One-win wonders — every F1 driver with a single GP victory to their name

F1

For most F1 drivers, winning a grand prix is a fantasy that's never fulfilled. For others, their first victory is the gateway to further glory. And then there are those who experience the top step of the podium just once in their careers: these are the drivers with just one grand prix win

Pastor Maldonado points his finger on the podium after winning 2012 Spanish Grand Prix

Maldonado joined the select list of one-time GP winners in Spain, 2012

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In Formula 1‘s 73-year-long history, 113 drivers have stood on the top step of the podium. Many have gone on to win multiple grands prix and even championships but not all have been so successful. Bested by their team-mates, shackled by lacklustre machinery, affected by life-threatening injuries and sometimes simply not good enough, they have never been able to repeat their greatest day in racing.

Excluding one-off Indy 500 winners (the race was included in the championship from 1950-’60), the list of F1’s single-time grand prix winners runs to 27 drivers — their number recently increased thanks to Lando Norris’s first F1 win in Miami.

Here are grand prix racing’s one-hit wonders, starting with the most recent. Click on a name to jump to the entry or scroll down to read each one.

 

Drivers who have won only one F1 grand prix

2024: Lando Norris
2022: George Russell 2021: Esteban Ocon
2020: Pierre Gasly 2012: Pastor Maldonado
2008: Robert Kubica 2008: Heikki Kovalainen
2004: Jarno Trulli 1996: Olivier Panis
1995: Jean Alesi 1989 Alessandro Nannini
1977: Gunnar Nilsson 1975 Vittorio Brambilla
1975 Jochen Mass 1975: Carlos Pace
1972: Jean-Pierre Beltoise 1971: Francois Cevert
1971: Peter Gethin 1966: Ludivico Scarfiotti
1965 Richie Ginther 1964: Lorenzo Bandini
1961: Innes Ireland 1961: Giancarlo Baghetti
1959: Jo Bonnier 1956: Luigi Musso
1952: Piero Taruffi 1951: Luigi Fagioli

 


Lando Norris
2024 Miami Grand Prix

Lando Norris lifted into the air by his McLaren team after winning the 2024 F1 Miami Grand Prix

Norris is lifted into the air by euphoric McLaren team after debut F1 win in Miami

Grand Prix Photo

After numerous heartbreaking defeats, luck finally swung Lando Norris’s way in Miami. The horizon had looked bleak for those following in the wheeltracks of Red Bull and Max Verstappen in 2024, off the back of a dominant 2023 season, but McLaren and Norris had the measure of the world champions in Miami.

His charge to the front from fifth on the grid, helped by the addition of a well-timed safety car on lap 30, paid back the previous bad luck he’d had in 2021 at Monza — where he missed out to team-mate Daniel Ricciardo — and Sochi — where late rainfall forced him to fall down the order with a handful of laps to go.

Once ahead of Verstappen in Miami, Norris’s pace continued to impress, meeting the chequered flag seven seconds clear of the trailing field — securing a long-overdue win in the process.

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George Russell
2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

In a season which looked winless for Mercedes, George Russell captured his first victory at the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil, with team-mate Lewis Hamilton finishing second to complete an unlikely 1-2 finish for the team.

Having left his long-term post at Williams at the end of 2021, replacing Valtteri Bottas for the 2022 season, Russell had set his sights on a title bid with a team that looked poised to continue fighting at the front of the F1 grid, but found himself on the back foot in a temperamental car.

He still captured seven podiums in the run-up to Interlagos where he won his first sprint race, lining him up on pole position for Sunday’s Grand Prix – Hamilton alongside him.

After a safety car restart on lap seven, Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided, allowing Russell to cruise to a relatively uneventful first win.

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Esteban Ocon
2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

Esteban Ocon with the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix winners trophy

Amid the Hamilton-Verstappen battle, Ocon picked up his first race win in 2021

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The Hungaroring brought a shock result in 2021, triggered by treacherous conditions at the start, during which Valtteri Bottas misjudged his braking and caused a big collision heading into Turn 1 on the opening lap.

