A light aircraft piloted by double world champion Graham Hill crashed as it attempted to land in freezing fog at Elstree Aerodrome in Hertfordshire, killing Hill and five members of his Embassy Hill racing team, including up-and-coming young driver Tony Brise. So thick was the fog that a professional pilot would have been forced to divert, but at the time such regulations did not apply to amateurs. The six men had been flying back from Marseilles where they had been testing a car for the next season. The Piper Aztec, which Hill had bought with his winnings from the 1966 Indianapolis 500, crashed on a nearby golf course and then burst into flames as it careered into trees. Worse was to come for the Hill family as it subsequently emerged the plane was not properly insured and so relatives of the victims successfully sued Hill's estate for compensation.
Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo launched an attack on the running of F1 and called for the teams to take control of the sport rather than it to continue being Bernie Ecclestone's "one-man show". He said: "We have to have one Formula One owner, but that should be a strong management owner of all the teams. How can we race when we get just 47% of the television revenues, and, to be honest, I don't know much that is? I don't want a direct involvement in running it. I don't want Ferrari or Mercedes running things, but we have to be part of a company with a strong management and, I hope, with Bernie, as long as he is fit enough, to be running it with transparency, a single voice and an increase in income." The ownership subsequently changed hands but Ecclestone remained - and remains - in tight control of the sport.
A spat inside the Williams camp became public with boss Patrick Head's attack on Ralf Schumacher over the German's approach to testing. "He hasn't got much patience to check data with the engineers, to study the next day's programme or to discuss things he doesn't like in the car. Juan [Pablo Montoya] does all that and has a better understanding for the car." Head's comments came after Schumacher went on record as saying: "I don't know exactly why but Frank Williams and Montoya are closer. Frank loves Juan." Schumacher finished fourth in the 2001 and 2002 drivers' championship and remained with Williams until the end of 2004.
Felipe Massa returned to the track four months after a potentially fatal incident when he was hit by a spring at the Hungarian Grand Prix. He competed in a karting event in Brazil, alongside Michael Schumacher who attracted more than a passing interest from journalists as rumours of a comeback gained pace.