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On This Day – January 31
brought to you by TheJudge13 chronicler: CavallinoRampante
Mosley Announces Black Boxes
Renault Introduce Seamless Shift Gearbox
Mauro Baldi Born
JJ Lehto Born
Jo Bonnier Born
Max Mosley, president of FIA, motor sport’s governing body announced in 1996 the introduction of aircraft –style black boxes in F1 cars. The announcement was part of the FIA’s F1 safety campaign. Mosley explained that the black boxes, had they been in use two years earlier, may have explained the causes behind the deaths of Aryton Senna and Roland Ratzenburger twenty-one months earlier in Imola. Mosley added that the black boxes may have clarified the reasons behind the collision involving Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill in Australia at the end of the 1994 season. Initially the black boxes would be installed experimentally in some cars for the 1996 season, with all cars carrying them in 1997.
Renault announced that the RE27 which was used in the 2007 season would feature a seamless shift gearbox. While seamless shift gearboxes were in use in 2006 by McLaren and Williams, this marked Renault’s first attempt to use the technology in F1. Seamless shift gearboxes, by always keeping the car in gear, ended deceleration through aero-drag, which had previously occurred when a new gear was selected and the car was even for milliseconds out of gear. The system proved reliable with no in race failures and the car finishing third in the constructors world championship. Nico Rosberg and Ross Brawn explain the system.
Italian f1 driver Mauro Baldi was born on this day in 1954. Baldi competed from 1982 to 1985 for Arrows, Alfa Romeo and Sprit, scoring five points in forty-one starts.
Finnish F1 driver JJ Lehto was born on this day in 1966. Lehto won the 1988 British F3 championship driving for Pacific Racing. He moved into F1 in 1989 and would drive for Onyx, Scuderia Italia, Sauber and Benneton over the next six seasons. He scored a total of tens points and had one podium during his F1 career. After F1 he competed in DTM and Lemans before retiring from racing in 2005.
Swedish F1 driver Joakim “Jo” Bonnier was born in Sweden on this day in 1930. The son of a wealthy Swedish family Bonnier entered F1 in 1956 with Maserati and until he retired from F1 in 1971 he would drive for eight other teams, two of which he owned. He won the 1959 Dutch GP in a private BRM. In 1972 Bonnier entered LeMans in a Lola where he was killed after a collision sent him off the track and he hit a tree. He was forty-two.