On This Day In F1 - Senna's Former Flatmate Entered The First Corner Upside-Down

On This Day In F1 - Senna's Former Flatmate Entered The First Corner Upside-Down

A look back at what happened on 9 July in Formula 1 history

1989 French Grand Prix
Mauricio Gugelmin had a spectacular accident at the start of the race as his March was sent barrel rolling down the track into the first corner, taking Nigel Mansell and Martin Donnelly with him. The race was restarted with all three in their spare cars; Alain Prost totally dominated from pole after Ayrton Senna’s car broke down on the first lap. Riccardo Patrese had been running second until a spin, dropping him to third and allowing Nigel Mansell up to second.

The star of the race, however, was a young Jean Alesi on his F1 debut. Driving for Tyrrell in place of Michele Alboreto, he ran as high as second at one point and eventually finished fourth, not far behind Patrese.

Alesi was seriously impressive in his F1 debut
Alesi was seriously impressive in his F1 debut

2017 Austrian Grand Prix
Valtteri Bottas won his second race of the season from pole, just about managing to hold of Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari. Daniel Ricciardo finished third ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who had a muted weekend following an average quaifying session and a gearbox penalty.

Birthdays
Sakon Yamamoto (born 1982) had an unusual and slightly forgettable career in F1. In 2006 he replaced Franck Montagny at Super Aguri for the last seven races of the season, then in 2007 again drove the last seven races of the year - this time for Spyker.

Then, out of nowhere, in 2010 he ended up as a replacement driver for another backmarker team, HRT, where he drove in - you guessed it - seven races. His performances were unremarkable but he was able to at least regularly reach the finish, with a best result of 12th in the 2007 Japanese GP.