On This Day In F1 – F1’s Bizarre High-Winged Cars Raced For The Last Time – WTF1

On This Day In F1 – F1’s Bizarre High-Winged Cars Raced For The Last Time

1969 Spanish Grand Prix
Jackie Stewart finished an astounding two laps ahead of the rest of the field in a race where a number of cars suffered wing failures. Jochen Rindt led the first third of the race until his Lotus had a breakage, causing him to collide heavily with teammate Graham Hill’s car, who’d retired in the exact same manner earlier on. The impact was so severe that Rindt was knocked unconscious in the crash and had to be pulled from the upside-down wreckage by Hill. It was a lucky escape which left Chris Amon in the lead, only for the Kiwi to be denied a win through engine failure. Bruce McLaren ended up second with Jean-Pierre Beltoise a further lap behind in third, while Denny Hulme, John Surtees, and Jacky Ickx rounded out the finishers.

After a bit of wrangling, the tall wings ended up being banned during the following race weekend at Monaco over safety concerns.

1980 Belgian Grand Prix
Didier Pironi claimed the first win of his career for Ligier in a race he totally dominated, having led all 72 laps. Alan Jones was some 47 seconds behind, with the other Williams of Carlos Reutemann completing the podium – everybody else was a lap behind.

2003 Spanish Grand Prix
As Michael Schumacher won the race, Fernando Alonso almost single-handedly turned legions of Spaniards into F1 fans as he finished a close second, ahead of the other Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello. At the time it not only marked his best result, but meant that after five races he was only seven points away from the championship lead. Not bad for a guy in just his second season…

Wolfgang von Trips (born 1928) made his debut in 1957 and by 1961 found himself battling for the championship with teammates Phil Hill and Richie Ginther. With two wins that season he was the title favourite, only to die in a crash while battling with Jim Clark on the second lap of the the Italian GP – an accident which also claimed the lives of 15 spectators. Hill won the race and with it, the title.

John Watson (born 1946) had a long and rather successful career in F1, making 152 starts between 1973 and 1985. In that time he won five races – four of which were for McLaren – and holds the record for the lowest position a race has ever been won from, when he started 22nd at Long Beach in 1983. In the chaos that was the 1982 season he found himself a title contender and ended up third in the standings, five points behind champion Keke Rosberg.

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