- December 14 down the years
The Brickyard is completedWhat happened on December 14 in Formula One history?
When the Indianapolis Motor speedway first opened, the terrible track surface meant the first race was a disaster - there were multiple accidents and five people were killed. The owners decided to lay bricks round the track and on this day the work was finally finished. The famous Indy Brickyard was born. The grand opening took place three days later, when it was ceremoniously completed by Governor Thomas R. Marshall of Indiana, who cemented the last "golden" brick. Only three feet of the original brick surface still remains at the start finish line.
Finland's Heikki Kovalainen was confirmed as Lewis Hamilton's team-mate at McLaren, replacing Fernando Alonso who had left after a season where his relationship with the team had deteriorated significantly. "I am so excited to join a team like McLaren Mercedes," Kovalainen said. "So far I have been blown away by the dedication and commitment to winning which is clear in the entire team." In two seasons with McLaren he was never up with Hamilton's pace, his one win coming in 2008, but in 2009 he failed to make it onto the podium.
A bid to whip up enthusiasm for the debut of the China Grand Prix in 2004 when the Minardi team sped 14 competition winners round a circuit near Beijing's airport was ended prematurely by heavy snow.
American driver Bob Drake was born in San Francisco. Although he started his career as a restaurateur in LA he is better known for his career preparing stunts and vehicles for the film industry. He entered the United States Grand Prix at Riverside in 1960, finishing 13th, in a Maserati 250F. It was the last time the iconic 250F took part in a FIA world championship race.