The last non-Sunday Grand Prix in Formula 1 was way back in the
1985 South African Grand Prix – held on Saturday 19th October, 1985
at Kyalami. It was won by Williams’ Nigel Mansell with Keke Rosberg
and Alain Prost completing the podium. That was the 419th World
Championship Grand Prix, with the upcoming Las Vegas Grand Prix set
to be the 1,100th – a run of 680 races on a Sunday. Owing to the
timezones involved, the Vegas race is set to begin at 22:00 local
time on Saturday night – Primetime – which is 01:00 on the east
coast of the US and 06:00 in the UK on Sunday morning. If the race
went for a 22:00 start on Sunday night, the eight-hour difference
would mean that the race would just be starting as most of Europe
would be getting up ready to go to work at 06:00 on a Monday
morning. The first two races of 2024 will also be on a Saturday
owing to Ramadan. But despite it not happening for more than a
generation, Saturday races are not as uncommon as you think.
Saturday races in F1 The very first World Championship Grand Prix
at Silverstone on May 13th 1950 was held on a Saturday. Won by the
first World Champion Giuseppe ‘Nino’ Farina in front of King George
VI, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, the Alfa Romeo driver
led a 1-2-3 as Juan Manuel Fangio retired with car trouble. Until
the 1980s, the British GP – as that first race was – was often held
on a Saturday, with the 1969 race taking place on July 19th, the
day before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people
to land on the moon on Apollo 11. Of the 74 races thus far not held
on a Sunday, 58 have been on a Saturday, with those Indianapolis
500s of 1950-1960 throwing up some interesting days. Initially, the
Indy 500 was included on the schedule to firmly put the ‘World’ in
World Championship, with these 11 races ensuring F1 World
Championship races have been held on every day of the week. The
race was traditionally held on May 30th – Memorial Day – with the
first World Championship 500 in 1950 being the only F1 race to ever
be run on a Tuesday. Other non-weekend races include Dutch, Spanish
and South African Monday races – with the 1968 South African GP
being held on New Year’s Day and being famous for being Jim Clark’s
record-breaking 25th F1 win, eclipsing Fangio’s tally of 24. It
would be Clark’s last F1 race as he was killed in a Formula 2
accident at Hockenheim in April before the next F1 round. When the
grid lines up in Vegas, it will continue the ‘Saturday’ tradition
of the races held in Nevada, with the 1982 title-decider and 1983
event among those to be run on the day.

Source:  Read More 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *