- March 1 down the years
Rene Arnoux's luck holds at KyalamiWhat happened on March 1 in Formula One history?
Rene Arnoux driving a Renault won the South African Grand Prix, his second win in three races taking him to the top of the drivers' championship. He was slightly fortunate in that his team leader, Jean-Pierre Jabouille, was sideline by a puncture while leading with 17 laps remaining. Arnoux's win in Brazil had come in similar circumstances when Jabouille's turbocharger broke with him again in the lead. Ferrari's wretched season continued - no points from three races - as Jody Scheckter retired with engine failure after 14 laps and Gilles Villeneuve with a broke drive shaft after 31 laps.
The first round of the season at Kyalami was won by Nigel Mansell in his Williams Renault in front of a crowd of 80,000. There was controversy when Andrea Sassetti, the new owner of the hapless Andrea Moda team, was told to pay US$100,000 to enter his team. He disputed this as he had already purchased an existing team; he was forced to pay up despite both the March and Fondmetal teams, who were in a similar situation, being exempt from the fee.
Ron Dennis retired as team principal of McLaren Mercedes F1 team and handed over the reins to Martin Whitmarsh. Dennis remained executive chairman of McLaren automotive and turned his attention to different areas including its road car project.
Australian driver Will Power, who tested for Minardi in 2004 after competing in the British F3 series, was born. In 2005 and 2006 he drove for A1 GP team Australia.