• November 26 down the years

Bernie utterly misses the points

What happened on this day in Formula One history
Bernie Ecclestone's medals for podium places idea never took off © Getty Images
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2008
Bernie Ecclestone unveiled proposals to revamp the points system by awarding gold, silver and bronze medals for the podium places. "It's going to happen," he told a press conference in London. "All the teams are happy. The whole reason for this is I am fed up with people talking about there being no overtaking. The reason there is no overtaking is nothing to do with the circuits or the cars - it's because the drivers don't need to overtake." But for once he had not done his homework. Eddie Jordan said Ecclestone was "tinkering with something on which he has lost the understanding" and that was the view of the teams who kicked the idea firmly into touch. Had the scheme been in place then Lewis Hamilton and not Kimi Raikkonen would have been the 2007 champion.

1953
Desire Wilson, born in Johannesburg on this day, remains the only woman to have won an F1 race of any kind when she was victorious at Brands Hatch in the short-lived British Aurora F1 series in 1980. The daughter of a South African motorbike champion, she drove once in the Formula One World Championship, failing to qualify at the 1980 British Grand Prix. On what she recalled was "most disappointing weekend of my life" she was given a dreadful car to drive, describing the whole event as a "a con". A year later she drove a Tyrell in the South African Grand Prix climbing through the field from last off the grid to ninth before she spun off. Although this was deemed a championship race at the time, a few weeks later it was downgraded because of the political situation in the country.

1917
Born on this day in what became East Germany, Edgar Barth entered five German Grands Prix over 11 seasons, with a best finish of sixth in 1958. He started on bikes, switched to Formula Two but had to defect to the west, which he did in 1957, to continue his career. Successful across varying formats, he was three times the European Hillclimb champion and also won the 1959 Targa Florio. He died of cancer nine months after his final F1 appearance in 1964. His son, Jürgen Barth, won the Le Mans 24-Hour in 1977.

2002
Niki Lauda was asked to stand aside as team principal of Jaguar by Richard Parry-Jones, the head of the Formula One programme for Ford, which owned the team. "Honestly, the decision did surprise me," Lauda, who was the fourth boss in a little over two years, said. "But what you've got to know is that Britons do have their unique way of solving problems. They saw away at the legs of the chair."

1908
Louis Wagner driving a Fiat won the inaugural American Grand Prize on a road track at Savannah, Georgia, finishing less than a minute ahead of Victor Hemery in a Benz. Wagner averaged 65.111mph although Ralph de palma set the lap record at 69.80mph.

1958
The FIA approved flame-proof clothing, a move considered long overdue given the high number of injuries and fatalities in the sport. The Avon tire company were at the forefront of the developments, although the initial garments only worked if they were kept dry, so in rain or if washed they had to be treated again to be effective.

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