This put himself, Sergio Perez and two others out of the race while, also caught up in the mayhem, Verstappen was forced to compete with a heavily damaged car. Conditions then dried up rapidly but Mercedes misjudged this and kept Hamilton on the intermediate tyres while everybody else went to slicks under the red flag.

The Mercedes driver then had no option but to pit after a lap of racing and he rejoined at the back of the pack while Ocon took lead. Sebastian Vettel was in second but the Alpine driver had enough pace to hold him off. The only driver with the pace to challenge for first was Hamilton, but he had an almighty task ahead.

Cutting through the field rapidly, he reached Ocon’s team-mate at which progress stalled. In a monumental defence, Fernando Alonso kept the seven-time world champion behind him in fifth for 12 laps. By the time Hamilton eventually muscled through, it was too late: he couldn’t make it up to Ocon in time, and the Frenchman clinched the first victory for the Enstone team since Kimi Räikkönen‘s 2013 Australian Grand Prix win.

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Pierre Gasly
2020 Italian Grand Prix

Pierre Gasly sits on the Monza podium

At just 26-years-old, will Gasly eventually add to his tally of one race win?

Grand Prix Photo

Pierre Gasly’s tale is a story of redemption. Following an impressive rookie season in 2019, he was rewarded with a big move to Red Bull. That stint, however, ended after just 12 races and he was demoted back to Toro Rosso. This here though he rediscovered his mojo and was standing on the podium in Brazil before the season end.

The following season, amid a global pandemic, Gasly was able to go one better with a fantastic victory in Monza after many of the front-runners had a race to forget. Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Vettel all retired, while Lewis Hamilton fell foul to a team error.

It was Gasly’s chance to shine. On lap 19, Kevin Magnussen‘s Haas came to a halt, causing a safety car. Luckily for Gasly he’d already pitted the lap before, having been pulled in by his AlphaTauri team while mired in the midfield.

Due to Magnussen stopping close to the pit entry, the pitlane was closed the moment the safety car was deployed so marshals could retrieve his stricken Haas – but Hamilton and Mercedes jumped the gun coming in straight away when no cars were permitted to do so.

As a result the then-reigning champion was given a penalty, as the pitlane re-opened and most others piled in.

This bumped Gasly up to third behind Hamilton and Lance Stroll. When the race restarted, Leclerc crashed heavily at Parabolica and the race was now stopped.

At the standing restart, Gasly got the better of Stroll and slotted into second, with only Hamilton ahead. When the Mercedes man pulled into the pits to serve his penalty, Gasly took the lead and fended off a surging Carlos Sainz to take a famous debut win by 0.4sec.

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Pastor Maldonado
2012 Spanish Grand Prix

12 SPA MAL

Incident-prone Maldonado held his nerve at Spain 2012

DPPI

With sometimes reckless behaviour on the track that earned him his own ‘Did Maldonado Crash?’ feed, and a maligned status as a pay driver, Pastor Maldonado wasn’t often taken seriously.

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But the Venezuelan has experienced serious success in motor racing. In 2004, he became Italian Formula Renault 2.0 champion and finished third in the 2006 Formula Renault 3.5 championship. He also won the 2010 GP2 championship, beating Sergio Perez, Jules Bianchi and other future F1 stars.

After delivering a brilliant lap time good enough for second in qualifying for Spain 2012, Maldonado inherited pole position when Lewis Hamilton failed to return an adequate fuel sample to the FIA and was ordered to start at the back of the grid.

Up to this point in the season Williams had been in poor form, but upgrades made to the car worked just as the team intended.

At the race start Maldonado fell behind Alonso, but aced his in-lap/out-lap on the second round of pit stops to snatch back the lead.

From here he soaked up relentless pressure from the double-world champion, sailing over the line which confounded and delighted those watching in equal measure.

His form didn’t continue in to the following season, though, when he was regularly out-qualified by rookie team-mate Valtteri Bottas. A move to Lotus in 2014 brought him alongside Romain Grosjean who also outshone him.

