• January 6 down the years

Murray Walker goes on

What happened on January 6 in Formula One history?
Murray Walker reached legendary status as an F1 commentator © Sutton Images

Veteran commentator Murray Walker, 76, signed a one-year deal with ITV despite earlier insisting he was ready to quit. "I was seriously thinking of jacking it in because I have always wanted to quit while I was ahead," he said. "This will be my 52nd year in the business and I would hate to have people thinking: 'Why doesn't the old fool stop'?" He did just that at the end of the following season.

In one of the sport's more bizarre stories, German prosecutors announced it was possible Michael Schumacher would face charges of the attempted murder of his rival Jacques Villeneuve . Schumacher was penalised by the FIA for ramming Villeneuve in the final grand prix in Spain the previous October, and the prosecutor said the possible charges against him were "attempted murder, inflicting grievous bodily harm, coercion, and driving offences". In the end, and hardly surprisingly, no action was taken.

American driver Pat Flaherty was born in Glendale, California. He competed in six Indy 500 races when it was part of the F1 world championship, but drifted away from competition in the 1960s. He later took up another more sedate form of racing - pigeons! He died in 2002 after a long illness.

American racer Jim Hurtubise died in Port Arthur, Texas. He competed in the 1960 Indy 500 and later in the Winston Cup and ChampCar series. He retired to run a hunting lodge in Texas where he died of a heart attack aged 56.

Dick Rathmann was born in Los Angeles, California. He competed in Indy 500 between 1950 and 1960, recording one pole position in the 1958 race. He retired in the 1960s to Florida to join his racer brother Jim in his successful Chevrolet dealership, until his death in 2000, at the age of 74.

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