January 15th 2013

Countdown to 2013 Formula One season: 59 days

On This Day:
The 1978 Formula One season saw a new team take its debut on the world stage. In 1977, they were a March customer team, but Patrick Head was hard at work to design Williams’ first F1 car. At Argentina, Alan Jones became the first proper driver for Williams Grand Prix Engineering. Though Jones retired on lap 37 with fuel system issues, he would go on to score a podium later in the season. The Argentine Grand Prix was won by eventual-champion Mario Andretti, with Niki Lauda and Patrick Depallier making up the podium.

News:
The leadership has changed for bikes and trucks at Dakar, with Puerto Rican Ruben Faria now leading the bikes, while Eduard Nikolaev leads the trucks after a failing turbo cost him. He is now 1 hour back on the new leader. Nasser Al-Attiyah had an awful day, leaving Peterhansel with what seems to be an unassailable lead of 50 minutes in the cars. The bikes remains the only close category, with less than an hour between the first and fifteenth competitors.
It’s the Monte Carlo Rally this week, and champion Sebastian Loeb will be taking part though he is only participating in a few rallys this year. Snow is predicted as cold weather sweeps across western Europe.

Today:
Rallye Monte Carlo Shakedown, starting ceremony.
Dakar stage 10.

Stat of the Day:
35 years ago, Williams took its first steps into F1 as a manufacturer (in 1977 they raced with a customer car) with the FW06. The numbering has since cleared up a bit, and the 2013 car will be the FW35. In their second year as a constructor, they finished second in the world championship, and won the two seasons after that thanks to Alan Jones and Carlos Reutemann. Williams in total have won nine world titles, and although they struggled in 2011, their strong 2013 lineup of Maldonado and Bottas shows a lot of promise.

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