Thursday 31 July 2014

On This Day In Formula - 31 July

A year on from his horrific accident at the Nurburgring, Niki Lauda bounced back in style by winning the German Grand Prix from Jody Scheckter and Hans-Joachim Stuck, who secured his first podium finish. After Lauda's death-defying accident in 1976, the Nurburgring made way for a new F1 venue in Hockenheim, infamous for being the venue of Jim Clarke's death in an F2 race in 1968. Lauda took the lead from pole-sitter Scheckter on lap 13 and the Austrian never looked back to secure a popular victory.

Scary scene of a fuel fire on Jos Verstappen's Benetton.
A frightening moment for Jos Verstappen and watching Formula One fans happened during the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. The Benetton driver came into the pits for a regulation stop but fuel sprayed onto the car and ignited as the crew fumbled in attaching the refuelling rig. A split second later, the car was engulfed in flames but marshals acted quickly to extinguish the blaze. Verstappen and the pit crew only suffered minor burns. Gerhard Berger went on to win the race for Ferrari.

Kimi Raikkonen won the Hungarian Grand Prix from brothers Michael and Ralf Schumacher. Although Fernando Alonso could only manage to finish a distant 11th after damaging his front wing during an attempted pass on Ralf into the first corner, the Spaniard still led Raikkonen by 26 points after the race.

Three-time world champion Nelson Piquet was ordered to attend a driving awareness school after losing his licence for repeated speeding and parking offences. His wife, Viviane, was also ordered to attend.


Wednesday 30 July 2014

On This Day In Formula One - 30 July

Jacky Ickx led home a Ferrari 1-2 at the German Grand Prix as Jackie Stewart and Emerson Fittipaldi fell by the wayside. Ronnie Peterson finished third and Howden Ganley and Brian Redman secured unlikely top five finishes.

Mario Andretti won the German Grand Prix but the star of the show was Jody Scheckter, who battled his way back to second after dropping to the back of the field at the end of the opening lap.

Ayrton Senna led home team-mate Alain Prost for a 1-2 at the German Grand Prix with Nigel Mansell finishing third in his Ferrari. The finishing positions mirrored those of qualifying.

The first of Schumacher's German Grand Prix victories came over a decade earlier when he finished the race behind a tow track after stalling his Benetton whilst waving to the crowd in celebration. In winning, Schumacher became the first German to win his home race since the 1930s. Pole-sitter Damon Hill blew his chances of spoiling the party by spinning off on the second lap.

A disgruntled Mercedes employee endangered his own life and that of the drivers at the German Grand Prix when he cut through the track fence and ran onto the track carrying a sheet with a message about the German car manufacturer. He managed to run across the track before marshals apprehended him. The man's intervention turned the race upside down. Until that point, Mika Hakkinen looked likely to lead home a McLaren 1-2 but the deployment of the safety car shuffled the grid, allowing Rubens Barrichello to take his first Formula one victory from 18th on the grid. It was the first win for a Brazilian driver since Ayrton Senna's last win in Australia 1993.

Michael Schumacher crosses the line to win his fourth German Grand Prix.
Michael Schumacher secured his fourth German Grand Prix victory with a dominant drive in front of his home fans. Felipe Massa rounded off an easy day at the office for Ferrari as the main excitement of the race was provided by Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button in the scrap for third, Raikkonen catching and passing Button's Honda in the closing laps.


Tuesday 29 July 2014

'Tantrums' - By Jake Davis

This fantastic weekly F1 Toon was designed and created by Jake Davis Creative. Prints are available in sizes A4, A3 and A2. Commissions are also available. If you would like to order a PRINT of this fantastic F1 Toon feel free to contact him via:
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On This Day In Formula One - 29 July

The Nurburgring hosted a world championship race for the first time for the German Grand Prix. Alberto Ascari took his first world championship win for Ferrari.

