Claudio Langes – the driver with the most failures to prequalify without ever starting a race – turns 52 today!
The Italian is among a host of many 1980s pay-drivers whose names appear only in the most details of F1 almanacs. An Italian karting champion in 1978, Langes’ passage through Formula 3 and Formula 3000 was slow to say the least, although sprinkled with the occasional decent result.
And despite the EuroBrun team having distinguished itself with the record of failing to prequalify for every Grand Prix in 1989, Langes put his considerable sponsorship allocation in their court and bought himself a seat with the hopeless outfit for 1990.
And the team decided use Langes’ funds to expand its operation from being a useless one-car team into a useless two-car team, with the Italian partnering the perennially optimistic Robert Moreno, a man who made an F1 career out of hopping from one awful team to the next.
And while Moreno would incredulously haul the car onto the grid on no less than two occasions, Langes never stood a chance, and was sometimes up to ten seconds off the pace of Bertrand Gachot’s execrably bad Coloni Subaru.
After fourteen rounds of embarrassment, EuroBrun shut up shop and Langes disappeared into the ether. Moreno would be drafted in as the injured Alessandro Nannini’s replacement at Benetton for the final two rounds, and promptly put the car on the podium in his first race for the team at Suzuka. That result pretty much summed up the EuroBrun effort…
[Images via Flickr, Formula Total, F1 Nostalgia, F1 Rejects, Skyscraper Pictures]