- February 12 down the years
Sandstorm stops testing
Testing in Bahrain was called off after the teams encountered sandstorms at the desert track. Ferrari, BMW and Toyota opted to test at the circuit to avoid the risk of rain shortening their running time. However, all three teams completed just one lap before the officials at the test red flagged the session.
Louis Renault, who was born on this day in Paris, was a French industrialist, one of the founders of Renault and a pioneer of the automobile industry. He built the car firm but his memory is forever tarnished by his collaboration with the Germans during World War Two. He died in liberated France in the end of 1944 under uncertain circumstances awaiting trial, his company was seized and nationalized by the provisionary government of France -- though he was never tried, nor convicted. His were the only factories permanently expropriated by the French government
Michael Schumacher had a road named after him in his home town of Kerpen in Germany. The road leads to his family's kart track and was renamed during a special ceremony. The seven-time world champion said: "It's always comforting to see how much support I get when I come home.
Toranosuke Takagi was born in Shizouka, Japan. He raced in two full seasons in Formula One for Tyrrell in 1998 and Arrows in 1999 but retired from more races than he finished and never scored a world championship point. When he ran out of money as a pay driver, Takagi returned to Japan where he won the Formula Nippon championship before forging a career in Champ Car and Indy Car in the USA. He now runs a kart school trying to develop young talent in his native country.
A test session in Jerez had to be halted after a water truck got stuck in a gravel trap. Jenson Button and Ricardo Zonta were at the track to develop Michelin's wet tyre but had to wait for several hours to start after a truck spraying water on the track slid off the circuit. Its water laden weight meant it could not be easily moved and circuit organisers had to call for a crane to remove it.