A hot property in the junior categories, Heinz-Harald – who worked in his father’s undertaking business during his teenage years – was given the unfortunate moniker of being the man who was “quicker than Schumacher”.
Sadly for Heinz-Harald, by dint of equipment and circumstance, he was never able to stand up to that tag during a Grand Prix career that spanned from 1994 to 2003.
Three promising seasons with Sauber yielded plenty of praise for his efforts in the midfield team, and he picked up a podium at the 1995 Italian Grand Prix. He moved to Williams for the 1997 season as the replacement for Damon Hill, and much was expected that he would start to achieve serious results.
But it all turned sour. Just a single win in two seasons and he left the team a broken man, only to rediscover his form and passion for racing with Jordan in 1999, where he picked up two further wins and was an outside chance for the Drivers’ Championship, only to falter in the final rounds.
Viewed therefore to be a strong contender for the 2000 championship, the Jordan Mugen-Honda combination didn’t deliver that season and he was sacked in curious circumstances in mid-2001, finding refuge in Prost for the remainder of the season before it collapsed. He moved to Arrows in 2002, and again showed form when the car worked, before the team too went into liquidation mid-season. A final season with Sauber yielded a lucky podium finish at Indianapolis, but his motivation had well and truly gone.
Heinz-Harald ventured off to touring cars thereafter, and is making an appearance at the V8 Supercars’ Armor All 600 on the Gold Coast later this year.
Great news! We’ve been granted a face-to-face interview with Heinz-Harald during the Armor All 600. Do you have a question you’d like to pose to HHF in the interview? Drop us an email with your suggestions and the best ones will be asked to him! The Richard’s F1 team is really excited about this interview opportunity and to get to meet the man himself!
[Original image via The Cahier Archive]