Tom Kristensen, Gil de Ferran, Dario Franchitti and many others
Missing out on F1
- Mattijs Diepraam
- May 21, 2010
- Michael Bartels - More fun with Steffi, by Mattijs Diepraam
- Hans Heyer - One for the record?, by Mattijs Diepraam
- Masami Kuwashima - Probably the shortest Grand Prix career ever, by Mattijs Diepraam/Felix Muelas
- Eric Offenstadt - 2 + 2 = 4, by Rémi Paolozzi
Audi R15 TDI Plus
2010 Spa 1000kms practice (May 8, 2010)
Over at our sister site 6th Gear we’ve kept record of the many F1 cars that never got past the drawing board (or even beyond the imagination) or, when indeed finished, failed to start a single Grand Prix. But what about the drivers? Over the years so many of them missed out on a well-deserved shot at Grand Prix racing while the talent was obviously there.
Especially in the past few decades the number of talented drivers getting side-tracked mushroomed spectacularly, and for several reasons. On the one hand, single-seater categories in Europe burgeoned like never before, releasing an ever larger number of aspiring stars onto an ever wider staircase to F1. In direct opposition to that trend F1 was closing itself like an oyster, disallowing privateers and, since the nineties, keeping to a fixed number of franchise teams in order to keep the riff-raff out. As a side-effect, experience became ever more important, creating the monster career spans of the likes of Barrichello, Coulthard, Fisichella, Trulli and Ralf Schumacher. Besides that, F1 junior programmes, or ‘a budget’, became something of a life support system for upcoming drivers, and for many both supply lines of financial resources were always in danger of being cut off at the snap of a finger.
So, in an ever more F1-centric world, let’s honour the talent of those victimized by these trends.
With so many drivers having genuinely missed out, we won’t look at the men unable to reach World Championship-level Grand Prix racing simply because it wasn’t there yet, so no Nuvolari or Wimille – in fact, they did reach the highest level possible so what did they miss out on? Likewise we will skip the drivers who never seriously considered leaving their home ground or their preferred playing ground, so no Foyt, Mears, Matich or Motoyama, and no Toivonen, Loeb or Rossi. Also, we won’t consider the top drivers who carved out a niche elsewhere but did a handful of Grands Prix all the same, like Frank Gardner, Bernd Schneider or Tomas Enge, or even just one, like Archie Scott Brown, Alan Rees, Dieter Quester, Michel Leclère or Marco Apicella. The same will apply to those who were prime candidates for our list but received a very late Grand Prix call after all, like Allan McNish, Cristiano da Matta or Sébastien Bourdais.
Instead, this article is about the drivers who could have had a fulfilling career as a Grand Prix racer, yet for some reason were consistently overlooked. We will also look at some tragic cases of what-could-have-been. What we are left with is a baffling list of talented drivers who usually at one time mixed it with the best in Grand Prix’s racing runner-up categories, whether it be F3, F2, F3000 or GP2, and still failed to be considered for a Formula 1 seat, leaving them to revive their careers by moving to sportscars or touring cars, to America or Japan, or by going back home. A few simply quit in disgust or suffered career-ending accidents. Many of them were discussed on autosport.com’s Nostalgia Forum.
So here we present both our personal top ten and a long line of others to consider, both listed in alphabetical order. We’re not quite sure if our top-ten list is representative of the drivers most likely to have had a Barrichello, Coulthard or Fisichella-like F1 career when given the chance but it does show the amount of success some of F1’s most famous rejects have had outside what is considered the pinnacle of the sport. If anything, that’s the best hard proof of what could have been.
Our top ten
- A contemporary touring car legend.
- 1990 Monaco F3 GP winner. Race winner in F3000 for DAMS, but didn’t do enough to outclass team-mate Allan McNish.
- Switched to touring cars.
- Winner of four touring car titles: 1994 French Touring Car champion, 1997 German Super-Touring champion, 1999 British Touring Car champion, 2002 DTM champion. Also won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1998, with McNish and Ortelli.
- The man who is fast in any kind of sportscar.
- 1991 French F3 champion but failed to follow predecessors Grouillard, Raphanel, Dalmas, Alesi, Comas and Gounon to F1. Part of a generation of ‘new Prosts’ – from Hélary to Ayari – who didn’t go beyond F3000.