David Purley tried in vain to save Roger Williamson.
Source: Sutton Images
A tragic day unfolded at the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort when young British driver Roger Williamson was killed in appalling circumstances during the race. A tyre problem caused him to crash and his car came to rest upside down an on fire at the side of the track. He was unable to free himself but the marshals did nothing. Fellow driver David Purley stopped his car and ran to his friend's aid, grabbing a fire extinguisher from a marshal and trying to right the car by himself. Alas his efforts were in vain and Williamson died in the car before a fire truck could reach the scene. Purley was awarded the George medal but remained bitter that the marshals had not done more to help save his friend. Following his decision to quit motorsport, Purley moved into competition aerobatics. He died on July 2 1985 when his Pitts Special aerobatic biplane crashed into the sea off Bognor Regis.

Alan Jones won the German Grand Prix from team-mate and rival Clay Reggazoni. Jones took the lead at the start from second on the grid and when Regazzoni passed Jacques Laffite for second place on lap 13, the 1-2-3 order was settled for the remainder of the race. The victory gave the Williams team its second successive win in Formula One.

Ayrton Senna wins the 1990 German Grand Prix.
Ayrton Senna held off a spirited challenge from Benetton's Alessandro Nannini to win the German Grand Prix. Starting from his customary pole position, Senna squeezed ahead of team-mate Gerhard Berger at the start and positions remained the same until Nannini emerged ahead of Senna after the pit stops. With an unlikely victory in sight, Nannini's tyres started to suffer and Senna nailed his man with 12 laps remaining.

Ralf Schumacher benefitted from the retirement of Williams team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya to win the German Grand Prix in front of his own fans at Hockenheim. In a real tortoise and hare grand prix, pole-sitter Montoya played the role of the hare and raced off into the distance from Schumacher, only for his BMW engine to fail on him, gifting the race to Ralf.


Monday 28 July 2014

On This Day in Formula One - 28 July

Source: Getty Images
Adolf Hitler and the Nazi hierarchy watched on at the Nurburgring confident that the German-made Mercedes and Auto Union cars would dominate with their German drivers in front of an equally expectant 300,000 fans. Hitler had made it clear that a German victory was imperative but Italian Tazio Nuvolari did not read the script and his less powerful Alfa Romeo took a dramatic victory on the final lap to ruin the Fuhrer's day. 'At first there was deathly silence,' reported Motorsport magazine, 'and then the innate sportsmanship of the Germans triumphed over their astonishment. Nuvolari was given a wonderful reception.' So sure of a German victory were they that the Nazi officials did not have the Italian national anthem on hand. But Nuvolari was able to produce his own record of the anthem, which he always carried for luck.

Nigel Mansell won the German Grand Prix from Williams team-mate Riccardo Patrese and Ferrari's Jean Alesi to close the gap in the drivers' championship to Ayrton Senna. Pole-sitter Mansell made a good start and that was pretty much that for the afternoon as he sailed off into the distance, leaving his rivals to squabble over second place.

Damon Hill claimed his 20th grand prix victory to equal Michael Schumacher's career tally of F1 victories after winning the German Grand Prix. Although victory marked Hill's seventh victory of the year, it was not an easy one as a poor start dropped him behind the Benettons of Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger. A superior strategy enabled him to pass Alesi but Hill was looking as if he had to settle for second until Berger's engine blew up only three laps from home.

Michael Schumacher celebrates the 2002 German Grand Prix victory.
Michael Schumacher equalled his own and Nigel Mansell's record of nine grand prix wins in a season after emerging victorious in the German Grand Prix. Schumacher did not have things all his own way, however, as brother Ralf began to chip into his lead on his superior Michelin tyres. Ralf narrowed the gap to six seconds after the first stop but a late pneumatic problem dropped him to third behind Williams team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya.


Sunday 27 July 2014

On This Day In Formula One - 27 July

Alain Prost tries to push his car over the line at the 1986 German Grand Prix.
Alain Prost was swarming all over the back of Nigel Mansell's Williams at the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim when his McLaren ran out of fuel on the last lap on the finishing straight. To the applause of the crowd, Prost got out of his car and tried to push it over the line. He failed to make it but still earned a point for sixth place as the next car was over a lap adrift.

