What Happened On This Day June 3 In F1 History?

From Juan Manuel Fangio's near-certain victory at the 1956 Belgian Grand Prix to Senna's frustrating end to the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix.


By Ben Bush
Updated on June 2, 2024

Ayrton Senna Toleman 1984 Monaco Grand Prix
Ayrton Senna in the Toleman at the rain-soaked 1984 Monaco Grand Prix.

What happened on this day, June 3 in Formula 1 history? Find out interesting facts and stories about Formula 1 on this day.


Transmission failure dashed Juan Manuel Fangio‘s near-certain victory at the 1956 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps, handing the win to his Ferrari teammate, Peter Collins. Fangio had dominated all weekend but lost ground at the start due to excessive wheelspin, dropping to fifth as Stirling Moss took the lead. Over five laps, Fangio surged through the field, reclaiming his position at the front. As the track dried, Moss struggled to keep pace and lost a wheel at Eau Rouge, spinning off the circuit at high speed. Remarkably uninjured, Moss jogged back to the pits and took over Cesare Perdisa’s car. Fangio led comfortably until gearbox problems forced him to retire. Collins then took the lead, securing the win ahead of Paul Frere. Moss impressively climbed back to third, sharing points with Perdisa.


German privateer Erwin Bauer tragically died racing a Ferrari sports car at the Nurburgring after the checkered flag had been waved. Bauer, unaware that the race had ended, crashed during what should have been a slow down lap. He had gained prominence by finishing fourth at the Nurburgring 1000km in 1954 with an unfancied Lotus, a remarkable result for the fledgling marque. Bauer’s only F1 race was in a privately-entered Veritas at the Nurburgring, but he lasted just over a lap before his engine failed.


Graham Hill had to wait another year for his first of five eventual Monaco Grand Prix victories after being forced to retire from a commanding lead in the 1962 Moncao Grand Prix. Bruce McLaren, who had been running a distant second, eventually claimed his third career win. Jim Clark, the pre-race favourite, was caught in Willy Mairesse’s first-corner accident, dropping him down the field. Hill battled for the lead with McLaren and began extending his advantage significantly. Clark closed in on Hill after recovering to second but was forced to retire due to a clutch problem. Hill seemed poised for victory with a substantial lead over McLaren but succumbed to reliability issues and retired with just seven laps remaining.


Jackie Stewart won the 1973 Monaco Grand Prix, marking the 25th victory of his career and tying Jim Clark’s record. He capitalised on Ronnie Peterson’s reliability issues to take the win, with Emerson Fittipaldi finishing second and Peterson recovering to third. The race also marked James Hunt’s world championship debut, where he impressively drove from 18th to sixth, only to be halted by a Cosworth engine failure in his Hesketh-entered March.


In just 31 laps at the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, two of Formula One’s brightest stars, Ayrton Senna and Stefan Bellof, showcased their exceptional talent. They chased down McLaren’s Alain Prost for the lead, outdriving their cars in torrential rain. Nigel Mansell initially took the lead from Prost but crashed out five laps later as the rain intensified. When second-place Niki Lauda also crashed, Senna closed in on Prost at an astonishing pace. Senna’s Toleman slid gracefully through each corner, cutting into Prost’s lead with every lap. Meanwhile, Bellof, starting from the back of the grid, rapidly gained on both. Prost repeatedly signalled to race director Jacky Ickx to stop the race due to the worsening conditions. The red flag was finally shown at the end of lap 31, leaving Senna and Bellof frustrated. What might have happened if the race had been allowed to continue is still a hotly debated topic in F1 history.

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About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush

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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