- Switched to touring cars and, predominantly, GTs and the odd prototype.
- 1993 Le Mans winner, with Brabham and Hélary. French Porsche Cup winner in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 2000. FIA GT champion in 2001 and 2002. French Touring Car champion in 2003. French GT champion in 2008.
- Top-drawer Indy racer.
- 1992 British F3 champion, following in the footsteps of Rubens Barrichello. Spent two years with PSR in F3000 and tested for Footwork, to be stumped by Jos Verstappen’s fast times.
- Moved to the US to become an Indycar star, initially racing for Hall/VDS and Walker before becoming a Penske mainstay. Only later on entered F1 as BAR-Honda’s sports director.
- 1995 CART Rookie of the Year. CART champion in 2000 and 2001. Indianapolis 500 winner in 2003.
- Successful Indycar star.
- Like De Ferran, another PSR stalwart, graduating with them to F3, having won the Vauxhall Lotus championship in 1993 and been awarded the McLaren/Autosport Young Driver of the Year award.
- Switched to touring cars initially, driving a works Mercedes in the DTM and ITC, before crossing the Atlantic on the behest of Mercedes to join Hogan Racing. Had a fruitful Indy career at Green (later Andretti-Green) and Ganassi. Was a Jaguar F1 test driver only briefly.
- Indianapolis 500 winner 2007, IRL champion in 2007 and 2009.
- The winningest man in sportscars, all-time.
- A double winner of national F3 championships, in Germany in 1991 and Japan in 1993. In F3000, he finished 6th in both 1996 and 1997.
- Had already tasted touring cars during his time in Japan and later combined his sportscar career with racing in the German Super-Touring Cup, the BTCC, and the DTM. His only F1 opportunities came as a Tyrrell test driver in 1998 and a Michelin tyre tester in 2000.
- Le Mans winner in 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008, ALMS champion in 2002.
- The fastest man at Indy, period.
- Moved up to European Super Vee as a multiple national champion, to win the 1977 title. Success eluded him in F3 until he moved to the US in 1984, immediately winning the local Super Vee championship. Moved up to CART in 1985 to become the Rookie of the Year in both the championship and at Indy.
- Was a midfield contender during the regular Indycar season but invariably came alive during the Month of May. Indianapolis 500 winner in 1990 and 1997. His 1990 win still stands as the fastest win at Indy.
- Trophy collector in touring cars, both on tarmac and on snow.
- Having gone through the ranks in French Formula Renault and F3, won the British F2 championship in 1992. There was no success in F3000 in 1993.
- Switched to French touring cars in 1994 and briefly did Italian touring cars in 1997 before truly making his name in the BTCC and the WTCC. Dominated Andros Ice Racing proceedings for many a year.
- French Super Touring champion in 1995, British Touring Car champion in 2003, World Touring Car champion in 2008. Ten-times Andros Cup winner, with a record 46 wins.
- 21st century’s most successful touring car driver.
- As the British hillclimb champion in 1995 switched to circuit racing but single-seater career stalled at British F3 level.
- Tried his hand in the BTCC, initially in Vauxhalls and Hondas, having proved his versatility by dominating the 1999 Renault Spider championship. Long-running relationship with Belgian BMW team RBM saw him grow into touring car racing’s man-to-beat.
- European Touring Car champion in 2004, World Touring Car champion in 2005, 2006 and 2007, beating Roberto Ravaglia’s previous record of three consecutive international touring car titles.
- Probably the most versatile sportscar racer alive.
- 1986 British F3 champion and Macau GP winner. Had a single win for TOM’S in Japanese F3 but failed to impress in F3000.
- Switched to Jaguar sportscars with a bang, and in later years focused his career on American sportscar racing.
- 1988 Le Mans 24 Hours winner, three-times Daytona 24 Hours winner, twice winner of the Sebring 12 Hours.
- Mister Sportscar of the entire last part of the 20th century.
- Injury put an end to his blossoming skiing career so instead switched to single-seater racing, having already tasted the joys of rallying. A force in Formula France, French F3, he won once in F2, finishing 7th in the 1972 championship.