Former Formula One driver Philippe Alliot was born in Voves, France. Alliot raced for raced for RAM, Ligier, Larrousse and McLaren and had a reputation for accidents leading to heavy criticism from team members, other drivers and even sports commentators, such as James Hunt who caled Alliot "one of the worst Grand Prix drivers ever to drive a Grand Prix car". He left F1 for sports car racing in the early 1990s and enjoyed considerable success with the Peugeot team, run by Jean Todt.

Gerhard Berger scored a popular victory in the German Grand Prix. Victory marked the Austrian's last win in Formula One and the last for the Benetton team. Fittingly, Berger's first grand prix victory in 1986 was also Benetton's first.


Saturday 26 July 2014

On This Day In Formula One - 26 July

Antonio Ascari
Italian racing driver Antonio Ascari was killed while leading the French Grand Prix in an Alfa Romeo P2 at the Autodrome de Montlhery near Paris. Ascari left behind a seven-year old son, Alberto, who went on to win the FIA World Championship in 1952 and 1953. Eerily, Alberto died in similar circumstances to his father, on the 26th day of the month, aged 36 in car No. 26. Both had won 13 grands prix and both died four days after surviving previous accidents and both left a wife and two children.

Nelson Piquet won the German Grand Prix from Stefan Johansson and Ayrton Senna. Nigel Mansell had started on pole ahead of his title rivals Senna, Prost and Piquet and he overtook Senna for the lead on the second lap after a slow start. The race was Mansell's to lose and so it transpired when an engine problem forced his retirement, Prost then seemed to have the race won himself but a broken alternator belt left Piquet to reap the rewards.

Huge crowds turned up to watch Michael Schumacher at Hockenheim but it was Nigel Mansell who ended up the winner of the 1992 German Grand Prix. Mansell was in dominant mood while behind him, the non-stopping Ayrton Senna and Schumacher finished second and third, the German benefitting from a late spin by Riccardo Patrese's Williams.

Mika Hakkinen emotional after dominating the 1998 Australian Grand Prix.
Mika Hakkinen won the Austrian Grand Prix from team-mate David Coulthard and the Ferraris of Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine. Rain during qualifying led to an unusual grid with Giancarlo Fisichella's Benetton on pole from Jean Alesi's Sauber. Both Hakkinen and Schumacher passed the front row cars at the start but the drive of the day came from David Coulthard who stormed through the field from 14th on the grid to seventh on lap 16. Further passes and pit stops by cars ahead meant that Coulthard found himself second at the end ahead of Schumacher's Ferrari as Hakkinen held on for victory.

Lewis Hamilton celebrated his tenth grand prix victory after winning the Hungarian Grand Prix.


Friday 25 July 2014

On This Day In Formula One - 25 July

Rene Arnoux wins the 1982 French Grand Prix ahead of Alain Prost.
Rene Arnoux won the French Grand Prix for Renault on home soil to bring up ten wins in Formula One for the French manufacturer. Arnoux led home Alain Prost to secure the first ever 1-2 for the team. But Prost was livid with his team-mate as he thought he should have allowed him to win to aid his championship bid.

Alain Prost won the German Grand Prix to consolidate his grip on a fourth drivers' title. Prost made a bad start from pole and was passed by both team-mate Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher. The Frenchman then caught and passed both his rivals but was called in for a stop-go penalty for cutting a chicane which dropped him back to fifth. Hill looked certain of victory but a left-rear tyre failure on the penultimate lap handed the win to his grateful team-mate.

Eddie Irvine crosses the line to win the 1999 Australian Grand Prix.
Two weeks after Michael Schumacher broke his leg in a crash at the British Grand Prix, Eddie Irvine won the Austrian Grand Prix for Ferrari to settle into his newfound status as the team's lead driver. Mike Hakkinen took the lead from pole but was tipped into a spin by team-mate David Coulthard at the first corner. Coulthard stayed ahead of Irvine until his pit stop, the Ulsterman sneaking out ahead where he stayed until the finish.

