Archive-name: formula-one-faq/part1 Posting-Frequency: monthly Last-modified: March 15, 1996 The following list of Frequently Asked Questions has been put together with the help many people and their input is greatly appreciated.
Archive-name: formula-one-faq/part1 Posting-Frequency: monthly Last-modified: March 15, 1996
The following list of Frequently Asked Questions has been put together with the help many people and their input is greatly appreciated. All contributors are acknowledged at the end of this FAQ and sections which are substantially the work of one person are denoted with that persons initials.
This FAQ is a work in progress and further submissions in the way of questions and/or answers are encouraged. You can e-mail me, Mitchell McCann, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that there is also a r.a.s.* FAQ by Andrew Henry which contains a lot of information that is of interest to F1 fans. Unfortunately, that FAQ is no longer being updated so some of the information may be dated but it is still well worth reading.
1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 What is Formula One? What is the FIA? What is FOCA? 1.2 1996 F1 schedule 1.3 Ticket information
3. THE DRIVERS 3.1 Jean Alesi 3.2 Rubens Barrichello 3.3 Gerhard Berger 3.4 Martin Brundle 3.5 David Coultard 3.6 Pedro Diniz 3.7 Juan Manuel Fangio 3.8 Heinz-Harald Frentzen 3.9 Mika Hakkinen 3.10 Johnny Herbert 3.11 Damon Hill 3.12 Taki Inoue 3.13 Eddie Irvine 3.14 Ukyo Katayama 3.15 Pedro Lamy 3.16 Jan Magnussen 3.17 Andrea Montermini 3.18 Olivier Panis 3.19 Mika Salo 3.20 Michael Schumacher 3.21 Ayrton Senna 3.22 Jos Verstappen 3.23 Jacques Villeneuve
4. THE RULES 4.1 How many points are scored for a win? 4.2 Is that a brake light on the back of the cars? 4.3 The start. 4.4 The finish. 4.5 What is the safety car for? 4.6 What is a stop-go penalty? 4.7 What do the different colored flags mean? 4.8 Is mid-race re-fueling allowed?
5. THE CARS 5.1 Why V10 engines? 5.2 How big are the engines? 5.3 How much does a car weigh? 5.4 What is the tub made of? 5.5 How many gears do the cars have? 5.6 Interesting engine facts.
6. MISCELLANEOUS 6.1 What happens during a pit-stop? 6.2 Sponsorship. 6.3 What's the difference between F1 and Indy? 6.4 How many teams are there? 6.5 What is the connection between Ford and Cosworth? 6.6 What radio frequencies do the teams use?
8. WEB SITES
1.1 What is Formula One? What is the FIA? What is FOCA? [AH]
FIA politics is really grungy stuff. The Federation Internationale d'Automobile (FIA) is the governing and sanctioning body for the FIA World Driver's Championship, which is run to a set of technical and procedural regulations and specifications known as Formula One. The FIA's competition committee, which consists of representatives of the motor sport organizing bodies of the member countries (eg ACCUS represents the US, the RAC represents the UK, the FFSA represents France), sets the F1 regulations, interprets them, and judges any appeals or disputes.
The Formula One Constructor's Association (FOCA) is an organisation of the chassis builders (constructors) who design and build the cars that race in the F1 Grands Prix. Since the rules these days say that a constructor can supply cars to only one team, constructor and team are more or less synonymous.
Max Mosley is the president of the FIA and is in charge of its day-to-day operations. Bernie Ecclestone, who used to own and manage the Brabham F1 team, is the president of the FOCA and also the vice-president of marketing for the FIA.
Originally, all the F1 Grands Prix were independent events, independently financed and organized within their host countries. The FIA merely set the technical regulations for F1, and designated certain Grands Prix to be the qualifying rounds for the Driver's and Constructor's Championships. Up until sometime in the 1970s, there were other Grands Prix held besides those races included in the FIA Championship. But the idea of non-Championship Grands Prix died out as it became more and more expensive to hold F1 events. As time went by, the Constructor's Association (FOCA) took on a bigger and bigger role in the business side of Grand Prix racing. They organized and coordinated the sponsorship of the events, sold the television rights, and did the logistics and financing of moving the Grand Prix `circus' from country to country.
Then, in the late 1970s, Jean-Marie Balestre was elected as head of the Committee du Sport Internationale (CSI), the committee of the FIA directly involved in supervising F1. He decided that the FIA should take back more control over the sport. When he tried to impose his will autocratically, Bernie Ecclestone and the other constructors in FOCA resisted. There was a big power struggle between FISA (Federacion Internationale du Sport Automotive, Balestre's new name for the CSI) and FOCA in the early 1980s. Some Grands Prix got cancelled or had their championship status stripped as a result. In the end, FISA and the FIA won out over the FOCA, mainly, I think, because the teams were not unanimously behind the FOCA (not all constructors were FOCA members), and because the sponsors, race organizers, and others involved in Grand Prix racing prevailed on both sides to settle things amicably. But for a while, the FOCA was talking about forming a new F1 championship series comprising the races that it organized, while the FIA of course was threatening to refuse sanctioning for those races. There almost were two `World Championship' series. Later on, Bernie Ecclestone was appointed marketing director for the FIA, but he still retains his presidency of FOCA. So Bernie is still in charge of the organizational and financial side of Grand Prix racing, but now officially as part of the FIA instead of in an independent organisation.