- Decided to concentrate on sportscar racing, with which he would become synonymous.
- Not one of the great champions, but a four-time Daytona winner and an unlucky Le Mans competitor, almost always in privateer Porsches.
Gil de Ferran
Others to consider
Dutch F Ford 1600 champion in 1989. Was beginning to make a name for himself in British F3 when in 1992, at Thruxton, his car went over the back of another car to roll into the spectator area and back onto the track. Was killed, while three spectators had to be treated for minor injuries.
2006 Renault Eurocup champion. Looked set for greatness thanks to being part of Red Bull's junior programme. Did well in WSR, starred in A1GP, and entered GP2 late in the 2007 season. Was hailed by team boss as best thing since Senna but was inexplicably dropped by Red Bull. Now an Audi works driver in Italy.
1994 French F Ford champion, 1996 French F3 champion and 1997 Macau GP winner, touted as the new Prost. Made a career in touring cars and sportscars. French Touring Car champion in 2002, 2004 and 2005, French GT champion in 2006 and 2007.
German F3 racer got a shot at F1 at Lotus in 1991 but failed to qualify on all four attempts. Stepped back to F3000 to finish fourth in the 1992 championship. DTM driver for three seasons before finding his destiny with his own Vitaphone team in FIA GT, taking the title in 2006, 2008 and 2009.
European F Ford champion in 1969. Moved up to British and French F3 in 1970, and F2 in 1971. Won the Springbok Trophy in 1972, next to his campaigns in F2 and the ETCC. Killed while practising for the 1973 F2 race at Rouen when his car went straight on at Six Frères.
A mid-nineties F3000 frontrunner. Lost 1996 title due to controversial DSQ in final round. Switched to IRL in 1997 and won 1998 title, followed by 1999 Indy 500 win. CART runner-up in 2001 but back in IRL suffered career-ending crash at Texas in 2003. Brief 2005 comeback led to nothing.
2003 F3 Euroseries champion and 2004 Toyota F1 test driver. Crossed the Atlantic to race for Ganassi in the IRL. Serious accident at Chicagoland delayed his career but in 2008 he was back at the front, having signed for a full-time IRL drive at Penske.
Almost as forgotten as Marc Hynes after dominantly winning the British F3 championship in 1993. Jordan and Arrows testing opportunities came to nought. A BTCC and Porsche Cup racer ever since, with outings in Sweden and Japan, and a full ASCAR season in 2002.
European F Opel champion in 1994. Looked set for bigger things when he crashed into Thomas Biagi during the 1995 F3000 season finale at Magny-Cours. The car flipped and struck the barrier. Died from head injuries the next day.
Moderately successful in British F3 and British F3000 but quickly decided to move to Japan, proving TOM’S faith by taking the 1991 Japanese F3 title. Single win in Japanese F3000 after which career soon petered out.
2002 British F3 National Class champion. F3 and GP2 frontrunner ever since. BAR F1 test driver in 2005 but career stalled after 2008 GP2 season. Has kept busy in A1GP to win title for Team Ireland in 2008-09 season. Rumoured F1 deals with 2010’s new teams came to nought.
A competitive British F3 driver for PSR, as Helio Castro Neves. Decided to pursue his luck in Indy Lights and subsequently CART and IRL. A Penske regular since 2000 and a triple Indy 500 winner (2001, 2002 and 2009).
Successful British F3 seasons in 1984 and 1985 but Eddie’s brother decided to follow the money to Japan. 1987 Japanese F3 champion, and a very competitive Japanese F3000 driver until retiring after the 1994 season: second in 1989 and 1991, third in 1992, 1993 and 1994.
French F3 frontrunner during the late eighties. Often challenged his many French contemporaries who did manage to reach F1 but failed to progress beyond F3000. Dropped back to French F3 for 1990 and returned to winning ways the following year but still decided to quit after the 1991 season.
A Ligier F1 test driver at 18 years of age, having starred in French F Renault. Switched testing duties to Benetton, Williams and Tyrrell while in F3 and F3000. Close to F1 debuts at Tyrrell and Prost but got stuck in Porsches instead. SRWC champion in 1998 and 1999, LMS champion in 2005 and 2006.
