• January 10 down the years

Death in Buenos Aires

What happened on January 10 in Formula One history?
Ignazio Giunti drove for Ferrari in the early 1970s © Sutton Images
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1971
Italian driver Ignazio Giunti died competing in the Buenos Aires 1000km race. Unsighted by another car, Giunti's Ferrari crashed into the back of the Matra of Jean-Piere Beltoise which the driver was trying push along the track to the pits - it was only later that year this was banned. Giunti's vehicle was thrown into the air, hitting the track 200 yards ahead and bursting into flames. Team-mate Arturo Merzario sprinted 500 yards from the pits and, just as he would do at the Nürburgring in 1976, pulled the driver from the blazing inferno. However, Giunti was already dead although some claimed he died shortly after being dragged from his car. Remarkably, Beltoise escaped unharmed as the impact was on one side of his stricken vehicle while he was pushing at the other.

1958
Eddie Cheever was born in Phoenix, Arizona. He competed in F1 from 1978 to 1989 with nine different teams, starting 132 grand prix, more than any other American driver. He is best known for running his own IRL team, and in 1998 he won the Indianapolis 500 as both the owner and driver.

1921
American driver Rodger Ward was born in Beloit, Kansas. He competed in F1 from 1951 to 1963, taking part in 12 races, all in America. He won the Indianapolis Grand Prix in 1959, from sixth on the grid, driving a Watson. Three years later he again won the race but by then it had ceased to count towards the FIA World Championship. He had 26 victories in his 150 starts between 1950 and 1964, and he finished in the top ten in more than half of his starts.

1918
German driver Harry Merkel was born in Leipzig, he entered the 1952 German Grand Prix in a BMW but failed to qualify. It was the first and only time he drove the car and he turned down an offer to buy it after the race. The person who did buy it crashed on their first outing. Away from motorsport he was also a champion shot putter.

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