The agreement between FISA and FOCA over control of F1 is called the Concorde Agreement. Among other things, it says that except in the case of emergencies, changes to technical regulations must be announced two years in advance of the date of adoption, unless all constructors agree unanimously to adopt the regulations earlier. This came up in 1994 because Max Mosley wanted to introduce several major technical changes in the wake of a series of fatal and near-fatal accidents in F1. He made these changes without the unanimous agreement called for by the Concorde Agreement, by claiming that this was an emergency situation.
So Max Mosley, as FIA president, is responsible for setting rules and policy for F1, but he's limited by the Concorde Agreement in how quickly and how far he can push things his way. Since Bernie Ecclestone still controls the purse strings for Grand Prix racing, he still carries a lot of clout. As for `can somebody take it away', the FIA president is elected by the representatives from the member countries. When Max Mosley's current term is up, he could be voted out. Similarly, I think that the constructors could oust Ecclestone if they wanted to.
1.2 1996 schedule
March 10th Melbourne Australia Hill March 31st Interlagos Brazil April 7th Buenos Aires Argentina April 28th Nurenburgring Europe May 5th Imola San Marino May 19th Barcelona Spain June 2nd Monte Carlo Monaco June 16th Montreal Canada June 30th Magny-Cours France July 14th Silverstone Great Britain July 28th Hockenheim Germany August 11th Budapest Hungary August 25th Spa-Francorchamps Belgium September 8th Monza Italy September 22nd Estoril Portugal October 6th Aida Pacific October 13th Suzuka Japan
1.3 Ticket information
Canada - Grand Prix Molson du Canada Phone: (514) 392-4731 Fax: (514) 392-0007 1996 prices - Gold 3 day Can$295 Silver 3 day Can$250 Bronze 3 day Can$135 Bronze daily Can$50, 60 and 85 G.A. 3 day Can$60 G.A. daily Can$20, 30 and 40
Consensus seems to be that the stands at the hairpin, silver or bronze, are the best value for money. Golds are over-priced. General Admission - can be OK but get there very early. Circuit accessible by public transport - subway to Ile St-Helene station.
2. THE TEAMS
2.1 Arrows Engine: Hart V8 Nationality: British Key personnel: Jackie Oliver - owner Year formed: 1977 Formula 1 debut: 1978 1995 car/drivers: FA16 - Inoue, Papis, Morbidelli 1996 car/drivers: FA17 - Rosset, Verstappen Address: Arrows Grand Prix International 39 Barton Road Water Eaton Industrial Estate Bletchley, Milton Keynes Buckinghamshire MK2 3HW U.K.
2.2 Benetton Engine: Renault RS8 Nationality: Italian (nominally British until '96) Key personnel: Flavio Briatore - Managing Director Ross Brawn - Technical Director Year formed: 1970 - Toleman Formula 1 debut: 1981 1995 car/drivers: B195 - Herbert, Schumacher 1996 car/drivers: B196 - Alesi, Berger Address: Benetton Formula Ltd. Whiteways Technical Centre Enstone, Chipping Norton Oxfordshire OX8 6XZ U.K.
Benetton entered Formula 1 as a sponsor of the Tyrrell team in 1983 and then Alfa Romeo in '84 and '85. On January 1st 1986 they made the leap from sponsorship to ownership, buying the Toleman team and moving into their premises Witney in England. In their first season they achieved two poles, one victory and 6th place in the constructor's championship and they have improved steadily ever since. From '87 - '90 they finished 5th, 3rd, 4th and 3rd in the championship. In '91 Schumacher made his F1 debut and was signed to a full time ride in '92 partnered by Martin Brundle. Schumacher and Benetton finished their respective championships in 3rd. They could not improve on their performance in '93 but by '94 Schumacher had become a force to be reckoned with and he took the driver's championship in controversial fashion at the end of a controversial season. In 95 Benetton completed the sweep of driver's and constructor's championships with relative ease.
2.3 Ferrari Engine: Ferrari Nationality: Italian Key personnel: Jean Todt - Sport Director John Barnard - Technical director Year formed: 1929 Formula 1 debut: 1950 1995 car/drivers: 412T2 - Alesi, Berger 1996 car/drivers: F310 - Schumacher, Irvine Address: Ferrari SpA Casella Postale 589 Via Emilia 1163 I-41100 Maranelo (Modena) Italy
2.4 Forti Engine: Ford Zetec V8. Nationality: Italian Key personnel: Guido Forti - owner Year formed: Formula 1 debut: 1995 car/drivers: FG01 - Diniz, Moreno 1996 car/drivers: FG01 - Badoer, Montermini Address: Forti Corse S.R.L. Via Luigi Einaudi 1500 Alessandria Italy
2.5 Jordan Engine: Peugeot Nationality: Irish Key personnel: Owner - Eddie Jordan Year formed: 1980 Formula 1 debut: 1991 1995 car/drivers: B195 - Barrichello, Irvine 1996 car/drivers: B196 - Barrichello, Brundle Address: Jordan Grand Prix Silverstone Circuit Towcester Northamptonshire NN12 8TN
Eddie Jordan raced in karts, FF1600, Formula Atlantic, F3 and F2 and was a test driver for McLaren before establishing Eddie Jordan Racing in 1980. He retired from driving in 1981 to concentrate on running the team. The team won British F3 and International F3000 championships en route to their F1 debut in 1991. With their new partnership with French engine manufacturer Peugeot, Jordan is widely regarded as one of the up and coming teams of F1.
