• December 7 down the years

No breakaway … for now

What happened on December 7 in Formula One history?
Bernie Ecclestone causes a stir in Parliament © Sutton Images

Another F1 breakaway was nipped in the bud after Williams, who had been part of a manufacturers' group threatening an alternative championship, joined Ferrari, Red Bull and Midland in signing up to an extension of the current arrangement with Bernie Ecclestone. But a spokesman for Williams was still cautious. "It doesn't clear up all the objectives we had when we started negotiations but what was left on the list was not enough for a rival series. That would be bad for Formula One."

An embarrassing day for both Bernie Ecclestone and the government after the Sunday Express revealed the Labour party had attempted to stall a ban on tobacco advertising to aid F1, shortly after Ecclestone had donated £1 million to them. Tony Blair had been forced to pay back the money after the donation became public, but Liberal Democrat health spokesman Evan Harris said: "It's outrageous. The inescapable conclusion is that they continue to be obsessed by the need to pay off old dues to their Formula One paymasters."

Poland's first F1 driver - Robert Kubica - was born in Cracow. He took his first victory in the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix which made him the 99th driver to win a world championship race. At the same race in 2007 he suffered a massive accident which resulted in his car somersaulting and clipping the barriers at 186mph. He suffered just a mild concussion and a sprained ankle. Although he sat out the following race at Indy, he was back in the car for the next round in France - he finished fourth.

John Love was born in Bulawayo, Rhodesia. He partnered Tony Maggs in Ken Tyrrells' Formula Junior team in 1961 and then won the 1962 British Touring Car Championship in a works Mini Cooper. An abortive attempt to race Formula One in Europe in 1964 led to his return to South Africa where he not only won the first of his six South African Formula One titles at the end of that year but also raced regularly in the country's World Championship Grand Prix. His results were relatively patchy as he kept finding himself in outmoded equipment, but in 1967 he came close to causing one of the greatest upsets of all time when only a precautionary late pit stop for fuel lost him the race, dropping him to second place. Thereafter he shone in the South African Springbok sports car series.

Nano da Silva Ramos was born in France to a Brazilian father and French mother, he was considered a French driver by French journalists and a Brazilian by Brazilian journalists. Other journalists just treated him as Franco-Brazilian. After a handful of F1 races and a best of fifth at Monaco in 1955, he quit racing for the sake of his wife. "Doctors told me that the best way to put an end to my wife's breakdown - she had lost seven or eight kilos - was to divorce her or to put a definite end to my career," he recalled. " I chose the second option and I could not sleep for two years because of that decision."

Ottorino Volonterio , born on this day in Orselina, Switzerland, competed in three grand prix - the 1954 Spanish, the 1956 German and the 1957 Italian - without troubling anyone. Away from motorsport he practised as a lawyer.