- February 20 down the years
Briatore backs Kimi in controversyWhat happened on February 20 in Formula One history
Flavio Briatore defended Kimi Raikkonen's exploits in a London lap-dancing club, saying the Finn was like a "breath of fresh air" in F1. Raikkonen received wide criticism for exposing himself in the club, but Briatore reckoned it was good to see drivers with a bit of an edge in the sport. "If Raikkonen was my driver and he went to a club for a drink and some fun, I would have no problem with that," said Briatore."We have to understand that a young driver is not a robot. As long as he is not drinking the night before a race, why not? You don't want drivers to be like book-keepers. A driver needs to have a personality. What Raikkonen did is like a breath of fresh air. Maybe he should be given a drink before he speaks to the press in future."
Born into a wealthy family - his mother was an Astor - Count Louis Zborowski was eight when his father was killed motor racing. He raced for Aston Martin in its formative years, and drove in the 1923 Indianapolis 500 and Italian Grand Prix. He was killed the following year when his car hit a tree at Monza. He also built racing cars. His first was a 23-litre beast called Chitty Bang Bang; that was dwarfed by the 27-litre Higham Special, which was subsequently renamed Babs and used in JG Parry-Thomas' fatal attempt at the land-speed record.
Enzo Ferrari was a racing driver, entrepreneur and the founder of the greatest motor-racing team of all time. His early years were spent with Alfa Romeo, and it was until 1947 that he founded his firm which went on to such great success not only in Formula One as well as Le Mans 14 victories (including six in a row 1960-65) and other formats. Fiat took a stake in the company in the 1960s, and although Ferrari stood down as director in 1971, his influence over the company's affairs continued through to his death in 1988.
Ron Dennis accused the FIA of dictatorial behaviour after it banned refuelling and set-up changes between qualifying and the race as well as putting an end to teams changing settings remotely while the car is on track. Dennis claimed: "The FIA is trying to 'dumb down' Formula One." In the end 2003 turned out to be one of the most competitive seasons in years and the rule changes, as well as some more dramatic ones since, still stand today.
Frank Williams, Patrick Head and Adrian Newey along with three officials from the Imola race circuit were put on trial in Italy, charged with culpable homicide for the death of Ayrton Senna. The case rumbled through the Italian legal system for nearly a whole year before all six were cleared of all charges.
Max Mosley announced he would stand for a third term as president of the FIA. Needless to say he was re-elected by the World Motor Sport Council, giving birth to yet another four years of his autocratic and often controversial style of governing. He was elected once more in 2005 before deciding not to stand in 2009, after revelations about his private life nearly forced him to resign.
Roger Penske was born in Ohio, USA. He raced in just two grand prix in 1961 and 1962, holding his own against motorsport's elite at the tough Watkins Glen circuit. He was well known as a racing driver but became a household name when he set up his own team in 1965. It entered three F1 championships in 1974, 1975 and 1976, with a best overall finish of fifth in its final season. However, it was in the USA where the team really made its name, winning 10 CART championships and an IndyCar title. It has also been successful in sports car racing, notably with the LMP2 Porsche RS Spyder in the American Le Mans Series and at the Le Mans 24 Hours.