- March 5 down the years
The tragic death of Tom PryceWhat happened on March 5 in Formula One history?
Niki Lauda won the South African Grand Prix on his way to regaining the drivers' title from Britain's James Hunt, who started on pole, but the race was marred by the death of up-and-coming British driver Tom Pryce. As the Shadow of Renzo Zorzi, which had come to a halt in front of the grandstand, started to ignite, two marshals ran across the track to tackle the fire. One made it, the other was struck by Pryce, Zorzi's team-mate, coming down the straight at 160mph. The marshal died instantly, but the extinguisher he was carrying stuck Pryce full in the face with such force it ripped his helmet off. With Pryce dead in the cockpit, his car careered down the track before crashing into catch fencing. He was 27. "I am frightened of death for what is might do to those I leave behind," he said shortly beforehand. Price's wife of less than two years was watching from the grandstand when the accident happened.
Ross Brawn completed the buyout of the Honda F1 team and renamed it Brawn F1. Retaining the services of experienced Honda drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, the team claimed a win at its first race in Australia and went on to win both the drivers' and constructors' championships.
Brazilian driver Luciano Burti was born. He received a surprise F1 call up, to deputise for the sick Eddie Irvine, at the 2000 Austrian Grand Prix for the Jaguar team and received a full race seat with the team the following season.