• December 21 down the years

Grand Prix released in the USA

What happened on December 21 in Formula One history?
James Garner and Lorenzo Bandini during filming of Grand Prix © Getty Images
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1966
The film Grand Prix was launched in the USA - although it was criticised for its lack of plot, fans loved the real race scenes mixed in with staged action. The lead character - Pete Aron - was played by James Garner and numerous F1 drivers made cameo appearances. These included Phil Hill, Graham Hill, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jim Clark, Jochen Rindt and Jack Brabham. The film was finally released on DVD in 2006. During filming at Brands Hatch in July 1966, Garner had to be pulled free from a blazing car after a stunt got out of hand. He suffered minor burns. "I must remember not to wear nylon socks next time," he quipped. "They melt in the heat."

1962
Gary Hocking, a former world motorbike champion who had switched to cars as he felt they were safer, was killed practising for the Natal Grand Prix. Hocking had been signed by Rob Walker to replace Stirling Moss following Moss' career-ending accident earlier in the year. He was driving the Lotus Climax which would have been Moss' when he crashed.

1935
Italian driver Lorenzo Bandini was born in Libya - which was then an Italian colony. He raced in 42 grand prix between 1961 and his death in 1967. He won just one race - the 1964 Austrian Grand Prix in a Ferrari and also won the 1963 Le Mans 24-Hour race. He received serious burns in a crash at the Monaco Grand Prix and died three days later.

1921
Bernd Nacke was born in Hagen, Germany. He competed in the 1952 German Grand Prix in a BMW, but his outing lasted just five laps before his ignition failed. Another German driver Guenther Bechem was also born on the same day in Hagen - his attempt at the 1953 German race was even shorter - he retired after just two laps.

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