• December 19 down the years

One rule for Ferrari

What happened on December 19 in Formula One history?
Ferrari got a special deal with Ecclestone © Sutton Images

Red faces at the FIA after it was revealed that an agreement with Ferrari meant they would receive US$80 million more than any of their competitors for winning the constructors championship. Insiders had been aware of the deal which was done in 2003 at a time Ferrari were rumoured to be heading a breakaway. Bernie Ecclestone was unashamed. "We 'bought' Ferrari," he said. "We 'bought' Ferrari's loyalty." He admitted to the arrangement after stinging attacks from Ferrari chief Luca di Montezemolo.

Fernando Alonso announced that he had signed to drive for McLaren for the 2007 season. The Renault world champion said: "It will be a new beginning for me and a tremendous challenge." The announcement did not seem to unsettle the balance at Renault as both Alonso and the team won the championships in 2006.

Minardi signed Japan's Ukyo Katayama for the 1997 season. Katayama, 33, had been with Tyrrell, the British team, for three years. "I think that Minardi will be a big surprise for many in the course of the season," he said. The only surprise was on the occasions he finished the race in what was yet another deeply disappointing season for the team.

Onofre Marimon was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He raced in F1 from 1951 till his death in 1954. He was killed in an accident during practice for the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. He became the first driver to be killed during a world championship race weekend.

Sam Tingle died in Cape Town South Africa. He competed in five South African Grand Prix between 1963 and 1969. He was one of only two drivers from the former republic of Rhodesia to successfully compete in an F1 race - the other was John Love.