- December 11 down the years
Schumi edged in fighter jet raceWhat happened on December 11 in Formula One history?
Michael Schumacher tried to prove he was faster than a speeding plane when he took on an Eurofighter Typhoon in his Ferrari F2003 at the Baccarini military airport near Rome. However, he lost 2-1 over three distances - 600,900 and 1200 metres. The Ferrari boasted a top speed of 370kph against the fighter's 2450kph; the jet, which was stripped of weapons, weighed in at 21,000 kilos against the Ferrari's 600. The race was organised to mark 100 years of manned flight and the 50th anniversary of the death of Tazio Nuvolari. Nuvolari performed a similar stunt in 1931 when he raced his Alfa Romeo 8C2300 against a Caprioni 100 biplane. "It was a very interesting experience," said Schumacher after the races. "I was glad to be here today - it was very impressive,"
China's first F1 grand prix, provisionally scheduled for March 28 1999,was dropped after the FIA decided that the Zuhai circuit organisers needed another year to finalise arrangements. In fact, it was not until 2004 that the race took place.
The world's first motorshow, the Exposition Internationale de Velocipede et de Locomotion Automobile, opened in Paris.
A fortnight after the death of Graham Hill, the sponsors of his F1 team, tobacco company WD & HO Wills, announced the withdrawal of its backing for the Hill team, dooming it to closure. "There is not enough time to rebuild the team to the standards of competitiveness we had set ourselves for the coming season," a spokesman said.
Ho-Pin Tung made history as the first Chinese racer to drive a F1 car. He got his chance to test the Williams FW24 in Spain after dominating the Formula BMW Asia series. He described the experience as "terrifying".