- April 1 down the years
Montoya outmuscles Schumacher in BrazilWhat happened on March 27 in Formula One history?
There was little for the home fans to cheer at the Brazilian Grand Prix as Rubens Barrichello's race ended on the second lap when he crashed into the back of Ralf Schumacher. It was also a bad day for defending champion and championship leader Michael Schumacher who started on pole but suffered two spins before he was overtaken by eventual winner David Coulthard when hampered by a backmarker. However, it was Juan Pablo Montoya in his third grand prix who stole many of the headlines, audaciously overtaking Schumacher and leading for half the race before Jos Verstappen piled into the back of his BMW Williams. "I am disappointed as it was going to be one of the best days of my life and it turned unluckily into a bad one," said Montoya.
Garage owner Bill Whitehouse, who took part in one Formula One Grand Prix in 1954, was born. He started out in 500cc Car Club National Races in the early 1950s, and through this he became friends with another garage owner, Bernie Ecclestone. He drove in Formula Two in 1951 and in 1954 bought an F2 Connaught. When F2 was cancelled in 1955 he retired, but rekindled his racing career in 1957 when he bought a Cooper-Climax F2 car. In July he travelled to Reims with his son, Brian, to take part in the Formula Two race. When his vehicle broke down he was lent a Cooper Bobtail by Roy Salvadori. Early in the race a tyre burst, the car somersaulted and burst into flames. Whitehouse died instantly.
Loris Kessel, who was born on this day, was a Swiss garage owner who drove with little success in Formula Three and Formula Two before, in 1976, backed by sponsorship from Tissot watches, he drove for the RAM team. He qualified for three of the five grands prix he entered, finishing only one. The following season he drove his own Apollon-Williams but failed to qualify the one grand prix entered. He returned to F2 and F3, again without making much impact. In 1993, after years out of the limelight, he finished seventh in the Le Mans 24-Hour. He now runs a car dealership in Switzerland.
Shinji Nakano, born on this day in 1971, drove two seasons in Formula One, twice finishing sixth for Prost Grand Prix in 1997, but he retired in half of his 18 races. At the end of the year, Prost switched from Mugan-Honda to Peugeot and Nakano lost his drive, but found a spot at Minardi. However, the car was underpowered, the team underfunded, and while he finished more times than not, it was often near the back of the field. In 1999 he was an occasional test driver for Jordan before moving to Champ Car.
Eddie Irvine was awarded £25,000 after the Court of Appeal ruled Talksport radio had exploited his celebrity image without his permission. The station had doctored an image of Irvine, dressed in racing gear, in which a mobile phone he was holding to his ear was deleted and replaced with the station logo.