• June 7 down the years

Canadian GP sees first corner chaos

What happened on this day in Formula One history?
Alexander Wurz crashes spectacularly into the first corner of the Canadian Grand Prix © Getty Images

The Canadian Grand Prix saw a spectacular first corner pile-up as Alexander Wurz in his Benetton tried a banzai move on Jean Alesi's Sauber into the first corner. Wurz hit Alesi and the Austrian's car was pitched into a dramatic barrel roll across the track onto the gravel trap. He collected not only Alesi but also Johnny Herbert in the other Sauber and Jarno Trulli in his Prost. The race was red flagged and Wurz joined the restarted grid in the spare Benetton. On the restart there was yet another crash at the first corner and it again involved two of the men from the first incident. Ralf Schumacher spun his Jordan after turn one, causing havoc for Trulli and Alesi. The pair tangled and Trulli's car ended up with its rear wheels perched on top of Alesi's car, only inches from his head.

Alberto Ascari won the Dutch Grand Prix from pole position. The racing circuit had been resurfaced and crumbled badly but much was expected in the race as the practice times of the first six had been so close. Things did not quite go according to the script, however, as pole position man Alberto Ascari took the lead and led from flag to flag to secure a dominant victory. Luigi Villoresi was second in the early part of the race but then switched with Farina several times before going out at three-quarter distance with a throttle problem. Jose Gonzalez also looked capable of winning but retired with suspension trouble before taking over Bonetto's car and storming back to third ahead of Mike Hawthorn.

Pedro Rodriguez won the Belgian Grand Prix to close the gap on Jack Brabham and Jackie Stewart in the drivers' championship. There had been no Belgian GP in 1969 because of questions over safety at Spa and considerable work had been done to improve the circuit but when the teams arrived in Belgium the talk was of Bruce McLaren, who had been killed while testing a McLaren CanAm car at Goodwood on the Tuesday. After McLaren's crash, the team did not travel to Spa. Jackie Stewart lost the lead briefly from pole to Chris Amon at the start and the two then traded positions. Behind them, Rodriguez moved head of Jochen Rindt to take third place and then passed Stewart on the fourth lap and Amon on the fifth to take a lead he was not to lose. He led home Amon and Jean-Pierre Beltoise after the retirements of Rindt and Stewart.

Jenson Button won the Turkish Grand Prix to extend his lead in the championship to 26 points over team-mate Rubens Barrichello.