What Happened On This Day July 6 In F1 History?

From Musso's death chasing down Hawthorn in 1958 to Lewis Hamilton's win at the 2008 British Grand Prix.

Lee Parker

By Lee Parker
Updated on July 8, 2024

Lewis Hamilton McLaren 2008 British Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton wins for McLaren at the 2008 British Grand Prix, his first win on home soil // Image: McLaren

What happened on this day, July 6 in Formula 1 history? Find out interesting facts and stories about Formula 1 on this day.

1952

Ferrari achieved a commanding 1-2-3 victory at the 1952 French Grand Prix in Rouen, decisively outpacing the local favourites, Gordini. Prior to the race, there was optimism that the enigmatic Jean Behra might replicate his winning performance from a non-championship race the previous weekend. However, Ferrari introduced a more powerful engine for its 500s in the world championship race. Their three factory drivers, Alberto Ascari, Nino Farina, and Piero Taruffi, secured the front row at the start and swept the podium at the finish.

1958

Mike Hawthorn secured a tainted victory for Ferrari at the 1958 French Grand Prix after his teammate, Italy’s top driver Luigi Musso, was tragically killed in an attempt to catch him. Hawthorn had been the faster driver all weekend. After a brief challenge from Harry Schell in a BRM, Hawthorn regained the lead. Musso was not far behind and was closing the gap as they approached the high-speed Geuz curve. With growing confidence, Musso attempted to take the corner flat-out for the first time. Unfortunately, this move exceeded the limits of the 246 Dino’s grip, causing the car to spin off the circuit. Travelling at approximately 150 mph, the car hit a ditch and somersaulted into the air, ejecting Musso from the driver’s seat. He was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries the same day.

1986

Nigel Mansell won the 1986 French Grand Prix after Ayrton Senna spun out of contention. Senna had secured his fifth pole position in eight races but was overtaken by Mansell at the first corner. Senna maintained second place until Andrea de Cesaris‘ engine exploded, spilling oil on the track. Senna continued at full speed through the accident zone but lost control on the slippery surface and crashed into the barriers. Mansell then faced a challenge from Alain Prost, who was running a one-stop strategy against Mansell’s two-stop plan. Although Prost briefly took the lead on his home soil, Mansell reclaimed the position on lap 59 with fresh tyres. The positions remained unchanged until the end of the race.

2003

Juan Pablo Montoya strained his relationship with the Williams team at the 2003 French Grand Prix after shouting abuse over the radio at his pit wall for favouring his teammate and eventual race winner Ralf Schumacher. Both Williams drivers had been dominant, but a minor mistake during Montoya’s first pit stop and the team’s decision to fuel him for a shorter stint than Schumacher infuriated the Colombian driver. While Williams attempted to downplay the incident at the time, it marked the beginning of a steadily deteriorating relationship between Montoya and the team, leading to his departure in 2004.

2008

Lewis Hamilton won the 2008 British Grand Prix by well over a minute in torrential rain at Silverstone. Despite the appalling conditions, Hamilton drove flawlessly, coming from fourth on the grid, overtaking his teammate Heikki Kovalainen for the lead, and pulling away from the field. Many drivers struggled, but none more so than Felipe Massa, who spun his Ferrari five times and finished 13th, two laps down. After securing his first F1 victory on home soil, Hamilton said: “When I came round the last time, I saw the crowd standing up and I prayed: ‘Just finish, just finish.’ It was a very emotional moment to win my home grand prix and I want to dedicate this victory to my family.”

F1 Driver Birthday’s 6 July

Birth DateF1 Driver
6 July 1906Thomas Cuthbert “Cuth” Harrison
6 July 1930Ian John Burgess

Seen in:

About The Author

Senior Editor

Lee Parker
Lee Parker

Lee is our staff writer specialising in anything technical within Formula 1 from aerodynamics to engines. Lee writes most of our F1 guides for beginners and experienced fans having followed the sports since 1991, researching and understanding how teams build the ultimate machines. Like everyone else on the team he listens to podcasts about F1 and enjoys reading biographies of former drivers.

Latest Reads