Started out as touring car driver, winning the DTCC in 1992. Made competitive switch to Opel Lotus and German F3 ahead of double title glory (F3 in 1997 and F Nippon in 1999) during heyday of Japanese racing. Arrows F1 deal fell through. Now a Seat WTCC and Spyker LMS regular.
Promising talent in Formula France from 1970. Was successful in British F3 in 1972 and in F2 in 1973 but disappointing 1974 season forced him to re-invent himself in French F Renault, eventually leading to three wins in 1977. Tried again in British F3 but had no success in self-entered car.
F Ford star during the eighties, winning British and German titles in 1984 and 1986. Began racing in F3 in 1981. Struggled in unfancied cars but did win the four-race F3 Euroseries in 1987. Looked like finally progressing in British F3000 in 1991, having won the F Ford Festival in 1990, but quit in 1993.
A contender during his entire F Renault, F3 and F2 career. Won races in Euro F3 in 1979 and F2 in 1980 but having signed for Merzario remained stuck in the category until 1984 while several of his countrymen progressed to F1. Made a brief return in 1986, driving in F3000, but quit shortly after.
1994 McLaren Autosport Driver of the Year, leading to several McLaren test drives. A frontrunner in British F3 and in his first year of F3000 in 1997, but failed to repeat that later. Moved to sportscars to win the GTO class in 2002 British GT and the 2004 LMES title. Dropped out of FIA GT in 2008.
Formula France champion in 1969 moved up to French F3 in 1970. Suffered a huge accident at Rouen-les-Essarts when a tyre failure caused his car to go straight on at the Six Frères corner. Died in hospital two days later.
Progressed through F Ford, F3 and F2 to be a Formula 2 race winner in 1979. However, disappeared from sight into the 1980 season.
Competitive Super Vee, F3 and F2 driver. Tried his luck in Japan, two-timing between Japanese F2/F3000 and the Japanese Sports-Prototype Championship during its heydays in 1984-1988, focusing on the latter from 1989, first with Schuppan Porsche 962, then with Toyota’s 91CV/92CV.
Something of a Formula Ford star in the early eighties, but failed to impress in F3 and F3000. Switched to sportscar racing in 1990, and in 1995 purchased the rights to manufacture the Marcos racing cars. Won the Dutch Supercar Challenge in 2002, 2004 and 2008 driving his own cars.
Canadian sensation came to Europe to instantly win European F Ford championship in 1985. Killed at Goodwood while preparing for debut British F3 season with West Surrey Racing.
2001 Renault Eurocup champion and 2003 Euro F3000 champion, still only aged 20. Made the switch to touring cars nonetheless, first as an Alfa Romeo factory driver in 2004-2006, moving over to BMW in 2007.
Born for F3, going by his results: 1979 French F Renault champion, 1980 French F3 champion, 1981 and 1982 Monaco F3 winner. Much less successful in F2 and F3000, gradually moving his career to touring cars and sportscars, invariably racing for the lesser teams.
Second in the 1982 French F3 championship, champion in 1983, third in 1984 F2 championship. Perhaps ultimately more talented than Alain but got stuck in bad F3000 cars, as did his older brother. Switched to French Supertouring and BPR Global GT. Occasional Le Mans racer between 1997-2003.
2005 Italian F3000 champion. A veteran of GP2 since his Italian title, having shown erratic form in every season. Still hoping for F1 drive but now dropped down to AutoGP to keep his single-seater skills in practice.
Stormed into F2, becoming a race winner for Trivellato in 1975 and for the BMW works team in 1976. Had a single F1 opportunity for Williams in the 1975 Race of Champions but F2 career petered out with minor teams.
1995 British F3 champion, only acquaintances with F1 came as Pacific test driver and as the driver of the official F1 safety car during the mid-90s. Four-time GT1 class winner for Corvette at Le Mans.
Competitive driver in British F3 and F3000. Failed F1 attempts include stillborn Spanish Bravo effort and test driver contract with Benetton. Initially switched to Spanish touring cars and GTs, and even truck racing, before finding his feet as a works Seat driver in the ETCC and WTCC.
