On this day in F1: 2nd February

brought to you by TheJudge13 chronicler: CavallinoRampante

Hamilton Abuse

Bernie Slams Big Ron

Birth of Roger Williamson

2008: F1 saw an ugly side of the sport during pre-season testing in Barcelona.  McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton was subjected to racial taunts and abuse from a number of spectators. Hamilton had become extremely unpopular in Spain after the previous year’s rivalry with Spanish ex-teammate Fernando Alonso.

Hamilton the sport’s first black / mixed race driver was met with chants of “black s***”, “black whore” and “f****** blacks”, while some spectators dressed up in black-face and wigs and wore t-shirts with “Hamilton’s Family” written on them.

Circuit officials had to close the stands across from the McLaren garage to stop the abuse. Hamilton for his part spoke conciliatory saying, “The truth is that I feel somewhat sad, I am in love with this country, and especially the city of Barcelona and this circuit, which is one of my three favourites”.

2008: At the Norwood Business Breakfast at London’s Claridge’s Hotel F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, slammed McLaren head Ron Dennis. Ecclestone said the team “got off cheap” after the FIA imposed a £50million fine and stripped them of all points in the 2007 constructors’ championship for the team’s involvement in the “Spygate” affair.

Spygate involved the theft of Ferrari intellectual property which ended up in the possession of a McLaren employee.  Ecclestone also hinted he questioned how much Dennis knew about Spygate when he said “Ron was six months pregnant and said he was a virgin”.

The fine was later reduced to £32million on appeal. Ironically, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs ruled that McLaren could claim a corporate tax deduction against the FIA judgement which effectively reduced the fine to zero. (Full details: Wiki)

1948: Roger Williamson was born in Leicestershire on this day. Williamson won the 1971 and 1972 British Formula 3 titles for the GRD-Ford-Holbay team.  Williamson began 1973 testing for BRM before being offered a drive with the March team before the British GP, replacing Jean-Pierre Jarier.

In his first F1 race at Silverstone Williamson qualified his March-Ford twenty-second in a field of twenty-nine cars. Unfortunately, Williamson was involved in a first lap pile-up which eliminated him and eight other drivers. Two weeks later at the Dutch GP at Zandvoort Williamson would qualify eighteenth in a field of twenty-four. On lap eight tragedy struck.

While coming through the East Tunnel right hand bend Williamson suffered a tyre failure which flipped his car sideways on the track. With the car sliding on its side the fuel tank ruptured and caught fire. Williamson was believed to have been uninjured but was trapped in a car engulfed in flames.

LEC-March driver David Purley stopped and ran over to the crash and tried to push the car back onto its four wheels. Purley would later say that Williamson shouted at him to pull him out of the car. It took the track fire truck nearly ten minutes to reach the crash. By the time the fire was out and the car upright Roger Williamson was dead from asphyxiation.


6 responses to “On this day in F1: 2nd February

  1. Guys, are we taking OTD too literally, I mean, Holy Fffff, is this not just seconds after midnight London Time???!!!

    Riiight ..

    I now demand we chase the date line around the continents, and challenge dedicated worldwide TJ13 readers to help the rolling update already.

    / OTD Mountain Time!

    p.s. awesome.


    I say this to all the designers, Cavallino, but they never listen.

    (apologies and respect is meant to who is subject of that film. Please forgive my gallows humor, and allow I spare more than a thought for such true braves.)

  3. I for one appreciate it, Its 4.30 am UK time and I have a 3 month old baby to feed, seeing two ne tj13 stories in my pulse rss feedreader made my day/night!

    • Objection sustained – The jury will disregard the Gross Understatement from the witness.

      What he actually saw was 2 new POSTS from tj13 – with many more than 2 stories therein 😉

      Appreciation noted and reciprocated. Case closed.

      Bloody mobile apps….grrr…can work from bed on a Sat morning….grrr….onwards and upwards. Time for a healthy start to the day.

    • Intravenous RSS feeds melting with your pulse? Baby care sponsorship forthcoming? I see the future. TJ13 brought to you by Johnson and Johnson. Sometimes I forget some F1 fans have lives! (It’s not officially permitted to say, because that would spoil my public persona, but privatelt I keep hearing rumors I have one of those “life” things . . )

      TJ, if you’re going to be the next Reuter’s of F1’s mad mad world, may I suggest there’s evidence above, that the density of your posts might be whooshing over some heads? Maybe some thought about a format change would be good foresight.

      (Would that anyone would, but if I am missed for a few days, this annoying life thing might be distracting me, in hopefully good ways.)

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