Michael Schumacher celebrates his victory.
Michael Schumacher won the German Grand Prix to notch up his 11th victory in 12 races of a dominant season. Jenson Button ended the day just eight seconds behind the German star and the Englishman may well have won the race but for an engine failure in practice that demoted him ten places to 13th on the grid instead of the third he would have qualified. Fernando Alonso finished third in his Renault.


Thursday 24 July 2014

On This Day In Formula One - 24 July

Dick Seaman celebrates his 1938 German Grand Prix victory.
A young British aristocrat racer named Dick Seaman won the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring driving a Mercedes-Benz and watched by Adolf Hitler. The young Brit, who was given a country estate for his 20th birthday, was the first Englishman to win a major grand prix since Major Henry Segrave in 1923. On the podium he gave a Nazi salute but said afterwards: "I only wish it had been a British car." A year later, Seaman was killed when pushing too hard at Spa. Hitler sent an enormous wreath and Mercedes still tends to his grave to this day.

Jack Brabham won the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort to extend his lead in the drivers' championship over Graham Hill. There had been much newspaper speculation that the 40-year-old was too old to be a serious challenger for the world championship and Brabham limped to his car with the aid of a stick whilst sporting a false beard, much to the amusement of the paddock. But Jack had the last laugh as he won the race en route to the championship.

Ayrton Senna crosses the line to win the 1988 German Grand Prix.
Ayrton Senna won the German Grand Prix from team-mate Alain Prost as McLaren continued its dominant March towards the championship. Victory marked the team's eighth successive victory in a season where they would only fail to win one race, in Italy. The race also marked Nelson Piquet's 150th grand prix start.

Fernando Alonso won the German Grand Prix from Juan Pablo Montoya and Jenson Button to extend his championship lead to 36 points over Kimi Raikkonen. Raikkonen had looked certain to win the race until a hydraulics problem forced his retirement on lap 35, leaving Alonso to coast to victory and, almost certainly, the drivers' title.


Wednesday 23 July 2014

Part 4 - The Hungarian Grand Prix - DID YOU KNOW (FACTS)

On This Day In Formula One - 23 July

Former Formula One driver and automotive pioneer Jim Hall was born in Abilene, Texas. Hall competed in F1 from 1960 to 1963, participating in 12 World Championship Grands Prix and numerous non-Championship races. But Hall's place in motorsport history came as the owner and driving force of Chaparral Cars of Midland, Texas, which were the most innovative cars in racing. He was a very early adopter of aerodynamics applied to race cars and was leading proponent of that technology for an entire decade. Hall came back to prominence in the Championship Auto Racing Teams series, including two wins in the Indianapolis 500 in 1978 and 1980; the latter with the first of the ground effect cars to be raced in the event.

Jenson Button with BAR team boss Dave Richards.
Jenson Button announced he would be joining the BAR team after an unsuccessful spell at Renault. "BAR provided me with an excellent opportunity to progress and ultimately, I hope, to achieve my ambition to be world champion," said Button. He was right on one count, but his success would come with Brawn GP in 2009 a year after his Honda team, who had bought BAR in 2006, folded.

Flamboyant Renault team boss Flavio Briatore was signed up to play himself in an Italian movie shot around his Billionaire nightclub in Sardinia. On starring in Costa Smeralda, Briatore said: "I will play a part I know already: that of Flavio Briatore, aiming for the excesses, obviously. I'm laughing already,"


Tuesday 22 July 2014

Part 3 - The Hungarian Grand Prix - DID YOU KNOW (FACTS)

'Topsy Turvy' - By Jake Davis

This fantastic weekly F1 Toon was designed and created by Jake Davis Creative. Prints are available in sizes A4, A3 and A2. Commissions are also available. If you would like to order a PRINT of this fantastic F1 Toon feel free to contact him via:
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On This Day In Formula One - 22 July

Niki Lauda wins the 1984 British Grand Prix.
McLaren team-mates were at it again at the British Grand Prix, this time it was Niki Lauda who came out victorious to narrow the gap in the championship standings to Alain Prost. The race also marked the closest Derek Warwick would ever come to a Formula One victory when he finished second in his Renault. The race was also notable because the Tyrrell team was banned for using lead balls in its water ballast. They appealed but to no avail and they were stripped of their points for the entire season.

