Verstappen’s First Win and the Most Iconic Spanish GP Moments As Formula 1 Heads to Barcelona

Verstappen’s First Win and the Most Iconic Spanish GP Moments As Formula 1 Heads to Barcelona

Ero Samson
updated at June 20, 2024 at 4:58 PM
  • Round 10 of the Formula 1 calendar features a trip to Barcelona for the 2024 edition of the Spanish Grand Prix
  • The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya race has featured some of the sport's most historic moments since its debut
  • Sports Brief shifts attention to a few of the iconic Formula 1 moments ever witnessed at the Barcelona circuit

It's another instalment of one of the most iconic race weekends on the Formula 1 calendar, with the Spanish Grand Prix on the horizon.

Since the venture of the Iberian race into Grand Prix racing in 1951, it has been nothing short of enthralling.

From the winding Pedralbes circuit to the streets of Montjuic and from the historic Jarama to the scenic Jerez track in Andalusia, each venue has added its own unique flavour to this prestigious event.

Formula 1, F1, Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Catalunya, Rain
Michael Schumacher drives the Scuderia Ferrari F310, V10 car in the rain during the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix on 2nd June 1996 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Image: Pascal Rondea.
Source: Getty Images

However, since the shift of venue to Barcelona in 1991, the fun and nerve-racking action the race has treated fans to has gravitated a nudge higher.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has become a stage where legends are made, records are shattered, and unforgettable moments are etched into Formula 1's history.

The upcoming 2024 edition of the Spanish Grand Prix promises to be another thrilling chapter in its storied history. As we eagerly await the start of the race weekend, Sports Brief takes a nostalgic look back at some of the most memorable moments from this iconic event.

Most notable moments from the Spanish Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher's first win for Ferrari - 1996

June 2nd, 1996, marked the beginning of one of the most iconic chapters in the history of Scuderia Ferrari in Grand Prix racing.

In a rain-soaked race, Michael Schumacher showcased his credentials as the "Rainmaster." Despite not having won a race that season, the German driver skilfully steered his Ferrari from P3 to claim victory at the Spanish GP, finishing over 45 seconds ahead of second-placed, Jean Alesi.

Schumacher's incredible performance saw him lapping every car outside the podium places on that memorable day. This victory was just the start of the "good things," as he went on to claim 72 more wins for Ferrari, including an impressive five consecutive drivers' championships between 2000 and 2005.

Pastor Maldonado's win for Williams - 2012

Pastor Maldonado secured a famous victory in the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix, which was followed hours later by a surprise fire at the Williams garage.

However, our focus today is not on the fire caused by a Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) unit failure as reported by RacingNews365, but on the Venezuelan’s remarkable win.

The 27-year-old put his Williams car on pole, largely to the surprise of many, before steering it to victory on race Sunday.

Of course, it was far from an easy win for the Williams driver, as home favourite, Fernando Alonso, put him under immense pressure. However, a perfectly timed lap 25 pit stop by the Grove team ensured victory for Maldonado.

The win was Williams Racing's first since the 2004 season when Juan Pablo Montoya claimed victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix. It remains the British team's last victory to date in Formula 1.

Max Verstappen's historic Formula 1 win - 2016

The world of motorsport was left in awe when the Dutch driver clinched a record-setting victory at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.

Making his debut with Red Bull Racing, the young driver capitalised on a first-lap collision between Mercedes front-runners, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, to become Formula 1’s youngest-ever race winner at just 18 years and 228 days old.

Despite the collision involving the Mercedes duo, the race was far from easy. Verstappen had to fend off the threat of the highly experienced Kimi Raikkonen in a Ferrari.

However, Verstappen showed glimpses of what would become a staple in the coming years as he expertly defended against the Finnish driver to clinch his first of many Formula 1 wins.

Verstappen, who had only been promoted from the junior team, Toro Rosso, to Red Bull Racing after Daniil Kvyat was dropped the previous week, eclipsed Sebastian Vettel’s record as the youngest-ever race winner.

Vettel had set the record at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix, but Verstappen beat it by two years and 137 days.

F1 Spanish Grand Prix preview and predictions

In another report, Sports Brief provided an extensive preview and predictions of the Formula 1 Spanish GP.

The race in Barcelona holds significant importance for the 2024 season as the mid-season break approaches.

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Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).
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