British F Ford star in 1983. British F3 and F3000 seasons bore no fruit, apart from three wins in 1989 British F3000, hence his move to Japan. Occasional winner in Japanese F3000, and the championship’s runner-up in 1994.
A fine Italian F3 and F3000 driver who switched to touring cars in the early nineties. Won an amazing number of touring car titles: Spanish champion in 1997, Italian champion in 1998 and 1999, European champion in 2000, 2001 and 2002, and British champion in 2007 and 2008.
1991 British F Ford champion and Festival winner, multiple F3000 race winner during 1994-96. Now a veteran endurance racer in FIA GT, Belcar and Le Mans. Also dabbled with NASCAR.
2002 McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year and 2004 F3 Euroseries champion who, like Paul di Resta, elected to follow his backer Mercedes-Benz into the DTM, regularly upsetting the order in older cars.
1988 French F Ford champion, 1990 French F3 champion. Progress stalled in F3000 when he was expected to shine with DAMS. Switched to Peugeot sportscars to win 1993 Le Mans 24 Hours. Raced in French and German touring cars, as well as FIA GT, ALMS and LMS. Now Peugeot’s test driver.
1995 Vauxhall Junior champion, 1997 British F Renault champion. Won both British F3 title and F3 Masters race in 1999 but after that, career stalled almost completely in an unprecedented way. Has only raced occasionally at an international level since 2003.
Rose through the ranks through Italian F Renault and the Renault V6 Eurocup to end up in GP2 by 2005. Was third driver for Toro Rosso in 2006, but opportunity led to nothing. Jumped Atlantic for a season of Champ Cars before returning to A1GP to dominate 2007-08 season for Switzerland. Now LMS racer with Rebellion.
1968 Monaco F3 winner, 1970 French F3 champion, battled with Hailwood for 1972 F2 title. Tested the Renault F1 car but elected to stay in touring cars and endurance racing. Double Le Mans winner with Alpine-Renault and Rondeau.
1997 SudAm F3 champion and 2000 F3000 champion seemed destined for F1. Lost out to Jenson Button in straight fight for Williams F1 seat. Moved to CART with Ganassi, switching to Newman-Haas in 2003. Won many races but was beaten to titles by Da Matta, Tracy and Bourdais respectively.
Came to Europe to win F Europa Boxer title in 1994. Moved to Indy Lights after a season in Italian F3, and won 1997 championship. A CART and IRL racer since, having driven for Forsythe, Nunn and Andretti-Green, taking 13 wins but missing out on Indy 500 victory despite 2005 start from pole.
1995 McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year, 1997 British F3 champion. One of several recent British F3 champions – from Britain – failing to progress beyond F3000, but returned to the limelight as a sportscar driver for TVR, Aston Martin, Spyker and recently the LMP2 class-leading Strakka Acura.
Another British F3 champion (2002) from Britain to fall into oblivion after winning the title. Returned in 2005 to be Britain's lead driver in A1GP for three seasons. Also raced in LMES and WSR.
1989 Benelux Opel Lotus champion, race winner in British F3 and F3000. Switched between touring cars and GTs, and has been a works driver for BMW, Honda, Aston Martin (Prodrive) and Lamborghini (Reiter).
German F Ford and Opel Lotus champion and a star in German F3, before deciding on a well-paid career in Japan: F3 champion in 1994, GT champion in 1997 and 2003, F Nippon runner-up in 2000. Now back in Europe to race Nissan’s FIA GT1 car.
Mid-nineties F Ford revelation, 1996 F Opel champion and 1998 German F3 champion. Disappointed in F3000 but avenged himself in World Series by Renault, leading to a Minardi testing seat in 2004. Without F1 follow-up, FIA GT and Belgian GT was the way to go.
José María López
Italian F Renault title in 1992 and Renault V6 title in 1993 led to inclusion in Renault Driver Development programme and Renault F1 testing seat but ragged GP2 seasons ended F1 hopes. Cleaned up TC2000 and Top Race championships at home. USF1 GP comeback fell through.
Became the youngest ever winner of the Bathurst 1000 before trying to revive his single-seater career with an unsuccessful foray into F3000 in 1997. A leading Australian V8 driver ever since, first with Holden (HRT), then with Ford (Gibson, FPR, Triple 8). Champion in 1996, 1998 and 1999.
