- July 12 down the years
Sneaky Schumacher exploits sloppy stewards
A soggy British Grand Prix was marred by dismal stewarding which enabled Michael Schumacher to take the win after a penalty was issued by them so late on that Ferrari were able to bring him into the pits on the final lap, meaning he won the race in the pit lane and before he technically served the stop-start punishment. His offence came when he overtook race leader Mike Hakkinen as the safety car left the track, but a slow response from the stewards allowed Ferrari's morally dubious exploitation of the rules.
Another British Grand Prix - and another strike by French truckers left teams scrambling to get to Silverstone a week after the French GP. Mika Hakkinen suffered more local problems, getting stuck in massive traffic jams near the circuit, missing the warm-up and falling foul of the police for driving down the wrong side of the road. Nigel Mansell qualified on pole, and despite being briefly headed by Riccardo Patrese on the first lap, went on to secure an easy win
Mark Webber's maiden F1 win came at the German Grand Prix and despite a drive-through penalty when he clipped Rubens Barrichello's Brawn on the first corner. It was not a good day for Barrichello and team-mate Jenson Button whose early-season dominance was becoming a memory. They struggled with a three-stop strategies, finishing sixth and fifth respectively.
Mansell squeezed every last drop out of his Williams, overtaking team-mate Nelson Piquet three laps from the end of the British Grand Prix before running out of fuel on his lap of honour. Piercarlo Ghinzani had a less than memorable day after he ran out of fuel and was then push started by his mechanics. Add in that he had already angered stewards with a couple of extra laps at the end of qualifying, they wasted no time in disqualifying him.
Guy Ligier, born on this day, was a very late starter, not taking up motor racing until he was in his 30s after a successful period playing rugby. He had some top-six finishes in Formula Two in 1964 before moving into Formula One in 1966. He suffered a broken kneecap mid-season, but returned in 1967, when he replaced his Cooper-Maserati with a Brabham, and he scored his only point at the Nurburgring. Guy went back to Formula Two in 1968, but after the death of his close friend Jo Schlesser he retired, only to return the following year. He started building sports cars in 1970, and that led to a Formula One team being set up in 1976. Ligiers were competitive for brief periods, but they generally failed to make the most of their resources. Guy sold most of his shareholding in the team in 1992-93 and the rest in subsequent years.