Former F1 driver Ukyo Katayama has been rescued from Japan’s Mount Fuji, but two of his mountaineering partners are feared dead.


Katayama, who is an experienced mountaineer, was walking down a trail at about 7000 feet altitude when he was found by a rescue team. While he was unhurt, two other companions are missing and feared dead in poor weather and sub-zero temperatures.

A local news agency reported Katayama, 46, had made calls to the police on a mobile phone in the early hours of Thursday morning. The messages said one colleague appeared to have died and another was in danger after their tents had blown away.

Katayama started 94 grand prix between 1992 and 1997 for Larrousse, Tyrrell and Minardi, but he never made the podium with a best finish of fifth in his 1994 season with Tyrrell. After taking the runner’s up place at the 1999 Le Mans 24 Hour race, he moved away from the sport to devote more time to climbing and scaled some of the highest mountains in the world, including Himalayan peaks Cho Oyu and Mt Everest’s Southern Peak (pictured below).

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.