2.6 Ligier Engine: Honda Nationality: French Key personnel: Year formed: Formula 1 debut: 1995 car/drivers: JS41 - Brundle, Panis, Suzuki 1996 car/drivers: JS43 - Diniz, Panis Address: Ligier Sports Technopole de la Nievre 58470 Magny Cours France
2.7 McLaren Engine: Mercedes Nationality: British Key personnel: Owner - Ron Dennis Year formed: 1963 - Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd. Formula 1 debut: 1966 - Monaco 1995 car/drivers: MP4/10 - Blundell, Hakkinen, Mansell, Magnussen 1996 car/drivers: MP4/11 - Coulthard, Hakkinen Address: McLaren International Ltd. Woking Business Park Albert Drive Woking, Surrey GU 21 5JY U.K.
Bruce McLaren founded the team that bears his name in 1963. Their F1 debut came in 1966 and their first GP win was in 1968 in Belgium with Bruce himself at the wheel. Bruce McLaren died in 1970 while testing a Can-Am sportscar at Goodwood. Having signed up with Marlboro in '74, a partnership that persists to this day, McLaren won driver (Fittipaldi) and constructor's championships and then the driver's championship again in '76 (Hunt).
In 1980, the team merged with Ron Dennis' Project Four to form McLaren International (The MP4 in the car designation stands for McLaren Project Four). In '84, switching from Ford to Porsche TAG, McLaren again won both driver's and constructor's championships with Lauda beating Prost to the driver's title by half a point. This marked the beginning of McLaren's domination of F1 which was to last through the 91 season. Switching to Honda in 1988, they won constructor's championships in 84, 85, 88, 89, 90 and 91. They were equally successful in the driver's championship winning in 85 and 86 (Prost), 88 (Senna), 89 (Prost), 90 and 91 (Senna). Due to this long period of almost complete dominance, McLaren is second only to Ferrari with 104 GP wins, 7 constructor's titles and 9 driver's titles.
Despite switching engines in 93 (Ford), 94 (Peugeot) and 95 (Mercedes), McLaren has not been able to re-create this success and has not won a GP since 1993. They finished 95 in fourth place but Jordan, Sauber and Ligier are all threatening McLaren's place as one of the Big Four.
2.8 Minardi Engine: Ford Nationality: Italian Key personnel: Owners - Gian Carlo Minardi - Giuseppe Lucchini Technical director - Mauro Gennari Year formed: 1994 Formula 1 debut: 1994 1995 car/drivers: M195 - Badoer, Lamy, Martini 1996 car/drivers: M195B- Fisichella, Lamy Address: Minardi Scuderia Italia Via Spallanzani 21 Faenza (RA) Italy
Minardi Scuderia Italia was formed in 1994 as a merger between the Minardi team and BMS Scuderia Italia. With Alboreto and Martini as drivers, the team gained 5 points for 10th place in the Constructor's championship. They went backwards in '95, earning just one point.
2.9 Sauber Engine: Ford Zetec-R V10 Nationality: Swiss Key personnel: Owner - Peter Sauber Technical Director - Andre de Cortanze Chief Designer - Leo Ress Year formed: 1968 Formula 1 debut: 1993 1995 car/drivers: C14 - Boullion, Frentzen, Wendlinger 1996 car/drivers: C15 - Frentzen, Herbert Address: Wildbachstrasse 9 CH-8340 Hinwil Switzerland
1968 Founding of PP Sauber AG 1977 First start for a Sauber (C5) at the 24 Hours if Le Mans. 1984 Sauber and Mercedes-Benz commence motorsport co-operation. 1986 Sauber cars start five rounds of the Sports Car World Championship; Sauber C8 wins Nurburgring 1000km race. 1988 Sauber cars win 5 out of 10 WSC races and the team finishes second in the Team's World Championship. 1989 Sauber C9 "Silver Arrows" secure WSC Championship and Teams' World Championship after taking 7 victories in eight races (three double wins); Sauber C9s finish 1st, 2nd and 5th at Le Mans. 1990 Sauber C11 secures WSC Drivers' and Teams' titles for the 2nd consecutive year. 1992 February 4; Sauber announces commencement of F1 project. 1993 Sauber finishes in 7th place in the F1 Constructors' championship. 1994 Sauber finishes in 8th place in the F1 Constructors' championship. 1995 Sauber finishes in 7th place in the F1 Constructors' championship.
