What Happened On This Day May 6 In F1 History?

From Alain Prost claiming the 1984 San Marino Grand Prix by 14 seconds to Andrea Chiesa's brith in 1964 going on to a brief stint in F1 with the Fondmetal team in 1992.


By Ben Bush
Updated on May 8, 2024

Alain Prost Wins The 1984 San Marino Grand Prix
Alain Prost in the McLaren wins the 1984 San Marino Grand Prix

What happened on this day, May 6 in Formula 1 history? Find out interesting facts and stories about Formula 1 on this day.


Born on May 6 1905, René Dreyfus is one of the more notable French drivers before World War II. Throughout the 1930s, he became one of the leading drivers in racing and clinched the win at the 1930 Monaco Grand Prix driving a modified Bugatti, equipped with additional fuel tanks to eliminate pit stops. Despite the dominance of German teams like Auto Union and Mercedes, with many of the top drivers gravitating towards them, being Jewish, Dreyfus didn’t have that option. Nevertheless, he persisted and delivered commendable performances.

During World War II, Dreyfus enlisted in the French army and was later dispatched to the USA to compete in the 1940 Indianapolis 500, securing a respectable tenth position. However, France fell to invasion during his absence, compelling him to settle in America. Eventually, he returned to Europe with the US army post-war. While managing a restaurant in New York, he sporadically continued his racing pursuits.


Born May 6 1958, Tommy Byrne to this day is hailed as one of the greatest drivers who never fully realised his potential. Originating from a modest background in Ireland, he navigated his path into motorsport cobbling together funds through any available means to pursue his racing dream. When given the chance, Byrne showcased sheer brilliance, dominating the British junior categories with championship triumphs in Formula Ford and Formula 3.

His early trajectory coincided with that of Ayrton Senna, and many believed he was one of the few drivers whom the Brazilian genuinely regarded as a formidable rival. However, Byrne’s career took a downturn when he made a career error by joining the underfunded and painfully slow Theodore team in 1982. Disillusioned with Formula 1, despite a stint with Eddie Jordan’s F3 team in Europe the following year, he eventually relinquished his F1 aspirations and ventured to the United States to compete.

While Byrne secured several wins in American racing series, he never fully realised his potential in major motorsport competitions. Subsequently, he penned a candid autobiography titled “Crashed and Byrned,” offering insights into the ups and downs of his journey in the world of racing.


Born in Milan on May 6, 1964, Andrea Chiesa became an F1 driver for the Italian Fondmetal team in 1992. However, his time on the grid was short and was met with challenges only managing to to qualify for three out of the ten Grand Prix races he entered. To add to those woes he failed to finish one of those three races. Subsequently, he was replaced after the 1992 German Grand Prix by Eric van de Poele.


Alain Prost, driving for McLaren, clinched victory at the 1984 San Marino Grand Prix, crossing the finish line a comfortable 14 seconds ahead of Rene Arnoux in his Ferrari. This win bolstered Prost’s position in the drivers’ championship, stretching his lead to 11 points over Derek Warwick. Meanwhile, Elio de Angelis and Andrea de Cesaris engaged in a fierce battle for third place. However, de Cesaris encountered misfortune when his Ligier ran out of fuel on the penultimate lap, while de Angelis suffered a similar fate just as he began the final lap. Despite these setbacks, Prost secured a decisive win, leaving de Angelis to claim a podium finish despite the fuel issues.

Seen in:

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.

Latest Reads