What Happened On This Day June 26 In F1 History?

From Ferrari's $1 million penalty at the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix to calls for Max Mosley's resignation in 2005 after the US Grand Prix.

Lee Parker

By Lee Parker
Updated on June 25, 2024

Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 2002 Austrian Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello caused controversy for Ferrari on the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix podium.

What happened on this day, June 26 in Formula 1 history? Find out interesting facts and stories about Formula 1 on this day.


Ferrari received a $1 million penalty for violating podium protocol at the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix. During the race, Rubens Barrichello allowed his teammate Michael Schumacher to pass him, ensuring Schumacher’s win. However, the controversy escalated on the podium when Schumacher, in an effort to calm a disapproving crowd, urged Barrichello to join him on the top step. Although team orders were permitted at the time, the FIA imposed the fine on Ferrari for the podium incident rather than for manipulating race outcomes. Bernie Ecclestone, at the time, commented, “There are team orders in bicycle racing and whatever. I don’t think we should change it. It’s a team event. In this case it didn’t make any difference to the constructors’ championship and as you can now see it didn’t make any difference to the world drivers’ championship either.”


As the 2003 season progressed, McLaren faced significant challenges with its new car, the MP4-18, which failed another crash test on this day, June 26, 2003. Initially intended as the team’s car for 2003, it became apparent during pre-season trials that it was unsuitable for racing due to numerous unexplained crashes, overheating issues, and crash test failures. Consequently, McLaren opted to compete with a modified version of their 2002 car, the MP4-17, now designated as the MP4-17D. This updated model competed throughout the season, narrowly missing the drivers’ championship by just two points with Kimi Raikkonen as the lead driver. The MP4-18 was ultimately abandoned, but its core design principles were integrated into the subsequent MP4-19 and MP4-19B models, with the latter claiming victory at the Belgian Grand Prix. A chassis of the MP4-18, tested by David Coulthard in 2003, was later installed in McLaren’s simulator.


On this day in 2005, Max Mosley largely dismissed calls for his resignation following the problematic 2005 US Grand Prix, where only six cars competed due to safety issues with Michelin tyres. Minardi boss Paul Stoddart, whose team was one of the few participants, suggested Mosley should resign after it was rumoured that a solution for the tyre issue was blocked by a single team and the FIA just hours before the race began. Racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart also advocated for Mosley’s resignation. However, the FIA president was unfazed, remarking, “It doesn’t particularly bother me. My predecessor [Jean-Marie Balestre], when he had a conflict like this [in the FIA versus FOCA war] – and I must say I was on the other side with the teams – we used to ask him to resign on an hourly basis. He never took any notice. The fact is that the referee is often unpopular, it’s something you can’t avoid.” Asked what his response would be if the teams demanded he quit, Mosley said: “I’d take not the slightest notice. I’m not here to try to be friends with the teams, I’m here to see that Formula One is run safely and fairly and that the rules are observed and it’s the same for everyone.”

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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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