2.10 Tyrrell Engine: Yamaha Judd Nationality: British Key personnel: Chairman - Ken Tyrrell MD (Commercial) - Bob Tyrrell MD (Engineering) - Harvey Postlethwaite Year formed: 1968 Formula 1 debut: 1968 1995 car/drivers: 023 - Katayama, Salo, Tarquini 1996 car/drivers: 024 - Katayama, Salo Address: Long Reach Ockham Woking, Surrey GU23 6PE
Founded by Ken Tyrrell and owned by the Tyrrell family, the Tyrrell Racing Organisation's history in F1 goes back to 1968 when it first entered the championship using Ford Cosworth powered Matras. After winning both championships in 1969, with Matra and Jackie Stewart, construction began on the first Tyrrell GP car which made its debut at the 1970 Canadian GP. In the next year, 1971, Tyrrell cars clinched the Constructor's Championship and finished 1st and 3rd in the Driver's Championship. Tyrrell has won a total of two Constructor's and three Driver's titles as well as the 1987 Divers and Constructor's titles for normally aspirated cars.
2.11 Williams Engine: Renault RS8 Nationality: British Key personnel: Frank Williams - Owner Patrick Head - Technical Director Adrian Newey - Chief Designer Year formed: 1977 1995 car/drivers: FW17 - Coulthard, Hill 1996 car/drivers: FW18 - Hill, Villeneuve Formula 1 debut: 1977 Address: Williams Grand Prix Engineering Ltd. Grove Wantage OX12 0DQ U.K.
Frank Williams began his Formula 1 career in 1969 at the age of 27 with his close friend Piers Courage and a private Brabham. They finished 8th overall in the Driver's Championship. Courage died the next year at the Dutch GP driving a car Williams was running for the de Tomaso factory.
After a disappointing partnership with Austro-Canadian oil man Walter Wolf in 1976, his new team, Williams Grand Prix Engineering, acquired a March for Patrick Neve to drive and Williams recruited a promising engineer named Patrick Head. Head's first GP design in 1978, the FW06, with Alan Jones at the wheel, was extremely competitive. Williams first GP victory came at the British GP in 1979 when Jones retired from the lead but Clay Regazzoni took the victory for Williams.
Williams quickly became the team to beat taking the Constructor's championship with ease in 1980, 1981, 1986 and 1987. Williams missed out on the constructor's championship in 1982 but Keke Rosberg did take the Driver's championship. Williams responded slowly to the turbo era and struggled through 83 and 84.
In 85 with Mansell joining Rosberg the team improved through the year with the Williams-Honda FW10 taking the last three races of the season. By 86 they were back on top with the FW11 and, with Piquet replacing Rosberg, each driver won 5 GPs giving Williams the constructor's championship with ease. The modified FW11 continued its dominance in 87 and Williams took 1st and 2nd in the driver's championship and the constructor's championship.
1988 marked the end of the turbo era, Williams switched from Honda to Judd for the FW12 and Mansell became the #1 driver partnered by Ricardo Patrese. Williams suffered from mechanical problems and in July 88 a three year deal was signed with Renault for their new V10 engine.
Thierry Boutsen replaced Mansell for the 89 season and won two GPs (Canada and Australia) in atrocious weather conditions. Patrese finished 3rd in the driver's championship helping the team to runner-up spot in the constructor's.
Having retired from Ferrari and been talked out of it by Williams, Mansell returned to the team at the end of 1990. The Canon Williams FW14 was McLaren's only competition and with 7 victories they finished 2nd in the constructors and 2nd and 3rd in the driver's.
The advent of the active FW14B put Williams in a class by themselves in 1992. Mansell won the first five races of the season on his way to a still unbeaten total of 9 wins and 14 poles. His win at the British GP was his 28th beating Jackie Stewart's record for a British driver. Mansell and Williams won their respective championships and Patrese finished 2nd in the driver's.
In 93 Prost and Hill replaced Mansell and Patrese and retained both constructor's and driver's (Prost) championships. Hill also chalked up his first GP win in Hungary. Prost retired after the season and was replaced by Senna. At the third GP of the year at Imola in Italy, Senna was killed when he crashed his FW16 while leading the race. It remains to be seen whether the Italian authorities are going to charge Williams personnel in connection with Senna's death. The team went on to retain the constructor's championship again but Hill missed out on the driver's championship by one point to Michael Schumacher.
3. THE DRIVERS
3.1 Jean Alesi Nationality: French Age - DOB: 30 - November 6th, 1964 Born: Avignon, France Resident: Nyon, Switzerland Current team: Benetton Former team(s): Tyrrell, Ferrari
Alesi was born in France to Sicilian parents. Like many of his contemporaries he began his career in karts but at the relatively late age of 17. He won two regional titles and moved on to the Renault 5 Cup in 1983 finishing 7th with 1 win. 1984 and '85 saw Alesi in Formula Renault finishing 10th and 5th respectively. In '86 he competed in the French F3 championship finishing 2nd in '86 and 1st in '87. The next two years were in F3000 with Oreca in 88, finishing 10th, and Eddie Jordan in '89 finishing 1st.
