Former Toleman, Brabham and Benetton driver Teo Fabi is celebrating his 55th birthday today!
Born Teodorico Fabi, he competed in 71 Formula 1 Grands Prix between 1982 and 1987. In many ways a predecessor to Jarno Trulli, Teo was a brilliant qualifier, but somehow found himself unable to sustain his inherent pace for a full race distance. Perhaps this explains his tally of three pole positions to two third places, earned at the 1984 Detroit GP with Brabham and the 1987 Austrian GP with Benetton. Fabi also led the 1986 Austrian GP in the incredibly powerful Benetton BMW turbo, until a technical failure intervened and he was forced to retire.
In 1983, Fabi was the runner-up in the IndyCar Championship, and won four races in the second half of the season. He also became the second driver to qualify on pole for the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie, leading the opening 23 laps until a broken fuel vale put him out of contention.
Teo is the elder brother of fellow F1 driver Corrado Fabi, and was distinguished by comedian Clive James as “the Fabi brother with the least hair” in reference to the very obvious comb-over he used to fashion during his latter years in F1. He and Corrado shared the drive at Brabham in 1984 when Teo’s CART commitments clashed with the F1 calendar.
Teo also won the 1991 World Sportscar Championship for TWR Jaguar. He now looks after the racing career of his son, Stefano.