What Happened On This Day May 27 In F1 History?

From Juan Manuel Fangio's fearless drive at the 1951 Swiss Grand Prix to Michael Schumacher's reputation left in tatters at the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix.


By Ben Bush
Updated on June 14, 2024

Michael Schumacher's Rascasse antics
Michael Schumacher's Rascasse antics caused controversy at the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix.

What happened on this day, May 27 in Formula 1 history? Find out interesting facts and stories about Formula 1 on this day.


Piers Courage, born in Colchester on May 27, 1942, was the heir to the Courage brewing empire and educated at Eton. While his inheritance funded his early motor racing days, he soon proved talented enough to earn a drive for Lotus. After a series of teams and several good results, he was tragically killed at the 1970 Dutch Grand Prix on 21 Jun 1970.


Robin Widdows, born on May 27, 1942, in Uxbridge, England, participated in his only Grand Prix at the 1968 British Grand Prix. His first love was bobsleigh, representing Great Britain in the two and four-man bob at the 1964 and 1968 Winter Olympics. He also held the record for the fastest time on the famous Cresta Run in 1965.


Juan Manuel Fangio delivered a brilliant drive in appallingly wet conditions to win the 1951 Swiss Grand Prix, cementing his reputation. Autosport wrote, “His fearless passage through the circuit’s innumerable fast bends gained him the sincere admiration of all, elevating him still higher in the ranks of Grand Prix drivers.” Fangio had been haunted by running over a black cat during a reconnaissance drive the night before the race. “I had resisted the temptation to let myself be dragged down by superstition,” he said.


Jody Scheckter led the 1979 Monaco Grand Prix from start to finish, narrowly beating Clay Regazzoni by less than a car length, with Carlos Reutemann trailing by less than eight seconds in third. John Watson was the only other car to complete the full distance.


Ayrton Senna, starting from pole, was one of the few drivers to avoid a mass first-lap pile-up at 1990 Monaco Grand Prix, caused when Gerhard Berger collided with Alain Prost. On the restart, Senna again dominated, building up enough of a lead to nurse his ailing engine home. Derek Warwick appeared set for his team’s first championship points of the season until he took his foot off the clutch to ease his cramp and stalled his Lotus.


Michael Schumacher’s victory at the 2001 Monaco Grand Prix was marred by a pit-lane dispute involving McLaren boss Ron Dennis, who denied claims that he had threatened Enrique Bernoldi’s career after accusing him of holding up David Coulthard. Bernoldi had held off Coulthard for 35 laps after Coulthard started at the back of the grid due to stalling during the formation lap. Bernoldi recounted, “Ron and Norbert [Haug] came up to me after the race in the pit-lane. They were very aggressive. They told me ‘if you continue to drive in that sort of way again, you are not going to be in F1 for very long’. I was very scared, they were very aggressive.” Dennis countered that Arrows had instructed their driver to block Coulthard to ensure more television exposure, stating, “It was quite a while after the race when I talked to him and I was cool, calm and collected and I was not angry. I just told him that in my opinion it was unsporting behavior.”


One of the lowest points in Michael Schumacher‘s career occurred during the qualifying session at the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix. He was found guilty of deliberately obstructing other drivers in the final moments. Richard Williams of the Guardian reported, “The stewards’ ruling confirmed the belief of most observers than he had feigned a loss of control, halting his Ferrari on the track and stalling its engine in order to impede the efforts of rivals who were making a last effort to displace him from pole position,” Schumacher’s defence was unconvincing: “I have to admit that certain things must have looked a bit curious from the outside but there were reasons for that and I don’t really want to elaborate on it. It’s not really anyone else’s business even.”


Lewis Hamilton remained joint leader of the drivers’ championship after finishing second for the fourth time in his debut season at the 2007 Monaco Grand Prix on May 27, behind his McLaren teammate and double world champion Fernando Alonso. “It’s my first season in Formula One and here I am finishing second, so I can’t complain,” Hamilton said. It marked McLaren’s 150th F1 win and their 14th at Monaco.

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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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