- January 30 down the years
Germany and Mercedes' pre-war legendWhat happened on January 30 in Formula One history?
Born on this day in Remagen, Germany, Rudolf Caracciola was one of the leading drivers for the Mercedes team which dominated motor racing in the 1930s, and Caracciola won the European championship, the forerunner of the FIA world championship, in 1935, 1937 and 1938. He first came to prominence in 1926 when he won the German Grand Prix in a Mercedes, and he continued to use the cars with success in hill-climbs (winning three championships) and races such as the Mille Miglia (which he won in 1931, the first non-Italian to do so). In 1932 he joined Alfa Romeo and won four races, finished second in three and third in two. In 1933, he established the privateer Scuderia CC but a crash in practice for the Monaco Grand Prix left him with multiple fractures of his right thigh, which ruled him out of racing for a year and left him in pain for the remainder of his life and one leg shorter than the other. In 1934 when Mercedes, aided by substantial funding from the Nazi party, formed an official team, he was a natural choice as its leader. Between 1934 and 1939 he won a major race every season, including victory in the German Grand Prix on six occasions, and Caracciola won the European Championship in 1935, 1937 and 1938. He continued racing after a war spent in Switzerland, but suffered a serious accident in 1946 practicing for the Indianapolis 500. His career ended when he crashed his Mercedes in a sports car event before the 1952 Swiss Grand Prix, breaking his left thigh and spending eight months in traction. He died of liver failure in 1959.
Teddy Mayer, who helped Bruce McLaren set up Bruce McLaren Motorsport in 1963, died aged 73. Ron Dennis paid tribute to his predecessor: "Teddy was one of motor racing's few truly great men. Bruce [McLaren] died tragically young in 1970, but when I bought into the team in 1980 Teddy had built on the foundations laid by Bruce, Tyler Alexander and himself."
Paul Frere , born in Le Havre, France, was a well-respected journalist, he was famous for his road tests, which he continued until he was 89. He also raced in 11 grand prix between 1952 and 1956, culminating in taking second place in his final race in Belgium. He also won Le Mans in 1960. Away from motorsport he was a successful rower, winning the Belgium championships in 1946 and 1947.