On This Day: 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix

The 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix will be the seventh Formula 1 race to be held on 13th September. While this will be the seventh race to be held in Italy on this day, it will be the first not to be held at Monza.

Six Italian Grands Prix have been held on this day in history, in 1953, 1959, 1981, 1992, 1998 and most recently in 2009. In all six races, the driver who won the Grand Prix failed to go on and win that year’s title. A different driver and team has won all six races and Ferrari are the only repeat polestitters on this day, having taken pole for both the 1953 and 1998 Italian Grands Prix. Meanwhile, Michael Schumacher is the only driver to have finished on the podium in multiple races held on this day, finishing third in the 1992 race and winning the 1998 event. Schumacher’s 1998 win is one of only two on this day to have come from pole position, the other being Stirling Moss’ victory for Cooper in 1959. In the other four races held on 13th September, the polesitter has retired. In each of the last two Italian Grands Prix held on this day, the winning team has secured a 1-2 finish; Ferrari did so in 1998 and Brawn GP did so in 2009.

Michael Schumacher celebrates his victory at the 1998 Italian Grand Prix. (Image: Michael Cooper, ALLSPORT / CC0 1.0)

The first race to be held on 13th September was the 1953 Italian Grand Prix, which was the last World Championship event to be run to Formula Two regulations. Italian drivers Luigi Musso and Umberto Maglioli made their first World Championship appearances in this race, while Yves Giraud-Cabantous and Hans Stuck made their final outings. Juan Manuel Fangio won the race in dramatic fashion, overtaking Alberto Ascari on the final corner as the Ferrari driver ran wide and spun. Fangio’s win was the first victory for Maserati in Formula 1. Ferrari filled the next three finishing positions, with Luigi Villoresi finishing in the top three for the last time in his career.

Six years later, F1 raced at Monza on 13th September again. The race was won by Stirling Moss, who closed Jack Brabham’s championship lead to less than six points – ensuring the title battle would go to the wire, with Brabham, Moss and Tony Brooks vying for the 1959 Drivers’ Championship at the United States Grand Prix.

The next race held on this date was in 1981, when Formula 1 returned to Monza after a two year absence. The gap is the longest between races at Monza in F1 history. The circuit had undergone renovations in 1980, meaning that the Italian Grand Prix was instead held at Imola. At the 1981 Italian Grand Prix, Rene Arnoux took pole position, but it was his Renault team-mate Alain Prost who took victory. The race was notable for providing Carlos Reutemann with the final Fastest Lap of his career, while Toleman qualified for a race for the first time – with Brian Henton going on to finish tenth.

Eleven years later, Nigel Mansell and Williams turned up to the Italian Grand Prix having already won the titles – making the 1992 Italian Grand Prix the only dead rubber race to be held on this day. Mansell would secure the 70th pole for a Renault engine on Saturday, but it was Ayrton Senna who secured Honda power’s 70th win on the Sunday. Senna’s team-mate Gerhard Berger finished fourth in this race, making it the only race held on this date in which the driver who started from fifth failed to finish on the podium.

Rubens Barrichello took his final victory at the 2009 Italian Grand Prix. (Image: ravas51, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

There was a Formula 1 first on the next race to be held on this date as, at the 1998 Italian Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher and Ralf Schumacher became the first brothers to share a podium. Michael Schumacher led home a Ferrari 1-2, with team-mate Eddie Irvine in second place, while Ralf Schumacher finished third for Jordan. Schumacher’s win was the final win for a car equipped with Goodyear tyres. With Schumacher winning the race and title rival Mika Hakkinen fourth, the pair were equal on points after the weekend.

The most recent Formula 1 race to be held on 13th September was the 2009 Italian Grand Prix. The race was won by Rubens Barrichello, who took the final win and podium of his career. It also remains the most recent time that a Brazilian driver has won a Grand Prix, as well as the final victory for 2009 Constructors’ Champions Brawn GP. Having secured their first pole position the previous weekend, Force India set the Fastest Lap of a race for the first time, with Adrian Sutil securing the only Fastest Lap of his career. The race is perhaps best remembered for Lewis Hamilton’s crash in the closing stages. The incident brought out the Safety Car, making it the third time a race officially finished under Safety Car conditions – even though the Safety Car didn’t actually appear on the circuit.

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