The 70th Anniversary Grand Prix will be only the second Grand Prix to be held on 9th August, after the 1987 Hungarian Grand Prix.
The only other Formula 1 race to take place on this day was the 1987 Hungarian Grand Prix. This was the second race to be staged at the Hungaroring and Nigel Mansell’s pole position marked the 25th time that Williams had started a Grand Prix from pole.
The weekend was also notable for its off-track shenanigans. Ayrton Senna announced his intention to leave the Lotus team at the end of the season, while Nelson Piquet was announced as Lotus’ new driver for 1988. It was Piquet who would take victory in the race from third on the grid, with team-mate Mansell retiring after losing a wheel nut six laps from the chequered flag. The podium was made up of three World Champions – with Senna, who had not yet won a title, finishing second, and Alain Prost, the reigning champion, finishing third.
Aside from races, three qualifying sessions have taken place on 9th August. No driver who took pole on this day went on to win the Grand Prix. On this day at the 1980 German Grand Prix, Alan Jones took the final pole position of his career. In 1986, qualifying for the first Hungarian Grand Prix took place, with Ayrton Senna taking pole and Lotus therefore setting a new record for most pole positions for a team – a record which has been surpassed by four teams since. The most recent qualifying session to take place on this date was for the 1997 Hungarian Grand Prix. Michael Schumacher took pole position ahead of championship rival Jacques Villeneuve, but there was a surprise name in third place with Damon Hill setting a highly competitive time in the Arrows. The reigning champion would go on to lead most of the race on the following day, but a late race hydraulic failure meant that he ultimately finished nine seconds behind Villeneuve.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its sixth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and GPDestinations. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.