• November 18 down the years

An early trans-Atlantic legend

What happened on this day in Formula One history?
Victor Hémery poised to make his second - successful - bid for the world land-speed record at Brooklands in 1909 © Getty Images
Related Links

Victor Hémery, born on this day in Brest, France, was one of the early stars of motor racing on both sides of the Atlantic. His most successful year came in 1905 when he drove a Darracq to victory in Circuit des Ardennes at Bastogne, Belgium and in October won the prestigious Vanderbilt Cup at Long Island, New York. He rounded things off by breaking the land speed record on New Year's Eve when he recorded 109.65mph (176.46km/h) at Arles - he set another record three years later. Success continued, with victory at the 1911 French Grand Prix, and he died at Le Mans in 1950 aged 73. A year later he was retrospectively awarded the 1905 USA Drivers' Championship.

Williams technical director Patrick Head revealed that rookie of the year Jenson Button almost missed out on a Formula One drive, because he had wanted Bruno Junqueira as the team's second driver at the start of the year. "I'd pretty much decided we should have Junqueira because we were already familiar with him and the engineers had a high regard for his technical understanding," said Head. "But then Jenson did a test for us at Jerez that suddenly made the decision very difficult. We then went to Barcelona and he used a left-foot braking set-up for the first time - it wasn't something he'd done before. And instantly, on a track he'd never seen before, he was very quick and in the end we had to go for him."

Gerard "Jabby" Crombac died in Paris. The most experienced Formula One journalist of them all, Jabby reported on Formula One before the World Championship began in 1950. As an indication of his standing, although everyone knew him as Jabby, in his latter years his friends had taken to calling him Legend.

Rear Admiral Roger Lane-Nott quit the role of Formula One's race director and safety delegate after just one season "to pursue other interests". The departure followed a season-long battle with other FIA officials over how the sport should be run. Lane-Nott's idea of discipline and organisation was clearly rather different from some of the F1 establishment. FIA president Max Mosley credited Lane-Nott of having set up new systems and procedures and brought in new thinking to the sport.

The American Grand Prize, the last major race before the USA's entry into World War One caused a cessation of competition, was won by co-drivers Howard Wilcox and Gil Anderson. The pair won $7500.

1980 World Champion Alan Jones was married on Daydream Island beach. The 56-year-old married Amanda Butler-Davis, the mother of his two 20-month-old twins Jack and Zara in a very private ceremony in the tropical setting.

Red Bull Racing confirmed that Formula 3000 champion Vitantonio Liuzzi would be one of the drivers at the Barcelona test on November 24-26. "It's great to be testing Liuzzi," said team principal Tony Purnell. "I have known him since his early karting days and I believe he is full of potential for the future." He signed for the team in time for the 2005 season.