What Happened On This Day June 15 In F1 History?

From James Hunt's death in 1993 to Michael Schumacher securing a win at the 2003 Canadian Grand Prix.

Ben

By Ben Bush
Updated on July 12, 2024

James Hunt 1976 F1 Champion
James Hunt 1976 F1 Champion.

What happened on this day, June 15 in Formula 1 history? Find out interesting facts and stories about Formula 1 on this day.

1958

Tony Brooks led a British dominance at the 1958 Belgian Grand Prix, driving a Vanwall, with Mike Hawthorn, Stuart Lewis-Evans, and Cliff Allison trailing, marking a nearly complete British sweep. Only Hawthorn’s Ferrari, also the lone non-British car in the lead pack, malfunctioned, emitting smoke and steam as he finished the race. Stirling Moss‘ Vanwall, however, succumbed after just one lap.

1961

Giulio Cabianca, an occasional F1 driver, met a tragic end in a freak accident at Modena when his Cooper‘s throttle stuck, causing him to veer off the track and collide with a taxi on a nearby road, resulting in fatalities for all occupants of the taxi.

1986

After his win in Belgium, Nigel Mansell won at the 1986 Canadian Grand Prix, narrowing his gap to championship leader Alain Prost to just two points. In the race, Senna inadvertently held back the field with his heavily fueled Lotus, allowing Mansell an advantage. Meanwhile, Patrick Tambay had a narrow escape during a 160mph crash in a warm-up session.

1993

James Hunt, former 1976 F1 champion, died suddenly at 45 due to a heart attack at his home in Wimbledon. His death came shortly after his engagement, aiming for a third marriage. Known for his flamboyant lifestyle during his racing career, Hunt later transformed into a revered commentator. Financial difficulties had diminished his wealth, leading to a modest lifestyle at his death. His death profoundly affected his friend and former rival Niki Lauda, who remembered him as “the most charismatic personality in Formula One history.”

1997

The 1997 Canadian Grand Prix ended abruptly due to Oliver Panis’ high-speed crash at 160mph, halting the race with 14 laps left. Panis sustained two broken legs after his Prost car collided with a wall.

The incident led to Michael Schumacher clinching a “fortunate victory,” as described by the Guardian, following multiple failures and the eventual stall of David Coulthard‘s McLaren during his second pit stop.

2003

Michael Schumacher secured a win at the 2003 Canadian Grand Prix, pushing him into a three-point lead over Kimi Raikkonen in the season’s championship standings. Despite the win, Schumacher had stiff competition, with Ralf Schumacher, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Fernando Alonso closely battling the win with Michael, finishing within 3.4 seconds of each other. The Daily Mail said: “The good news is that Schumacher was hounded every inch of the way to the chequered flag by the Williams-BMW duo of his brother Ralf and Juan Pablo Montoya, and Fernando Alonso in the Renault. A mere 3.4 seconds separated the leading quartet.”

2013

Jose Froilan Gonzalez, the first driver to secure a world championship Grand Prix victory for Ferrari, passed away in Buenos Aires at age 90. Known as ‘The Pampas Bull’ due to his robust physique, Gonzalez triumphed at Silverstone in 1951 and 1954, retiring in 1960. He finished second in the championship to Juan Manuel Fangio in 1954. Luca di Montezemolo, then Ferrari president, expressed deep sadness at his passing, noting Gonzalez’s lasting bond with Ferrari and his significant role in its history.

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About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush
Ben

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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