- January 19 down the years
One in the eye for skylarking StirlingWhat happened on January 19 in Formula One history?
Stirling Moss in a Cooper won the sixth Argentine Grand Prix much to the relief of his first wife, Katie, who had accidently stuck her finger in his eye two days earlier while they were "skylarking". Moss had to be examined by a doctor 30 minutes before the start and only removed bandages minutes before the beginning. He was in the only non-Italian car in the ten entries with three Ferraris and six Maseratis. Defending champion Juan Manuel Fangio led early on, breaking the track record several times, before being overhauled by Moss on the 35th lap.
The birth of 2009 world champion Jenson Button in Frome, Somerset. Contrary to popular opinion he was not named after the Jensen motorcar, but his dad's friend Erling Jensen. In 1998 he won the McLaren Autosport BRDC young driver of the year award, his prize included a test in the McLaren F1 car, and his break came when picked to drive for Williams in 2000. But Button was slow to adjust to the disciplines needed and for a long time it seemed he would be an unfilled talent. All that changed in 2009 when in a Brawn he won six of the first seven races in the season, equalling a record set by Jim Clark and matched by Michael Schumacher. He swapped to McLaren at the end of the year.
Ever the slick operator, Bernie Ecclestone headed off growing rumours of an F1 breakaway by agreeing a deal with Ferrari which tied them to the sport until 2012, worth an estimated US$150 million. "This is not just about money," said a Ferrari spokesman not altogether convincingly. "This is about securing Ferrari's future in Formula One without the team being a drain on the resources of the road car company." In a joint statement Ferrari, the FIA and Ecclestone's Formula One Management group heralded the deal as representing a new Concorde agreement from 2008 to 2012. "It raises the inevitable question as to whether the FIA can unilaterally announce the implementation of a new Concorde agreement just because Ferrari has signed it unilaterally," said a rival team insider.
British driver Bob Gerard was born in Leicester - he was a successful driver in both the pre and post war eras. Gerard's achievements are recognised at his local circuit Mallory Park, where the venue's trickiest corner bears his name.
Tarso Marques was born in Curitiba, Brazil. He raced in F1 for Minardi for 26 races between 1996 and 2001; his best results came in Canada and Brazil in 2001 when he finished ninth. He later went on to run a team in the Brazilian touring car championship, as well as helping his father organise the Renault Megan series in Brazil.