British F3 and F3000 midfield contender suddenly lit up to become Spanish F3 champion in 2003. European adventure stopped all the same, but a return home to the Stock Car V8 championship brought local title glory in 2008. Also winning in Brazilian GT3 championship now.
Jaime Melo Jr
2002 Euro F3000 champion, following in footsteps of Felipe Massa and preceding Augusto Farfus. Switched to sportscars to become one of the best GT2 drivers around. FIA GT2 champion in 2006, double Le Mans GT2 class winner.
A Winfield racing school graduate, drove in British F3 and both British and International F3000 before switching to touring cars. Double BTCC champion (1997 and 2000) with Renault and Ford, DTM driver with Opel, WTCC driver with Chevrolet.
British-born US racer from the sixties, renowned for his development skills. Was entered in 1961 US GP but did not race, and remained a sportscar driver thereafter. Won at Daytona in 1966, killed at Riverside later in the year. At the wrong end of Ford’s orchestrated 1966 Le Mans finish.
Runner-up in French F3, British F3 and F3000 before moving Stateside for a brief experience in CART, where he was eclipsed by fellow F3000 refugee Junqueira. Won British-based ASCAR oval series in 2002 before making his name as an endurance racer for Creation, Pescarolo and Peugeot.
1993 Macau GP winner, 1994 German F3 champion, 1996 F3000 champion. F1 test driver for Arrows, Sauber, Williams and Michelin while initially keeping himself busy in touring cars and sportscars, before create a hugely successful career out of them, mostly with BMW.
Three-time European Super Vee champion (1979-1981), 1982 German F3 champion and 1984 Macau GP winner switched to sportscar racing to become a Silk Cut Jaguar driver, winning Le Mans in 1990. Also won the 1995 BPR GT series with Thomas Bscher, to return to Denmark as a touring car driver.
A biker as well as a racer. Came second in the 1964 French F3 championship but car racing career stalled in French F2.
Very competitive Euro F3 driver who, like Elgh, decided to carve out a niche for himself in the highly lucrative Japanese scene. Japanese Touring Car champion in 1989 and 1991, Japanese Sport-Prototype champion in 1990.
2000 British F3 National Class champion, 2002 German F3 champion. F3000 campaign with Brand fell through, was picked up by Mercedes for DTM. Stayed there ever since, only interrupted by full-time McLaren test deal in 2006, having been DTM champion in 2005. Missed F1 opportunity with Prodrive.
2005 British F3 champion, 2007 World Series by Renault champion. Won his first GP2 race in 2008 and raced competitively in the series, and in A1GP. Having been perennially cash-strapped, found new money with Portuguese tourist board for Virgin F1 test seat, but deal fell through. Now consigned to Spanish GT.
American driver who came to Europe to scare some of the big names during his time in French and British F3. Won several F3 races in 1966, racing for Charles Lucas. Tried the same in F2 in 1969, and drove in F5000 in 1970.
2002 French F Renault champion and 2004 Macau GP and F3 Masters winner. Competed against Rosberg and Hamilton in GP2. A Friday drive for Spyker in 2006 Chinese GP was closest thing to F1. Now an Audi works driver in DTM and at Le Mans.
A karting champion and Italian F3 racer before becoming one of the most successful touring car drivers of all time. Won ETCC in 1986 and 1988, WTCC in 1987, DTM in 1989, Superturismo in 1990, 1991 and 1993. Quit in 1997 to start ROAL, a works BMW WTCC team until 2009.
Cash-strapped British F3 driver tried his luck in Japan to win the 1992 Japanese F3 title. Had 1993 Jordan F1 contract under his belt but failed to acquire enough sponsorship. Did Japanese F3000 and touring cars instead and returned to Europe in 1996, first to German Supertouring, then to the BTCC.
Paul di Resta
Beat team mate Vettel to F3 Euroseries glory in 2006, also winning the F3 Masters, but switched to DTM the following year. Has now, with the help of Mercedes, secured the Force India test seat, also appearing on Grand Prix weekend Fridays.