In addition to the F3000 championship, Alesi also made his F1 debut in '89 with Tyrrell. He finished 4th in his first GP (France) and went onto score a total of 8 points for 9th place from just 8 races. He was retained by Tyrrell for the 1990 season and finished in 9th place with 13 points. In 1991 Alesi was signed by Ferrari where he has remained for the last 5 seasons with rather disappointing results due no doubt to the unreliable and/or uncompetitive cars that Ferrari has put out in the last few years. Between 1991 and 1994 Alesi has scored 13, 21, 18 and 16 points respectively placing him 7th, 7th, 6th and 5th in the championship. Ferrari was much improved in 95 and Alesi finished the season with 42 points placing him 5th in the championship. '95 also saw Alesi's first ever GP win in Canada. In an emotional finish, Alesi brought the #27 Ferrari across the line first before an adoring French- Canadian crowd in Montreal. Alesi, along with his Ferrari team-mate Berger, have both been signed by Benetton for the '96 season.
Jean is single.
3.2 Rubens Barrichello Nationality: Brazilian Age - DOB: 23 - May 23rd, 1972 Born: Sao Paolo, Brazil Resident: Sao Paulo and Cambridge, England Current team: Jordan Former team(s): None
Barrichello began his racing career at the age of 11, competing in and winning various local and national karting championships between 1983 and 1988. In 1989 he moved onto Formula Ford and finished 4th in the Brazilian championship with the Arisco team. In 1990 he moved to Europe and won the Opel-Lotus European championship with the Draco team and in 1991 followed up by winning the British F3 championship with West Surrey Racing. In 1992 he finished 3rd in the F3000 championship with Il Barone Rampante. He joined Jordan in 1993 and has experienced increasing success in his 3 seasons in F1. In '93 he gained 2 points, in '94 he finished 6th in the driver's championship with 19 points and in '95 he finished 11th with 11 points.
Rubens is single with no children.
3.3 Gerhard Berger Nationality: Austrian Age - DOB: 36 - August 27th, 1959 Born: Woergl, Austria Resident: Monaco Current team: Benetton Former team(s): ATS, Arrows, Benetton, Ferrari, McLaren Ferrari Now in his 12th year of F1 racing, Berger is one of the elder statesmen of the sport. His career began in saloon cars in 1979. In 1981 he competed in the Alfasud European Cup (finishing 7th) before moving onto F3 the next year. Berger spent 3 years in F3 and at the end of 1984 broke into F1 with ATS. He competed in 4 races that season gaining 1 point for a 6th place at the Italian GP. Berger signed with Arrows for the 1985 season and has been a permanent feature of F1 ever since driving for Benetton (86), Ferrari (87- 89), McLaren (90-92) and Ferrari again (93-95).
Although he has never managed to win it all, Berger has had several successful seasons. His best championship finish was 3rd in 1988, his best points total was 49 in '92 which was only good enough for 5th place. He has a total of 9 wins in his career with a high of 2 in a season in 87 and 92. '95 was a disappointing year finishing 6th with 31 points. Along with his Ferrari team-mate Jean Alesi, Berger has been signed by Benetton for the 96 season.
Gerhard is married with one child.
3.4 Martin Brundle Nationality: British (English) Age - DOB: 36 - June 16th, 1959 Born: King's Lynn, England Resident: Current team: Jordan Former team(s): Tyrrell, Zakspeed, Williams, Brabham, Benetton, Ligier, McLaren, Ligier
After bouncing around in Touring Cars, FF2000 and F3 between '77 and '83, Brundle broke into F1 with Tyrrell in 84. He has remained in F1 ever since with a variety of teams as well as racing sports cars for Jaguar, with some success including winning Le Mans 24hr in 1990. His most successful F1 season was 1992 with Benetton when he finished 6th in the championship with 38 points.
Martin is married with two children.
3.5 David Coulthard Nationality: British (Scottish) Age - DOB: 25 - 27th March 1971 Born: Twynholm, Scotland Resident: Twynholm and Monaco Current team: McLaren Former team(s): Williams
After a successful karting career, Coulthard rose rapidly to F1 through FF1600, F3 and F3000. As Williams test driver in 1994, he took Senna's place at the Spanish GP and in the remaining eight races he scored 14 points. He retained his seat in 95 and has shown much promise, particularly since being released by Williams and signed by McLaren midway through the season. He joined the ranks of GP winners with a strong drive from pole position at the Portuguese GP. He finished the '95 season with 49 points in 3rd place.
David is single with no children.
3.6 Pedro Diniz Nationality: Brazilian Age - DOB: 25 - May 22nd, 1970 Born: Sao Paolo, Brazil Resident: Current team: Ligier Former team(s): Forti
Diniz raced karts for just two years before moving up to Formula Ford in 1989. '90-92 were spent in F3, first in South America and then Europe. He joined the Forti team in 1993 in F3000 where he spent two years before moving up to F1 with Forti in 95. His best finish was 9th at the Italian GP.