Rubens Barrichello broke his winner's trophy for the British Grand Prix while checking in for his flight home at Heathrow airport. The gold replica of the original was accidently knocked to the ground and smashed leaving the Brazilian distraught after one of his greatest F1 victories. "Somebody bumped into the trophy and it fell and broke," he said.

Bernie Ecclestone rushed to the defence of Michael Schumacher's dominance of F1, as the German was on the verge of a record seventh world title. Many claimed Schumacher had made the sport boring but Ecclestone, the sport's commercial rights holder and potentially the one with the most to lose by viewers switching off, said: "Michael is a superstar. That is exactly what we wanted - every sport needs a superstar and he is ours. Everybody tries to beat him and that is great publicity for Formula One. He is lucky to drive for a team that supports him the way Ferrari does but it was Michael who motivated them after their initial problems."

Turn 8 and 9 at the at the Nurburgring Circuit is named after the
 legendary 7 time world champion Michael Schumacher.
Michael Schumacher had a corner named after him at the Nurburgring grand prix circuit. The high speed turns nine and ten were officially named at that year's European Grand Prix to commemorate the German's career, which started nearby at a local kart track. "I'm absolutely thrilled to be privileged to experience a situation like this," said Schumacher.

Fernando Alonso won the European Grand Prix to close the gap in the championship standings to just two points between himself and McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton. A rainstorm hit the circuit after just one lap of action leading to the extraordinary sight of debutant Markus Winkelhock leading his first F1 race by half a minute - in a Spyker. Sadly for Winkelhock, conditions were so bad that the race had to be suspended and on the restart, Kimi Raikkonen led Felipe Massa and Alonso before further rainfall and more pitstops again shuffled the pack leaving Alonso to slither to victory from Massa and Mark Webber's Red Bull. Listeners to BBC radio were able to enjoy the commentary of Murray Walker for the first time since he retired in 2001. 

BMW had to abandon testing of its Kinetic Energy Recovery System after one of its mechanics received an electric shock. The team had been testing for the following year when the revolutionary technology was introduced to the sport. The KERS unit was in its early stages of development and the first mechanic to touch the car after a test run fell to the ground after an electric shock. It was one of a number of scares about the new technology when it was first introduced, which eventually led to mechanics wearing rubber gloves when handling the cars.


Monday 21 July 2014

Part 2 - The Hungarian Grand Prix - DID YOU KNOW (FACTS)

On This Day In Formula One - 21 July

Jim Clark won the 1962 British Grand Prix at Aintree.
Jim Clark took the first of his five British Grand Prix victories. Clark secured the win, pole position and fastest lap, exhibiting his deep reserves of skill at a packed Aintree. The race itself was devoid of action but the home fans were kept happy by John Surtees, joining Clark on the podium in second place.

McLaren's Alain Prost won the British Grand Prix after an intense battle with Ayrton Senna was brought to an end when the Lotus ran out of fuel. Senna made a brilliant start and shot ahead of Keke Rosberg on pole to take the lead. He led comfortably up to about lap 30 but then came under attack from Prost for the second half of the race. Heading into the final 10 laps Senna's engine started to sound rough and on lap 58 Prost slipped through to take the lead. Senna retaliated and actually got back past the McLaren before he was forced to retire when he ran out of fuel. Prost went on to take the win by over a lap from Michele Alboreto in the Ferrari. Rather embarrassingly for the race director, he put the chequered flag out one lap too late meaning the race was 2.9 miles longer than it should have been. Fortunately the mistake did not alter the result.

