• December 20 down the years

Senna tests with Penske in secret

What happened on December 20 in Formula One history?
Ayrton Senna took time out of his F1 testing schedule to test in IndyCar © Sutton Images
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1992
Ayrton Senna took to the wheel of a Penske Indy car in a secret test in Phoenix, Arizona. Fed up with the domination of Williams in F1 Senna considered taking a year out. Encouraged by his friend Emerson Fittipaldi he tested the IndyCar - he beat Fittipaldi's lap time by half a second. Nigel Beresford, head of engineering remembered the day: "He came back into the pits and said 'thank you very much, I've learned what I need to know.' Then he got out of the car and that was that." Senna decided to stay in F1 and never drove an Indycar again.

1968
Austrian driver Karl Wendlinger was born in Kufstein. He competed in 42 grand prix between 1991 and 1995 for Leighton House, March and Sauber but was inconsistent. His best result was fourth - which he recorded in the 1992 Canadian Grand Prix, the 1993 Italian and in 1994 in San Marino. After F1 he moved on to have a successful career in sports and GT cars.

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