What Happened On This Day July 2 In F1 History?

From Helmet Marko's career-ending injury at the 1972 French Grand Prix to Michael Schumacher winning a gruelling 2006 US Grand Prix.


By Ben Bush
Updated on July 18, 2024

Helmet Marko BRM 1972
Helmet Marko driving for BRM before his career ending 1972 French Grand Prix incident.

What happened on this day, July 2 in Formula 1 history? Find out interesting facts and stories about Formula 1 on this day.


Juan-Manuel Fangio triumphed in the inaugural 1950 French Grand Prix, finishing ahead of teammate Luigi Fagioli and Peter Whitehead. Initially, Farina led the race but encountered fuel issues that pushed him to the back of the pack. He managed to fight his way back to third place before being forced to retire. This left Fangio to secure the win, finishing 20 seconds ahead of Fagioli, with Whitehead coming in third, three laps behind.


Jack Brabham emerged victorious in the 1967 French Grand Prix, a race characterised by frequent lead changes. Graham Hill started from pole position, with Dan Gurney, Brabham, Jim Clark, and Chris Amon in pursuit. By the second lap, Brabham took the lead, and a lap later, Clark overtook Gurney. Clark then passed Hill on the fifth lap, placing Lotus in a 1-2 position as Hill also overtook Brabham. However, by lap 20, both Clark and Hill were out due to transmission issues, allowing Brabham to regain the lead, followed by Gurney and Amon. Gurney retired on lap 40 with a fuel pipe problem, resulting in a Brabham 1-2. Amon’s Ferrari soon retired with a broken throttle cable. Pedro Rodriguez briefly held third in his Cooper-Maserati but had to pit due to a split fuel line, allowing Jackie Stewart to secure third, where he remained until the finish.


Jackie Stewart won the 1972 French Grand Prix, finishing ahead of Emerson Fittipaldi and Chris Amon. However, the race is remembered for the freak accident that ended the F1 career of Helmut Marko. Chris Amon initially led, followed by fellow New Zealander Denny Hulme, with Stewart, Jacky Ickx, and Marko in pursuit. Fittipaldi quickly advanced, passing Hailwood, Schenken, and Marko for fifth. Marko’s race—and his career—tragically ended when a stone thrown from Ronnie Peterson‘s March penetrated his helmet visor and blinded him in the left eye. Stewart overtook Hulme on lap 17, and after Amon pitted with a puncture, Stewart took the lead. Hulme also stopped for new tyres, dropping down the order and allowing Ickx to take second place. However, Ickx’s Ferrari suffered a puncture, moving Fittipaldi to second, ahead of Peterson and Cevert. In the closing laps, Amon recovered, repassing Peterson and Cevert to secure third place.


Mario Andretti clinched the win in the 1978 French Grand Prix, finishing ahead of Ronnie Peterson and James Hunt, while John Watson couldn’t capitalise on his pole position. At the start, Watson was quickly overtaken by Andretti, and Peterson soon passed both Watson and Patrick Tambay, who later pitted with a puncture. Watson then faced pressure from Hunt, and on lap 16, Hunt overtook him, relegating Watson to fourth place for the remainder of the race.


Michael Schumacher secured a straightforward win at the 1995 French Grand Prix, finishing ahead of the Williams duo of Damon Hill and David Coulthard. At the start, Hill overtook pole-sitter Schumacher, while Rubens Barrichello in the Jordan past Coulthard to claim third. Schumacher then delivered a series of impressive laps during the first pit-stop sequence, gaining an eight-second advantage over Hill. This gap continued to widen, ensuring Schumacher’s win even before his final stop.


David Coulthard dominated the 2000 French Grand Prix, leading his teammate Mika Hakkinen to secure a McLaren 1-2 finish. Michael Schumacher started from pole, with Coulthard in second. However, Coulthard’s battle on passing Schumacher allowed Rubens Barrichello to slip into second, although Coulthard regained the position on lap 22. Coulthard then successfully challenged Schumacher despite a wheel-banging move. Schumacher’s race ended in disappointment with an engine failure, while Hakkinen moved past Barrichello for second after a disastrous pit stop for the Brazilian. Jacques Villeneuve finished fourth for BAR, ahead of Ralf Schumacher in the Williams.


Michael Schumacher won a gruelling US Grand Prix, with only nine cars making it to the finish. Felipe Massa initially led the race following Ferrari’s dominant performance in qualifying, but Schumacher took the lead after the pit stops. Giancarlo Fisichella secured third place, followed by Jarno Trulli in the Toyota. Fernando Alonso finished fifth in the second Renault, maintaining a 19-point lead over Schumacher in the championship standings.

F1 Driver Birthday’s 2 July

Birth DateF1 Driver
2 July 1911Reginald “Reg” Parnell
2 July 1922 Jacques “Jacky” Pollet

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About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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