What Happened On This Day July 1 In F1 History?

From Luigi Fagioli's first Grand Prix victory at the 1951 French Grand Prix to Michael Schumacher's 50th F1 career win at the 2001 French Grand Prix.

Mark Phelan

By Mark Phelan
Updated on July 19, 2024

Michael Schumacher 50th F1 career win at the 2001 French Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher's 50th F1 career win at the 2001 French Grand Prix.

What happened on this day, July 1 in Formula 1 history? Find out interesting facts and stories about Formula 1 on this day.


Luigi Fagioli claimed his first Grand Prix victory at the 1951 French Grand Prix, finishing ahead of Juan Manuel Fangio. José Froilán González also achieved a milestone by securing his first podium finish in third place.


Lancia-Ferrari dominated the 1956 French Grand Prix, with Peter Collins leading his teammate Eugenio Castellotti to victory. The team nearly secured a 1-2-3 finish, but a fuel leak dropped Juan Manuel Fangio to fourth place behind Jean Behra in a Maserati.


Ronnie Peterson secured his first Formula One victory at the 1973 French Grand Prix, finishing ahead of local favourite François Cevert. Jody Scheckter initially took the lead, with a fast-starting Peterson chasing him, followed by pole-sitter Jackie Stewart, Denny Hulme, and Emerson Fittipaldi. When Stewart and Hulme retired due to tyre problems, Peterson allowed Fittipaldi to move into second place to challenge Scheckter. On lap 42, Scheckter hesitated while lapping Jean-Pierre Beltoise, giving Fittipaldi an opportunity to overtake. However, Scheckter didn’t yield, resulting in a collision that forced both drivers to retire. Peterson then took the lead and went on to claim his first Grand Prix win, followed by Cevert and Carlos Reutemann, who achieved his first podium finish.


Jean-Pierre Jabouille won the 1979 French Grand Prix, but the race is best remembered for an epic final lap battle between Gilles Villeneuve and René Arnoux. At the start, Villeneuve jumped from third on the grid to take the lead, with Jabouille in second and Jody Scheckter in third. Arnoux had a poor start, dropping to ninth, but he fought back to third by lap 15. Villeneuve’s Ferrari struggled with handling issues, allowing Jabouille to pass him for the lead. The race then featured a dramatic fight for second place between Arnoux and Villeneuve, with the two drivers swapping positions and banging wheels. On the last corner, Arnoux drifted wide, and Villeneuve seized the opportunity to pass him on the inside, finishing just two-tenths of a second ahead. This race marked the first victory for Renault and the first for a turbocharged engine, a significant milestone in F1 history.


In 2001, Michael Schumacher achieved his 50th F1 career win at the 2001 French Grand Prix, overcoming tough competition from his brother Ralf Schumacher, who had started from pole position. Ralf, driving for Williams, posed the main threat to Michael, maintaining his lead until the first pit stop on lap 24. However, a slow stop due to a problem with the right rear tyre allowed Michael to take the lead during the second stint and begin pulling away. Juan Pablo Montoya, who was running longer on harder tyres, emerged as Schumacher’s primary challenger until engine failure on lap 53 ended his chances of winning. Ultimately, the Schumacher brothers finished first and second, with Rubens Barrichello securing third place for Ferrari.


On this day, Kimi Raikkonen dominated the 2007 French Grand Prix, thwarting a bid from Lewis Hamilton for a hat-trick of wins. Hamilton’s strategy hinged on a three-stop plan that required a strong start. However, Raikkonen overtook him at the beginning and set his sights on catching Felipe Massa in the leading Ferrari. The race then became a duel between the two Ferrari drivers, with Raikkonen gaining the upper hand when Massa encountered traffic during his second stint.

F1 Driver Birthday’s 1 July

Birth DateF1 Driver
1 July 1941Ernest “Ernie” Nathan de Vos
1 July 1947Kazuyoshi Hoshino
1 July 1989Daniel Ricciardo

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About The Author

Senior Editor

Mark Phelan
Mark Phelan

Mark is a staff writer specialising in the history of Formula 1 races. Mark researches most of our historic content from teams to drivers and races. He has followed Formula 1 since 1988, and admits to having a soft spot for British drivers from James Hunt and Nigel Mansell to Lando Norris. He loves a great F1 podcast and has read pretty much every drivers biography.

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