What Happened On This Day June 19 In F1 History?

From one of F1's darkest days at the 1960 Belgian Grand Prix to the farce of the 2005 US Grand Prix when just six cars started.

Lee Parker

By Lee Parker
Updated on June 17, 2024

When the 2005 US GP went ahead with just six cars
When the 2005 US Grand Prix went ahead with just six cars.

What happened on this day, June 19 in Formula 1 history? Find out interesting facts and stories about Formula 1 on this day.


The 1955 Dutch Grand Prix witnessed a one-two finish for Mercedes with Juan-Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss leading the way, despite challenging conditions and technical issues. Luigi Musso, in a Maserati, claimed third place after a late spin, while Moss struggled to the finish line with his car smoking. This victory was a sombre moment for Mercedes, coming just a week after the devastating 1955 Le Man’s tragedy.


One of the darkest days in F1 history occurred at Spa during the 1960 Belgian Grand Prix. The race claimed the lives of two British drivers in rapid succession under poor conditions. Stirling Moss had already crashed the day before. Chris Bristow, at just 22 years old, tragically lost his life after being thrown from his Cooper and suffering fatal injuries from a wire fence. Shortly afterwards, 26-year-old Alan Stacey’s Lotus crashed and caught fire, resulting in his death, which some speculated was caused by a bird strike that rendered him unconscious moments before. The area lacked spectators due to safety restrictions. Ultimately, Jack Brabham emerged as the race winner.


Jacques Laffite achieved his first victory at the 1977 Swedish Grand Prix, benefiting from an unfortunate turn for Mario Andretti, whose Lotus required a late fuel stop, dropping him from first to sixth place. Andretti had foreseen the issue and communicated with his team, opting to continue in hopes of maintaining his lead, but ultimately fell short.


Ayrton Senna claimed his third victory at the 1988 Detroit Grand Prix despite challenging conditions, with the track disintegrating and becoming slippery. His teammate, Alain Prost, managed not to be lapped and criticised the poor quality of the circuit, highlighting Detroit’s status in the automotive industry and calling for a better track. Michele Alboreto echoed Prost’s sentiments, emphasising the need for better alternatives without needing to see them firsthand.


The 2005 US Grand Prix at Indianapolis turned into a debacle, tarnishing Formula One’s reputation, particularly in the U.S. Due to safety concerns with their tyres, 14 of the 20 cars, all equipped with Michelin tyres, withdrew after the parade lap. This left only six cars to compete, leading to Michael Schumacher‘s unfulfilling victory amidst rule changes that prohibited tyre changes during the race. Spectators, having paid hefty ticket prices, were left bewildered and angry. Minardi boss Paul Stoddart criticised the event, sympathising with the Michelin teams and expressing disappointment over the race’s legitimacy.

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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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