On This Day In F1 - Hamilton Won His Home Race By More Than A Minute In The Rain

On This Day In F1 - Hamilton Won His Home Race By More Than A Minute In The Rain

A look back at what happened on 6 July in Formula 1 history

1952 French Grand Prix
Alberto Ascari led every lap from pole and set the fastest lap as he won with ease ahead of Giuseppe Farina and Piero Taruffi in a Ferrari one-two-three.

1958 French Grand Prix
Luigi Musso was desperately chasing down Ferrari teammate Mike Hawthorn for victory when he lost control and crashed heavily as he was thrown clear of the car. Hawthorn continued and won the race ahead of Stirling Moss and Wolfgang von Trips, but the race was overshadowed when Musso died in hospital later that day.

Finishing fourth in the race was Juan Manuel Fangio, competing in his final grand prix. As a mark of respect, on the final lap Hawthorn allowed Fangio to unlap himself so that he could complete the full distance. Once he got out of the car, he simply said: “it is finished”.

1969 French Grand Prix
Jackie Stewart dominated a tiny 13-car field as his teammate Jean-Pierre Beltoise made it a Matra one-two after passing Jacky Ickx on the final lap.

(c) Zantafio56/Creative Commons
(c) Zantafio56/Creative Commons

1975 French Grand Prix
Niki Lauda led every lap and won the race, but only just. James Hunt’s Hesketh tailed him the whole way, and Jochen Mass in the McLaren was putting on a searing pace in the closing stages but just ran out of laps to pass either. 2.3 seconds separated the trio at the end of the race, with Emerson Fittipaldi over half a minute down in fourth.

1986 French Grand Prix
Nigel Mansell’s two-stop strategy worked better than Alain Prost’s one-stopper as won his third race of the season, with Nelson Piquet finishing a distant third. Ayrton Senna had also been in contention, but spun out of the race at the Signes corner after hitting oil laid down by Andrea de Cesaris’s expired Brabham.

2003 French Grand Prix
Ralf Schumacher won his sixth and final grand prix ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya to give Williams what is, to date, it’s last one-two finish. However, it wasn’t a particularly happy occasion - Montoya felt his team had deliberately given him a bad strategy to prevent him from being able to challenge Ralf. He had a shouting match with his team over the radio, and the whole scenario was reportedly the catalyst for him signing to drive for McLaren from 2005.

(c) Ferrari
(c) Ferrari

2008 British Grand Prix
One of Lewis Hamilton’s best wins - if not his absolute finest - came in horrifically wet conditions. He took the lead from teammate Heikki Kovalainen on lap five and built a gap. Kimi Raikkonen caught him as the track dried but, when the rain intensified again, Hamilton simply drove off at an alarming rate and was often several seconds a lap faster than anybody else. He eventually won by more than a minute from Nick Heidfeld, who pulled off a number of impressive overtakes on his way through the field. Ruben Barrichello took an unlikely podium for Honda after finding himself on the full wet tyres at exactly the right time, - he might even have finished second but for a problem with his refuelling rig.

The Ferraris had a nightmare in the rain - Raikkonen spun twice and finished a lap down in fourth, while Felipe Massa spun an incredible five times (somehow without crashing) and finished 13th and last.

2014 British Grand Prix
Nico Rosberg was looking set to deny Lewis Hamilton a home win until gearbox problem caused him to lose pace and eventually retire. Hamilton inherited the lead and the win ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who did a great job to go from 14th on the grid to second for Williams. Daniel Ricciardo just held off Jenson Button for the final spot on the podium - it was Button’s third fourth place in the British GP and the closest the 2009 champion ever got to standing on the podium at his home race.

(c) Red Bull Content Pool
(c) Red Bull Content Pool

Birthdays
Cuth Harrison (born 1906) drove an ERA in three rounds of Formula 1’s inaugural championship year in 1950, managing a best finish of seventh in the British GP.

Ian Burgess (born 1930) started 15 races between 1958 and 1963, mostly driving Coopers for privateer teams. His best result came when he finished sixth in the 1959 German GP - one position away from the points (which were only awarded down to fifth until the end of that season).