Fascinating F1 Fact:50

Damon Hill and Sir Jackie Stewart share one of the oddest F1 records: they are the only two men in the 66-year-old history of the World Championship who have lapped all the other finishers TWICE.

And yet neither of these races account for the largest winning margin in the sport, which remains the 1958 Portuguese Grand Prix, which Stirling Moss won by a mammoth 5m02.75s… despite Mike Hawthorn finishing on the same lap as Moss!

This was caused by the fact that the Boavista street circuit in Porto was 4.6 miles long and Hawthorn drove a very slow last lap, without being under threat from anyone else.

Hill won the 1995 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide by two complete laps. This, incidentally, is also deemed to have been the race with the highest official attendance figures, with 210,000 people present.

How did it happen? Well, reliability played a role. Damon’s team-mate David Coulthard was leading early on, but he came into the pits too fast and crashed into the pit wall. Michael Schumacher (Benetton) and Jean Alesi (Ferrari) collided. Gerhard Berger’s Ferrari expired. Heinz-Harald Frentzen’s Sauber’s gearbox lunched itself. Johnny Herbert’s Benetton broke a driveshaft and Eddie Irvine’s Jordan-Peugeot lost its hydraulics and so it was Olivier Panis’s Ligier which was second, ahead of a delighted Gianni Morbidelli in his Footwork.

And, of course, Damon drove a great F1 car very quickly.

Back in the summer of ’69, Jackie Stewart had done the same at Montjuic in his Matra-Cosworth, on another day when reliability was important. That day the Lotuses of Jochen Rindt and Graham Hill both crashed heavily as a result of rear wing failures. Jo Siffert’s Walker-Durlacher Lotus, Jack Brabham’s Brabham and Chris Amon’s Ferrari all had engine failures, while Jacky Ickx’s Brabham suffered a suspension failure, leaving second place to Bruce McLaren’s McLaren, with Jean-Pierre Beltoise third in the second Matra.

The Adelaide was 2.3 miles in length, about the same as Montjuic – both being half as long as Boavista.