January is a dead month as far as Formula 1 fans are concerned. Sure, there are bits and pieces of news: Aston Martin teasing anticipation for its return to grand prix racing; Lando Norris testing positive for COVID; the likelihood of major F1 calendar revisions, including the postponement of the Australian opener; Suzuki MotoGP team chief Davide Brivio making a dramatic switch to F1 with Alpine (formerly Renault). But while the F1 wheels never really stop turning for the teams, we on the outside have little to sink our teeth into.
It wasn’t always this way. Between 1953 and ’82, a total of 23 grands prix took place in the first month of the year – in some seasons not just one but two being held in the southern hemisphere as the UK shivered in the grip of winter gloom. Here’s a reminder of the days before ‘dry January’ became a thing for F1.