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Robert Kubica
2008 Canadian Grand Prix

08 CAN KUB

Kubica: a brilliant F1 talent with just a single win to his name

Grand Prix Photo

Robert Kubica became the first Polish driver in F1 when he signed for BMW Sauber in 2006. A fantastic driver who could have achieved highly behind the wheel of a more capable car, Kubica started 99 races and found the podium 12 times, with one pole position and fastest lap.

At the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix, his BMW’s nose was lifted into the air by a broken front wing, and unable to brake or steer, it hit the concrete wall and ricocheted into the opposite barrier at a speed of 186.49mph. The car was destroyed, Kubica’s feet visible at the end of the broken machine

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The resulting concussion forced the Pole to miss the subsequent US GP, but just one year later in Canada, the Pole was back at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and this time, in a storyline worthy of Hollywood, he attained his only F1 race win.

Some competition was eliminated when Lewis Hamilton failed to heed a red light in the pit lane, the McLaren rear-ending Kimi Räikkönen’s Ferrari, with Nico Rosberg also crashing into the pair.

This handed Kubica the lead, heading team-mate Nick Heidfeld home to score a BMW Sauber 1-2, the first time a German constructor had won a grand prix since 1962.

The Pole’s F1 career would ultimately peak on that day. He suffered a near-fatal crash at the 2011 Ronde di Andora Rally and spent years recuperating before an F1 return in 2019 with Williams, an unremarkable stint which ended in disappointment.

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Heikki Kovalainen
2008 Hungarian Grand Prix

CEL

In a year of disappointment, there was still one positive for Kovalainen

To drive opposite a world champion would feel like a dream to many of us, but it isn’t all that great when you are actually doing it and find yourself constantly overshadowed. Such was the fate of Heikki Kovalainen. The highly-rated Finn replaced Fernando Alonso at McLaren in 2008, and many thought this would be his big break – but his team-mate and future world champion Hamilton outdid him at every step.

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A McLaren front-row lockout saw Hamilton starting from pole at the 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix. Felipe Massa took the lead in the opening laps, and in a race Hamilton would probably like to forget, he dropped down the order and finished fifth.

Kovalainen however was in second and closing the gap to Massa when the latter’s Ferrari engine failed with three laps remaining. The Finn capitalised on this to take his only grand prix win.

Leaving McLaren for the backmarker Lotus team in 2010, Kovalainen would never again experience such success in grand prix racing.

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Jarno Trulli
2004 Monaco Grand Prix

CEL

Despite the win, Renault dropped Trulli before the end of the 2004 season

Qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix is one of the greatest tests an F1 driver will ever face and the results are crucial to the following day’s race where overtaking has long been virtually impossible.

So in securing pole for the 2004 race with a 1min 13.985sec lap — then the fastest around the circuit — Jarno Trulli could already start dreaming of the win. That narrative was made easier on the day when only 10 drivers finished the race, having retired due to engine problems, crashes, and other reliability gremlins. The safety cars kept coming out but Trulli kept composed and drove brilliantly.

Jenson Button was closing in on the Renault driver but there was no way past and Trulli took his maiden win by half a second. He was so overwhelmed that team-mate Fernando Alonso had to answer on his behalf during the post-race interviews.

Shortly after, however, Trulli fell out of favour with team boss Flavio Briatore and moved to Toyota – he would never win again in F1.

 


Olivier Panis
1996 Monaco Grand Prix

Olivier Panis, Grand Prix of Monaco, Circuit de Monaco, 19 May 1996. Olivier Panis celebrating his victory in the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix. (Photo by Paul-Henri Cahier/Getty Images)

Panis with pure elation after famous Monaco win

Paul-Henri Cahier/Getty Images

Frenchman Olivier Panis drove in F1 for ten seasons but won only one race in the strangest of circumstances: the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix, when only four cars took the chequered flag.

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Rain began to fall on Sunday, so a fifteen-minute session was added for drivers to get used to the soaked track.

