the 80th anniversary of the first Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, won by Rudolf Carraciola in a Mercedes. Massa trailed him by 8.1 seconds, clearly less comfortable in the wet/dry conditions. The final podium position was claimed by Mark Webber in the Red Bull, albeit over one minute behind the leader. Alexander Wurz, David Coulthard, Nick Heidfeld, Robert Kubica and Heikki Kovalainen, who had gambled on putting intermediate tyres on early and fell from fifth position to eighth, completed the points-paying places. The Red Bull Team was ecstatic to earn ten points and they moved past Toyota in the constructors championship into sixth. Lewis Hamilton elected to change onto dry tyres, while the safety car was deployed, which ultimately proved to be far too early as the track was still wet. The decision put Hamilton a lap down and he finished the race in ninth place, the first time he had finished outside the points-scoring positions. Alonso and Massa had a heated argument (in Italian) before the podium ceremony, over their collision in the final part of the race, that was shown live on TV coverage.

Felipe Massa leading Fernando Alonso at the 2007 European Grand Prix

Felipe Massa leading Fernando Alonso at the 2007 European Grand Prix

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Saturday 4th August 2007

9 years ago

Fernando Alonso was relegated from pole to sixth on the grid after stewards declare he deliberately impeded Lewis Hamilton in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. McLaren forfeited all points won from the race for the constructors' championship.

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Sunday 5th August 2007

9 years ago

Lewis Hamilton won the Hungarian Grand Prix for McLaren, his third win and tenth podium of the season. It was also memorable for an incident in the Saturday qualifying session, between McLaren teammates Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. Hamilton went into the race with a 2-point advantage in World Championship points over Alonso and was 11 points ahead of 3rd place man Felipe Massa after a chaotic European Grand Prix, whilst McLaren held a 27-point lead in the Constructors' Championship over their main rivals Ferrari. Ralf Schumacher scored his last ever World Championship points at this race. Japanese former Super Aguri driver Sakon Yamamoto filled the second Spyker car, replacing European GP leader, German Markus Winkelhock. Sebastian Vettel, the youngest Grand Prix point scorer made his second Grand Prix start replacing Scott Speed at Scuderia Toro Rosso. Controversy hit the qualifying sessions when Alonso held Hamilton up in the pit lane, denying Hamilton a chance to record a final lap time. Stewards later dropped Alonso five places down the starting grid of the race, putting him in sixth while Hamilton started in pole position. McLaren were also told they would not score any Constructor's Championship points in the race and wouldn't be presented with a winning constructor's trophy on the podium if one of their drivers were to win the race. The team stated Hamilton's hold-up was not Alonso's fault (although Alonso gave the stewards a different explanation, that he was inquiring about his tyres), and that Hamilton had disobeyed team orders to let Alonso pass him, which put the two drivers out of sequence for their pit stops. McLaren had initially expressed their intent to appeal the Constructor's points penalty but ultimately withdrew their appeal after subsequently losing all their Constructor's points as penalty for the espionage scandal.

Start of the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix

Start of the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Sunday 26th August 2007

9 years ago

Lewis Hamilton's title bid took the first of two major blows as a result of a tyre failure. He had been running in a comfortable third position at the Turkish Grand Prix, ahead of title rival and McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso, when his front left tyre failed at high speed. He dropped back to fifth, missing out on two points - the exact same margin he lost the championship by to Kimi Raikkonen. His second tyre failure, which stopped him taking the title on that day, came at the Chinese Grand Prix when he ran wide on the pit lane entrance with a balding intermediate. Felipe Massa went on to win the Turkish Grand Prix, ahead of Raikkonen and Alonso.

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Sunday 9th September 2007

9 years ago

Fernando Alonso took his fourth win of the season at the Italian Grand Prix, leading home the fourth 1-2 finish of the season for McLaren as Lewis Hamilton finished second. It was McLaren's eighth victory at Monza and Mercedes' fourth, while Alonso became the first Spaniard to win the Italian Grand Prix. It turned out to be his last win for McLaren, and McLaren's last 1-2 finish until the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix.

