- September 8 down the years
Schumacher ends Ferrari drought at MonzaWhat happened on this day in Formula One history?
Michael Schumacher sent the Tifosi delirious by winning the Italian Grand Prix and ending a seven-year wait for Ferrari on its home patch. After a dominant season for Williams, Damon Hill could have sealed the drivers' title and he duly took pole position ahead of team-mate Jacques Villeneuve, Schumacher starting from third. Hill emerged in the lead after the opening lap but only after re-passing a fast-starting Jean Alesi. Even the assembled Tifosi expected another Williams romp but exiting the chicane on lap six, Hill clipped the tyre barriers and spun into retirement. It left Schumacher to pick up the pieces and begin the celebrations.
There was to be no fairytale ending for Graham Hill starting his hundredth grand prix in Monza as Denny Hulme went on to take victory from Johnny Servoz-Gavin and Jacky Ickx. Hill had qualified fifth but he disappeared after ten laps when a wheel nut fell off. John Surtees secured the first pole position in Honda's history and vied for the lead in the early stages with Bruce McLaren and Jackie Stewart but when all three also fell by the wayside, Hulme was left to take the chequered flag. The result meant that the top four in the standings were separated by just six points.
The main action at the Italian Grand Prix happened in the paddock as the Benetton team announced that rising star Michael Schumacher was set to replace Roberto Moreno at the team, catching the German's current employers Jordan completely unawares. The race itself emerged into the season's customary battle between pole-sitter Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell, the Englishman going on to win after passing Senna on lap 34. Alain Prost was third for Ferrari.
Jim Clark won the Italian Grand Prix from Richie Ginther and Bruce McLaren but the major talking point of the weekend was a nasty accident suffered by Chris Amon in his Reg Parnell Lola during qualifying, which left him hanging out of his cockpit with three broken ribs. Victory for Clark extended his lead in the championship to 27 points from Ginther.
Ronnie Peterson won the Italian Grand Prix from Emerson Fittipaldi and Jody Scheckter to leave the championship on a knife-edge. As the teams left Monza, Clay Regazzoni was on 46pts, Scheckter on 45 and Fittipaldi on 43. Niki Lauda was still in with a chance as well with 38.
Ten years later, Russia's first Formula One driver, Vitaly Petrov, was born. Petrov came into F1 with massive financial backing to secure his drive with Renault. But he had already proven his pedigree by finishing second in the 2009 GP2 series, albeit a massive 25 points off Williams driver Nico Hulkenberg in the final standings.
Another year on, Alain Prost emerged victorious in the Italian Grand Prix, winning from Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna. The race came only a week after future star Stefan Bellof was killed in a world sportscar race at Spa. Keke Rosberg and Nigel Mansell soon took pole-sitter Senna but when the Williams duo both retired, Prost picked up the pieces to lead home the Brazilians.