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Short cut to victory - the other four 'half point' Grands Prix 07 Apr 2009

Jochen Mass (GER) McLaren M23 steered clear of the chaos around him to claim his first Grand Prix victory and the first winner of a 'half' Grand Prix, as the race was declared a result at less than two-thirds distance and half points were awarded. Spanish Grand Prix, Montjuich Park, Barcelona, 27 April 1975.  World © Phipps/Sutton Vittorio Brambilla (ITA) March 751 took his first victory in a rain-shortened race, where only half points were awarded. Brambilla was so excited by his only Grand Prix victory that he crashed on his victory lap! Austrian Grand Prix, Rd 12, Osterreichring, Austria, 17 August 1975. Winner Alain Prost (FRA) McLaren MP4/2. Monaco GP, Monte Carlo, 3 June 1984 Winner Alain Prost (FRA) Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, 3 June 1984 Race winner Ayrton Senna (BRA) McLaren MP4/6 leads in the appalling conditions that stopped the race after 14 of the 81 scheduled laps making it the shortest race in Formula One History. Australian Grand Prix, Adelaide, 3 November 1991. World © Sutton

Sunday’s shortened Malaysian Grand Prix was a rarity - only four times previously have half points been awarded, something that happens if a race is abandoned before 75 percent race distance, but with at least two laps completed. We take a look back at when and where it happened before…

1975 Spanish Grand Prix - 29 of 75 laps completed
Rolf Stommelen was seriously injured and five spectators killed at Barcelona’s Montjuich Park after a rear-wing failure led to the German driver’s Hill machine being launched over a crash barrier. It was a tragic end to a weekend that had started with drivers complaining about the temporary street circuit’s safety standards. Despite improvements, the Spanish Grand Prix never returned and instead made the purpose-built Jarama circuit near Madrid its permanent home for the next few years.
Result: 1st Jochen Mass (McLaren), 2nd Jacky Ickx (Lotus), 3rd Carlos Reutemann (Brabham)

1975 Austrian Grand Prix - 29 of 54 laps completed

The next shortened race came less than four months later, this time the red flag appearing (again after 29 laps) due to heavy rain in the mountainous setting of the Osterreichring. It meant a one and only F1 victory for Vittorio Brambilla, who had put in a great drive in tricky conditions to bring the March factory team their first win. In fact, so ecstatic was the Italian he actually lost control whilst celebrating and crashed, limping back to the pits with his car in less than pristine condition.
Result: 1st Vittorio Brambilla (March), 2nd James Hunt (Hesketh), 3rd Tom Pryce (Shadow)

1984 Monaco Grand Prix - 31 of 77 laps completed

Nine years on and again rain was the culprit, this time on the sodden streets of Monte Carlo. Alain Prost was the man to claim the ‘half win’, though in somewhat controversial circumstances. When the red flag came Ayrton Senna was rapidly closing on the Frenchman in pursuit of his first win. Closing even faster on the two leaders was German Stefan Bellof, who had driven a storming race from the back of the grid. Many felt Senna and Bellof were robbed of potential glory, arguing that conditions weren’t sufficiently bad to justify halting proceedings, pointing out that they had actually been worse earlier in the race. Bellof was subsequently disqualified due to a technical infringement by his Tyrrell team.
Result: 1st Alain Prost (McLaren), 2nd Ayrton Senna (Toleman), 3rd Rene Arnoux (Ferrari)

1991 Australian Grand Prix - 14 of 81 laps completed

It is debatable whether the ’91 Adelaide race should ever have even started. It was delayed due to heavy rain, but when that rain eased slightly it was polesitter Ayrton Senna who took control as the lights went out. Conditions quickly worsened, however, and as Mansell hounded Senna for the lead chaos ensued behind, with numerous cars spinning into the street circuit’s unforgiving concrete walls. On lap 15 Mansell went the same way and soon even ‘rainmaster’ Senna was waving for stewards to call an end to the carnage. The red flag finally came on lap 17, but even then organisers were pushing for a restart. Drivers protested, the rain kept falling and in the end common sense prevailed. The countback rule left Senna victorious from Mansell, though with the latter having sustained minor injuries from his accident, only the Brazilian and third-placed team mate Gerhard Berger made the podium ceremony.
Result: 1st Ayrton Senna (McLaren), 2nd Nigel Mansell (Williams), 3rd Gerhard Berger (McLaren)