- April 14 down the years
Grover-Williams wins inaugural Monaco Grand PrixWhat happened on April 14 in Formula One history?
The inaugural Monaco Grand Prix was won by the only Britain taking part, William Grover-Williams in a Bugatti T35B, thwarting the Mercedes favourites and the French-dominated field. The race was initiated by millionaire cigarette manufacturer, Anthony Noghès, who had set up the Automobile Club de Monaco with some of his friends. This was supported by Prince Louis II, and the Monégasque driver of that time, Louis Chiron. The 16 invited participants turned out to compete for a prize of 100,000 French francs.
Not a great day for Stirling Moss who was fined £50 and banned for 12 months after being found guilty of dangerous driving by a Shropshire court following an accident the previous year. Without a valid licence, he would have not been able to retain the international licence he needed to race. Fortunately, aided by the RAC he was able to acquire a US driving licence to circumvent the problem, although he was still unable to drive himself in the UK.
Michael Schumacher celebrated his record 97th drive for Ferrari with an easy win in the San Marino Grand Prix, opening up a 14-point lead in the drivers' championship that was never challenged. "I didn't expect such domination," Schumacher said. "'It had been close in qualifying and I expected the race to be more difficult. It's a special day for me and the history of Ferrari and I am proud of that." Not for the first time, Eddie Irvine was in the news when he was given a one-finger salute as he was lapped by Rubens Barrichello, who finished second. "'I was basically telling him to go to hell," said Barrichello. "He let Ralf [Schumacher] by nice and easy and he could have done the same to me."
Born in Kingston-upon-Hull, Vic Wilson spent his teenage years growing up in South Africa and started racing in Rhodesia. He gained his Formula One break when Dick Gibson, who had hurt himself crashing his Cooper, suggested that Wilson repair the machine and have a go himself. As a consequence, he raced in the 1960 Italian Grand Prix from which he retired. He did not race at all between 1961 and 1963 but returned in 1964 and had a full season in 1965. He planned a full season in 1966 with Team Chamaco Collect and a couple of BRMs, but after he took a distant fourth at the Syracuse GP and practised briefly at Spa, Bob Bondurant became the team's sole driver.
Joie Chitwood, born on this day, raced across the USA between 1934 and 1950, participating in seven Indianapolis 500 and finishing fifth on three occasions. His final appearance in 1950, when he was fifth in a shared drive with Tony Bettenhausen, was the first Indy 500 which was included in the F1 World Championship. He was the first man ever to wear a safety belt at the Indy 500 and also ran the Joie Chitwood Thrill Show, an exhibition of auto stunt driving that became so successful he gave up racing.