Memorable McLaren Moments :: Spain
Since the Spanish Grand Prix returned to the Formula One World Championship calendar in 1968, we’ve had a driver on a Spanish Grand Prix podium 23 times, and nine of those were race wins.
In the past 43 years, four venues have hosted the race – Jarama, Montjuich Park, Jerez and Catalunya. We’ve won at all of them.
In 1976, James Hunt beat his title rival Niki Lauda, of Ferrari, to the flag by over 30 seconds. Lauda had passed Hunt at the start of the race at Jarama, but Hunt managed to take back the lead just before the halfway point.
Alain Prost and Stefan Johansson scored the team’s first-ever double podium finish at the Spanish Grand Prix in 1987 after both drove solid races from seventh and 11th on the grid respectively, finishing ahead of that year’s world champion, Nelson Piquet.
Prost went one better in 1988, winning by 26 seconds from Nigel Mansell. Ayrton Senna suffered problems with his fuel computer, so had to drive cautiously in order to make it to the finish and crossed the line in fourth.
Senna took a lights-to-flag victory in 1989, winning some 27 seconds clear of Gerhard Berger’s Ferrari. Prost brought his car home in third place to score the team’s second double podium finish at the grand prix in three years.
Nearly ten years later, in 1998, the team scored its first-ever Spanish Grand Prix one-two. In a dominant race for the team, polesitter Mika Hakkinen led David Coulthard home, and both were almost 30 seconds clear of Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher who finished third.
The team’s Spanish supremacy would continue in 1999 and 2000. Mika Hakkinen set the pole position times and won both races, while David Coulthard followed him home in second place.
Kimi Raikkonen won the race from pole position in 2005, finishing some 27 seconds ahead of Fernando Alonso’s Renault. It was his first victory of the season, and the race saw his title challenge gain true momentum for the first time that year.
In 2007, Lewis Hamilton continued his run of podium finishes by crossing the line in second place. His team-mate and home race hero Fernando Alonso completed the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes double podium finish as he raced to third.