Stirling Moss won the opening round of the European season at a wet Monaco in a Lotus 18 in a competitive race during which all 16 starters broke the previous lap record. The British cars so dominated that the Guardian almost gloated that the Ferraris "once the unchallenged masters, were able to provide only impressive exhaust noise out of proportion to their performance". As the end approached there were only four cars left out, leading to several "battered or half-repaired machines to suddenly reappear to qualify as finishers". Moss was driving for Rob Walker's privateer team, and the win was the first in an F1 championship race for Lotus.
Speeding cost David Coulthard a podium finish in the European Grand Prix - after incurring a penalty during qualifying for a pit-lane error, he repeated the offence in the race proper and a drive-through penalty cost him dear. "These things happen," he said. "The margin was so tight, but once I had to drive through the pits for the penalty, I knew the podium had gone." The grand prix was won by Fernando Alonso.
The McLarens of Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna dominated the Mexican Grand Prix leading a number of journalists to write that the season was as good as done and dusted after four races. They weren't wrong - the pair won all but one race through the year.
Damon Hill gave Williams a boost a month after the death of Ayrton Senna in the Spanish Grand Prix, but Michael Schumacher did superbly to guide his Benetton into second given it was jammed in fifth gear for three-quarters of the race.
Nigel Mansell crashed out of the Indianapolis 500 after being hit from behind under a yellow flag. He seemed to have overcome the shunt only for smoke to start pouring into the car. As he scrambled clear he was pounced on by a marshal who thought he was on fire - the cars run on ethanol which burns invisibly. He refused to go to hospital, admitting: "I've upset a few medical staff. They want me t go to hospital but I don't. They can take away my licence if they want."
Ukyo Katayama was born in Tokoyo but after showing initial promise he failed to live up to expectations in underpowered vehicles. He suffered a massive crash in 1996 and after another disappointing season with Minardi quit at the end of 1997 to pursue his real passion, mountain climbing.