The Richard’s F1 team would like to wish a happy birthday to four stars of Formula 1: Brian Redman, Danny Sullivan, Teo Fabi and Pastor Maldonado!
Turning 74 today, Brian Redman’s racing career spanned over thirty years, and the well-regarded Briton was felt by many to have had the talent to be hugely successful in Formula 1. But the sport’s high-pressure environment was not to his taste, and he turned his back on it to carve out a successful and enjoyable career in other motorsport disciplines well into his fifties.
His first motorsport outings came in a Mini, but he made a name for himself in a Jaguar E-Type in 1965, before he campaigned a Lola T70 in 1966. His profile continued to grow in Formula 2 and sports cars, peaking with a win alongside Jacky Ickx at the 1967 Rand 9 Hours and Spa 1000km events.
By then, Redman had made his mark in Formula 5000 in the United States with three successive championship titles between 1974-6 in the Haas/Hall Lola, until a serious accident in his CanAm threatened to curtail his career in 1977. Back the following year, he won at Sebring and took the 1981 IMSA championship crown.
Click here for Brian Redman’s complete F1 results.
A multimillionaire due to his success in IndyCar racing, Danny Sullivan (61 today) had an all-too-brief stint in Formula 1 that failed to showcase this remarkable talent from Kentucky.
After starting out as a New York taxi driver, Sullivan moved to the UK and spent several years trying to fund his own climb up the motorsport ladder towards a top-flight career – picking up the occasional success and plenty of misfortune along the way.
For 1983, he jumped into Formula 1 with Tyrrell, but it was a largely frustrating season. Just a fifth place at Monaco and second in the Race of Champions were all he could pick up in the way of meaningful results with the normally-aspirated 011 chassis.
The lure of IndyCars (now CART) brought him back to the USA after just a single year in F1, and he took three wins in 1984 before moving to Penske, where he took a famous ‘spin and win’ victory at the 1985 Indianapolis 500, making him part of American racing folklore. He won the 1988 IndyCar title, and remained in the series until a nasty crash at Michigan in 1995 ended his racing career.
Sullivan ventured into motorsport commentary before heading up Red Bull’s American Driver Search program that promoted Scott Speed as the country’s most recent representative in F1.
Sullivan also acted on the FIA stewards’ panel at the 2010 German and Singapore Grands Prix.
Click here for Danny Sullivan’s complete F1 results.
Another dual F1 and IndyCar driver, Teo Fabi (turning 56 today) was certainly a talented driver, but never able to make the most of the opportunities given to him in the top motorsport categories.
After starting off as a downhill skier, Fabi studied mechanical engineering at Milan’s Institute of Technology before turning his hand to motorsport, winning the 1975 European karting title and 1977 Italian Formula Ford championship.
Three wins took him fourth overall in his maiden season of European F3, and he was fast-tracked to Formula 2 with March, finishing tenth in the European championship in 1979, before backing that up with third overall the following year.
A candidate for the RAM March F1 seat in 1981 (which went to Derek Daly), Fabi ventured to the United States where he raced in CanAm for Paul Newman’s team, thankfully surviving a terrifying crash into the trees at Elkhart Lake, while taking four wins in his maiden season, just missing out on the title.
Offered a seat with Toleman for the 1982 F1 season, Fabi and team-mate Derek Warwick rarely made the grid in the ‘flying pig’, but he managed to win the Nürburgring 1000km in a Lancia, partnering his F1 contemporaries, Michele Alboreto and Riccardo Patrese.
Fabi returned to the States in 1983 and entered IndyCars, taking an incredible four wins in his rookie season and narrowly missing out on the championship.
He had re-signed with the Forsythe outfit when Bernie Ecclestone’s Brabham team knocking with an offer for the 1984 F1 season, and Fabi managed to juggle both series, although engineered for his brother Corrado to cover him at Brabham when there was a scheduling clash. By mid-season, he was in F1 full-time, and took a belated third at Detroit when second-placed Martin Brundle was disqualified.
He returned to Toleman for 1985 and gave it its first pole position before the outfit was bought out and rebranded by the Benetton concern for 1986. Fabi stayed on with the team until 1987, achieving three pole positions in the BMW-turbopowered cars, but only picking up a single podium finish.
Without an F1 drive in 1988, Fabi returned to IndyCars and won the Mid-Ohio round in 1989 before he joined Tom Walkinsaw’s Jaguar sports car team in 1991, where he took the World Sports Car title.
After failing to defend his WSC title in 1992, he returned for two more seasons in CART and retired shortly after his 40th birthday. Teo now manages the motorsport career of his son, Stefano.
Click here for Teo Fabi’s complete F1 results.