Michael Schumacher celebrates his fifth World Championship.
Michael Schumacher took his fifth Formula One title, equalling the record of Juan Manuel Fangio. He sealed the championship at just the 11th round in France, taking his eighth win of the season and notching up his 96th point of the year. The race itself was fairly dull, with Kimi Raikkonen conceding victory to Schumacher five laps from the end when he ran wide on oil at the Adelaide hairpin. Schumacher's closest championship competitor before the race was his Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello but the Brazilian failed to make the start when his engine failed on the grid.

BAR Honda set a new land-speed record for a Formula One car.
BAR set a new land-speed record for a Formula One car but fell short of its ambitious 400km/h (248mph) target. The team had taken a modified version of its V10 F1 car to the Bonneville salt flats to attempt the record, with South African Alan van der Merwe at the wheel. The team did manage to get the BAR (with a fin instead of a rear wing) over 400km/h but couldn't repeat the feat driving the other way, which is necessary to set a record. Its official top speed was a still-impressive 397.360km/h average over two consecutive runs. Van der Merwe now drives the F1 medical car at grands prix.


Sunday 20 July 2014

Part 1 - The Hungarian Grand Prix - DID YOU KNOW (FACTS)



On This Day In Formula One - 20 July

Often considered to be the greatest driver never to win a world-championship grand prix, Chris Amon was born in Bulls, New Zealand. At the age of 19 he made his F1 debut with Reg Parnell's racing team and scored his first points before the age of 21. After Parnell's death he competed in the odd race for Brabham before being signed up to drive for Ferrari in 1967. He immediately proved his class and took four podiums but his sought-after win eluded him. In 1970 he joined March where he did record a Formula One win but in the non-championship International Trophy at Silverstone. He won once more on his debut at Matra in 1971, but again it did not count towards the world championship and the rest of the season proved to be a struggle. He should have won the 1972 French Grand Prix but was deprived of almost-certain victory by a puncture. From that point onwards his career fizzled out and his attempt to run his own team in 1974 also proved fruitless. He now lives and works on his family farm and has also developed suspension for car giant Toyota since retiring from racing.

Sir Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks shared victory at the British Grand Prix at Aintree. The event marked the first victory for a British car in Formula One as the Vanwall led the Ferraris of Luigi Musso and Mike Hawthorn across the line. Moss, whose engine had failed, took over team-mate Brooks' car midway through the race, as his fellow Briton was still getting over the injuries from a massive accident at Le Mans that year. Moss rejoined in ninth place but immediately fought his way back into contention. "I came out quite a long way down but that suited me fine," he said. "You see the trouble is that when you are leading and the car fails, you get labelled as a car breaker. But when you're at the back coming through the field they don't care if you break it. So at least I could have a go." He worked his way back up to fourth and then took the lead when Jean Behra's clutch exploded and punctured the tyres of second place Mike Hawthorn. Moss passed team-mate Stewart Lewis-Evans and went on to take a comfortable victory. Over half a century later he told ESPNF1 it was his favourite British Grand Prix he ever took part in: "It was not a great circuit or anything else, but it was the first time a British car won a world championship race. And sharing it with Tony Brooks, who was such a fantastic driver anyway, certainly didn't take anything away from it."

Jim Clark took his second of five eventual British Grand Prix victories in his career. After a shaky start from pole position he had a fairly straightforward race, regaining the four positions he lost on the first lap and going on to take the win by 25 seconds from John Surtees' Ferrari. BRM driver Graham Hill finished third to make it an all British podium at Silverstone.

Keke Rosberg set one of the most incredible qualifying laps of all time at Silverstone, taking pole and lapping at an average speed in excess of 160mph. At the time it was a record and was the last qualifying lap set on one of the fastest layouts of the historic track. His best time was 0.658 up on Williams team-mate Nelson Piquet. The current fastest lap qualifying record is held by Juan Pablo Montoya, who recorded a lap at over 162 mph at Monza in 2004.

