What Happened On This Day June 4 In F1 History?

From Nino Farina winning the 1950 Swiss Grand Prix to David Coulthard's win at Monaco in 2000.


By Ben Bush
Updated on June 14, 2024

David Coulthard McLaren 2000 Monaco Grand Prix
David Coulthard wins the 2000 Monaco Grand Prix for McLaren.

What happened on this day, June 4 in Formula 1 history? Find out interesting facts and stories about Formula 1 on this day.


Nino Farina won the 1950 Swiss Grand Prix ahead of Luigi Fagioli, repeating Alfa Romeo‘s dominance from the first round of the championship a week earlier. Once again, Juan Manuel Fangio‘s Alfa failed to finish. The Ferraris of Alberto Ascari, Gigi Villoresi, and Raymond Sommer were expected to challenge the Alfas but were all forced to retire. Fangio took an early lead but was overtaken by Farina on lap seven, with the Alfas securing the top three positions. As the Ferraris struggled, Prince Bira moved into fourth, only to be overtaken by Philippe Etancelin’s Talbot Lago during a pit stop. Factory Talbot Lago driver Eugene Martin crashed heavily on the 19th lap, seriously injuring himself. Etancelin retired with gearbox trouble on the 25th lap, and Fangio retired seven laps from the end, leaving factory Talbot Lago driver Louis Rosier to take third ahead of four Maseratis.


The most successful engine in Formula One history, the V8 Cosworth DFV, made a triumphant debut in the back of Jim Clark‘s Lotus 49 at the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix. This engine pioneered four-valve-per-cylinder technology and was used in various forms until the 1985 season. It powered 12 drivers’ championships and 10 constructors’ championships, as well as securing two Le Mans 24 Hours victories and 10 Indy 500 wins. At an overcast Zandvoort, Clark started from the third row after qualifying issues. However, after teammate Graham Hill retired, Clark surged through the field and won comfortably by 25 seconds over Jack Brabham. This marked a fantastic start for Cosworth and the beginning of a new era in Formula One.


Due to safety concerns at Spa Francorchamps, the 1972 Belgian Grand Prix moved to a new circuit near Brussels called Nivelles. Although it was safer, its straightforward layout failed to inspire drivers and spectators compared to the public roads of the Ardennes Mountains. The race saw Emerson Fittipaldi easily take the win after overtaking the fast-starting Clay Regazzoni on lap 31. Fittipaldi won by over 20 seconds as Regazzoni fell down the order and eventually crashed into Giovanni Galli’s slow-moving Tecno. Nivelles hosted one more Grand Prix in 1974 before Zolder took over until Formula One returned to a shortened Spa Francorchamps in the mid-1980s.


Mario Andretti won the 1978 Spanish Grand Prix, finishing ahead of his Lotus teammate Ronnie Peterson. James Hunt initially took the lead but was soon overtaken by the dominant Lotus 78 cars. Despite a poor start that dropped him to ninth, Peterson fought back to secure second place.


Alain Prost won the 1989 US Grand Prix in Phoenix after his main competitors, Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell, retired. Alex Caffi was on course for a podium finish and a career-best result in the BMS Scuderia Italia but was taken out by his lapped teammate Andrea de Cesaris. Prost crossed the line 40 seconds ahead of Riccardo Patrese and American Eddie Cheever.


David Coulthard achieved his first career win at the 2000 Monaco Grand Prix after Michael Schumacher retired with a cracked exhaust. Coulthard had qualified third and ran in that position for much of the race. He moved up to second when Jarno Trulli retired with gearbox issues but was still trailing Schumacher by 40 seconds before the Ferrari retired. Coulthard was delighted with the result, saying, “I have always said that there are a few Grands Prix which are very special to me, and Monaco is definitely one of them. The track is probably the most technically challenging, and I’m very happy both for the team and myself. I have felt confident all weekend and the car was very good throughout the race.”

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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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