After his badly-executed attempt to take Jacques Villeneuve out of the 1997 title decider at Jerez, the FIA World Motorsport Council met to discuss Michael Schumacher’ punishment. On this day in 1997, it was revealed that he was to be stripped of second place in the championship, and made to participate in a road safety campaign the following year. However, all of his individual race results stood.
The council discussed whether he should be banned for the 1998 season too but, given that Schumacher’s actions weren’t pre-meditated, opted against it. Schumacher accepted the decision and remains the only driver to be disqualified from the drivers’ world championship. It meant that Heinz-Harald Frentzen was moved up to second overall and David Coulthard to third.
Piero Scotti (born 1909) entered a Connaught in the 1956 Belgian GP, but retired from what would be his only race. Maria Teresa de Filippis (born 1926) became the first woman to race in F1 when she started three races in 1958, with a best finish of 10th.
Vittorio Brambilla (born 1937) had a fantastic nickname - ‘The Monza Gorilla’ - so called because of his aggressive style in behind the wheel. He started 74 races between 1974 and 1980 and his occasional impressive speed paid off, winning the soaking wet Austrian GP in 1975 and crashing as he crossed the finish line.
Top image (c) Creative Commons