One of the most bizarre races of all time took place at Silverstone when a priest, baring a slightly confused religious message, burst on to the Hanger straight and forced drivers to swerve out of his way. Father Cornelius Horan, a defrocked Irish Roman Catholic clergyman, decided to break onto the track in order to spread his message that the world was coming to an end. Needless to say it didn't, but he did nearly stop the race and a safety car had to be deployed so he could be arrested, inadvertently shaking up the order and providing a thrilling race from that point onwards. Rubens Barrichello, who had started the race on pole, dropped a couple of places but got off lightly compared to his Ferrari team-mate Michael Schumacher, Juan Pablo Montoya and Fernando Alonso, who all ended up outside the top ten. Barrichello then mounted a fight back, pulling a brilliant overtaking move around the outside of Kimi Raikkonen at Bridge, to go to take one of the greatest victories of his career. Montoya finished second after his own spirited drive through the field and Raikkonen finished third. Horan was later charged with aggravated trespass and pleaded guilty saying an open gate onto the track had been a sign from God. He was jailed for two months but went on to enjoy more fame several years later on the TV show Britain's Got Talent.

Sebastien Buemi became one of the youngest drivers ever to test an F1 car at just 15-years-old. He was let loose in a 1999 Arrows as a part of a tie-up with his sponsor TAG Huer. "The sensations are extraordinary," said Buemi. "More than ever after this experience I am determined to conquer the Formula BMW Championship in order to gradually climb the rungs that I hope will one day lead to Formula One." He eventually achieved his dream in 2009 when he was signed up as a Toro Rosso race driver.

Lewis Hamilton recovered from a botched strategy to beat world championship-rival Felipe Massa to victory in one of his stand-out performances of his first title-winning season. Hamilton had the race under control until a huge accident involving Timo Glock's Toyota brought out the safety car. Most drivers followed convention and pitted, but Hamilton stayed out on track and lost position when he had to make his stop under racing conditions. However, he then recovered from fifth place with a brilliant display of overtaking around the Hockenheim circuit.

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Saturday 19 July 2014

On This Day In Formula One - 19 July

Alberto Ascari won every race he entered and became world champion.
Alberto Ascari dominated 1952 and 1953 and unsurprisingly he did exactly that at the British Grand Prix. The Ferrari's of Ascari and Giuseppe Farina dominated for much of the race, although Farina finished sixth after spark-plug issues.

Peter Collins' win at Silverstone came against the backdrop of unrest inside Ferrari. Two weeks earlier the irascible Enzo Ferrari had demoted Collins to the No. 2 team but had been forced to backtrack when Mike Hawthorn stood up for his team-mate. Collins started brilliantly, moving into the lead from sixth on the grid within a lap, and when Stirling Moss' Vanwall blew its engine the competition was as good as seen off.

An epic battle between Jackie Stewart and Jochen Rindt was the highlight of the British Grand Prix was settled when Rindt was forced to pit twice for running repairs, allowing Stewart to cruise home by more than a lap. His achievement was notable because the day before he had crashed at Woodcote and had to commandeer Jean-Pierre Beltoise's car.

Emerson Fittipaldi wins the 1975 British Grand Prix.
Source: Getty Images.
A remarkable end to the British Grand Prix with the winner, Emerson Fittipaldi, in the pits when the red flag came out and the next four drivers extracting themselves from crashed cars around Silverstone. A sudden downpour on the 55th lap turned the track into an ice rink and within a lap many of those still running were in catch fences. Only six of the 26 starters were still functioning at the premature end. Fittipaldi, who had pitted to change tyres, was pronounced the winner, and fortunately there were no serious injuries. The record crowd of 77,000 - it would have been more but for gridlock for miles around - went home bemused. A varied field had been given even more spice when days before the race Jacky Ickx left Lotus by mutual consent, exasperated at waiting for a long-promised new car. Colin Chapman still entered three cars, as did March, but Frank Williams had only one entry because he had run out of engines.

