• May 6 down the years

The flying Frenchman

What happened on this day in motorsport history ...
Rene Dreyfus in his Bugatti Type 35B on his way to victory at the 1930 Monaco Grand Prix © ESPNF1

One of the great pre-war French drivers, René Dreyfus raced in the 1930s, winning the 1930 Monaco Grand Prix in a Bugatti to which he had added extra fuel tanks to avoid him having to make pit stops. Once Auto Union and Mercedes started to dominate, all the top drivers headed for the German teams; as a Jew that was not an option available to Dreyfus but despite that he continued to turn in some impressive results. He joined the French army and was sent to the USA to race in the 1940 Indianapolis 500, finishing tenth, but in his absence France was invaded and so he settled in America, eventually returning to Europe with the US army. He raced occasionally after the war while running a restaurant in New York.

Alain Prost in a McLaren finished 14 seconds ahead of Rene Arnoux's Ferrari at the San Marino Grand Prix to extend his lead in the drivers' championship to 11 points over Derek Warwick. Elio de Angelis and Andrea de Cesaris paid for a dogged battle for third place, Cesaris's Ligier spluttering to a halt after running out of fuel on the penultimate lap, while de Angelis' Lotus suffered the same fate shortly after starting the last lap. By then, Prost was home and dry, so de Angelis still finished on the podium.

Tommy Byrne is considered to be one of the greatest racing talents never to live up to his potential. Coming from a very humble background in Ireland he made his way into motor racing through sheer determination, scraping together the funds to go racing by any means possible. When he was given the opportunity he was absolutely sensational, and rocked the British junior categories with championship victories in Formula Ford and Formula 3. His early career ran parallel with Ayrton Senna's and many claim he was one of the only drivers the Brazilian genuinely feared. He made one of the biggest mistakes of his career by driving for the underfunded and excruciatingly slow Theodore outfit in 1982. He became disenchanted with F1, and despite racing for Eddie Jordan's F3 team in Europe the following year, he eventually gave up on his dream and went to race in the USA. He took a number of wins in American series but never achieved his potential in top-flight motorsport. He subsequently wrote a brutally honest autobiography Crashed and Byrned.

Milan-born Andrea Chiesa had one season in F1 with the Fondmetal team in 1992 but only qualified for three grands prix out of ten entered, and in those he failed to finish once. He was replaced after the German Grand Prix.