What Happened On This Day June 2 In F1 History?

From the death of Bruce McLaren in 1970 to one of Michael Schumacher's most dominant wins at the 1996 Spanish Grand Prix.

Ben

By Ben Bush
Updated on June 17, 2024

Michael Schumacher 1996 Spanish Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher wins the 1996 Spanish Grand Prix.

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

1956

Dutch Formula One driver and sportscar stalwart Jan Lammers was born June 2, 1956, in Zandvoort. His F1 career spanned two separate stints a decade apart. From 1979 to 1982, he raced for backmarker teams Shadow, ATS, and Theodore before making an ill-fated return for two races with March in 1992. Impressively, his professional racing career stretched 37 years, from 1973 to 2009, during which he won several championships in various categories, including the Renault 5 Turbo Cup and the World Sports Car Championship.

1970

Four-time Grand Prix winner and legendary constructor Bruce McLaren died on this day, June 2, 1970, while testing one of his Can-Am cars at Goodwood. McLaren was speeding down the Lavant Straight when a rear piece of bodywork failed, causing him to crash into a marshal’s post and die on impact.

In 1958, he became the youngest driver at the time to win an F1 race, securing victory in Sebring at just 22 years old. He went on to win three more Grand Prix: in Argentina in 1960, Monaco in 1962, and at Spa Francorchamps in 1968 in a car of his own design.

McLaren founded Bruce McLaren Motor Racing in 1963, which continues today as one of the most successful teams ever under the Team McLaren name. During his lifetime, his team found significant success in the Can-Am Series, winning five championships between 1967 and 1972. In 1969, McLaren M8Bs won all 11 races that season, including two 1-2-3 finishes led by McLaren himself. Another notable achievement was winning the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours in a Ford GT40 with fellow New Zealander Chris Amon.

1991

Nigel Mansell experienced a major mishap on the final lap of the 1991 Canadian Grand Prix. Dominating the race in his Williams, he began waving to fans in celebration as he approached the long back straight. This caused the revs of his Renault V10 engine to drop too low, stalling the car and ending his race with less than a mile to go. Nelson Piquet, his old rival, seized the opportunity to win. Piquet later remarked, “With a couple of laps to go, I slowed down. The track was very dirty and I wanted to make sure of my second place. Then, on the last lap, the team came on the radio, saying ‘Push, push… Nigel is stopping’. It was a big surprise – a nice surprise.”

1996

Michael Schumacher delivered one of the most defining performances of his career at the 1996 Spanish Grand Prix, winning the rain-soaked race by 45 seconds over Jean Alesi. It was his first victory with Ferrari, long before the team produced the dominant cars that earned him five titles from 2000 to 2004. His best lap was an astounding 2.2 seconds faster than anyone else’s, firmly establishing him as the field’s top driver in wet conditions.

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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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