OBSCURE F1 A-Z: ALEX ZANARDI
In this 26 part series of posts I will be going through the alphabet and for each letter, a profile piece on an obscure driver - some you may have heard of before some you may never knew even sat in an F1 car let alone raced one. I have chosen a driver for each letter choosing them based on their surnames.
Alex Zanardi was born in 1966 in Bologna. Zanardi first raced in Formula One at the 1991 Spanish Grand Prix racing for the 7Up Jordan team with whom he raced for three races in 1991 finishing ninth twice and once failing to finish.
Zanardi then returned to F1 a year later with Minardi for the 1992 German Grand Prix where he was a substitute. However Minardi struggled with a Lamborghini engine and after qualifying last Zanardi failed to finish due to a clutch issue.
Alex Zanardi would eventually get his full time call up in F1 a year later in 1993 signing for Team Lotus where he partnered Johnny Herbert. He would compete 25 Grand Prix's for the team, with his best result coming at the 1993 Brazilian Grand Prix only his second race with the team finishing sixth earning him his one and only championship point in Formula One. In the 21 starts Zanardi would fail to finish in 13 of those due to a multitude of issues.
After 1994 Zanardi took a break from F1 to then return in 1999 with Williams alongside Ralf Schumacher. He would complete the season with Williams finishing a best of seventh at the Brazilian Grand Prix. During the 1999 season Zanardi failed to finish the race on 11 occasions.
Alex Zanardi's F1 career was filled with retirements and I feel as though we never got to see his full potential. After leaving F1 Zanardi found success in bike racing.