3.7 Juan Manuel Fangio Nationality: Argentine Age - DOB: June 24th, 1911 - July 17th, 1995 Born: Balcarce, Argentina Current team: Former team(s): Alfa, Maserati, Mercedes Benz, Ferrari, Maserati
Although subject to eternal debate, Fangio is widely regarded as the greatest driver ever. Certainly his record of 5 world championships still stands and his winning percentage of almost 50% (24 of 51) is clear evidence of his unchallenged supremacy in the 50s.
He began racing in 1934 mainly in long-distance road races in Argentina before moving to Europe and F1 racing in 1949. In the first year of the FIA championship (1950) he won three of six races finishing second in the championship to Farina. The next year he won the first of his championships driving an Alfa and taking 3 of 7 GPs. In '52 he crashed out of the non-championship Monza GP and did not compete for the rest of the season. He returned in a Maserati in '53 to his worst season, winning only one of eight GPs. Switching from Maserati to Mercedes Benz to Ferrari and back to Maserati, between '54 and '57 he was almost unbeatable, winning 17 of 28 GPs and the championship four years in a row. He competed in just two GPs in 1958 before retiring.
Unlike many of his contemporaries, Fangio lived to a ripe old age and died in 1995 after being admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia.
3.8 Heinz-Harald Frentzen Nationality: German Age - DOB: 28 - May 18th, 1967 Born: Mochengladbach, Germany Resident: Monte Carlo Current team: Sauber Former team(s): None
After a relatively successful 95 season in a middle-of-the-grid car, Heinz-Harald Frentzen is widely regarded as one of the up and coming drivers of F1. He began racing in karts winning the German Junior championship in 1981. From 85 - 87 he competed in FF2000 finishing 2nd in '87. In '88 he was German Formula Opel Lotus champion and was 6th in the Opel Lotus Euroseries. He spent one year in German F3, finishing 2nd, before moving onto F3000 in 1990. He spent one season each with Eddie Jordan and Vortex before accepting a financially attractive offer to move to Japan and race for the Nova team. In 1994, he made his F1 debut for the Sauber team and scored a total of 7 points in 15 races. With three races left in 95 he has scored 15 points putting him behind only the Benettons, Williams and Ferraris. He has re-signed with Sauber for 96.
Heinz-Harald is single with no children. (You will see posts referring to the fact that he once dated Schumacher's wife - before she was his wife, of course).
3.9 Mika Hakkinen Nationality: Finnish Age - DOB: 27 - September 28th, 1968 Born: Helsinki, Finland Resident: Monte Carlo Current team: McLaren Former team(s): Lotus
Mika Hakkinen has been driving since he was six years old, capturing 5 Finnish national karting championships between 1974 and 1986. He then progressed into FF1600 - a category which he duly conquered by being crowned Finnish, Swedish and Nordic Champion - the Lotus Euroseries and the British GM Lotus series, becoming champion and runner-up respectively. A year after entering the British F3 championship in 1989 he won the Macau Grand Prix on his way to the overall title.
He broke into F1 in 1991 with Lotus where he stayed for two years finishing the championship 15th and 8th with 2 points and 11 points respectively. He joined McLaren as Test and Development driver in 93, being elevated to the position of race driver for the final three rounds of the championship following Michael Andretti's departure to return to Indy Car. In his first race for McLaren at the Portuguese GP Hakkinen outqualified his team-mate, Ayrton Senna. He scored his first ever F1 podium finish with a 3rd place at the Japanese GP. In 94 he finished 2nd at the Belgian GP and 3rd in four other races ending the season 4th in the championship with 26 points. He finished '95 with 17 points in 7th place - not to mention a nasty crash during practice in Adelaide. He is recovering well physically and he has been re-signed by McLaren for the '96 season but it remains to be seen whether Mika will be effected mentally by the crash.
Mika is single with no children.
3.10 Johnny Herbert Nationality: British (English) Age - DOB: 31 - June 27th, 1994 Born: Romford, England Resident: Wooten Wawen, England Current team: Sauber Former team(s): Benetton, Tyrrell, Lotus, Ligier, Benetton
One of the most popular figures in F1, Johnny Herbert began his racing career in karts at the age of 10 winning two British championships over the next 8 years. He moved onto FF1600 in 1983 and FF2000 and F3 in 1986. In 1987 he won the British F3 championship with Eddie Jordan Racing and was signed by Benetton as a test driver. In 1988 he moved up to F3000 with Jordan, winning his first race at Jerez before being seriously injured at Brands Hatch. Despite not being fully recovered from his injuries he started the 1989 season for Benetton in F1 scoring a 4th and a 5th place before being rested by the team at mid-season. He returned briefly to F1 the same year with Tyrrell.
In 1990 Herbert was the test driver for Lotus and raced intermittently for the team for the next two years. He continued with Lotus for 92 and 93 on a full time basis and finished 14th and 9th respectively. He raced for three teams in 94 - Lotus, Ligier and then Benetton for the last two races. He stayed with Benetton for the 95 season and finished 4th in the championship winning his first GP at the British GP. Towards the end of the season, he complained bitterly about his treatment at the hands of Benetton and Schumacher.
