F1 On This Day: 2nd May

The 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix will be the third F1 race held on 2nd May. It’s the day on which Hunt was disqualified after winning the Spanish Grand Prix before being reinstated as the race winner and the day that Badoer set a new unwanted record in 1999.

2nd May Races in Stats:

  • In 2021, Algarve International Circuit becomes the third track to host a Grand Prix on 2nd May. Other tracks to have done so are Jamara, in 1976, and Imola, in 1999.
  • McLaren have started on pole position in each of the previous two races on this date – each time with the driver who would go on to win that year’s title.
  • James Hunt won from pole in 1976, while Michael Schumacher won from third on the grid in 1999.
  • Neither previous race on this date has featured more than thirteen drivers crossing the finish line.
  • While McLaren won and Ferrari finished second in 1976, Ferrari won and McLaren finished second in 1999.
  • A British McLaren driver has finished on the podium in both previous races on this day.
  • In both previous races on this day, the final podium position has been taken by a driver starting outside of the top five on the grid.
  • After the previous two races on this day, the Drivers’ Championship was led by a driver who had previously won the title – but both would fail to win the title that season.

1976 Spanish Grand Prix

James Hunt crossed the line first on this day in 1976 at the Spanish Grand Prix, but would be disqualified from the result after his McLaren was found to be 1.5cm too wide in a post-race scrutineering check. After an appeal by the team, Hunt was eventually reinstated as the winner of the event two months later. Behind him on the podium were title rival Niki Lauda and Swedish driver Gunnar Nilsson who recorded the first points of his career with his maiden podium finish. It was only his third Grand Prix appearance.

Tyrrell’s famous six wheel F1 car made its first Grand Prix appearance on this day in 1976. Driven by Patrick Depailler, the Frenchman qualified the six wheeler in third place but retired from the race. The car would go on to win the Swedish Grand Prix later that year at the hands of Jody Scheckter – but the South African driver left the team at the end of the season, calling the P34 “a piece of junk”.

Finishing in fifth place, Chris Amon recorded the final points finish of his career. It was the last time that a driver from New Zealand would score in F1 until Brendon Hartley finished tenth at the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 42 years later.

1999 San Marino Grand Prix

The San Marino Grand Prix was held at Imola on this day in 1999. At the event, both Sauber and Rubens Barrichello celebrated their 100th race starts, and it would be a successful afternoon for Barrichello, who finished in third place for the Stewart team. At the front, Michael Schumacher took victory for Ferrari, with David Coulthard finishing just less than five seconds behind.

Luca Badoer set an unwanted record at this event. He became the first driver to start 35 Grands Prix without scoring a point, overtaking previous record holder Brett Lunger. Badoer still holds the record for most appearances without scoring a point, having made his 51st and final appearance at the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix. Read more: Most F1 Races Without Scoring A Point.

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