What Happened On This Day May 16 In F1 History?

From a Ferrari one-two at the 1976 Belgian Grand Prix to another one-two finish at the 1999 Monaco Grand Prix.


By Ben Bush
Updated on May 21, 2024

Ferrari 1-2 1999 Monaco Grand Prix
Schumacher and Irvine secure a Ferrari 1-2 at the 1999 Monaco Grand Prix.

What happened on this day, May 16 in Formula 1 history? Find out interesting facts and stories about Formula 1 on this day.


On May 16, 1909, Luigi Villoresi, a pre- and post-war driver, was born in Milan. Although he never secured an F1 race win, Villoresi achieved significant success in non-championship Grand Prix races, winning dozens of them. Notably, he won in the Targa Florio twice, in 1939 and 1940, and claimed victory in the Mille Miglia in 1951. During his Formula 1 career, he predominantly drove for Ferrari, earning eight podium finishes and scoring a total of 49 points. Villoresi was a close friend and mentor to two-time champion Alberto Ascari, recognising his talent early on. After Ascari’s death in 1955, Villoresi briefly retired from racing but returned in 1956 to drive for Maserati in Formula One. He permanently retired from Formula 1 in 1957 and then pursued rallying, winning the Acropolis Rally in Greece in 1958.


On May 16, 1976, Ferrari took home a one-two finish at the 1976 Belgian Grand Prix in Zolder. Niki Lauda led the race from pole position, with teammate Clay Regazzoni following from second on the grid. The main contender to challenge the Ferraris was James Hunt in the McLaren, but his effort was cut short by a transmission failure. Meanwhile, Emerson Fittipaldi’s choice to race his own car that season came under scrutiny when the two-time champion (1972 and 1974) failed to qualify for the race.


Michael Schumacher secured a Ferrari one-two finish at the 1999 Monaco Grand Prix on May 16, after pole-sitter Mika Hakkinen‘s challenge in the McLaren faded. Schumacher had a brilliant start off the grid, leading into the first corner and maintaining his lead throughout the race. Hakkinen, initially racing Schumacher for first, soon found himself defending second place from Eddie Irvine in the sister Ferrari. A mistake at Saint Devote sent him up an escape road, causing him to lose the position to Irvine who came home in second. Schumacher’s win, his 16th with Ferrari, cemented his status as the most successful driver in the team’s history.


On May 16, 2008, amid revelations about his private life, FIA president Max Mosley asserted that his departure could jeopardise the governing body’s control over Formula 1. Mosley emphasised his vital role in negotiations with Bernie Ecclestone and F1’s commercial rights holders regarding the sport’s future. He stated,: “It would be irresponsible, even a breach of duty, to walk away from (them).” He eventually stood down at the end of his term in 2009 and was replaced by his preferred successor, Jean Todt.

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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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