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Friday 9th November 2007

9 years ago

Renault was forced to admit that it had been using data from McLaren, acquired when an engineer moved between the teams bringing sensitive information with him which was then shared within Renault. McLaren, who had been fined $100 million in the notorious Spygate affair, were left incredulous when the FIA in effect let Renault off after accepting none of the information had been used in its designs. "I am absolutely at ease with it.' Renault boss Flavio Briatore said: 'I wish to pay tribute to the team, who have handled the matter with integrity and dignity." The media could not help compare his reaction with his splenetic attacks on McLaren during Spygate … nor of his close relationship with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. "Is it fair?" Ecclestone said. "We are always fair."

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Wednesday 5th December 2007

9 years ago

McLaren was forced into an embarrassing climb-down for falsifying information on the eve of an FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting in Monte Carlo, which was about to decide if Renault was guilty of using McLaren secrets. McLaren had claimed that former engineer Steve Mackereth took 780 technical drawings with him when he joined Renault the previous year, but admitted there were only 18 drawings and that nine employees, rather than the implied 18, had seen the sensitive data. Asked if what had become known as Spygate II had harmed damaged the sport, FIA president Max Mosley said: " "I don't think it's done any damage. In fact, it has raised the public awareness. That is the paradox. What is important is that people believe the spying has stopped and will continue to be stopped."

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Thursday 13th December 2007

9 years ago

The curtain finally fell on the Spygate scandal with McLaren's unreserved apology to the FIA and Ferrari. In a grovelling letter, McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh expressed his team's "sincere regret" adding it "apologised wholeheartedly" to the FIA for the embarrassment caused. The letter satisfied FIA president Max Mosley, who asked WMSC members, "in light of McLaren's public apology and undertakings" and "in the interests of the sport, to consider this matter closed". McLaren had been fined £50 million and stripped of all constructors' 2007 points for being in unauthorised possession of confidential Ferrari information.

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Sunday 16th December 2007

9 years ago

British Formula One star Lewis Hamilton had his driving licence suspended for a month after being caught speeding on a French motorway. He was clocked travelling at 196 km/h (122 mph) in a Mercedes near the northern town of Laon on a Sunday. The McLaren driver was also ordered to pay a 600-euro (£430) fine. Police described Mr Hamilton as ‘co-operative and courteous’, and said they gave him a lift to his hotel after impounding his vehicle. The speed limit on French motorways is 130 km/h (85 mph).

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Saturday 2nd February 2008

9 years ago

Bernie Ecclestone launched a remarkable verbal attack on Ron Dennis when asked about the £50 million fine slapped on McLaren as a result of the Spygate scandal. "What happened last year has been going on in F1 for years," Ecclestone said. "If McLaren had come clean and owned up none of it would have happened the way it did. He is a good friend of mine but Ron was six months pregnant and said he was a virgin. He knows he got off cheap."

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Monday 18th February 2008

9 years ago

Lewis Hamilton won a prestigious Laureus Award for his breakthrough season with McLaren in 2007. Hamilton came within a point of winning the championship in his debut year and equalled the tally of his double world champion team-mate Fernando Alonso over the course of the season.

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Sunday 16th March 2008

9 years ago

The first race of the season was held in Australia in front of 200,000 spectators and it marked the 250th grand prix start for Rubens Barrichello. It was not a happy day for him, however, as he was disqualified after ignoring a red light at the pit-lane exit. Lewis Hamilton qualified his McLaren Mercedes on pole position, and went on to win the race and that year's drivers' championship. Nick Heidfeld finished second in a BMW Sauber car, with Nico Rosberg third in a Williams, his first ever F1 podium. The race saw a very high rate of attrition, with only seven cars out of the 22-car grid running at the chequered flag – which reduced from seven to six after Rubens Barrichello's disqualification – with two other drivers being classified as they had completed at least 90% of the 307.574 km race distance in order for classification.

Lewis Hamilton - Melbourne,

Lewis Hamilton - Melbourne, "008

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Sunday 6th July 2008

8 years ago

Contested over 60 laps of the Slverstone circuit, the British Grand Prix was won by Lewis Hamilton for the McLaren team after starting from fourth position on the grid. Nick Heidfeld finished second in a BMW Sauber car, with Rubens Barrichello third in a Honda. Hamilton's win tied him for the lead of the Drivers' Championship, alongside Massa and Räikkönen.

