On This Day In F1 – 16 Wheels Finished On The Podium In Sweden – WTF1

On This Day In F1 – 16 Wheels Finished On The Podium In Sweden

1965 Belgian Grand Prix
Jim Clark won at Spa for the fourth year in a row with yet another dominant performance. Just as in 1963, he lapped the entire field in the wet except for Jackie Stewart, who finished ‘only’ 45 seconds behind his countryman.

1976 Swedish Grand Prix
Four races into its career, the six-wheeled Tyrrell P34 proved its worth when Jody Scheckter not only drove one to victory from pole position, but teammate Patrick Depailler backed it up with second, too. Mario Andretti had led most of the race, but it was largely down to him making a jump start, for which he was handed a one-minute time penalty. Still, he was trying to make up that gap when his engine failed (probably as a result of pushing it too hard), handing the race to Tyrrell.

Chris Amon was something of a surprise package – driving an unfancied Ensign, he qualified and ran a sensational net third until he was put out by suspension failure at half distance, promoting Niki Lauda to the final podium position.

1982 Canadian Grand Prix
Nelson Piquet and Riccardo Patrese finished one-two for Brabham, unusually in completely different cars with different engines. Patrese was running the venerable Cosworth DFV in the old BT49 (the same combination he’d used to win Monaco) while Piquet, determined to drive the development of turbocharged engines, was using the newer BT50 powered by the 1.5-litre four-cylinder BMW engine. It had proved fast but unreliable all season, and this was one of the few occasions where it lasted long enough to get to the finish.

Sadly, the race weekend was overshadowed by tragedy for the second time in four races. Didier Pironi stalled his Ferrari from pole and Riccardo Paletti, starting from towards the back in his Osella, was unsighted and unable to avoid him. Paletti hit the back of the Ferrari with enormous force and, as track workers started to attend to him, his car burst into flames and even once they were out, it took almost half an hour to extract him from his car. Sadly, even without the fire, Paletti’s chest injuries were likely too severe, and he was pronounced dead upon arriving at the local hospital.

1993 Canadian Grand Prix
Alain Prost won easily from Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill to take the championship lead as Ayrton Senna retired from second with a late electrical failure. The race would probably have been a Williams one-two had the team not prepared the wrong tyres when Hill came in for his stop, with the delay dropping him behind Senna and Schumacher.

1999 Canadian Grand Prix
Many excellent drivers had been caught out by the wall in the past, but when Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher, and Ricardo Zonta (OK, so he was an F3000 and FIA GT champion, but it counts) all crashed coming out of the final chicane during the race, earning it the nickname ‘Wall of Champions’.

Of the drivers who didn’t bin it, Mika Hakkinen won ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella and Eddie Irvine in a chaotic race which featured four safety cars. The last of these was deployed right near the end when Heinz-Harald Frentzen crashed out of second, making this the first F1 race to finish under safety car conditions.

2004 Canadian Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher won his seventh race of the season just a second ahead of brother Ralf Schumacher, whose walrus-nose Williams had shown a rare glimpse of competitiveness, likely due to the power of its BMW engine making up for the aerodynamic deficit on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve’s long straights. However, after the race, Ralf (along with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who’d finished fifth) were disqualified for having illegal brake ducts, as were the Toyotas of Cristiano da Matta and Olivier Panis (who’d finished eighth and 10th). This promoted Rubens Barrichello to second and Jenson Button to third, while Timo Glock – subbing for Giorgio Pantano at Jordan – was promoted to a points-scoring position in seventh on debut.

2010 Canadian Grand Prix
In 2010, Bridgestone supplied the tyres to all F1 teams. They were very good tyres – almost too good, in fact. They seemed to last forever, with very little performance difference between compounds and, with refuelling recently being banned, made the concept of pit stops more of a chore than a strategic element.

However, Canada’s abrasive surface led to much more tyre degradation than expected and the result was an epic race – the early tyre stops were so frequent that Sebastien Buemi even ended up leading a lap for Toro Rosso. Drivers and teams employed a real mix of strategies – some made early stops and spent the first half of the race mired in the pack, while other ran longer on harder tyres, hoping to benefit from softer compounds at the end. Mark Webber had started seventh and found himself leading the middle stages, but had to make a late pit stop which promoted Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso to the lead. Hamilton managed to ease ahead as Jenson Button climbed through to second, while Webber ended up fifth behind Sebastian Vettel.

It had been such an interesting and exciting race that when Pirelli took over the tyre tender for 2011, the FIA instructed them to make tyres that would intentionally degrade in a similar way to what they had in this grand prix, hoping to generate this sort of racing on a consistent basis.

Harry Blanchard (born 1929) entered the 1959 US GP in a Porsche, finishing a distant seventh. Naoki Hattori (born 1966) joined the struggling Coloni team for the final two races of 1991 but, just like the majority of drivers who’d race for the team since 1987, he couldn’t progress past pre-qualifying.

The legendary Markus Winkelhock (born 1980) had a surprise debut with Spyker in the 2007 European GP at the Nurburgring, replacing Christijan Albers. Rain chucked it down just as the lights went out and Winkelhock, being the only driver to have gambled on wet tyres, found himself going from last to first in just over a lap, building up a gap of half a minute before the safety car came out and the race was stopped. He dropped back at the restart and retired with hydraulic failure in what would be his only grand prix, but cementing himself as one of the most iconic one-off drivers in F1 history.

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