• March 2 down the years

The unwanted qualification record

What happened on March 2 in Formula One history?
Gabriele Tarquini failed to finish the 1988 Belgian Grand Prix in the Coloni FC188 © Sutton Images

Gabriele Tarquini, born on this day in Giulianoua, Italy, holds one of Formula One's unwanted records. Between 1987 and 1995 he entered 78 grands prix but started only 38, and failed to even pre-qualify on 24 occasions, the most failed attempts. Given that pre-qualifying is at present a footnote in F1 history, it seems a record Tarquini will hold for a long time. That is an unfair reflection on his ability - away from F1 he enjoyed considerable success in other areas of motorsport - but he did drive for some dire outfits.

Michael Schumacher walked away from a horrifying crash during the first practice session of the season in Australia. His Ferrari snapped out of control in the 175mph turn 6 and flipped twice when entered the gravel sideways and dug in. He left the scene in a medical car but was unharmed and went on to take pole position in qualifying and win the race.

Never one to back down from controversy, Bernie Ecclestone said he thought a woman could never be an F1 champion. "In all likelihood they [women] will never get the opportunity because no one will ever take them seriously," he said. "Therefore they're never ever going to get into a competitive race car. Who is going to take a chance? Ferrari can't take a chance."

US driver Duke Nalon was born. Although he competed in three Indy 500 races, his best performance was in 1951 when he set a new qualifying record with a lap time of 4:23.74 in his Kurtis Kraft Novi. Embarrassingly, he was beaten off the line by Lee Wallard driving the smallest car which didn't even have a supercharged engine. By the end of the first lap Nalon found himself languishing at the back, and he failed to finish.