On This Day: 2020 Steiermark Grand Prix

The 2020 Steiermark Grand Prix will be the fifth Formula 1 race to be held on 12th July, after the 1987, 1992 and 1998 British Grands Prix and the 2009 German Grand Prix.

Fans invaded the track after Mansell’s victory at the 1992 British Grand Prix. (Image: Steve Gregory, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0)

The 2020 Steiermark Grand Prix will be the first Formula 1 race held on 12th July to take place in Austria. Of the four previous races on this date, three were held at Silverstone, while the 2009 German Grand Prix was held at the Nurburgring.

Nigel Mansell is the only driver to have won multiple races held on this date, having won the British Grand Prix in both 1987 and 1992. He is also the only driver to have taken multiple podium finishes on this date, though Sebastian Vettel could change that at the 2020 Steiermark Grand Prix. As a result of Mansell’s wins, Williams are the only team to have won multiple races on this day. Every race held on this day aside from the 1998 British Grand Prix has featured a 1-2 finish for the winning team. Every race held so far on 12th July has been won from the front row of the grid, with the 1992 British Grand Prix and the 2009 German Grand Prix being won from pole position. The polesitter has never failed to finish in the top two on this date.

The first race held on this date was the 1987 British Grand Prix, which is the only race held on 12th July where the top three on the grid have all gone on to finish on the podium. The 1987 race at Silverstone is memorable for Nigel Mansell’s pursuit of Williams team-mate Nelson Piquet. The Brazilian led the first 62 laps of the race, but with three laps remaining, Mansell was hot on his heels having broken the lap record no less than eight times in one afternoon. Mansell passed the other Williams on lap 63, much to the delight of the home crowd. Ayrton Senna – who finished third for Lotus – led the Drivers’ Championship after the 1987 British Grand Prix. It’s the only time that the driver who led the championship after a race on this date did not go on to win that year’s title.

Mansell was once again on top form at home on this day in 1992, as he took victory in the British Grand Prix once again. Mansell is the only driver who has won a race on this date who has gone on to win that year’s World Championship. His Silverstone victory in 1992 was the 28th Grand Prix win of his career, which was a new record for most wins for a British driver, overtaking Jackie Stewart. It was also in this race that future British champion Damon Hill made his race debut, After qualifying 26th, Hill finished 16th.

The most recent British Grand Prix held on 12th July was in 1998, when Michael Schumacher won the race in the pit lane. Schumacher had been handed a stop/go penalty for passing a car under Safety Car conditions and served it at the end of the final lap – after crossing the finish line. A dispute followed and Schumacher had a time penalty added to his race time – which did not affect the race result. The penalty was later rescinded, and the three stewards involved were axed. Mika Hakkinen finished second in the race, while Schumacher’s Ferrari team-mate Eddie Irvine came home in third.

Most recently, the 2009 German Grand Prix was held on 12th July. This race resulted in a maiden victory for Red Bull’s Mark Webber, who had started from pole for the first time. Webber took the victory despite serving a drive-through penalty during the race for an incident with Lewis Hamilton on the run to the first corner. It was the first time an Australian driver had won a Grand Prix since Alan Jones was victorious at the 1981 Caesars Palace Grand Prix. This was also the last race for Sebastien Bourdais, who was replaced by Jaime Alguersuari before the next round in Hungary.

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