F1 On This Day: 6th June

On 6th June, Jim Clark made his F1 debut and John Watson won in Detroit from seventeenth on the grid. The 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix will be the third World Championship F1 race held on 6th June.

6th June Races in Stats:

  • Neither of the two previous races held on this date have been won from pole position.
  • The win margin in both previous races on this day has been over 15 seconds.
  • No team has recorded more than one podium finish on this date – though McLaren and Ferrari could change that in 2021.
  • Three of the six podium finishes on this date have been for British drivers.
  • No more than eleven cars reached the chequered flag in the two previous races on this day.

1960 Dutch Grand Prix

The Dutch Grand Prix took place on this day in 1960. It is one of only six World Championship Grands Prix (not including the Indianapolis 500) which were held on a Monday. The race was marred by a crash involving Dan Gurney, which killed a young spectator who was standing in a prohibited area.

The 1960 Dutch Grand Prix is also notable for the maiden appearance of future double World Champion Jim Clark. He replaced Lotus’ driver John Surtees, who was competing at the Isle of Man TT race. Clark qualified in eleventh position and would retire from the race with transmission issues after the halfway point when running inside the top five.

Stirling Moss took pole position, but reigning World Champion Jack Brabham led the race from start to end, finishing over twenty seconds ahead of second-placed Innes Ireland and almost a minute ahead of Graham Hill. Both Ireland and Hill recorded the first podium finishes of their career.

1982 Detroit Grand Prix

Formula 1 raced in Detroit for the first time on this day in 1982. The build up to the first race at the circuit had been dogged by a myriad of issues – mainly because the track was in no fit state to be raced on. Barriers were not up to standard, escape roads were not long enough and the tyre walls were insufficient. The circuit was not ready until 4pm on Friday – meaning that there was a single hour of practice that evening before two qualifying sessions on Saturday.

Reigning World Champion Nelson Piquet failed to qualify for the race. It was the first time in his F1 career that he failed to qualify – and something which he’d do only once more, seven years later at the 1989 Belgian Grand Prix. He failed to qualify due to engine issues in both his car and the spare car in the first qualifying session and rain in the second.

Alain Prost took pole position for Renault and led the opening stint of the race – which was interrupted by a red flag period. Keke Rosberg took over the lead on Lap 23 but John Watson was flying through the field. Having started seventeenth, he passed three cars in a single lap to make his way up to second. He managed to close a thirteen-second gap and take an unlikely win – setting a new record for the furthest back grid position from which a Grand Prix had been won (not counting the Indianapolis 500, which Bill Vukovich won from nineteenth in 1954).

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