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Sunday 3rd August 2008

8 years ago

Contested over 70 laps, the Hungarian Grand Prix was won by Heikki Kovalainen for the McLaren team, from a second position start. Timo Glock finished second in a Toyota, with Kimi Räikkönen third in a Ferrari. It was Kovalainen's first Formula One victory, which made him the sport's 100th driver to win a World Championship race, and it was Glock's first podium finish.

2008 Hungarian Grand Prix

2008 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Sunday 2nd November 2008

8 years ago

Lewis Hamilton became the youngest ever Formula One World Champion, aged 23 years, after finishing 5th at the Brazilian Grand Prix. The McLaren driver also received official congratulations from Queen Elizabeth II and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Massa's win and Räikkönen's third place helped Ferrari win the Constructors' Championship. The Grand Prix was David Coulthard's final race; the Scot retired after 246 race starts.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

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Friday 30th January 2009

8 years ago

Teddy Mayer, who helped Bruce McLaren set up Bruce McLaren Motorsport in 1963, died aged 73. Ron Dennis paid tribute to his predecessor: "Teddy was one of motor racing's few truly great men. Bruce [McLaren] died tragically young in 1970, but when I bought into the team in 1980 Teddy had built on the foundations laid by Bruce, Tyler Alexander and himself."

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Monday 23rd February 2009

8 years ago

The Spygate legal case against McLaren engineers Paddy Lowe, Jonathan Neale and Rob Taylor was dropped, after a 'no contest' agreement between the lawyers representing them and the Modena district attorney was reached. In exchange for not contesting the charges of copyright infringement relating to Ferrari's data, Coughlan paid €180,000, with the other three men paying €150,000 each

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Sunday 1st March 2009

8 years ago

Ron Dennis retired as team principal of McLaren Mercedes F1 team and handed over the reins to Martin Whitmarsh. Dennis remained executive chairman of McLaren automotive and turned his attention to different areas including its road car project.

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Wednesday 18th March 2009

8 years ago

Madame Tussauds unveiled a waxwork of Lewis Hamilton in his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes race suit. This wax replica cost around £150,000 and took over six months to complete.

Lewis Hamilton's waxwork

Lewis Hamilton's waxwork

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Sunday 18th October 2009

7 years ago

British driver Jenson Button and Brawn GP secured the Drivers' Championship and Constructors' Championship titles respectively at the Brazilian Grand Prix, the penultimate race of the season. It was both Button and Brawn's first Championship success, Brawn becoming the first team to win the Constructors' Championship in their debut season. Button was the tenth British driver to win the championship, and following Lewis Hamilton's success in 2008 it was the first time the Championship had been won by English drivers in consecutive seasons, and the first time since Graham Hill (1968) and Jackie Stewart (1969) that consecutive championships have been won by British drivers. Also notable was the success of Red Bull Racing, as well as the poor performance of McLaren and Ferrari compared to the previous season. Ten teams participated in the Championship after several rule changes were implemented by the FIA to cut costs to try to minimise the impact of the global financial crisis. There were further changes to try to improve the on-track spectacle with the return of slick tyres, changes to aerodynamics and the introduction of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) presenting some of the biggest changes in Formula One regulations for several decades. The Brawn team, formed as a result of a management buyout of the Honda team, won six of the first seven races, their ability to make the most of the new regulations being a deciding factor in the Championship. The Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari teams caught up in an unpredictable second half of the season, with the season being the first time since 2005 that all participating teams had scored World Championship points. Sebastian Vettel and Button's teammate Rubens Barrichello were his main challengers over the season, winning six races between them to finish in second and third respectively.

Jenson Button - 2009

Jenson Button - 2009

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Monday 23rd November 2009

7 years ago

Nico Rosberg's unveiling as a Mercedes driver was, noted the Daily Mail, "like Hamlet without the prince". Despite strenuous denials, the thing the media all wanted to talk about was the rumoured return of Michael Schumacher, and a vague and off-message aside from team boss Norbert Haug only fuelled speculation. "When would you ever say anything categorically in Formula One? I have nothing to add." The off-stage noise was a regrettable distraction for Rosberg, who said he was "a little surprised" not to be partnering Jenson Button, whose move to McLaren had left a space for Schumacher.