In a race which went to the two-hour maximum for a grand prix, pole-sitter Michael Schumacher crashed into the wall, as did Jos Verstappen. The two Minardis collided, whilst Jordan team-mates Rubens Barrichello and Martin Brundle both spun. A Sunday afternoon battle of attrition, only four cars remained at the end.

Panis started 14th on the grid, but after a series of brave passing moves, timing his only pitstop to perfection, and switching to dry tyres at just the right moment meant he inherited the lead when Jean Alesi retired late on. A Frenchman winning in a French car at Monaco sent the home crowd wild. This would also be the last victory by a driver under the Tricolore until Pierre Gasly’s win at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.

 


Jean Alesi
1995 Canadian Grand Prix

95 CAN ALE

Alesi: a mercurial talent with one F1 win to his name

Grand Prix Photo

Jean Alesi announced himself in F1 as soon he made his mid-season debut with Tyrrell in 1989, finishing fourth in his first race at Paul Ricard before dicing for the US GP lead with Ayrton Senna in 1990. The Frenchman would never capitalise on his god-given talent though, driving for Ferrari in one of its fallow periods.

But a driver with immense talent and an underperforming car is a sure bet to win the heart of fans, and so it was with Alesi. His final career tally was 32 podiums, two pole positions, four fastest laps, and one grand prix win.

That victory came at the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix where Alesi drove the No27 Ferrari, a number shared by local legend Gilles Villeneuve. He was running close behind Michael Schumacher during the race, and it appeared that the dominant world champion would win.

But gearbox problems for the German’s Benetton forced him into the pits and Alesi seized the moment. This was also on his birthday, the French-Canadian crowd cheering on a driver they felt more than a little affinity with.

Alesi’s Ferrari ran out of fuel on the warm-down lap, but Schumacher pulled over and offered him a ride to the pits. Alesi would take more podiums for the Scuderia and Benetton, but would never again stand on the top step again.

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Alessandro Nannini
1989 Japanese Grand Prix

89 JAP NAN

Nannini: just the sole win before the accident which ended his F1 career

Grand Prix Photo

Alessandro Nannini was not entirely happy with how he won his only F1 race.

To this day, the 1989 Japanese Grand Prix is overshadowed by the clash between McLaren team-mates Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, that saw the latter become champion — and Nannini win the race.

Nannini was sixth on the starting grid, whilst Senna was on pole but fell behind Prost at the start. The Brazilian stayed there until lap 40, diving up the inside at the final chicane. Prost turned in and the infamously two collided.

It was the end of the Frenchman’s race but Senna restarted his car, overtook Nannini and eventually finished first. He was then controversially disqualified for rejoining the race via an escape road, handing Prost the title and Nannini the race.

“I must say, I would prefer to win by actually crossing the line in first place,” commented Nannini afterwards.

A year after his victory, he was involved in a horrifying helicopter crash which severed his right forearm, ending his GP career.

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Gunnar Nilsson
1977 Belgian Grand Prix

ACT

It could have been so much more for Gunnar Nilsson

Gunnar Nilsson would join the club one one-win-wonders when his life was cruelly cut short by cancer in 1978.

From the archive

In just his third race for Lotus, Nilsson finished third, proving that he was a promising young racer. A year later, he would take his only win at the 1977 Belgian Grand Prix. He started third on a track that was wet due to rain earlier in the day. With only 15 drivers finishing the race, the Swede passed Niki Lauda for the lead, beating the legend at his own game. This race was also the only F1 race in which two Swedes shared the podium, with Tyrell’s Ronnie Peterson coming in third.

Nilsson signed for Arrows in 1978 but never raced due to his cancer being determined terminal. His legacy lives on in the form of The Gunnar Nilsson Cancer Treatment Trust Fund. The Times’ obituary read: “He was perhaps the most naturally gifted of the new generation of grand prix drivers.”

