- January 4 down the years
Donald Campbell killed on ConistonWhat happened on January 4 in Formula One history?
British speed king Donald Campbell was killed attempting to break his own water speed record on Coniston Water in the Lake District. Campbell had already broken eight world speed records - he remains the only person to set both land and water records in the same year (1964) - but on a cold and gloomy day his boat, Bluebird, flipped and disintegrated at almost 300mph. He died instantly. A contributing cause for the crash was Campbell himself - he refused to allow the wake from his earlier run disperse - and although Royal Navy divers tried to locate Campbell's body, all they manage to salvage was his teddy-bear mascot. Almost 34 years later his remains, still clothed in his iconic blue overalls, were finally located.
Organisers of the Mexican Grand Prix paid for the chaotic scenes at the previous year's race after the GP was stripped of its inclusion in the world championship. FIA boss Henri Treu referred to "scandalous events" which "created an extremely dangerous situation for the racers who had to go full speed between two rows of spectators".
Ever on the lookout for yet another novel new way to promote his interests, Eddie Jordan announced that Jordan were entering the Honda Formula 4-stroke power boat race series. "Not only does it give us a great opportunity to work with Honda [the teams engine suppliers] outside Formula One," he said "but it also provides a fast, fun and exciting environment in which to promote the Jordan name." The boat raced by a different journalist at each event- this raised a few eyebrows after TV Presenter Mike Brewer and Jamie Theakston had some hairy moments.
The end of the dream for Yu Zhifei, the man who was instrumental in bringing F1 to China, as he was jailed for four years as a result of his involvement in a Shanghai corruption scandal.
Former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt announced that Michael Schumacher had turned down the chance to take over as team manager. "He would have been the best candidate for this job, but he didn't want it." Later Schumacher commented, "When I saw how much passion and dedication that he put into his job, he was at Maranello every day, even weekends. I said to myself 'Do I need this?' Simply not."