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg

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Sunday 10th July 2011

5 years ago

Fernando Alonso won the British Grand Prix for Ferrari. It was the ninth race of the 2011 season, and saw the introduction of a ban on off-throttle blown diffusers, the practice of forcing the engine to continue to produce exhaust gasses to generate downforce when drivers are not using the throttle. The race started under difficult conditions, with a full wet track from the Arena to Chapel, but the remaining sections being dry; as a result of this all of the teams elected to run on intermediate tyres. Before the start Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Pérez slid off the circuit, with Pérez damaging his car's front wing. At the start Sebastian Vettel beat Webber to the first corner, while Jenson Button passed Felipe Massa. Lewis Hamilton made up four positions on the first lap after starting from tenth. The two Renaults of Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov had a small collision at Vale, nearly taking Vitaly Petrov out of the race. The difficult conditions meant drivers were forced to nurse the intermediate tyres through the dry sections of the circuit to preserve the integrity of the tyres through the wet stretches. This resulted in the drivers having to stay out on the circuit as long as possible until the circuit became dry enough to switch to the dry-compound tyres, or else risk making an extra stop and losing track position. Vettel started building up a comfortable lead ahead of Webber whilst Jenson Button struggled, first losing fourth place to Massa and then being passed by Hamilton as the 2008 World Champion climbed back up through the field. The Lotuses of Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli became the first retirements of the race, stopping within the first ten laps of the race due to gearbox issues. As the first round of scheduled pit stops approached, Michael Schumacher collided with Kamui Kobayashi at Luffield, spinning the Japanese driver around. Schumacher was forced to replace his front wing and was subsequently given a ten-second stop-go penalty for causing an avoidable accident; as the new pit complex was designed in such a way that drivers would spend a minimal amount of time in the pits, the stewards decided that a stop-go penalty was more appropriate than a drive-through. Kamui Kobayashi was given a similar penalty when he pitted due to an unsafe release that saw him drive over a wheel gun. Kobayashi would then go on to retire from the Grand Prix when his engine expired. Meanwhile, Jaime Alguersuari and Sébastien Buemi were fighting up the order from their poor grid positions, and both successfully passed the struggling Renault of Vitaly Petrov. At Force India, Paul di Resta was delayed in the pits when the team were expecting Adrian Sutil, and thus had Sutil's tyres ready in a similar incident to a mistake at the 2010 German Grand Prix, forcing di Resta to wait while tyres from his own allocation were found. The error dropped di Resta well down the order, and he eventually made contact with Buemi at Copse, damaging the Swiss driver's left-rear tyre. Yellow flags were displayed as Buemi tried to limp back to the pits, but his tyre soon disintegrated and he had to retire by the side of the track.[12] The second round of pit stops saw Vettel and Alonso enter at the same time, but an uncharacteristic mistake from the Red Bull mechanics meant Vettel was delayed and allowing Alonso to take the lead of the race. Vettel emerged in third behind Lewis Hamilton, and struggled to pass the McLaren driver as Alonso increased his lead. Red Bull would eventually pit Vettel for a third time to allow him to run in clear air. Meanwhile, Button pitted for new tyres but retired from the race after the front right wheelnut was not attached, leaving the wheel visibly loose on the exit from the pits and continuing Button's run of poor results in his home race. With less than ten laps to go, Hamilton was told to start conserving fuel in order to finish the race. This slowed him to the point where Vettel and Webber were able to pass him and put him in danger of being passed by Felipe Massa. As the race entered the final two laps, Webber was close enough to Vettel to attempt a pass while Massa was visibly faster than Hamilton. Webber was given an order by the team not to pass Vettel, but ignored it. He was ultimately unsuccessful, and finished in third place. Behind them, Massa caught Hamilton on the final lap and attempted a pass into Vale corner. Hamilton, holding a defensive line into the corner, was unable to slow the car down in time and the two made contact. This forced Massa off the racing line through Club corner and across the line; Hamilton prevailed by two hundredths of a second, while Massa ran wide and crossed the finish line on the tarmac run-off on the outside of the corner. The stewards investigated, but no action was taken. Alonso won the race – Ferrari's first of the 2011 season – sixteen seconds ahead of Vettel and Webber with Hamilton fourth and Massa fifth. Nico Rosberg finished sixth, five seconds ahead of Sergio Pérez in a career-best finish. Nick Heidfeld salvaged four points for Renault in eighth place and Schumacher recovered from his penalty to place ninth. Vitaly Petrov's failure to score meant that Mercedes took fourth place in the World Constructors' Championship. Jaime Alguersuari took the final point-scoring position in tenth, his third successive finish in the points. Daniel Ricciardo was the nineteenth and final classified finisher on his race debut.