He is married with two daughters.
3.11 Damon Hill Nationality: British (English) Age - DOB: 35 - September 17th, 1960 Born: London, England Resident: Dublin, Ireland Current team: Williams Former team(s): Williams (test), Brabham
Damon is the son of two-time F1 champion, the late Graham Hill. Damon Hill actually began his racing career on motorbikes in 1979. In '84, while still racing bikes, he had his first taste of auto racing in Formula Ford. In 1985 he switched to FF full time and finished 3rd in the Esso championship with 6 wins. He moved onto F3 in 86 with Murray Taylor Racing and then with Intersport in 87 and 88. From 89 to 91 he competed in F3000 with Footwork, Middlemarch and Lola without great success except that he did get a testing contract with Williams in 91 replacing Mark Blundell.
Hill broke into F1 the next year, 1992, with Brabham, again without great success. In eight attempts in an uncompetitive car, he qualified just twice finishing 16th and 11th. His big break came in 93 when he signed for Williams. That year he scored he scored his first F1 win in Hungary, completing a hat-trick over the next two races in Belgium and Italy. He finished the season with 69 points for 3rd place in the championship.
In '94, still with Williams, Hill came as close to winning it all as is possible without actually doing it. Coming in to the last race of the season in Adelaide, Hill trailed Michael Schumacher by one point. Depending on your point of view they either had a coming together or Schumacher drove into Hill thereby securing the Championship by that one point margin.
Hill again challenged Schumacher for most of the '95 season but fell apart somewhat in the second half of the season. He finished 2nd in the championship with 69 points.
Damon is married with two sons and a daughter.
3.12 Taki Inoue Nationality: Japanese Age - DOB: Current team: None due to sponsorship problems Former team(s): Arrows
3.13 Eddie Irvine Nationality: Irish Age - DOB: 29 - November 10th, 1965 Born: Newtownards, Northern Ireland Resident: Dublin, Ireland Current team: Ferrari Former team(s): Jordan
Irvine began racing in FF1600 and competed in Irish and British FF1600 series between 1983 and 1987. In 1988 he placed 5th in the F3 championship with West Surrey Racing. In 1989 he moved onto F3000 with Pacific Racing and finished 9th in the International Championship. He first teamed up with Eddie Jordan in F3000 in 1990 when he finished 3rd (recording one win). Between 1991 and 1993 he competed in the Japanese F3000 championship with Team Cerumo finishing 7th, 8th and 2nd with one win each year. '93 also saw Irvine's F1 debut with 2 races for Jordan scoring a point in Japan.
Irvine raced the entire 94 season for Jordan, with the exception of a 3 race ban for an accident at the Brazilian GP, scoring 6 points placing him 16th. He finished '95 with 10 points having suffered from unreliability including a fire from a re-fueling accident. Irvine has signed with Ferrari for next season. This has caused much speculation in rasf1 regarding the relationship he will enjoy with Schumacher. The consensus is that he will not suffer silently as a third-class #2 driver as Johnny Herbert did this year. Whether this was a deliberate ploy on the part of Ferrari remains to be seen.
Eddie is single with no children.
3.14 Ukyo Katayama Nationality: Japanese Age - DOB: 32 - May 29th, 1963 Born: Tokyo Resident: Tokyo and Monaco Current team: Tyrrell Former team(s): Larrousse
After graduating high school in 1982, Katayama trained as a mechanic at the Tsukuba Circuit in Japan before switching to driving, taking class and championships in FJ1600, after winning his very first race from pole position. In 1985 he graduated to the All Japan F3 Series with the Nissan Hasemi team and finished 6th in the championship. In 1986, he moved to France competing in the National Formula Renault and French F3 series. In 1988 he returned to Japan competing in the Japanese F3000 Championship for Ba-Tsu Racing in '88, Footwork in '89 and Cabin in '90 and '91 - winning the championship in '91.
1992 marked Katayama's Formula 1 debut with Venturi Larrousse with two top 10 finishes. In 1993, he moved to Tyrrell where he has remained for the last three seasons with somewhat limited success. He scored 5 points in 1994 but in 95 he finished 4 races and his best finish was 7th in the German GP. Katayama was involved in a scary accident at the start of the Portuguese GP when he locked wheels with Badoer and was launched into the air, somersaulting down the track. He did not sustain any serious injuries and missed only one race. He has been re-signed by Tyrrell for the '96 season.
Ukyo is married with two children.
3.15 Pedro Lamy Nationality: Portuguese Age - DOB: 23 - March 20th 1972 Born: Aldeia Galega, Portugal Resident: Lisbon Current team: Minardi Former teams(s): Lotus
Between 1978 and 1988 Lamy competed in motocross and karting before stepping up to Formula Ford and winning the national championship in 1989. In 90 and 91 he raced in the GM Lotus Euroseries winning the championship in 1991. In 92 he was German F3 Champion and in 93 he shared the International F3000 championship. 93 also marked his F1 debut with Team Lotus at the Italian GP. He drove for Lotus 4 more times in 94 before joining Minardi for the 95 Hungarian GP.
