On This Day: 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

The 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will be the fifth race to be staged on 1st November. Three different countries have hosted a race on this day so far, with this weekend’s Grand Prix making Italy the fourth to do so.

Newly crowned World Champion Jenson Button races at the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Image: Yuriy Lapitskiy, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

The 1987 and 1998 Japanese Grands Prix, the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the 2015 Mexico Grand Prix are the four previous races held on 1st November. The 1987 Japanese Grand Prix was the first F1 race at Suzuka, the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was the first at Yas Marina Circuit and the 2015 Mexico Grand Prix was the first to be held on the new layout of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

While all four races have been won by different teams, all four were won from the front row of the grid, with the 1987 and 2015 events being won from pole. The other two races resulted in the polesitter retiring. Two World Champions have been crowned on 1st November: Nelson Piquet for the last time in 1987 and Mika Hakkinen for the first time in 1998. In each of the last two races held on November 1st, the winning team has scored a 1-2 finish. Meanwhile, McLaren are the only team to have finished on the podium three times on this date – but Ferrari, Red Bull or Mercedes could change that this weekend.

The 1987 Japanese Grand Prix saw the return of the event, ten years after it was last held at the Fuji Speedway. Fittingly, at Suzuka, the Honda test track, Nelson Piquet became the first driver to win the Drivers’ Championship in a Honda-powered car. The title had been decided by a crash in practice for Nigel Mansell, which put him out of action for the rest of the weekend. This race also featured Stefan Johansson finishing third for McLaren, recording the final podium for a TAG-Porsche engine. Meanwhile, the Alfa Romeo team name made its final appearance until the start of the 2019 season and Andrea de Cesaris set a new record for most consecutive retirements. He recorded his twelfth non-finish in a row!

Nico Rosberg won the Mexican Grand Prix on this day in 2015. Image: Luis urquiza, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Eleven years later, the 1998 Japanese Grand Prix was held on 1st November. This was the race in which Mika Hakkinen took his first World Championship victory. His title rival Michael Schumacher had been due to start from pole position, but he stalled on the grid so started from the back. The German ultimately retired from the Grand Prix. The race also marked the end of the road for the Tyrrell team, as well as the last outing for Goodyear tyres.

Formula 1 entered new territory on this day in 2009, as it held its first race in the United Arab Emirates. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was the first race to be held at dusk, and resulted in victory for Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull. Team-mate Mark Webber followed him home in second place, while Jenson Button rounded out the top three, providing Brawn GP with their final podium appearance on their final outing. It was also the last race for BMW engines and the last race for Toyota. Giancarlo Fisichella and Kazuki Nakajima also made their final appearances, while Jarno Trulli made the final refuelling pit stop on Lap 42. This was also the last race to award only ten points to the winner.

On 1st November 2015, Formula 1 returned to Mexico for the first time since 1992. Nico Rosberg, who had taken his 20th pole position, led home a Mercedes 1-2. Neither Ferrari driver was classified in the result for the first time since the 2006 Australian Grand Prix, over nine years previously.

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