F1 On This Day: 10th October

10th October is the day on which F1 was forced to qualify and race on the same day in both 2004 and 2010, and the day that Ferrari clinched the title in 1976. The 2021 Turkish Grand Prix will be the fourth Formula 1 race to take place on 10th October.

10th October Races in Stats:

  • Every previous race on this date has been won from pole position by the driver who won the World Championship in that year.
  • The driver who started second also finished second in all three previous races on 10th October.
  • Ferrari won the Constructors’ Championship on this day at the 1976 Untied States Grand Prix. The 2004 Japanese Grand Prix is the only dead rubber F1 race to have been held on this date.
  • No driver has recorded multiple podium finishes on 10th October – Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso could become the first to do so at the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix.
  • There is yet to be a race on this date in which more than sixteen cars have reached the chequered flag. Both previous Japanese Grands Prix held on this date had sixteen cars running at the end of the race.
  • A Ferrari driver has appeared on the podium in every race held on this date.
  • Red Bull became the first team to record a 1-2 finish on this date at the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix.

1976 United States Grand Prix

The United States Grand Prix took place on this day in 1976. With the United States Grand Prix West having been held earlier in the season at Long Beach, America became the first country to host two World Championship Grands Prix since Italy 1957 (though America had last hosted two rounds of the Championship with the Indianapolis 500 and the United States Grand Prix in 1960).

The Watkins Glen race was the penultimate race in a tense 1976 championship season. Niki Lauda led the Drivers’ Championship by eight points heading into the race, but James Hunt took victory and cut Lauda’s lead to just three points with one race remaining. Lauda’s third place in this race was enough to secure Ferrari the Constructors’ Championship for a second successive year.

Despite the previous race in Canada having taken place only a week earlier, there were a number of driver changes ahead of the United States Grand Prix. Warwick Brown replaced Chris Amon who was injured in qualifying at the Canadian race. This would be Brown’s only F1 appearance. He finished five laps down on the race winner, suffering with losses of gear and braking issues. Alex Ribeiro made his maiden F1 appearance at Hesketh, while Henri Pescarolo made his final outing.

2004 Japanese Grand Prix

After all of Saturday’s action at the 2004 Japanese Grand Prix was cancelled due to Typhoon Ma-on, both qualifying and the race took place on this day. On their 50th Grand Prix appearance, it was a time of change for Toyota at their home event, with Jarno Trulli making his first appearance with the team and Olivier Panis making his final outing.

Due to rain in qualifying, some drivers benefited from setting lap times in the dry while others had no choice but to lap in the wet. The weather caused some surprises on the grid – most notably Ralf Schumacher and Mark Webber starting inside the top three.

Michael Schumacher won the race from pole position. This was Schumacher’s thirteenth and final victory of the year. His tally of thirteen wins in the 2004 season remains a record for most wins in a year. Behind him in second place was his brother Ralf. This was the fifth and final time that the Schumacher brothers recorded a 1-2 finish in F1. BAR, who were celebrating their 100th race start, finished with both cars in the top four. Jenson Button recorded the tenth podium finish of his career, while Takuma Sato delighted his home fans with fourth place.

2010 Japanese Grand Prix

It was a similarly busy day at Suzuka on 10th October 2010, with qualifying taking place on the Sunday morning before the Japanese Grand Prix. On Saturday at Suzuka, overnight rain had left the circuit looking more like a river than a race track. Just two cars set a lap time in Free Practice 3 and qualifying was subsequently rescheduled for Sunday morning. Sunday was much drier, and Sebastian Vettel started from pole position. He went on to win the race, leading home a 1-2 finish for Red Bull. There was drama ahead of the race for Lucas di Grassi, who suffered a heavy crash on his way to the grid. The Brazilian driver failed to start the race as a result.

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