- March 9 down the years
Coulthard capitalises on Williams' miseryWhat happened on March 9 in Formula One history?
David Coulthard won the Australian Grand Prix for McLaren from fourth on the grid, the team's first victory in 50 races. Itvwas also the first win for a Mercedes engine since Juan Manuel Fangio wrapped up the world championship at Monza in 1955. Williams, which had won both titles in 1996, was expected to dominate but Jacques Villeneuve was taken out by Eddie Irvine within seconds of the start, while team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen spun into the gravel three laps from the end as he sought to recover from a botched pit stop. Defending champion Damon Hill, who had left Williams to join Arrows, qualified in 20th but broke down on the parade lap. His only, albeit scant, consolation was that neither team which had also tried to sign him - Jordan and Stewart - managed to finish the race either.
Bernie Ecclestone upset a continent when he poured cold water on the prospects of F1 returning to Africa. "We're aware that Africa is missing," he said. "We had talks a couple of years ago and almost reached a deal but at the moment they are so wound up with the football World Cup - there was not much point in talking."
The birth of Timo Glock who enjoyed two good seasons with Toyota before the team withdrew from the sport, after which he moved to the new Virgin team where he soldiered on in an uncompetitive car for three years before he was ditched in favour of a pay driver.
British race driver Brian Redman was born in Burnley, Lancashire. He competed in 12 grand prix, his best result was third for Cooper in 1968. He later enjoyed success in endurance racing; he is a life member of the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) and a contributing editor to American magazine Road and Track.
Argentine race driver Pablo Birger was killed in a road accident at the age of 42. He competed in two grand prix, both for Gordini, and was very active in Argentine motorsport prior to his death.
Italian race driver Teo Fabi, born on this day, competed in 64 grand prix between 1982 and 1987, and last raced actively in CART in 1996. He also had a successful career in sports cars, culminating in winning the world sports car championship in 1991 for TWR Jaguar. He now works alongside fellow race driver and brother Corrado in the family business.