- March 13 down the years
Brazilian deja vu for RosbergWhat happened on March 13 in Formula One history?
A horrible sense of déjà vu for Keke Rosberg whow as disqualified from the Brazilian Grand Prix for the second year running. Twelve months earlier he had taken the chequered flag only to be booted out after his car was found to be underweight. This time he came second after being on pole, only to be disqualified for receiving a push start after a mid-race pit stop. The race was won by Nelson Piquet and Niki Lauda was third.
In what was to become a tediously drawn-out story, Silverstone's future was put under threat by Bernie Ecclestone. Who had said: If the British grand prix disappears from Britain, it will be because no one can afford Silverstone's rent." But Martin Brundle, the former grand prix driver and chairman of the British Racing Drivers Club, which owned the Northamptonshire circuit, reacted furiously. "It is clear for anyone to see that Bernie seems to have been trying hard to destabilise the British grand prix, Silverstone and the BRDC," he said. The saga dragged on another six-and-a-half years before the circuit's long-term future was assured.
Deep discontentment at McLaren after a poor Australian Grand Prix, with newspapers reporting long-time boss Ron Dennis was under pressure to quit. "There are a lot of disillusioned people in the camp, people who have stood by Ron Dennis for many years," an insider told the Sunday Mirror. "Ron has got a real problem on his hands. They could see what was coming - they knew the car wasn't good enough. They feel Ron has taken his eye off the ball, that he's too concerned about style and image. He seems to have forgotten the fundamentals and lost sight of the fact that McLaren is supposed to be, first and foremost, a racing team." He survived …
Phoenix Formula One, the outfit which bought the remains of the failed Prost team, were told to stay away from the forthcoming Malaysian Grand Prix by the FIA who claimed to have told both parties that their proposed entry was invalid because they had not purchased the all-important "right to compete". It had arrived in Kuala Lumpur with two of last year's Prost AP04 cars, which they intended to race on Sunday. The Argentinian Gaston Mazzacane was named as one driver, with the Brazilian Tarso Marques tipped as the other. As it was, faced with the brick wall of the FIA, it never raced.
British American Racing escaped with a mild rebuke from the FIA instead of a fine or suspension after apologising for its behaviour in a dispute over liveries and logos. BAR had fallen foul of the governing body when it presented one car painted in red, white and black and emblazoned with a Lucky Strike logo, the other in blue and yellow and promoting the 555 cigarette brand. "It's like having a football team with different shirts," Max Mosley, FIA president, said. "It's important that cars from the same team should be easily identified."
American driver Gene Hartlydied; he was the son of driver Ted Hartley who raced in the 1960s. During his career he competed in eight grand prix and later became promoter of the Kitley Avenue Speedway in Indianapolis.
American driver Mike Fisher, a celebrated colonel and a Vietnam veteran, flying fighter jets, was born. He took part in one grand prix in 1967, and served as CART's executive vice president in 1997.
Joe Kelly, an Irish driver who drove an Alta in the 1950 and 1951 British Grand Prix, was born in Dublin. He retired from circuit racing after a serious accident at Oulton Park in 1955, although he later competed in hillclimbs.