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Vittorio Brambilla
1975 Austrian GP

75 AUS BRAM

Brambilla mastering the Österreichring in ’75

Grand Prix Photo

It was at the 1975 Austrian Grand Prix that Vittorio Brambilla, nicknamed ‘The Monza Gorilla’, took his sole victory.

Championship contenders Niki Lauda and James Hunt were on the front row, but the rainy conditions did not favour the former, who eventually fell down to sixth. Hunt had no such issues initially: he led from Patrick Depailler as Brambilla jumped to third.

As the weather worsened, so Brambilla moved to the front, snatching the lead from Hunt as he hesitated behind a backmarker.

Drivers continued to struggle: Mario Andretti span off, and when Jochen Mass followed him on lap 29, the race was called off.

Brambilla saw the flag being waved on the start / finish straight and, taken aback by its premature arrival, lost control of his March. He slid into the barriers before bouncing back across the track and then limping around his victory lap with the damaged car.

Brambilla would never step on the podium again, but his lone F1 win will live long in the memory.

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Jochen Mass
1975 Spanish Grand Prix

ACT

Mass winning was not the biggest talking point of that weekend

There are strange circumstances that lead to victory,, like Brambilla’s win in 1975, and then there are grim circumstances. Jochen Mass’s only grand prix victory was the latter.

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The 1975 Spanish Grand Prix was chaotic. First, the drivers were furious that barriers were not bolted together properly which resulted in them protesting and refusing to participate in practice. During the race, a four-way collision and an oil leak causing cars to spin sent many of the racers packing. Mass, who started from 11th on the grid, somehow escaped the chaos. But that was not the end of it.

On lap 26 of the scheduled 75, Rolf Stommelen’s rear wing broke which sent him flying over the barrier at a speed of 150mph. The German broke his leg, wrist and ribs, but the accident resulted in the death of five spectators. The race continued for another four laps before being called off, during which Mass took the lead and remain there for the conclusion of one of the darkest weekends in F1 history.

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Carlos Pace
1975 Brazilian Grand Prix

Carlos Pace, Brabham-Ford BT44B, Grand Prix of Brazil, Interlagos, 26 January 1975. Carlos Paceon his way to victory in the 1975 Brazilian Grand Prix. (Photo by Bernard Cahier/Getty Images)

Pace took victory at the circuit which would eventually be named after him

Bernard Cahier/Getty Images

Carlos Pace‘s F1 career lasted five seasons until his tragic death in an aircraft accident in 1977. Having participated in 73 grands prix, he stood on the podium six times, started from pole once, and won the race that perhaps mattered most: his home grand prix at Interlagos.

Pace qualified sixth on the grid and was trailing behind for the majority of the race. With eight laps remaining, long-time leader Jean-Pierre Jarier’s Shadow suffered mechanical issues and had to retire, victory falling into Pace’s hands. It was also a local 1-2 as Brazilian team-mate Emerson Fittipaldi finished second.

Almost a decade after Pace’s death, the circuit was renamed from ‘Autódromo de Interlagos’ to ‘Autódromo José Carlos Pace’ in 1985.

 


Jean-Pierre Beltoise
1972 Monaco Grand Prix

ACT

Monaco giving yet another driver their first and only victory

Jean-Pierre Beltoise racked up 11 French national titles in motorcycling before making the move to F1 in 1967, showing himself as a promising talent but, up until May 1972, without a win to show for it.

That changed in the pouring rain of Monaco when Beltoise, from fourth on the grid, made what Motor Sport described as a “do-or-die effort” at the start, screaming into the lead on the inside of the first corner, Saint Devote.

It was the crucial move of the race. With a clear track ahead of him, and churning up clouds of spray in his wake, Beltoise pulled out a huge lead. Sliding on the slippery track, his greatest threat was a self-inflicted crash, but he kept his BRM between the barriers and crossed the line with a 38 second lead, having set the fastest lap in torrential conditions. But while he was hungry for more, he barely came close to another victory. He eventually grew tired of losing and retired from the sport after three seasons with BRM.

