- July 21 down the years
Schumacher equals Fangio's recordWhat happened on this day in Formula One history?
Michael Schumacher took his fifth Formula One title, equalling the record of Juan Manuel Fangio. He sealed the championship at just the 11th round in France, taking his eighth win of the season and notching up his 96th point of the year. The race itself was fairly dull, with Kimi Raikkonen conceding victory to Schumacher five laps from the end when he ran wide on oil at the Adelaide hairpin. Schumacher's closest championship competitor before the race was his Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello but the Brazilian failed to make the start when his engine failed on the grid.
McLaren's Alain Prost won the British Grand Prix after an intense battle with Ayrton Senna was brought to an end when the Lotus ran out of fuel. Senna made a brilliant start and shot ahead of Keke Rosberg on pole to take the lead. He led comfortably up to about lap 30 but then came under attack from Prost for the second half of the race. Heading into the final 10 laps Senna's engine started to sound rough and on lap 58 Prost slipped through to take the lead. Senna retaliated and actually got back past the McLaren before he was forced to retire when he ran out of fuel. Prost went on to take the win by over a lap from Michele Alboreto in the Ferrari. Rather embarrassingly for the race director, he put the chequered flag out one lap too late meaning the race was 2.9 miles longer than it should have been. Fortunately the mistake did not alter the result.
Jim Clark took the first of his five British Grand Prix victories. Clark secured the win, pole position and fastest lap, exhibiting his deep reserves of skill at a packed Aintree. The race itself was devoid of action but the home fans were kept happy by John Surtees, joining Clark on the podium in second place.
BAR set a new land-speed record for a Formula One car but fell short of its ambitious 400km/h (248mph) target. The team had taken a modified version of its V10 F1 car to the Bonneville salt flats to attempt the record, with South African Alan van der Merwe at the wheel. The team did manage to get the BAR (with a fin instead of a rear wing) over 400km/h but couldn't repeat the feat driving the other way, which is necessary to set a record. Its official top speed was a still-impressive 397.360km/h average over two consecutive runs. Van der Merwe now drives the F1 medical car at grands prix.