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Vincenzo Sospiri
Nationality Italy Italian
Formula One World Championship career
Active years 1997
Teams Mastercard Lola
Races 1 (0 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 1997 Australian Grand Prix
Last race 1997 Australian Grand Prix

Vincenzo Sospiri (born 7 October 1966 in Forlì) is an Italian racing driver.

Contents

Early career

Sospiri started racing in the Italian 100CC Karting Championships at the age of 15. He spent a long time working his way through the karting ladder, eventually becoming World Karting Champion in 1987. Sospiri then progressed to Formula Ford, before working through to Formula 3000 in 1991, as team-mate to Damon Hill in the Middlebridge Lola T91/50 Cosworth. In an uncompetitive car, he was only capable of 9 points all season, but produced an incredible result to finish 2nd at the German round of the championship at Hockenheim. He stepped back down into the Italian F3 series in 1992, before making a return to Formula 3000 in 1993, driving a Reynard 93D Judd for the Mythos team. After an improved season, he moved to the Super Nova team for 1995. It was during this season that he won the Formula 3000 title, beating team-mate Ricardo Rosset to the championship.

Formula One

He had tested for the Simtek Formula One team at Estoril in 1994, but was unable to raise enough funds to gain a race seat at the time. Despite winning the Formula 3000 title in 1995, very few options were available for Sospiri, so he chose to take the role of official Benetton test driver for the year.

Sospiri finally got his chance to race in Formula One with the MasterCard Lola project in 1997. Unfortunately it was clear from the first race, where both Sospiri and his team mate Ricardo Rosset were more than 10 seconds off the pace and failed to qualify, that the car was not capable of making the grid in a world championship race. Sospiri hoped to return to the grid in Brazil, but the team was withdrawn due to the massive debts incurred by its failing Formula One effort.

After Formula One

Vincenzo Sospiri has since turned his attention to other sports, driving the remainder of the 1997 season, including the Indianapolis 500, in the Indy Racing League. In 1998 and 1999, he won the Sports Racing World Cup with a Ferrari 333 SP, teaming up with Emmanuel Collard. This resulted in a drive in the lead Toyota at the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans with Collard and Martin Brundle. Unfortunately, frequent gearbox problems and a puncture while Brundle was driving took the polesitter out of the race. He retired from racing in 2001 and is now the team manager for the Euronova team in Italian Formula 3000.


Complete Formula One results

(key)

Yr Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Points
1997 Mastercard Lola F1 Team Lola T97/30 Ford V8 AUS
DNQ
BRA
ARG
SMR
MON
ESP
CAN
FRA
GBR
GER
HUN
BEL
ITA
AUT
LUX
JPN
EUR
NC 0
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Eddie Irvine
Formula Ford Festival Winner
1988
Succeeded by
Niko Palhares
Preceded by
Jean-Christophe Boullion
International Formula 3000 Champion
1995
Succeeded by
Jörg Müller
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Vincenzo Sospiri
Date of birth 7 October 1966 (1966-10-07) (age 44)
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Italian
Active years 1997
Teams Mastercard Lola
Races 1 (0 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 1997 Australian Grand Prix
Last race 1997 Australian Grand Prix

Vincenzo Sospiri (born 7 October 1966 in Forlì) is an Italian racing driver.

Contents

Early career

Sospiri started racing in the Italian 100CC Karting Championships at the age of 15. He spent a long time working his way through the karting ladder, eventually becoming World Karting Champion in 1987. Sospiri then progressed to Formula Ford, before working through to Formula 3000 in 1991, as team-mate to Damon Hill in the Middlebridge Lola T91/50 Cosworth. In an uncompetitive car, he was only capable of 9 points all season, including a second place at the German round of the championship at the Hockenheimring. He stepped back down into the Italian F3 series in 1992, before making a return to Formula 3000 in 1993, driving a Reynard 93D Judd for the Mythos team. He moved to the Super Nova team for 1994 and mounted a challenge for the championship despite not winning any races, eventually finishing fourth. He stayed at Super Nova for 1995 where he won three races and beat his team-mate Ricardo Rosset to the F3000 title.

Formula One

[[File:|thumb|right|Sospiri driving for MasterCard Lola at the 1997 Australian Grand Prix.]]

He had tested for the Simtek Formula One team at Estoril in 1994, but was unable to raise enough funds to gain a race seat at the time. Despite winning the Formula 3000 title in 1995, very few options were available for Sospiri, so he chose to take the role of official Benetton test driver for the year.

Sospiri finally got his chance to race in Formula One with the MasterCard Lola project in 1997. Unfortunately it was clear from the first race, where both Sospiri and his former F3000 team mate Ricardo Rosset were more than 10 seconds off the pace and failed to qualify, that the car was not capable of making the grid in a world championship race. Sospiri hoped to return to the grid in Brazil, but the team was withdrawn due to the massive debts incurred by its failing Formula One effort.

After Formula One

Vincenzo Sospiri has since turned his attention to other sports, driving the remainder of the 1997 season, including the Indianapolis 500, in the Indy Racing League. In 1998 and 1999, he won the Sports Racing World Cup with a Ferrari 333 SP, teaming up with Emmanuel Collard. This resulted in a drive in the lead Toyota at the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans with Collard and Martin Brundle. Unfortunately, frequent gearbox problems and a puncture while Brundle was driving took the polesitter out of the race. He retired from racing in 2001 and is now the team manager for the Euronova team in Italian Formula 3000.


Racing career results

Complete Formula One results

(key)

Yr Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Points
1997 Mastercard Lola F1 Team Lola T97/30 Ford V8 AUS
DNQ
BRA
ARG
SMR
MON
ESP
CAN
FRA
GBR
GER
HUN
BEL
ITA
AUT
LUX
JPN
EUR
NC 0

American Open-Wheel

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

IndyCar

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Rank Points
1996-1997 Team Scandia
NWH
 

LSV
 

WDW
 

PHX
 

IND
17

TXS
9

PPIR
6

CHR
Ret

NH2
2

LV2
Ret
21st 134

Indy 500 results

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
1997 Dallara Oldsmobile 3 17 Scandia

Champ Car

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Rank Points
1998 All American Racers
MIA
 
Template:Country data JPN
MOT
 

LBH
 

NZR
 

RIO
 

STL
 

MIL
 

DET
 

POR
 

CLE
 

TOR
 

MIS
 

MDO
 

ROA
 

VAN
 

LS
Ret

HOU
15

SRF
15

FON
Ret
29th 0

References

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Eddie Irvine
Formula Ford Festival Winner
1988
Succeeded by
Niko Palhares
Preceded by
Jean-Christophe Boullion
International Formula 3000 Champion
1995
Succeeded by
Jörg Müller

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