Turning 52 today is former Minardi driver Luis Pérez-Sala! Sala competed 32 Grands Prix with the team between 1988 and 1989, earning one championship point.
Born in Barcelona, Luis didn’t make waves when he competed in the 1985 Italian Formula 3 championship, although he did win a round during the season.
However, staying on with the same Pavesi team as he graduated into Formula 3000, Luis drove very well and took two wins, at Enna and Birmingham en route to fifth overall in the Drivers’ standings.
This booked him a place on the top-shelf Lola team for 1987, and he took two more wins – at Donington and Le Mans – on the way to finishing runner-up to Stefano Modena.
And with Spain starting to re-emerge as a possible source for F1 talent once again, Sala joined team-mate Adrián Campos to make his F1 debut at Minardi in 1988 and immediately outpaced his team-mate, who was dumped mid-season in favour of Pierluigi Martini.
Martini’s return to the team very much cast Luis into the shadows – the Italian took the team’s first-ever championship point on his return race, no less – and this was perhaps magnified in 1989 when the team started to become a more competitive prospect.
However, his one bright moment came when he and Pierluigi finished together in the points at Silvestone – the only time that the Minardi team managed this result on merit in their lengthy tenure in F1.
Without a drive in 1990, Luis headed to the Spanish touring car scene.
Click here for Luis Pérez-Sala’s complete F1 results.
[Image via Flickr]
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