• November 17 down the years

Montoya signs for McLaren

What happened on this day in Formula One history?
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates winning the 2005 British Grand Prix for McLaren © Sutton Images
Enlarge

2003
McLaren announced that Juan Pablo Montoya would be leaving Williams to drive for them in 2005. "The team is consistently a world championship contender and has a great heritage," said Montoya. "It is a great opportunity for me and I am really looking forward to the first time I will be able to drive one of their cars. To join them is an amazing experience and challenge ad experience which I plan to fully enjoy." A shoulder injury interrupted 2005, but Montoya bounced back and won three times, matching team-mate Kimi Raikkonen for speed. In 2006, though, Montoya lived the first half of the year in Raikkonen's shadow before knocking the pair of them out at the start of the US Grand Prix.

2009
As speculation grew world champion Jenson Button was set to leave Brawn and join McLaren, those close to the sport were almost unanimous it would be a mistake. "It's not ideal for F1 to have two world champions in the same team, but Button and Brawn are probably just sparring and something will be worked out," Bernie Ecclestone said. "I would fear for Jenson in what is very much Lewis Hamilton's team," veteran broadcaster Murray Walker added. Ross Brawn vigorously denied the reports. ""Negotiations [with Button] are continuing and the reports that he has already agreed terms with McLaren are not helpful. I would be amazed if that were the case," he said. "His best future is with our team, where he has a good group around him, and there's a lot to be said for that. The logical thing would be for him to stay with us, but of course logic doesn't always prevail." It did not. A day later Button signed for McLaren.

1902
As technology progressed in leaps and bounds, Frenchman M. Augieres broke the land-speed record set 12 days earlier, travelling at 77.13 mph (124.13kph) in a 60 brake horsepower Mors on a road at Ablis near Chartres. His record lasted eight months.

2008
Martin Brundle told the audience at the Autocar Awards in London that he would be commentating with the BBC in 2009. "I'm delighted to be able to tell you all that I'll be joining the BBC next year," he said. "I've been commentating on F1 for the past dozen years and I briefly considered calling it a day, but in the end I decided to take up the BBC's offer and I am now very excited about working for them next year."

2001
Flavio Briatore announced that would remain in charge of the Renault Sport F1 team for the next three years. Briatore said he had the agreement of Renault Sport chairman Patrick Faure. "I have no intention of letting go," said Briatore. "I am an integral part of Renault. Having an Italian boss doesn't please everybody, I know, but even Ferrari has a French boss. I am their choice and today things are going very well." He eventually left Renault under a cloud in 2009 in the fallout from the Crashgate affair.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Close