- November 24 down the years
'Overwhelmed' Hamilton unveiled to the worldWhat happened on this day in Formula One history?
Twenty-one year old Lewis Hamilton was confirmed as Fernando Alonso's team-mate at McLaren for the following season, despite still not having driven an F1 car. It was the culmination of a relationship which had started 11 years earlier with a handshake between Ron Dennis and Hamilton. "We reviewed the grid and, apart from the top three, we reckoned most of them had plateaued," Dennis said. "I am distinctly unimpressed with the majority of drivers currently involved in F1. I feel Lewis is well equipped to deal with these drivers who fall into that category." Hamilton himself admitted he was "overwhelmed". He added: "It was a surreal feeling. I was sat on a couch opposite Ron at his home. He told me that McLaren had decided to take me on as their new driver. It didn't kick in. I put on a professional face. I could see Ron was excited. He said I should be, too. Inside I was. But it had been such a long wait. It was a warm feeling knowing the seat was mine. Now I have to get on and prepare.'' The decision to appoint Hamilton was made after Monza in late September but had been kept secret.
The curtain came down on the Minardi team with the last outing of a car bearing the name following its takeover and rebranding as Toro Rosso. Fittingly, owner Paul Stoddart drove the final lap. "It turned out to be a more emotional experience than I expected," he said. "For so many years Minardi has given so much to so many. I wish Toro Rosso every success, but I know I am not alone in thinking it will always be Minardi in the minds of so many people."
Born on this day in Monte Carlo, Olivier Beretta was a protégé of Nelson Piquet who took part in ten grands prix for Larrousse in 1994, being replaced when his sponsorship money ran out. He tested for Williams in 2003 and 2004 but was not given another chance. He subsequently enjoyed more success in sports car racing
Flavio Briatore's ultimately successful appeal against his lifetime ban from motorsport as well as £1 million in damages resulting from the Crashgate scandal began in a Paris court.