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Francois Cevert
1971 United States Grand Prix

POR

Cevert’s career is a story of ‘what-if’

Talent and promise must run in the family when you have two brothers-in-law on the same list. Beltoise’s blue-eyed brother-in-law Francois Cevert burst onto the scene as defending champion and team-mate Jackie Stewart’s protégé in 1970.

In his second season with Tyrell, Cevert showed just how good he was, standing on the podium three times and winning at Watkins Glen thanks to a stellar example of teamwork. Stewart was leading the race when his tyres started to degrade. Cevert caught him and closed the gap between the two. Stewart realised that the Frenchman’s tyres could withstand the heat and waved him by on lap 14. The reigning champion fell down the order as Cevert cruised over the finish line to take home his first and only win.

Motor Sport’s race report was titled: “Cevert’s forst Formula 1 victory” with the clear implication that more were to come. That would surely have been the case, had it not been for a fatal crash at the same circuit two years later. During qualifying for the 1973 US Grand Prix, Cevert died instantly after his car flew into the barriers.

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Peter Gethin
1971 Italian Grand Prix

1971 Italian Grand Prix Peter Gethin BRM

Gethin was declared the winner after Monza photo finish

Grand Prix Photo

There have been close runs to the line in modern F1 but nothing that has yet beaten the photo finish at the 1971 Italian Grand Prix, which to date remains the closest end to a Formula 1 race.

It was also a historic moment for Peter Gethin who bested the fastest of the pack (by an airtight 0.01sec) and won his only grand prix — not a bad accolade, considering Motor Sport readers voted it the greatest F1 race in the series’ history.

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We’ve already covered the action extensively, but suffice to say, the Monza race broke up into high-speed packs and, as it reached its conclusion, Gethin, Francois Cevert, Mike Hailwood, Ronnie Peterson were furiously slipstreaming and dicing for the lead.

The battle raged right to the finish line, where Gethin led the other three past the flag within two-tenths of a second of each other.

But that was it for the BRM driver. A series of retirements that resulted in zero podiums led to him leaving F1 for good in 1974.

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Ludovico Scarfiotti
1966 Italian Grand Prix

ACT

Scarfiotti was a winner in both F1 and Le Mans

Ludovico Scarfiotti had vowed never to race in a grand prix again after injuring his leg in the 1963 French Grand Prix, but reversed that decision to return in 1964. It would lead to the only world championship grand prix win of his career two years later.

The win wasn’t just any old victory either: for an Italian, driving a Ferrari, finishing first at Monza is hard to top. Scarfiotti started on the front row at the 1966 Italian Grand Prix and immediately took the lead, but then lost out on the opening lap and started lap two in seventh.

It took him 12 laps to climb back up the field, but he did re-take the lead, albeit under pressure from Brabham’s Denny Hulme and John Surtees’ Cooper. Scarfiotti’s Ferrari team-mates came to the rescue: Mike Parkes and the lapped Lorenzo Bandini battling with the pursuers.

It proved decisive in allowing Scarfiotti to escape (as did a split petrol tank that ended Surtees’ challenge) to become the first Italian in 15 years to win the Italian Grand Prix — and the last to do so as well.

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Ritchie Ginther
1965 Mexican Grand Prix

ACT

Ginther approaches the Horquilla hairpin

Honda first dipped into F1 in 1964 and, after a tough debut year, produced a car that could win in 1965. Driven by American Ritchie Ginther who had switched from BRM, car and driver recorded their maiden win in Mexico.

The RA272 chassis had been introduced during the 1965 season and showed its worth in Mexico City. Ginther qualified third, behind Jim Clark and compatriot Dan Gurney, but was ahead of them by the first corner and remained there for the rest of the race.

Despite late pressure from Dan Gurney, the Honda driver crossed the line with a 2.89sec lead.

Ginther, he stood on the podium 14 times and accumulated 107 championship points before retiring in 1967.

