Historical Moments - Spain


The League of Europe Formula 1 leagues pack up their bags and travel South for the Spanish Grand Prix for Round 11.
After 2 races at recent additions to the Formula 1 calendar the Spanish Grand Prix has been part of the F1 World for 50 years starting with the first F1 World Championship Classified race in 1951 at a track in the Barcelona area called Pedralbes then the next F1 race in Spain in 1954.

Like many nations around the world there have been lots of races called Grand Prix and Spain’s first Sportscar Grand Prix was in 1913 it was run to Touring Cars rules, it wasn’t till the Formula 1 World Championships were created that Grand Prix’s were solely for the World Championship. The 2 World Wars (1914-19 & 1939-45) and the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) halted Racing in Spain.

Racing returned to Spain in 1951 with that first Spanish Grand Prix we talked about earlier, lack of money meant no race in ‘52 or ‘53. 1954 Ferrari won, the 1955 race was to happen but a sad day in racing happened at that years 24 hrs of Le Mans when large fragments of debris went into the crowd, killing 83 spectators and French driver Pierre Bouillin (who raced under the name Pierre Levegh) and injuring nearly 180 more. It was the most tragic crash in motorsport, and it prompted Mercedes-Benz to retire from motor racing until 1989. Because of that race there was a temporary ban on motorsports in France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, and other nations, until the racetracks could be brought to a higher safety standard. (Switzerland have still not fully lifted that ban only electric Cars can race).

5 tracks have held the Spanish Grand Prix Pedralbes, Jarama, Montjuic, Jerez and since 1991 its home has been the Circuit de Barelona-Catalunya. A second Spanish round in Valencia (known as the European Grand Prix) was held for five years between 2008-2012. Both tracks were due to alternate as the host of the Spanish Grand Prix from 2013 onward, but this failed to materialise because Valencia ran out of money to run the race any longer.
Lella Lombardi is the only woman to have scored a top 6 finish in an F1 World Championship race. She recorded half a point for sixth place in the shortened 1975 Spanish Grand Prix on the treacherous Montjuïc circuit in Barcelona.

The very first F1 race at the Catalunya circuit produced a memorable wheel-to-wheel scrap between McLaren’s Ayrton Senna and Williams’ Nigel Mansell. After plenty of position switches and tyre changes from wet to dry, Senna lost his nerve and spun, leaving Mansell to become the first victor at the circuit.

In 2012 after Lewis Hamilton had been DSQ from the Qualifying result, Pastor Maldonado started from pole for the first time in his career. He faced no easy feat on Sunday, with Fernando Alonso starting alongside him on the front row. Predictably, Alonso overtook him at the start, but Williams’ pit-stop strategy and a super speedy out-lap while the Ferrari was stuck in traffic saw Maldonado emerge in the lead. He went on to take his only F1 win, as well at the only Grand Prix victory for a Venezuelan driver. It was Williams’ first win in eight years, and their latest so far in F1.

The first lap of the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix is notable for one of the most talked about incidents of recent times in F1, as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg came together on the opening lap, ending both of their races. The crash paved the way for Max Verstappen to take an impressive victory on his very first appearance with the Red Bull team. It was hard fought for, as Kimi Raikkonen pushed the Dutchman all the way to the finish, with Verstappen winning by just over half a second. As a result, he became the youngest ever Grand Prix winner at 18 years and 228 days.

Michael Schumacher has the most wins at the Spanish Grand Prix with 6, followed by Lewis Hamilton who has 5. Ferrari have 12 wins and are the leading Constructor, McLaren and Williams are next both on 8. Valtteri Bottas in his Mercedes set the fastest lap time this year at 1:18.183.
In the more important world of League of Europe B_Morgn has the most wins at Spain with 2 from 4 Seasons, then there’s 13 drivers on 1 win, QVR_Campbell has got the most podiums with 3 followed by B_Morgn, NSX_Montana and Eduk33 all on 2. LoE_Maurice has the fastest qualifying time with 1:14.372 done in Season 4’s Division 3 race. The fastest race lap was recorded by NSX_Montana in Season 4’s Division1 race with 1:15.452.


written by Sir_Ibbo