What Happened On This Day May 25 In F1 History?

From Niki Lauda's win at the 1975 Belgian Grand Prix to Lewis Hamilton's comeback drive at the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix.


By Ben Bush
Updated on June 18, 2024

Lewis Hamilton McLaren 2008 Monaco Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton wins the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix with McLaren.

What happened on this day, May 25 in Formula 1 history? Find out interesting facts and stories about Formula 1 on this day.


Niki Lauda guided his Ferrari to victory at the 1975 Belgian Grand Prix on May 25 despite a rocky start. Starting from pole, he initially lost position to Brabham’s Carlos Pace and then dropped to third behind the March of Vittorio Brambillia. However, Lauda quickly overtook Pace and pursued Brambillia, passing him by lap six. From that point, he remained unchallenged for the lead. Jody Scheckter worked his way up to third, and when Brambillia pitted for fresh tyres, Scheckter moved into second place. Carlos Reutemann in the second Brabham eventually finished third.


Nigel Mansell recovered from an early spin in his Williams to win the 1986 Belgian Grand Prix on May 25, finishing just under 20 seconds ahead of Ayrton Senna in the Lotus. A chaotic start saw Alain Prost and Gerhard Berger collide and shuffle the order, with Williams’ Nelson Piquet avoiding the accident to lead the pack ahead of Senna and Mansell. Mansell overtook Senna to trail his teammate, only for Piquet’s turbo to blow on lap 16. Although a spin on lap five dropped Mansell behind both Senna and Stefan Johansson’s Ferrari, he re-passed Senna during mid-race pit stops and maintained a comfortable lead to the finish.


Jacques Villeneuve won the 1997 Spanish Grand Prix from start to finish but almost came under threat from a charging Olivier Panis in a Prost. The high tyre wear rate at the Circuit de Catalunya meant Panis’s Bridgestone-shod Prost outperformed the Goodyear runners around him. His lap times were fast enough that he could have challenged Villeneuve if not for the lapped Eddie Irvine holding him up. Despite the blue flags, Irvine, who was trying to back Panis into the clutches of Jean Alesi and his Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher, later received a stop-go penalty for his actions.


Ferrari secured a lucrative three-year sponsorship deal with Vodafone worth £110 million. At the time, the mobile phone giant also sponsored Manchester United and the England cricket team as it aimed to boost its presence in sports. The Ferrari deal lasted until 2006 when Vodafone switched its sponsorship to McLaren.


Lewis Hamilton staged a remarkable comeback to win the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix, finishing ahead of Robert Kubica and Felipe Massa. After hitting a barrier early on, Hamilton had to pit to replace a tyre, but he fought back impressively through the field. His efforts were aided significantly by a safety car, a drive-through penalty for Kimi Raikkonen, and Felipe Massa running wide on an escape road. Despite these advantages, Hamilton’s exceptional skill in wet conditions was a decisive factor. He was the first Englishman to win at Monaco since Graham Hill in 1969.

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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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