• June 2 down the years

Mansell stalls within a mile of victory

What happened on this day in Formula One history?
A distraught Nigel Mansell after the race © Sutton Images
Enlarge

1991
Nigel Mansell made perhaps the biggest cock-up of his career on the final lap of the Canadian Grand Prix. He had dominated the race in the Williams and as he came on the long back straight he started to wave to the fans in celebration. But in doing so he let the revs of his Renault V10 engine drop too low and stalled the car, putting him out of the race with less than a mile to go. His old rival Nelson Piquet came through to take the win, commenting afterwards: "With a couple of laps to go, I slowed down. The track was very dirty and I wanted to make sure of my second place. Then, on the last lap, the team came on the radio, saying 'Push, push... Nigel is stopping'. It was a big surprise - a nice surprise."

1970
Four-time grand prix winner and legendary constructor Bruce McLaren died testing one of his Can-Am cars at Goodwood. McLaren was driving at speed down the Lavant Straight when a rear piece of bodywork failed and he crashed into a marshal's post, dying on impact. In 1958 he became the youngest driver ever to win an F1 race, sweeping to victory in Sebring at just 22 years old. He went on to win three more grands prix; in Argentina in 1960, Monaco in 1962 and in a car of his own construction at Spa Francorchamps in 1968. He set up Bruce McLaren Motor Racing in 1963 and the team lives on today as one of the most successful of all time under the Team McLaren name. However, while McLaren was still alive his outfit enjoyed more success in the largely unrestricted Can-Am Series, which it won five times between 1967 and 1972. In 1969 McLaren M8Bs won all 11 races that season, including two 1-2-3 finishes led by McLaren himself. To name just one other notable achievement, he won the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours in a Ford GT40 with fellow New Zealander Chris Amon.

1996
Michael Schumacher put in one of the definitive performances of his career at the Spanish Grand Prix, winning the soaking-wet race by 45 seconds from Jean Alesi. It was his first win with Ferrari, long before the team had started to produce the kind of dominant cars that delivered him five titles from 2000-2004. His best lap was a remarkable 2.2 seconds faster than anybody else and the result firmly established him as the class of the field racing in the wet.

1956
Dutch Formula One driver and sportscar stalwart Jan Lammers was born in Zandvoort. His F1 career was split into two separate stints ten years apart. From 1979 to 1982 he drove a number of races for backmarkers Shadow, ATS and Theodore before returning for another ill-fated two races with March in 1992. Rather impressively, his career as a professional racing driver stretched 37 years from 1973 to 2009. In that time he has won several championships in many different categories, from the Renault 5 Turbo Cup to the World Sports Car Championship.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Close