- October 30 down the years
Senna secures his first world title
The day Alain Prost, at the time F1's most successful driver, realised he would never have things all his own way again as Ayrton Senna secured the first of his three world titles in four years, winning the Japanese Grand Prix despite almost stalling on the grid - "proof," wrote Alan Henry, "that really great driving talents can salvage a top-class result from a potentially dangerous situation". Behind Senna and, equally inevitably, team-mate Prost, there was no shortage of drama. Nigel Mansell collided with Derek Warwick and then Nelson Piquet, while Andrea de Cesaris "launched an unprovoked attack on Aguri Suzuki after he found the Japanese rookie interfering in his own private battle against one of the Marchs". After the race, Gerhard Berger, who finished third, revealed he was considering emigrating to Monaco to avoid being called up by the Austrians for national service.
Nino Farina, born on this day in Turin, has gone down in history as the winner of the inaugural FIA World Championship in 1950. He was also a prolific crasher, and prone to tantrums, giving up during races if he felt he could not win even if running in second or third. He was a dominant driver before World War Two, winning the Italian title in 1937, 1938 and 1939, fell out with teams post-war before returning to Alfa Romeo, who he had left in a huff in 1947. In 1950 he won three of the season's six races and with it the drivers' championship. But thereafter he was unable to match the increasingly dominant Juan Manuel Fangio as well as being sidelined by a series of accidents. He returned in 1955 but was in constant pain and retired, returning to race in the 1956 Indianapolis 500 where he again crashed. Perhaps inevitably, he died in a car crash while en route to watch the 1959 French Grand Prix.
An FIA ruling overturning a decision by stewards in Malaysia to disqualify both Ferraris meant Eddie Irvine arrived in Japan as favourite to win the world title, but the dubious nature of the FIA's action meant there were few who sympathised with Irvine when he spun off during qualifying in a car he slammed as being unstable. In the reserve Ferrari he could do no better than qualify fifth, and in the event that was not good enough and Mika Hakkinen won the race and with it the championship, edging out a distraught Irvine by two points.
Born in Vaucluse, France, Maurice Trintignant had a long career by the standards of his era, racing in Formula One from the inaugural season in 1950 through to 1964, winning twice in 84 starts for no fewer than ten different teams. A street-racing specialist, he won at Monaco for Ferrari in 1955 and then at the same venue in a Rob Walker Racing Cooper three years later. He also won three non-championship races in the 1950s and the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1954. When he briefly replaced Stirling Moss in 1962, he was still sprightly enough to show Jim Clark the way at the non-championship race at Pau, but it proved to be his last competitive year and he quit in 1964. In retirement he made wine near the town of Vergèze, in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, eventually being elected mayor. He died, aged 87, in 2005.
Oscar Shaw, the president of the Indianapolis Speedway and a three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 -n in 1937, 1939 and 1940 - was killed in a plane crash. He was the first man to win back-to-back 500s and played his part in getting the race included in the fledgling FIA World Championship. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1991.