- March 14 down the years
Prost wins the last South African Grand PrixWhat happened on March 14 in Formula One history?
The last South African Grand Prix was held at Kyalami. Alain Prost scored took pole position, recorded the fastest lap, and won the race in his Williams Renault, despite a wobbly start which saw him beaten to the first corner by Ayrton Senna, Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher respectively. "It is very difficult to find the clutch," he said afterwards. "I was not very confident and I almost stalled the engine." It was also Mark Blundell's 100th grand prix start, and his first podium place. At the end there were just five cars running, mainly because of accidents caused by torrential rain. The unlucky Derek Warwick in an uncompetitive Footwork spun off when he only needed to cross the finishing line to claim a point.
Italian racer Eugenio Castellotti was killed at Modena. While any death is tragic, that of Castellotti was avoidable and utterly senseless. He was on holiday when the autocratic Enzo Ferrari called him and demanded he turn up at Modena for a private drive, fuming that the lap record at his track had just been taken by a Maserati. Castellotti had little choice, and after a single warm-up lap he signaled to the pits he was ready to start the serious work. A short time later he lost control, his car cleared a concrete wall and slammed into a small grandstand., He died instantly. He was 26 years old and had raced in 14 grand prix for Ferrari, scoring 19.5 points.
Jackie Stewart, a long-time campaigner for a safer sport, called on the FIA to ensure stewards were properly protected. His comments came after the death of a marshal at the season-opener in Australia, the second marshal to die in five races. "In exposed areas marshals might be issued with flack jackets in the same way that police are to mitigate against the impact of shrapnel in the milliseconds after accidents," Stewart said. "There is also the issue of head protection and face guards as well as flack jackets. When an accident occurs you have to recognise there are lessons to be learned."