Alonso celebrates after winning the 2011 British Grand Prix

Alonso celebrates after winning the 2011 British Grand Prix

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Friday 28th September 2012

4 years ago

It was announced after much speculation that Lewis Hamilton would be leaving McLaren after the 2012 season to join the Mercedes-Benz works team for the 2013 season onwards, partnering Nico Rosberg, after signing a three-year contract with the team.

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Sunday 23rd August 2015

1 years ago

French rugby player, racing driver and later a Formula One team owner, Guy Ligier, died at the age of 85. With motorway construction booming in France, Ligier was able to build a large construction empire and during the period made important friends in local politicians François Mitterrand and Pierre Bérégovoy. In the late 1960s Guy started racing Porsche sportscars and even raced in Formula One with privately entered Cooper-Maserati and Brabham-Repco machinery. Neither was very successful and so in 1968 Ligier decided to form a partnership with Jo Schlesser and the two bought a pair of McLaren Formula 2 cars. Schlesser was killed that year on his Formula One debut at the French Grand Prix, at the wheel of the air-cooled Honda Formula One car, and Ligier decided he had had enough and retired. He opted to build racing cars instead and hired Michel Tétu to design the Ligier JS1, a production sportscar (the initials JS were a tribute to Jo Schlesser). The company was built up in sportscar racing but at the end of 1974 Ligier bought the assets of Matra Sports and embarked on a Formula One team. This began racing in 1976 with Jacques Laffite driving. The team became highly successful in the early 1980s with Laffite, Patrick Depailler and Didier Pironi driving. In 1981 Ligier's old friend François Mitterrand became President of France and when Ligier ran into trouble in 1983 the President ordered that government-owned companies such as Elf, Gitanes and Loto should supply sponsorship. Ligier also had preferential treatment when it came to engines, political pressure being applied to Renault to force the company to supply the team, which used Renault engines from 1984 to 1986 and from 1992 to 1994. The Ligier-Mitterrand-Bérégovoy alliance reached its peak in the early 1990s with the reconstruction of the Magny-Cours racing circuit as a new headquarters for Ligier and as a racing circuit to host the French Grand Prix. President Mitterrand and Prime Minister Bérégovoy backed the idea. Ligier also built a successful business building Ligier micro-cars. In 1992 Ligier realized that the socialist government would not last forever and sold his team to Cyril de Rouvre. He used the money he gained to corner the market in natural fertilizer in central France and set about building another fortune. Within a few months Mitterrand's Socialist Party was annihilated in the elections and Bérégovoy committed suicide on May 1, 1993. Ligier remained involved with the team in an ambassadorial role, until it was sold to Alain Prost in 1996 and was renamed Prost Grand Prix.

Guy Ligier

Guy Ligier

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Sunday 6th September 2015

1 years ago

Lewis Hamilton driving a McLaren led every practice session, led every qualifying session thereby taking pole, led every lap of the race and took fastest lap of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

