On This Day In F1 – Sato’s Super Aguri Overtook Alonso’s McLaren – WTF1

On This Day In F1 – Sato’s Super Aguri Overtook Alonso’s McLaren

1990 Canadian Grand Prix
Gerhard Berger won the race on the track, but unfortunately he’d made the mistake of jumping the start, which in those days came with a hefty post-race one-minute time penalty. Berger’s lead at the end of the race was more than 45 seconds, but even that wasn’t enough to keep him on the podium and he ended up being classified fourth. Ayrton Senna was promoted to victory ahead of Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell.

2001 Canadian Grand Prix
Ralf Schumacher triumphed for Williams with a classic refuelling era victory – he sat behind leader Michael Schumacher for pretty much the entire race. Then, when Michael came in for his stop first, Ralf banged in a few quick laps, emerged from his own stop in the lead, and went on to win by more than 20 seconds. It was a significant result – it was the first time two brothers had finished first and second in any FIA world championship event.

2007 Canadian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton’s first F1 win came in a race littered with safety car periods – one for an absolutely colossal accident involving Robert Kubica. The Pole was attempting to pass Jarno Trulli but ran into the back of the Toyota at the kink before the hairpin, sending his car into a frightening series of barrel rolls. The car disintegrated around him and his feet were left hanging out of the end of the nose. Remarkably, all he suffered was a concussion and a sprained ankle and ended up missing just a single race.

As Hamilton won the race ahead of Nick Heidfeld and Alex Wurz, Fernando Alonso had a bit of a nightmare. He’d gone off the circuit trying to pass Hamilton at the first corner and then the number of safety cars (four in total) ended up working against his strategy. This left him on a less favourable tyre compound at the end of the race, allowing Takuma Sato – who’d run the entire race brilliantly for Super Aguri – to pass him for sixth place in the closing stages.

2012 Canadian Grand Prix
The 2012 season reached a streak of seven different winners from the first seven races when Lewis Hamilton won in Canada. It was a classic high-deg Pirelli race which saw Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel running first and second as the race entered its closing stages – albeit on older, worn tyres. Hamilton had the benefit of fresher rubber and was able to sweep past the pair of them in the last 10 laps and win his first race of the year. Vettel slipped to fourth at the end while Alonso dropped to fifth, thanks to Romain Grosjean charging through to second and Sergio Perez third for Sauber – from 15th on the grid.

2018 Canadian Grand Prix
The Canadian GP has a reputation for producing exciting races but there are always exceptions – and 2018 was about as boring as races anywhere can come. Sebastian Vettel won from Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen, while Daniel Ricciardo beating Kimi Raikkonen off the line and then jumping Lewis Hamilton in the pit stops was the only change of position among the top six.

Vic Elford (born 1935) started his career in rallying before moving into sportscars and eventually Formula 1, where he started 13 races between 1968 and 1971. Always most at home on the Nordschleife, where his rallying experience helped him to memorise the circuit, his best result actually came on his F1 debut at the 1968 French GP, where he finished fourth.

Peter Ryan (born 1940) was an incredibly promising young Canadian driver who finished ninth in his only F1 race, the 1961 US GP. Tragically, the following year he died in a Formula Junior race, just as he was beginning to catch the eyes of the major European teams.

Dave Walker (born 1941) made his debut with Lotus in the 1971 Dutch GP before joining the team full-time the following year as Emerson Fittipaldi’s teammate. However, the season was a disaster – as Fittipaldi won the championship at a canter, Walker failed to score so much as a single point, with a best result of ninth in the Spanish GP. At the end of the year he went back to racing in Formula 2 before retiring from racing altogether a few years later.

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