On This Day: 2020 British Grand Prix

The 2020 British Grand Prix will be the seventh Formula 1 race to have been held on 2nd August, but the first not to have taken place in Germany.


Three different circuits have hosted the six German Grands Prix held on this date. The 1953 and 1964 races were held on the Nordschleife, the 1959 race was the only one to be held at AVUS, and the last three races held on 2nd August – in 1970, 1981 and 1998 – were all held at Hockenheim. Ferrari won all of the first three races held on this date, and took pole position in all of the first four. Half of the races held on this date have been won from pole position, with only the 1953 and 1981 events being won away from the front row.

In the first race held on 2nd August, the very first F1 World Champion Giuseppe Farina took his final career victory. Farina’s win is the oldest at which a driver has taken a victory single-handedly. The race also had 34 starters in total – the highest number of starters at any World Championship Formula 1 race.

There was a one-off occurrence on 2nd August 1959, as AVUS hosted the only Formula 1 race to be divided into two heats. It was the only F1 event to be held at the circuit. The meeting was marred by tragedy, as Jean Behra was killed in a support race. In the F1 race, Tony Brooks took his final pole position and his final win, while Dan Gurney celebrated his first podium finish. Elsewhere, Stirling Moss retired on the first lap of his 50th appearance.

Mika Hakkinen won the most recent race held on this date (Image: Paul Lannuier, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

The 1964 German Grand Prix weekend saw more tragedy, as Carel Godin de Beaufort was killed in practice for the event. There were two manufacturer milestones at this race, as Honda made their first appearance and Porsche made their last. A fifth place finish for Maurice Trintignant gave him the final two points of his career, while Eventual 1964 World Champion John Surtees won the event for Ferrari after he took the Scuderia’s 40th pole position.

 

Jacky Ickx would secure Ferrari’s 50th pole position exactly six years later. Formula 1 raced at Hockenheim for the first time on 2nd August 1970. That year’s posthumous World Champion Jochen Rindt won the event, taking the last win and points of his career before being killed just over a month later at the Italian Grand Prix. While one champion scored their last points, another scored their first. Emerson Fittipaldi’s fourth place for Lotus gave him the first points of his illustrious career.

At the 1981 German Grand Prix, Alain Prost would record his first podium finish, but it was the 1981 World Champion Nelson Piquet who secured the win in the end, finishing eleven seconds ahead of Prost. McLaren reached their 200th start at this race, while third place Jacques Laffite recorded Ligier’s 30th podium finish.

The most recent race held on this date is the 1998 German Grand Prix. After making it the 90th race to feature a McLaren driver on pole, Mika Hakkinen led home a McLaren 1-2, with Jacques Villeneuve finishing a close third. It was the second race held on the day to be won by less than a second. It was also the 600th race in which a Ferrari-powered car competed.

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