• March 11 down the years

The king of speed

What happened on March 11 in Formula One history?
Sir Malcolm Campbell in his Type 39A Bugatti for the inaugural British Grand Prix in 1926 © Getty Images
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1885
The birth of British speed legend Sir Malcolm Campbell who was a national hero between the wars for the various land and water speed records he broke in his iconic Bluebird vehicles. In 1927 and 1928 he won the Grand Prix de Boulogne in France driving a Bugatti T39A. In 1926 he finished second in the inaugural British Grand Prix. In 1924 he broke the land-speed record - the first of nine land records he held - at Pendine Sands in Wales. The last record came 11 years later in Utah when he became the first man to pass 300mph. He then turned to water, and broke the water-speed record four times, reaching 141.7mph on Coniston Water in Bluebird IV in August 1939. World War Two ended the pursuit of such records, although he served throughout and continuosly and unsuccessfully tried to get on active service. He died after a series of strokes in 1948. He had been knighted in 1931 after one of his record-breaking runs in Daytona.

1990
The first round of the 1990 season took place in Phoenix, Arizona and was won by Ayrton Senna driving a McLaren Honda. However, he didn't have it easy, rain during qualifying shook up the order and Jean Alesi, just in his second season of F1 racing, took an early lead in the Tyrrell. Senna, who started in fifth, closed the gap and sat behind Alesi, expecting the Tyrrell's Pirelli tyres to wear at a faster rate than his Goodyears. However, when it became clear that the Pirellis would hold up Senna made his move. The world champion expected it to be a cut and shut job, but Alesi held his line and retook the lead at the next corner. Senna was in no mood to mess around and on the next lap took a more ruthless approach to ensure he gained the lead. The move stuck, but Alesi held on for an impressive second-place finish, over 45 seconds ahead of third-placed Thierry Boutsen and just eight seconds off Senna.

2000
Jenson Button walked away from a massive 160mph accident during Saturday practice for his debut grand prix. He had been running fifth fastest when he hit a kerb and smashed into the retaining wall, ripping off two of the car's wheels. Driving the spare car in qualifying, he was caught out by yellow and red flags and ended up qualifying in 21st. He ended up retiring from sixth place with engine failure in the race.

1953
Irish driver Derek Daly was born in Stillargan, Dublin. He competed in 49 grand prix between 1978 and 1982. After retiring from racing he set up a race school at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and also works for American TV.

1943
Italian driver Arturo Francesco Merzario was born; during his F1 career, which lasted from 1977 to 1979, he competed in 57 grand prix. He is remembered for being one of the drivers who saved Niki Lauda from his burning car after a crash in the 1976 German Grand Prix.

1930
Troy Ruttman, an American race driver was born; he competed in eight grand prix, between 1950 and 1960, scoring one win. He retired from racing in 1964, and spent years fighting drink and gambling addictions, before dying of cancer aged 67.

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