Michael Bleekemolen, 1977 Michael Bleekemolen, 1978

Former Grand Prix driver Michael Bleekemolen is celebrating his 62nd birthday today!

Undeniably quick in the lower formulae, Bleekemolen’s 1977 F1 debut came before he’d garnered enough experience to really perform at the highest level.

It was little surprise that he qualified his RAM slowest of the 34 entrants at his home Grand Prix.

He stepped back to a full season of Formula 3 in 1978 (finishing fifth overall), before his backing from F&S Properties helped propel him into an F1 berth with ATS. In four appearances, he made the grid just once and retired from that race with a broken oil pump.

He returned once again to Formula 3 where he remained for three seasons, claiming the occasional win but never the title. Since retiring, he has been an influential figure in the motorsport careers of his sons, Jeroen and Sebastian.

[Images via F1 Nostalgia]

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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.