Nicolas Kiesa

Denmark’s last Grand Prix driver, Nicolas Kiesa, is turning 34 years old today!

Born in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, Kiesa started out in karting before he made his open-wheeler debut in the 1998 British Formula Ford championship. He immediately impressed, finishing third overall in the championship, as well as the annual Formula Ford Festival.

He stayed in the championship for a second year, winning the title outright but being unable to secure the Festival double when he ran into mechanical troubles.

He moved into the British Formula 3 championship in 2000, and claimed his maiden win that season at Donington against the likes of Antonio Pizzonia, Takuma Sato and Tomas Scheckter.

He moved into the German Formula 3 championship in 2001 before jumping into Formula 3000 in 2002 with the PSN Racing Line team. Driving for the Den Bla Avis squad in 2003, he proved himself to be quick but wild, with his most famous moment coming with a win at the Monaco Grand Prix support race. On course to finish a well-earned second place, he inherited the win in the final few metres when race-leader Bjorn Wirdheim idiotically pulled up on the start/finish straight to celebrate in front of his mechanics – a disbelieving Kiesa sped through to claim the win…

Hi F3000 journey came to an end when he was a mid-season call-up to Minardi as the replacement for the Jaguar-bound Justin Wilson. While he brought the car home to the finish at every race, he was well off the pace of team-mate Justin Wilson and he was largely invisible, aside from when he was being lapped.

Unable to remain in F1 in 2004, he joined the Jordan team’s test line-up halfway through the year to replace Robert Doornbos, and was then outbid by Patrick Friesacher in his attempts to re-sign with Minardi for the 2005 season.

After a few outings in endurance racing and the DTM championship in 2006, Kiesa dropped off the motorsport landscape from that point and was last seen competing in a celebrity ice-skating competition on Danish TV a few years ago.

[Images via Atlas F1, LAT, Nicolas Kiesa, Sutton Images, XPB]

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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.