F1 On This Day: 18th April

The 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will be the third Formula 1 race held on 18th April. It’s the day on which Red Bull recorded their first pole position, the day that a Russian driver scored for the first time and the day that F1’s only posthumous champion was born.

18th April Races in Stats:

  • In 2021, Imola will become the third different circuit to have hosted a Grand Prix on 18th April, after Montjuic and Shanghai International Circuit.
  • Neither race previously held on this day was won from pole – nor were either won from the top three on the grid.
  • The polesitter has scored in both races held on this day.
  • Both previous races were won by less than four seconds.
  • McLaren are the only team to record two podium finishes on this day. They finished first and second in the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix.
  • At least one British driver has finished on the podium in both previous races held on this day. Both races were won by British World Champions.

?? 1971 Spanish Grand Prix

The first race held on 18th April was the 1971 Spanish Grand Prix, which took place at the Montjuic circuit. The race saw the first victory for the Tyrrell team, with Jackie Stewart finishing ahead of Jacky Ickx’s Ferrari and almost a minute ahead of third-place Chris Amon, who recorded Matra’s 20th podium finish. It was the first appearance for Tyrrell’s 003 car, with Stewart having completed practice in the older spec 001. The race was notable for being the first Formula 1 race to feature slick tyres, which were introduced by American tyre manufacturer Firestone.

?? 2010 Chinese Grand Prix

Jenson Button took his second successive win of the 2010 season at the Chinese Grand Prix, held on 18th April. McLaren recorded a 1-2 finish at this event – the first 1-2 result for Button and Lewis Hamilton as team-mates and the first 1-2 for British drivers since the 1999 Austrian Grand Prix. It was also the first 1-2 for English drivers since the 1969 Monaco Grand Prix. With Nico Rosberg finishing third for the Mercedes works team, this was the first time that all three podium finishers were powered by Mercedes since the 1995 British Grand Prix. Also in this race, Vitaly Petrov finished in seventh place, recording the first points for a Russian driver in Formula 1.

Births & Deaths

Jochen Rindt, was born on this day in 1942. The Austrian won six Grands Prix in his curtailed career. He died as the result of a crash during practice for the 1970 Italian Grand Prix. Having won five of the races in the 1970 season, his points lead proved to be uncatchable and he was crowned Formula 1’s first – and only – posthumous World Champion at the 1970 United States Grand Prix.

Bob Drake died on this day in 1990. The American made only one appearance at a Formula 1 race, in the 1960 United States Grand Prix held at Riverside International Speedway. Drake qualified in 22nd place and finished the race in thirteenth place. Significantly, Drake’s appearance was made in the legendary Maserati 250F – a car which won eight races between 1954 and 1958. Prior to his only F1 appearance, Drake appeared in the 1959 film On The Beach – in which he played Fred Astaire’s stunt double. He’d go on to do stunts in films throughout the rest of his life. The last film he was involved in was Short Circuit in 1986 at the age of 66, four years prior to his death.

24-time Grand Prix starter Anthony Davidson was born on this day in 1979. Davidson raced for Minardi, BAR and Super Aguri during his F1 career, before winning the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2014.

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