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Friday 18 July 2014

On This Day in Formula One - 18 July

Alberto Ascari wins the 1953 British Grand Prix.
Italian domination - through Ferrari and Masarati - was expected at Silverstone and so it turned out as Alberto Ascari took the lead from the start and was never headed.

Again strikes in Italy meant Ferrari missed the British Grand Prix but Tony Brooks, fresh from his win in France, was released by the team and secured a drive in a Vanwall. Jack Brabham in a Cooper took an early lead and was never passed, although there was a fierce battle for second in which Stirling Moss edged out Bruce McLaren by 0.2 of a second.

Jim Clark returns to the pits after winning the 1965 Dutch Grand Prix.
Jim Clark's mastery was evident as he cruised to victory at the Dutch Grand Prix after passing Richie Ginther and Graham Hill within five laps, his fifth win in six grands prix that season. The success all but guaranteed Clark of the title as Hill would have had to win all four remaining races to have had any chance of overtaking him.

So near and yet so far for Jack Brabham who ran out of fuel on the last lap of the British Grand Prix and could only watch as he was overtaken by Jochen Rindt as he coasted towards the chequered flag. Brabham had enough momentum to make it across the line before he stopped, just beating Denny Hulme into second.

James Hunt alongside pole sitter Niki Lauda at the 1976 British Grand Prix.
One of the most controversial British Grands Prix was not decided until September 24 when James Hunt's win was overturned after an appeal by Ferrari. The trouble came when the original race was stopped after a pile-up at the first bend and a restart ordered. But stewards, faced with a large and angry crowd who were throwing beer cans onto the track at reports Hunt, who had damaged his car in the crash, would not be allowed to restart in his spare, bottled it and let him take his place on the grid. Niki Lauda took the lead until the 45th lap when he suffered gear-box problems and Hunt passed him and went on to take the victory. Ferrari immediately objected, arguing Hunt was already eliminated by the time the red flag was shown, but he countered that his car was moving round the track, albeit with a massively-damaged chassis. He also pointed out the accident had been caused by a Ferrari driver - Lauda The protest was rejected by stewards but was subsequently referred to the FIA who ruled in Ferrari's favour. It could have had a decisive affect on the drivers' championship, and only heavy rain in Japan which resulted in Lauda's retirement ensured the lost points would not cost Hunt his crown.

John Watson crosses the line to win the 1981 British Grand Prix.
John Watson was a surprise winner of the British Grand Prix but a very popular one. His McLaren caught the turbocharged Renaults and exploited their mechanical unreliability to take the win. Arnoux had led from Watson and his turbo was always going to have the legs over the Cosworth-engined McLaren - until lap 50 when the Renault started malfunctioning. Watson soon picked up the lead, while Arnoux couldn't even salvage a championship point from the race as his engine deteriorated.

Lauda's track record at Brands Hatch wasn't a good one but he made amends by winning the 1982 British Grand Prix after a chaotic start. Starting from pole, Keke Rosberg's Williams refused to get away on the warming up lap as the hot weather had caused the fuel to vaporise. A watering can of cold water did the trick but by then the pack had set off on its warm-up lap and Rosberg started last. When the race began Riccardo Patrese stalled his Braham and was hit by Rene Arnoux's Renault

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Thursday 17 July 2014

Corrina Schumacher says "Thank you for the support!"

Michael Schumacher's wife Corrina issues her heartfelt thanks to those who have supported the 45-year-old since the seven-time champion's skiing accident in the Alpine resort of Meribel last December.

Corinna Schumacher : “This is a message to all of you who have lived a passion for Michael’s sport in all the years together with him, and who have supported him in the past half year off the track as well. The German Grand Prix gives me the perfect opportunity to cordially thank you all for the good wishes and positive energy you keep sending to Michael. I have to say your sympathies literally blew up all away! Good to know that together we made it through the hardest time! Now we are facing a phase which will presumably take a long time. We trust that – as for so many years in F1 – time will be Michael’s ally in this fight. Until then I would like to wish you and your families all the best as well.”