Fiercely competitive F Renault, British F2 and International F3000 driver, finishing third in 1998 and 1999 F3000 championships. Looked poised for CART glory after a late-season switch to Penske in 1999 but was killed in Laguna Seca practice crash.
1992 Macau GP winner drove in F3000 by 1989 but went to revive his single-seater career in Japan. Two-timed in Japanese F3 and F3000 until 1993 and returned to Europe in 1994 to become a BTCC driver. Won title in 1998, and Bathurst too, and went on to become an ETCC/WTCC works Seat driver.
Five laps after Denis Dayan’s fatal accident, the 1970 Rouen race took another victim. According to witness Jean-Pierre Jaussaud, rivals Scott, Wollek, Beuttler and Salomon tried to take Scierie wheel to wheel. The talented Salomon hit Scott and landed upside down, succumbing in hospital later that day.
British F3 refugee won 1999 Indy Lights title without scoring a win. Was usually given unfavoured drives in CART and IRL, and acted as a supersub on several occasions. On one such occasion, replacing the injured Junqueira at Newman-Haas in 2005, he took his only CART win.
A competitive F3000 driver since 1991, won the 1995 title, and was handed a Benetton F1 test driver contract for 1996. Got his F1 break in 1997 but Lola effort failed miserably. Brief foray into IRL was followed by double SRWC glory in 1998 and 1999. Retired in 2001 to form own team Euronova.
British Vandervell F3 champion and BP runner-up in 1977. Also won in F2. Lotus F1 testing contract led to McLaren F1 break in 1980, subbing for Prost at Long Beach. Failed to qualify and had his leg amputated later in the year after badly crashing during a CanAm race.
Italian F3000 champion in 2003, and race winner in International F3000, finishing second in the 2003 championship. With no F1 deal forthcoming, sat out 2004 to join Coyne in Champ Cars in 2005. Returned home to Brazil to race in top-line Stock Car V8 championship.
1989 Monaco F3 winner and runner-up in the 1989 Italian F3 championship. Fourth in 1991 F3000 standings but already chasing Superturismo glory for Alfa’s Nordauto works team. Second in 1994, fourth in 1995. Almost won Spanish Touring Car Championship in 1997. Quit after the 1998 season.
British F3 race winner in 1980, and championship runner-up in 1981. Career stalled in F2 and F3000. Returned to competition in 1993 to race in Belgian touring cars until 2000. Champion in 1993, 1994 and 1995.
Huge French F3 promise escaped to Japan in 2001. Immediate Japanese F3 champion and a multiple F Nippon race winner thereafter. Champion in 2006, runner-up in 2003, 2007 and 2009. Super GT champion in 2008. Occasional Pescarolo sportscar drive now rewarded with Audi works deal.
Excellent in French and European F3 before becoming a F3000 race winner in 1987. Suffered huge smash during 1988 F3000 season and was never the same afterwards. Tried a return in sportscars but quit after two unsuccessful seasons with Courage.
British and European F Ford star stopped progressing in British F3, but found back his winning ways in British F3000 in 1991. Had taken five poles and five wins from five starts when he crashed fatally at Oulton Park.
1994 British F Ford champion and Festival winner, 1995 F Opel Euroseries champion, and consistent F3000 frontrunner until motorcycle accident in 1999 left him paralyzed from the chest down. Converted to touring cars and won 2002 Danish title in hand-controlled car. Still races in Danish touring cars.
Starred as EJR’s prime driver in European F3 but soon switched to endurance racing, driving for Mazda, Richard Lloyd’s Porsche team, Schuppan, Jaguar and Audi. In 1989, he was runner-up to John Cleland in the BTCC. He was a Dyson regular in the ALMS before retiring in 2006.
Beaten to 1990 Opel Lotus and 1991 German F3 titles by Häkkinen and Lamy but 1992 Monaco F3 winner. Initially German Super Touring and Porsche Supercup driver. Secured Audi works drive in 2001 to become the 2003, 2004 and 2008 ALMS champion. Triple Le Mans winner.
Swedish F Ford star moved through the F3 ranks to become F3000 champion in 1993. Jaguar F1 test deal and CART season with HVM led to nothing. Left for Japan in 2006 to race in F Nippon and Super GT, concentrating on the latter since 2008. No wins during entire Japanese stay.