• January 27 down the years

Rain and pain in Brazil

What happened on January 27 in Formula One history?
The start of the 1974 Brazilian Grand Prix in sunshine ... but it was brought to a premature end by torrential rain © Sutton Images

The circus once again returned to Brazil, but the start of the race was delayed because the circuit had to be swept clean of broken glass, caused by over exuberant parties by the fans. There were concerns as the surface began to show signs of breaking up and rain shortly before the start washed away the edges of the track, and caused mud to cascade over other parts of it. A torrential downpour continued led the race to be suspended and then abandoned after 31 of the 40 laps with Emerson Fittipaldi 15 seconds ahead of Clay Regazzoni. It was Fittipaldi and the McLaren teams tenth grand prix victory, but his first since joining them.

ITV announced they had signed veteran commentator Murray Walker to front their coverage after securing the rights for F1 from the BBC. Walker admitted he had negotiated a pay rise to make the move. "It's only a modest increase," he claimed. "After all, I do it basically for the love of it."

Rene Arnoux claimed his first race win at the Brazilian Grand Prix but it was his Renault team-mate Jean-Pierre Jabouille who set the early pace, taking the lead on the second lap and staying at the front until mechanical troubles forced him to retire. Arnoux, who eased off in the final laps to preserve his tyres, was 22 seconds ahead of Elio de Angelis in an Essex Lotus with Alan Jones in a Saudia-Leyland.

The FIA ditched a controversial rule that led to drivers being penalised for pitting during the early stages of the safety car being deployed in a race. They also confirmed the revised rule allowed the pits to stay open, with new software regulating the speed of drivers returning to refuel.

George Follmer was born in Phoenix and had enjoyed a long career in US racing when he was given a chance to race for the Shadow team in 1973. His best result came in the second of his 13 races, when he finished third in Spain, although he was last of the cars to complete the course and enlivened presentations by getting into a heated row with Francois Cevert on the podium. He returned to the USA at the end of the season.