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Lorenzo Bandini
1964 Austrian Grand Prix

ACT

Less than half the grid managed to finish the race that day

Racing for Ferrari since 1962, Lorenzo Bandini was said to be underrated by team-mate John Surtees, but he would reach the top step of the podium once in 1964.

The 105-lap Austrian Grand Prix took its toll on the field, as the race began furiously: John Surtees leading Dan Gurney, followed by Jim Clark, as well as a four-way battle behind involving Ritchie Ginther, Bruce McLaren, Jo Bonnier and Innes Ireland.

But one by one they began dropping out: Surtees’ rear suspension collapsed, and then Gurney’s front suspension arm broke — despite nursing his car after Surtees’ retirement. Clark lost a driveshaft; Ireland, Bonnier and McLaren had engine trouble, which left Bandini in the lead, chased by Ginther to the flag, where nine of the 20 starters finished.

Perhaps the Italian would have gone on to win multiple races had it not been for his accident at the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix where his car flipped and its fuel tank ruptured. 70% of his body was covered in third degree burns, His heart gave out three days later.

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Innes Ireland
1961 United States Grand Prix

ACT

Ireland had a remarkable comeback from a big crash in Monaco to win in USA

In a seven-year Formula 1 career, Innes Ireland won eight non-championship races and finished fourth in the championship standings in 1960. The following year, he would record his single world championship race win — following a comeback from a broken leg suffered in practice for the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix.

The 1961 United States Grand Prix didn’t initially seem to offer much promise as Jack Brabham and Stirling Moss raced into the lead battle, with Bruce McLaren some distance behind, and Ireland running with Graham Hill further back.

As the race progressed, Ireland and Hill caught and passed McLaren, then Brabham and Moss hit trouble. “Ireland found himself leading the race with the BRM of Graham Hill breathing down his neck,” Motor Sport reported. “For 15 laps, the two cars were only separated by a few yards and then on the 74th lap Hill also pulled into the pits with a dead engine.”

Ireland was on his way to his first win, and also a maiden victory for Team Lotus. But with replacement by Jim Clark imminent, Ireland went on to accumulate a total of only 47 career points.

 


Giancarlo Baghetti
1961 French Grand Prix

ACT

Baghetti achieved something the likes of Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton haven’t

Grand Prix Photo

The only driver to have won on his F1 world championship debut, Giancarlo Baghetti then failed to win another world champiosnhip grand prix in his career.

Starting 12th in a borrowed Ferrari at the 1961 French Grand Prix, Baghetti was immediately involved in an intense battle for fith place with the likes of Innes Ireland, Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Bruce McLaren and Dan Gurney. Leading that train by lap 10, he began closing up on the leaders while defending against those behind. Helped by Stirling Moss and Wolfgang von Trips hitting trouble, Baghetti moved up to third, still pressured by Gurney. “That Italian boy was having a really rough time in his first big grand prix race,” Motor Sport reported. “The remarkable thing was that he was more than holding his own against all these experienced drivers.”

The two Ferrari factory cars of Phil Hill and Ritchie Ginther were ahead, and the team could contemplate a 1-2-3 finish, until Hill hit Moss and retired, then Ginther’s engine burst.

“Now the whole hopes of the Scuderia Ferrari rested on young Giancarlo Baghetti, driving in his first World Championship race, and, in fact, the whole hopes of Italy rested on his shoulders,” wrote Motor Sport. His task seemed quite impossible, we said, as Gurney and Jo Bonnier harried Baghetti. The following 11 laps were a battle for the ages, as the lead swapped time and again until, on the final lap, Gurney led onto the final straight. But there was time for one decisive, tactical move from the rookie, and Baghetti pulled out of Gurney’s slipstream, shot past the Porsche and won by just under a car length. It would have done credit to Fangio himself, we said.

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Jo Bonnier
1959 Dutch Grand Prix

ACT

Bonnier’s legacy extends beyond his on-track record

Grand Prix Photo

Twice a winner of the Targa Florio and a 12 Hours of Sebring victory, Jo Bonnier rarely found the same success in Formula 1. The first Swede to enter the series, he stood on the podium just once in 104 starts. But at least it was the top step.

