Sunday, 3 August 2014

On This Day In Formula One - 3 August

Nobody knew it at the time, but this was last day of racing at the iconic Brooklands circuit, ending a brief but glorious 32 years as Britain's home of motorsports. As the outbreak of war the land was taken over by the Vickers aircraft company who used it to build airplanes such as Spitfires. Sections of the banking were demolished, meaning that after the war the venue could not be returned to its pre-war state.

Peter Collins was killed at the Nurburgring during the German Grand Prix after he ran wide and caught a wheel in a ditch. His Ferrari somersaulted across the track and Collins was thrown into a tree and he died later that day from his head injuries. Collins was a favourite of Enzo Ferrari after giving up his car for team-mate Juan Manuel Fangio at the Italian Grand Prix in 1956, when Collins himself still had a chance of becoming champion.

Montoya on the top step of the podium.
Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya claimed a hat-trick of pole position, fastest lap and victory at the German Grand Prix in 2003. The best that Michael Schumacher could achieve at his home race that year was seventh, but he did leave the weekend still leading the championship by six points.

Felipe Massa was cruelly denied the win at the Hungarian Grand Prix when after his engine blew three laps from the end and he coasted to a halt on the pit straight. Starting from third on the grid, Massa stormed down to the first corner and took the lead which he maintained throughout the race before having the victory taken from him through no fault of his own. This left Heikki Kovalinen to claim his maiden race win for McLaren. Lewis Hamilton had claimed pole the day before, which was his 10th career pole.

Nelson Piquet crashes into the barriers at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
Source: Sutton Images.
The first action in a chain of events which led to the Crashgate scandal came when Renault sacked Nelson Piquet Junior after a season-and-a-half in which his best finish had been seventh. "A manager is supposed to encourage you, support you, and provide you with opportunities," Piquet raged. "In my case it was the opposite. Flavio Briatore was my executioner." Piquet and his father were to have their revenge.


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