- February 5 down the years
The last link with the Silver ArrowsWhat happened in Formula One on February 5?
The last surviving inter-war Silver Arrows driver, Manfred von Brauchitsch died in Graefenwarth aged 97. He drove for Mercedes in the 1930s taking three grand prix victories but missing out on a number of others due to his notorious bad luck. His greatest win came at the 1937 Monaco Grand Prix when he set a lap record that stood for 18 years. A son of a military family he struggled to find work in West Germany after the war and was jailed for espionage in 1951. While on bail he defected to East Germany where he was made head of the national motorsport organisation. After Hermann Lang died in 1987 he became the last living member of the Silver Arrows team.
Louis Wagner, the man who won the first British Grand Prix in 1926, was born in Seine-Saint-Denis, France. His other big successes came before the war in America when he won the inaugural US Grand Prix in 1907 and the Vanderbilt Cup a year earlier. His victory at Brooklands in 1926 was all the more remarkable as issues with his car meant his feet were badly burned, and at one point he had to stop so he could relieve the pain by standing in a bucket of cold water.
Flavio Braitore revealed that Fernando Alonso would make his F1 debut with Minardi. Briatore gave him a few tests in a Benetton to make sure he could get an F1 super-license and then persuaded Paul Stoddart to give him a drive at the small Italian team. Alonso had completed just two seasons out of karts at the time and finished a respectable fourth in the competitive F3000 series the year before. He drove a full season with Minardi, failing to score any points but putting in some solid performances in an uncompetitive car. A year's testing followed before he secured a race drive for Briatore's Renault team in 2003. By 2006 he was a double world champion.
Driver and team owner Hector Rebaque was born in Mexico City. He competed in 58 grand prix during his five year F1 career, driving for his own team, Rebaque, in 1978 and 1979. His best finish was fourth, which he achieved on three occasions in his final season driving for Brabham in 1981. In 1982 he raced in the CART series in the USA, winning at Elkhart Lake (now Road America) in what turned out to be his final race. He retired just one week later when a serious accident during testing convinced him that oval racing was too dangerous.
Alain de Changy was born in Brussels, Belgium. He entered just one F1 race, the 1959 Monaco Grand Prix, with Ecurie National Belge but failed to qualify. He enjoyed more success in sports car racing.