3.16 Jan Magnussen Nationality: Danish Age - DOB: 22 - July 4th, 1973 Born: Roskilde, Denmark Resident: Silverstone, England Current team: McLaren (test) Former teams(s): None
Jan Magnussen has been described by Jackie Stewart as "the most promising youngster to come along since Ayrton Senna." He ended his karting days in 1991 with a hat-trick of world championships and moved to England to compete in the 1992 British FF1600 championship for Foundation Racing. Having become familiar with the car and the circuits, he won 7 races in the second half of the season, including the prestigious Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, and finished 3rd in the championship.
In 1993 after spells in the Formula Vauxhall Lotus and Opel Lotus European Championship, he made his F3 debut competing in two races for Paul Stewart Racing finishing 4th and 3rd. The next season, still with Paul Stewart Racing, he clinched the championship in the most dominant fashion ever achieved in the history of F3 racing by winning 14 out of 18 races - that season brought him the nickname of "Danish Dynamite."
In October 94, Magnussen drove the McLaren MP4/9 as a reward for his achievement and was subsequently signed as the team's test driver. Due to Hakkinen's appendicitis, Magnussen is expected to make his F1 debut at the Japanese GP.
Jan is single with one son.
3.17 Andrea Montermini Nationality: Italian Age - DOB: 31 - May 30th, 1964 Born: Resident: Current team: Forti Former team(s): Ferrari (test), Benetton (test), Simtek Pacific
Montermini began racing in 1987 in Formula Alfa Boxer moving onto Italian F3 in 1988. Between 1990 and 92 he competed in F3000 finishing 8th, 10th and 2nd, getting his first taste of F1 as a test driver with Ferrari in 91. In 93 he went Indy racing, as well as testing for Benetton, finishing the championship in 18th position. He started 94 in Indy before getting his first shot at competitive F1 with Simtek at the Spanish GP. However, he crashed during practice and broke both feet and did not start the race. After recovering from the crash he finished the Indy season before signing with Pacific for the 1995 season. After 14 rounds, Montermini has started every race but has only been classified 3 times with a best finish of 8th at the German GP.
3.18 Olivier Panis Nationality: French Age - DOB: Born: Resident: Current team: Ligier Former team(s):
3.19 Mika Salo Nationality: Finnish Age - DOB: 28 - November 30th, 1966 Born: Helsinki Resident: Tokyo Current team: Tyrrell Former team(s): Lotus
Salo started racing 50cc karts at the age of 6, moving onto the 100cc Finnish championship by 9 and winning it at the age of 11. After 11 months national service in the army, he competed in the Finnish and Scandinavian F1600 Championships in 1987. In 1988 he became European, Scandinavian and Finnish champion, winning all 14 races and setting new lap records at every circuit.
>From 1989-1990 Mika lived in the UK competing in F3 with Alan Docker Racing. From 1991-3 he competed in the All Japan F3000 championship with less than spectacular results. In 1994 he joined Lotus for the final two races of the season recording 10th and a DNF in Japan and Australia respectively. He joined Tyrrell in 1995 and has finished in the points three times - two 5ths and a sixth. He has been re-signed by Tyrrell for '96.
Mika is single with no children.
3.20 Michael Schumacher Nationality: German Age - DOB: 27 - January 3rd, 1969 Born: Hurth-Hermuhlhein, Germany Resident: Monte Carlo Current team: Ferrari Former team(s): Jordan, Benetton
Michael Schumacher began racing karts with some success from 1984 to 1987. In '88 he won the German Formula Konig championship, finished 4th and 2nd in the German and European FF1600 championships respectively. 1989 was an interesting year competing in the German F3 championship - he finished 3rd behind Wendlinger and Frentzen. He continued in F3 the next year and won the championship with 5 wins.
1991 marked his F1 debut with Jordan and then with Benetton for the rest of the season from Italy onwards. (There is still a pending lawsuit filed by Eddie Jordan regarding Schumacher's move to Benetton). He finished the year with 4 points. Schumacher began to show his potential in 92 winning his first GP and coming 3rd in the driver's championship. The next year again produced one win and he finished 4th in the championship.
1994 of course marked Schumacher's first world championship amidst much controversy and last year he easily repeated this feat helping Benetton to the constructors title in the process.
Michael is married with no children.
3.21 Ayrton Senna Nationality: Brazilian Age - DOB: Died 1994, aged 34 Born: Sao Paolo, Brazil Resident: Current team: Former team(s): Toleman, Lotus, McLaren, Williams
3.22 Jos Verstappen Nationality: Dutch Age - DOB: 23 - March 4th, 1972 Born: Montfort (Lb), The Netherlands Resident: Maaseik, Belgium Current team: Arrows Former team(s): Benetton, Simtek (5 races)
3.23 Jacques Villeneuve Nationality: Canadian Age - DOB: Born: Resident: Current team: Williams Former team(s):
Copyright (c) 1996 by Mitchell McCann