- April 29 down the years
Schumacher's lucky breakWhat happened on April 29 in Formula One history?
Even Michael Schumacher said he had mixed feelings about winning the Spanish Grand Prix after Mika Hakkinen retired from the lead on the final lap. The McLaren came to a halt with clutch failure after Hakkinen had led since the second round of pit stops. "I'm super-disappointed - goddamn it, you know, Jesus," Hakkinen spluttered after the race. Schumacher said: "I have to say I feel very sorry for Mika. Until the last pit stop we had an entertaining race and then he jumped me at the last pit stop. I was shocked when I saw he had retired. This is not the way I like to win, but it has happened to me in the past and these things happen in racing." The retirement also allowed Jacques Villeneuve to sneak into the top three for BAR's first podium.
Legendary privateer Rob Walker died aged 84. In the 1950s and 1960s his team challenged the manufacturer teams and won a total of nine grand-prix victories. Stirling Moss drove for the team in its most successful period and took maiden victories for both Lotus and Cooper, beating the marques' works teams to do so. Its first win at the 1958 Argentine Grand Prix was of particular significance as it was the first victory in Formula One for a rear-engined car.
McLaren was handed a three-race suspended ban for bringing the sport into disrepute after lying to stewards at the Australian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton and team manager Dave Ryan were at the centre of the controversy after they told the stewards in Melbourne that Hamilton had not been told to let Jarno Trulli past under the final safety-car period. Trulli had gone off the track and when he rejoined McLaren advised Hamilton to let him past, giving up a podium place. However, when the FIA investigated the incident Ryan and Hamilton lied and as a result were awarded the podium. Hamilton was disqualified from the race and made a public apology at the next round in Malaysia.
Patrick Depailler dominated the 1979 Spanish Grand Prix for Ligier after his team-mate, and the only man who got remotely close, Jacques Lafitte retired on lap 15 with engine failure. Ligier had been the surprise package that season with Lafitte winning the first two races and the team leading the constructors' championship up until the sixth round. However, after the victory in Jarama it failed to win another race and Depailler had to sit out of half the season after a hang-gliding accident.
Ferrari threatened to quit the sport after a number of teams said they would create a break-away series. The team's president Luca di Montezemolo said: "I don't think it is possible to find another solution all together and I think maybe to save the future of F1 everybody has to take their own decisions - stop or commit. I don't see a different solution. What is for sure is that after the end of 2007 we are free, we have no deal with anybody. After that everybody can do whatever they want." When asked whether withdrawing from F1 was an option, he said: "Yes, why not? This could be one idea." Further calls for a breakaway series were made in 2009 before the signing of another Concorde agreement to bind the sport together until the end of 2012
At Acheres in France, Camille Jenatzy regained the land speed record becoming the first man to exceed 100kph. It was the last of six times the record was broken in a little over four months as Jenatzy and Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat swapped the honour on the same piece of open road. This record, which was the last set by an electric-powered vehicle, lasted for almost three years.
Bernie Ecclestone told the car manufacturers to give him a free reign over F1 and insisted the sport only worked under a dictatorship. "[The teams] never think about the next season and they never think about the sport," he said. "The teams now want more democracy. In my opinion it cannot work. As far as Formula 1 goes, I believe in dictatorship."
Emerson Fittipaldi took a dominant victory at the Spanish Grand Prix on the tight Montjuic circuit, after Jackie Stewart and Ronnie Peterson retired. Fittipaldi won by 42 seconds from seventh on the grid and lapped everybody up to and including fourth-placed Peter Revson. His Lotus team-mate Peterson had looked fastest all weekend after qualifying on pole but retired from the lead on lap 46 with gearbox failure.