- June 15 down the years
Michael Schumacher's 'fortunate victory'What happened on June 15 in Formula One history
Oliver Panis' 160mph crash brought a premature end to the Canadian Grand Prix with 14 of the 69 laps remaining and gave Michael Schumacher what the Guardian described as "fortunate victory" after race leader David Coulthard's McLaren stalled three times and then expired on his second pit stop. Panis was left with two broken legs after his Prost smashed into a wall.
The untimely death at the age of 45 of James Hunt after a heart attack at his Wimbledon home. Hours earlier, Hunt had become engaged to what would have been his third wife. A wild playboy in his racing days, he had quietened down and become a respected commentator, but his fortune had disappeared as a result of business-related problems and at the time of his death he was living in reduced circumstances. Among those shocked by his sudden passing was his old friend and rival Niki Lauda, who said: "For me, James was the most charismatic personality who's ever been in Formula One."
Jose Froilan Gonzalez - the first driver to win a world championship grand prix for Ferrari - died in Buenos Aires at the age of 90. Nicknamed 'The Pampas Bull' for his stocky build, Gonzalez won at Silverstone for Ferrari in 1951, and again in 1954, before retiring from the sport in 1960. He finished runner-up in the championship to Juan Manuel Fangio in 1954 and upon learning of his death Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said: "The news of the death of Gonzalez saddened me greatly. Over all these years, he was always very attached to Ferrari and, as a driver and a man, he played an integral part in our history. His death means we have lost a true friend."
Michael Schumacher's win at the Canadian Grand Prix took him into a three- point lead in the current championship chase ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in the McLaren Mercedes. "That might seem, in a sense, like predictably bad news for Formula One," noted the Daily Mail. "The good news is that Schumacher was hounded every inch of the way to the chequered flag by the Williams-BMW duo of his brother Ralf and Juan Pablo Montoya, and Fernando Alonso in the Renault. A mere 3.4 seconds separated the leading quartet."
Nigel Mansell followed his win in Belgium with victory in the Canadian Grand Prix to move within two points of championship leader Alain Prost. For once Senna held up traffic, his Lotus so heavy with fuel that he delayed the field while Mansell made his getaway. Patrick Tambay had a lucky escape when his Lola crashed at 160mph during a warm-up on the morning of the race.
Tony Brooks in a Vanwall led a British clean sweep at the Belgian Grand Prix, with Mike Hawthorn, Stuart Lewis-Evans and Cliff Allison behind him - only Hawthorn's Ferrari was a non-British car and that, reported the Times, "gave out in a cloud of smoke and steam as he crossed the line". Stirling Moss' Vanwall, however, lasted one lap.
Occasional F1 driver Giulio Cabianca was killed in a bizarre accident at Modena when the throttle on his Cooper jammed and he left the track and collided with a taxi on a nearby public road. All three people in the taxi also died.