F1 On This Day: 29th August

29th August is the date on which James Hunt won a Grand Prix on his birthday, the day that the 1982 Swiss Grand Prix took place in France and the day on which Michael Schumacher won his seventh title. The 2021 Belgian Grand Prix will be the seventh F1 race held on 29th August.

29th August Races in Stats:

  • The Netherlands, France and Belgium have played host to F1 races on this day. Spa Francorchamps has hosted all of the last four races on this day.
  • None of the previous six races on this day have been won from pole position. All but two were won from second on the grid.
  • Despite their low win rate, the polesitter has failed to finish on the podium only twice on 29th August.
  • McLaren and Williams are the only teams to have won races on this date. While Williams have won twice, McLaren have won four times – including all three of the last races on this day.
  • Wins on this date have been shared between only British and Finnish drivers.
  • The 1999 Belgian Grand Prix is the only race on this date in which a team has scored a 1-2 finish.
  • The 1999 Belgian Grand Prix is also the only race on this day to have been won by a margin of over five seconds.
  • Half of the races held on this date have had all three drivers who started in the top three on the grid finishing on the podium.

1976 Dutch Grand Prix

On this day in 1976, James Hunt became the first Formula 1 driver to win a Grand Prix on his birthday. The feat has been repeated only once since, by Jean Alesi at the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix. Hunt had started in second place on his 29th birthday. Ronnie Peterson started from pole position, recording the final pole for the March team. While Peterson led for the first eleven laps, Hunt took over at the front for the rest of the afternoon thereafter.

Swedish driver Conny Andersson made his only F1 start at this Grand Prix. After setting the second slowest time in qualifying, he raced just nine laps before retiring. He went on to appear at four race weekends in 1977, but failed to qualify at any event. Similarly, Boy Hayje made the first of a handful of Grand Prix starts and retired from the race. Of the six Grands Prix at which he appeared in the following season, he started only two.

1982 Swiss Grand Prix

The 1982 Swiss Grand Prix took place on this day – though the race was held in France, rather than Switzerland. Motor racing was still banned in Switzerland following the Le Mans disaster in 1955. This race was held at Dijon and was won by Keke Rosberg. This was the Finnish driver’s first win, as well as the only victory he would take in his championship winning season. Rosberg is the only driver in F1 history to have won just a single Grand Prix at the time they won their first title. His victory was also the first for a Finnish driver in F1.

The 1982 Swiss Grand Prix was the second of three races which Ferrari entered but did not start – as well as the most recent race in which no Ferrari drivers competed. Following the death of Gilles Villeneuve earlier in the season, Patrick Tambay took over the Canadian’s car. Didier Pironi had suffered career-ending injuries in qualifying for the German Grand Prix, so Tambay was the team’s only entry for this race. However, the Frenchman was unable to compete at the Swiss Grand Prix having pinched a nerve in his back. Ferrari left the withdrawal of their only driver so late that their reserve driver Chico Serra was unable to take his place.

1993 Belgian Grand Prix

Damon Hill took a second successive victory on this day in 1993 at the Belgian Grand Prix. Alain Prost had led the first thirty laps of the race, but a slow second pit stop for the Frenchman saw him drop behind team-mate Hill. On his recovery drive, Prost tried to make gains on Michael Schumacher in second place. Though his fight was futile, Prost set a new lap record in his pursuit of the Benetton driver, recording the Fastest Lap of a Grand Prix for the 40th time.

Hill claimed Williams’ 70th Formula 1 victory, while Prost’s third place was the team’s 170th podium finish. It was the 50th win for a Renault powered car. Meanwhile, Johnny Herbert – who finished fifth – recorded the final points for a Lotus chassis, while Thierry Boutsen made his final race appearance. His last race, on home turf with Jordan, did not go to plan. He retired after less than half a lap with gearbox issues.

1999 Belgian Grand Prix

Mika Hakkinen started from pole position for the twentieth time in his career on this day in 1999 at the Belgian Grand Prix. At the first corner, Hakkinen and McLaren team-mate David Coulthard made light contact and it was Coulthard who emerged ahead. The Scotsman went on to lead every lap of the race on his way to victory. While Coulthard recorded his 30th podium finish, Hakkinen’s second place moved him into the lead of the Drivers’ Championship, one point ahead of Eddie Irvine.

2004 Belgian Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher won the F1 title for a seventh and final time on this day in 2004. At Ferrari’s 700th Grand Prix appearance, Schumacher finished as runner-up to McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen – which was all the German needed to do to secure the title for a fifth consecutive year.

Also in this race, Christian Klien finished in sixth place, recording the first points of his career as well as the final points for the Jaguar team. Olivier Panis’ eighth place would also be the final time he scored in F1.

2010 Belgian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton won the Belgian Grand Prix on this day in 2010. Mark Webber started the race from pole position, but suffered a slow start and dropped to sixth by the first corner. Webber recovered to second place, while Robert Kubica made the final podium appearance of his career with a third place finish.

The race was held in changeable conditions and the conditions caught out almost all the drivers at the end of Lap 1, with nearly everyone running wide through the final corner. Rubens Barrichello was eliminated from the race after hitting the rear of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari. There was further drama at the same corner later in the race, as Sebastian Vettel collided with Jenson Button. While the McLaren driver retired, Vettel was able to continue – albeit to finish well outside of the points.

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