Friday, 1 August 2014

On This Day In Formula One - 1 August

Jean Behra died during the German Grand Prix at Avus in treacherous wet weather conditions. Behra lost control on the slippery surface and launched his Porsche over the top of the banking where there was no guard rail. He was thrown from his car and died instantly when he hit a flag pole, fracturing his skull. The French driver competed in 52 grands prix and collected nine podium finishes. Although he never won a race he was widely considered to be one of the best and most aggressive drivers of the era.
Jim Clark claimed his second World Championship after driving his Lotus to victory at the German Grand Prix. It was only the seventh race of the year, but it was Clark's sixth win of that Formula One season, emphasising just how dominant he was.

Lauda returned to racing six weeks after his near fatal accident at the Nurburgring.
Niki Lauda almost lost his life in a dramatic accident at the Nurburgring during the German Grand Prix in 1976. Lauda's Ferrari went off track and burst into flames before sliding back onto the track and getting hit by two other drivers. So bad was the accident that Lauda was read the last rites by a priest after he was pulled from the wreckage by fellow drivers who stopped to help. Astonishingly, Lauda recovered and was back behind the racing wheel just six weeks later. However, Formula One never raced on the Nordschleife course at the Nurburgring again.

Patrick Depailler was killed during testing for the German Grand Prix in 1980. Depailler's car suffered suspension failure and sent him crashing into the barrier of the circuit, inflicting him with fatal head injuries. From 95 race starts, Depailler claimed two victories and 19 podiums.

Eddie Irvine locks-up but wins the 1999 German Grand Prix.
Mika Hakkinen gave McLaren their 100th Formula One pole position at the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. However, it was Eddie Irvine's Ferrari that took the victory, with his third win of the season that meant he was leading the championship from Hakkinen by eight points. The world championship title was eventually taken by Hakkinen. It was also at the German Grand Prix of 1999 that Mika Salo claimed his first podium, finishing second behind his Ferrari team-mate Irvine.


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