- February 10 down the years
Dennis sends warning to SennaWhat happened on February 10 in Formula One history?
Ron Dennis announced his McLaren driver line-up as Mika Hakkinen and Michael Andretti, leaving three-time champion Ayrton Senna without a drive. It had been no secret that Senna wanted to drive for Williams in the upcoming season but his fierce rival Alain Prost, who was already confirmed at the team, vetoed the move. Facing a year on the sidelines, Senna decided to go back to McLaren and took Hakkinen's place for the opening round in South Africa. He scored five victories in his final year with the team but Williams dominated and Prost took the title. Senna finally moved to Williams in 1994 but was killed in an accident at the San Marino Grand Prix.
Max Mosley warned that Formula One couldn't rely on manufacturer teams alone and needed to become more accessible for independents. He said that the likes of BMW, Ford, Honda, Mercedes and Renault had a proven record of pulling out of the sport and truly independent teams like Williams and Jordan should be helped out. The comments were largely ignored but six years later Mosley's vision had come true as BMW, Ford, Honda and Toyota had all left the sport.
Michael Schumacher got his hands on the first Ferrari to win a drivers title in 21 years when he debuted the F2000 at the team's test track Fiorano. He completed just a handful of shakedown laps to check the car's systems and said: "I would have like to have pushed harder, but it was impossible because it was getting dark. The overriding impression is that everything on the car works normally". It proved to work incredibly well over the course of the season and delivered Schumacher nine wins and his third world title.
American driver Andy Linden died aged 64. After serving as a US marine, this colossus of a man raced in seven grand prix when the Indianapolis 500 was a part of the Formula One championship. He had shown huge amounts of skill as a sprint and midget racer and finished in the top six at three of the Indy 500s he competed in. His career ended when he was left brain-damaged after a shard of metal pierced his helmet during a race in 1957. He was confined to a wheelchair but learned to walk again before his death.