What Happened On This Day July 9 In F1 History?

From the death of one-time F1 driver Don Beauman in 1955 to Alain Prost's win at the 1989 French Grand Prix.

Lee Parker

By Lee Parker
Updated on July 8, 2024

Mauricio Gugelmin's March Collides With Thierry Boutsen Williams 1989 French Grand Prix
Mauricio Gugelmin's March collides with Thierry Boutsen Williams at the 1989 French Grand Prix // Image: Formula One Licensing B.V.

What happened on this day, July 9 in Formula 1 history? Find out interesting facts and stories about Formula 1 on this day.


Hotel proprietor and one-time Formula One driver Don Beauman was killed in a Formula 2 accident in Ireland. His only Grand Prix came at the 1954 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, where he finished 11th in a Connaught A-Type, sponsored by wealthy privateer Sir Jeremy Boles. He achieved some success in Formula 2 in 1955 but sustained fatal head injuries when he was thrown from his somersaulting Connaught during a Formula Libre race.


The weekend after Alain Prost announced his departure from McLaren to join Ferrari in 1990, he won the 1989 French Grand Prix. However, the race is often remembered for a huge accident at the start. Mauricio Gugelmin’s March collided with the back of Thierry Boutsen in a Williams, causing Gugelmin’s car to take off and land in the middle of turn one just as the front runners were exiting the corner. The race was immediately red-flagged. Involved in the accident, including Nigel Mansell, Martin Donnelly, and Gugelmin, ran back to the pits to start the race in their spare cars. Upon the restart, Ayrton Senna, who had originally led into the first corner, suffered a transmission failure and retired on the spot. Prost took the lead and maintained it for the rest of the afternoon, finishing ahead of Mansell and Riccardo Patrese. After the race, Prost expressed his delight at securing maximum points while his fierce rival and teammate Senna failed to score. “This was a very important victory for me, not only because it was on French soil but also because I’ve now managed the double with pole position and a win two years running. It’s also very good for the championship, for not only do I have an extra nine points but my main rival didn’t score any.”


Bernie Ecclestone admitted he was “ashamed” of the 2004 British Grand Prix at Silverstone amidst a long-standing feud with the then-event organizers, Octagon. The previous year, Ecclestone had described the event as “a country fair masquerading as a world event,” and in 2004, he intensified his criticism, warning that he would not hesitate to remove the event from the calendar. “I raced in the first British Grand Prix and I don’t have any sentiment about anything,” he said. “If they don’t match up they should not be on the calendar. I’m ashamed, that’s all, of the British Grand Prix. Simple. It’s beautiful when people come to me and they say we want to go to Silverstone to see what to do and I say ‘well, don’t go to Silverstone, go to Barcelona or Germany or… You see how they are fighting at the moment to get the Olympic games in Britain, and quite right too; so they should. And, other people do the same. But others try to get the Formula One event, which I think is just as important. But the British seem to think it is a right and there’s got to be a British Grand Prix.”


Juan Pablo Montoya turned his back on Formula One by signing a deal to race for Chip Ganassi Racing in NASCAR. He had left McLaren just one week earlier after crashing out of the 2006 US Grand Prix and wasted no time in setting up a new career in the USA. “I am so happy to be entering the fastest growing racing league in the world,” Montoya said. “I’ve thought about this for quite some time, but the opportunity had to be right…I will be a lot happier here.”

F1 Driver Birthday’s 9 July

Birth DateF1 Driver
9 July 1982Sakon Yamamoto

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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.

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