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Friday 10th March 2017

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Former Formula 1 and motorcycling world champion John Surtees died at the age of 83. Surtees is the only man to have won the grand prix world championship on both two wheels and four. He won four 500cc motorcycling titles - in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960 - and the F1 crown with Ferrari in 1964. At 16 he left school and became an apprentice engineer at the Vincent motorcycle factory. A year later he competed in his first solo race and won it. In 1955 he became a member of the Norton works team and rode to victory 68 times in 76 races. From 1956 to 1960 he raced 350cc and 500cc bikes for the famed Italian MV Agusta team and won seven world championships. His transition to becoming a star in cars was nearly as swift. In 1959 the by now famous bike racer was given test drives by eager talent-hunters. In his first single-seater race, at Goodwood in a F3 Cooper entered by Ken Tyrrell, Surtees finished a close second to Jim Clark, then a promising beginner with Team Lotus, whose boss Colin Chapman promptly hired Surtees for the last four races of the 1960 Formula One season. His results - a second place in the British Grand Prix and a near win in Portugal - made Surtees a driver in demand. He stopped racing motorcycles and considered several Formula One offers, including one from Chapman to partner Clark at Team Lotus. Instead, Surtees opted to drive a Cooper in 1961 and a Lola in 1962, neither venture producing much in the way of results. However, his twin strengths of talent and tenacity kept Surtees in the limelight, especially in Italy, where the former MV Agusta star was now invited to lead the country's famous Formula One team. Enzo Ferrari (who had managed a motorcycle racing team in the 1930s) was a great admirer of the passion and fighting spirit shown by Surtees the bike racer, and hired him as his number one Formula One driver for 1963. In that year's German Grand Prix at the mighty Nurburgring a ferocious fight with Jim Clark's Lotus resulted in a first championship win for John Surtees. In Italy, the former motorcycle hero known as 'Son of the Wind' and 'John the Great' was hailed as Ferrari's saviour. Nicknamed 'Big John' in English, he also became 'Fearless John' - particularly in 1964 after he won another brilliant victory at the daunting and dangerous Nurburgring, where he beat Graham Hill in a BRM. With another victory, at Monza, Surtees was in contention for the title. So, too, were his countrymen Hill and Clark, each of whom had also won two races. In their Mexican Grand Prix championship showdown Clark's Lotus was waylaid by an oil leak and Hill's BRM was accidentally shoved out of contention by Lorenzo Bandini's Ferrari, whose team mate finished second to become World Champion. For John Surtees, the satisfaction of becoming the first World Champion on both two and four wheels was only mitigated by the fact that he had clinched all his bike titles with race victories. Though he would win three more Formula One championship races, there were no more driving titles in his future. To some degree he was a victim of circumstances, though his feisty personality and fierce independence were also factors. He developed a reputation for being argumentative and cantankerous. Certainly, he said what he thought and did not suffer fools gladly. While most drivers left their aggression in the cockpit, Surtees seemed to keep his 'race face' on, which could be intimidating. In 1965, when Ferrari's Formula One cars were less competitive, Surtees ran his own Lola sportscar in the lucrative North American Can-Am series. In one of those races, late in the season at Mosport in Canada, his Lola suffered a suspension failure and crashed heavily, leaving Surtees with multiple injuries. Over the winter he forced himself back to fitness and in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa he stormed through pouring rain to score one of his most impressive victories. And yet this proved to be his last race for Ferrari. Ever since 1963 Surtees had been at odds with team manager Eugenio Dragoni. At the Le Mans 24 hour race their feud boiled over and Surtees stalked off never to return. Eventually, he agreed with Enzo Ferrari that their split was a disastrous mistake for both parties. Surtees finished 1966 with Cooper, for whom he won the season finale in Mexico, then spent two years leading Honda's new Formula One team. He helped develop the Japanese cars and was rewarded with a satisfying win in Ferrari's home race, the 1967 Italian Grand Prix at Monza, though Honda left Formula One racing a year later. After a frustrating 1969 season with BRM Surtees decided to follow the lead of Jack Brabham and Bruce McLaren and form his own team, though he was destined to have much less success. In nine Formula One seasons the best results for Team Surtees were a second and a third for Mike Hailwood, himself a multiple world champion on bikes. The Team Surtees boss retired from driving in 1973 to concentrate on trying to find more performance for his cars and enough money to pay for it. Not enough of either was found, despite Surtees pushing himself mercilessly the way he did as a driver. His constant striving exacerbated medical problems (a legacy of his 1965 accident) that eventually forced Surtees out of Formula One racing in 1978. His return to health gave him a new lease on life and the former curmudgeon mellowed considerably. He retired to a beautiful old house in the English countryside, where with a new wife (his first marriage was childless) he raised a family of three. He developed an interest in architecture and was successful in real estate ventures. Only then was the one and only champion on two wheels and four able to fully enjoy his singular achievements - of which he said: "I was a bit nuts, really." In his later years Surtees spent much of his time working tirelessly for The Henry Surtees Foundation, set up after his son was tragically killed in a freak accident in a Formula Two race in 2009.

John Surtees

John Surtees

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