- February 25 down the years
The flying dentistWhat happened on February 25 in Formula One history
Tony Brooks, who was born in Cheshire, managed to combine much of his F1 career with training to become a dentist. He came to prominence in 1957 driving for Vanwall as Stirling Moss's team-mate (Moss said he was "the greatest unknown racing driver there has ever been") and shared his car and a victory with him at Aintree. He took three more wins for the team in 1958 and finished a close third behind Mike Hawthorn and Moss in the championship. In 1959 he drove for Ferrari, with the exception of the British Grand Prix when he raced a Vanwall, and took two more wins for the famous Italian marque. But he opted to move to a less competitive British team and while he could have continued he was not prepared to do so in cars that he regarded as less than safe. "I felt I had a moral responsibility to take reasonable care of my life," he said.
There had been a few events in 1894, but the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris contest is widely regarded as the first motor race in that all vehicles started at the same time. Entries were divided into two categories - cars with two or four seats, although only the latter could win. Officially the Peugeot was the fastest four-seater but Emile Levassor's Panhard-Levassor 1205cc two-seater was first to finish in 48 hours and 47 minutes. Officially, he was given second prize but the crowd were having none if it and acclaimed Levassor, who completed the course six hours ahead of the next car, as the winner.
Jean Todt raised eyebrows in the paddock by suggesting that Ferrari should take a larger share of the sport's revenues than any other team. Todt said: "Maybe wrongly, I think Ferrari is unique. Without underestimating what the other teams have done, I feel that Ferrari has achieved more than the others. It's like when you produce a movie. You need stars so that you know you are going to sell the movie all over the world. And then you have stars with different contracts. And Ferrari in its business is a star and wants to be paid like a star. I say that without arrogance." When Ferrari threatened to leave the sport in 2009, it emerged that it had been paid an extra £50 million in 2005 for signing up to the Concorde Agreement, as well as an extra bonus each year over the other teams.
A potentially volatile row between tyre manufacturers Bridgestone and Michelin was avoided, after Michelin scrapped plans to run a tyre with asymmetrical grooves. Under the regulations at the time tyres had to have four grooves, but it did not say they had to be evenly spread out. Michelin saw an opportunity to gain a potential advantage but heeded a warning from the FIA not to.
Ferrari offered its support to the Italian Olympic team in its push for medals. The support was predominately given to the Winter Olympic athletes in pursuits such as bobsleigh and luge. The team also gave some advice on the construction of canoes and boats for the summer team.
Cosworth resumed production of its legendary DFV engine, which powered drivers to 12 F1 world championships between 1968 and 1982. The powerplant was being used so extensively in historic racing that it once again became financially viable to produce spares and replacements for the V8 engines.
Francois Cevert was born in Paris. The charismatic Frenchman won just one race during his four year career with Tyrrell as Sir Jackie Stewart's team-mate. The one victory came at Watkins Glen in 1971 when he won by over 40 seconds despite spinning on oil midway through the race. Cevert was killed during qualifying at the same circuit three years later when he hit a high kerbs and made heavy contact with the crash barrier.