He made his grand prix debut in 1956, in a Maserati 250F, and signed for BRM in 1959 which brought him to Zandvoort in a car that was perfectly suited to the circuit. Bonnier secured pole and drove to victory in the race; his P25 car proving uncharacteristically reliable, while the Coopers of Stirling Moss, Masten Gregory and Jack Brabham suffered gearbox issues.

It was a first win for BRM too, but Bonnier would not repeat it. He raced in Formula 1 for another 11 years without tasting victory again. Alongside Jackie Stewart, he campaigned for better safety regulations. He criticised Le Mans for being too dangerous, and he was proven right in the end when he lost his life there in 1972.

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Luigi Musso
1956 Argentine Grand Prix

PIT

Musso had to controversially share his victory in Argentina

Luigi Musso might have won more than one race, had he been less headstrong. But how many times have we heard that about a racing driver?

From the archive

As it stands, he has just one world championship grand prix win on his record — a victory shared with team-mate Juan Manuel Fangio, whose Ferrari failed in the 1956 Argentine Grand Prix. The-then three-time world champion duly took Musso’s car and charged to win from fifth place.

Towards the end of that season, Fangio was on course to comfortably secure his fourth championship at Monza. “At the start, I’ll set the rhythm,” he told Musso and their other team-mate Eugenio Castellotti ahead of the Italian Grand Prix. “Ten laps from the end, I’ll pull over, and then you two, between you, can decide who wins. Even if I come third or fourth, I’m still World Champion.”

But the pair ignored Fangio’s counsel; set off in haste and shredded their tyres within five laps. Once again Fangio hit trouble — a broken steering arm — and wanted to take over Musso’s car, which was now back in the battle for the lead. But Musso refused and charged back out on track, only for his steering arm to break with four laps to go. Fangio, meanwhile, took Peter Collins’ car — despite Ferrari’s fourth driver being in contention for the title — and finished second to be crowned champion.

 


Piero Taruffi
1952 Swiss Grand Prix

Italian racing driver Piero Taruffi at the wheel of his car prior to his latest world record attempt, March 19th 1951. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The super sub

Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

An F1 race that wasn’t really an F1 race… After Alfa Romeo pulled out of the world championship, and BRM failed to turn up to early season races, Ferrari was left as the only remaining factory Formula 1 team, and so the world championship reverted to Formula 2 regulations.

With Alberto Ascari racing in the Indy 500, Piero Taruffi took the wheel stood in and made the most of the dominant Ferrari 500 pace. Team-mate Giuseppe Farina took the lead and Taruffi hared off behind him.

Farina looked to be in control until his car expired. By the time he had walked back to the pits and taken Andre Simon’s Ferrari, Taruffi, was well on his way to victory, lapping every single driver except for second place finisher Rudi Fischer.

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Luigi Fagioli
1951 French Grand Prix

Luigi Fagioli dans son 'Alfa Romeo 159' et Luigi Villoresi dans sa 'Ferrari 375 F1' lors du Grand Prix automobile de France, le 1er juillet 1951, sur le circuit de Reims-Gueux. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Fagioli stood on the podium every time he finished in F1, but only won once

Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

At 53 years of age, Luigi Fagioli is F1’s oldest ever championship race winner – a record which will likely never be broken.

Fagioli was part of Alfa Romeo’s debut world championship campaign in 1950, then aged 52. Though plagued with health problems and crippling rheumatism, the Italian was still competitive during his short time in the series. He had five podium finishes in the first six races, and despite not having won that season, he still finished third in the championship.

The only race he won was his last. In a shared drive with Juan-Manuel Fangio, Fagioli took victory at the 1951 French Grand Prix in Reims, simultaneously becoming the oldest driver and the only driver born in the 19th century to win a grand prix.

Having left F1 to drive sports cars in 1952, Fagioli was involved in what appeared to be a minor crash while practising for the then sports car-based Monaco Grand Prix. He later succumbed to his internal injuries.

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