Corrado Fabi is the third former F1 driver to be celebrating his birthday today – the younger brother of fellow F1 driver Teo Fabi enjoyed a meteoric rise to Formula 1, but disappeared without trace almost as quickly…
Born in Milan in 1961, Corrado followed in Teo’s footsteps when he began karting at the age of twelve. Before his eighteenth birthday Corrado was racing in Formula 3, and by the time he was 21 he was already a convincing Formula 2 champion.
He was clearly a driver with immense potential, and so he headed into Formula 1 and signed on with the little Osella team. Unfortunately the squad was never able to overcome its backmarker status and he failed to qualify six times. When he did make the grid, he often failed to see the chequered flag…
His F1 career seemed finished, but he made three more appearances the following year as a stand-in for his brother at the Brabham team. Despite enjoying more competitive surrounds, it wasn’t enough to guarantee him a further role in the top flight.
The driver many had thought was Italy’s best F1 prospect had crashed and burned without trace. He had a few IndyCar outings – coincidentally taking over Teo’s cockpit again at Forsythe Racing – but he again failed to impress.
The death of his father at the end of the year saw Corrado opt to retire from competitive driving – at barely 24 years of age – to take over the management of the Fabi business empire, which included a transport company and one of Italy’s largest talc mines.
He made an abortive attempt to return to racing in 1987 in Formula 3000, but his highly anticipated comeback proved quite the anticlimax – Corrado made just three appearances and was well off-the-pace, suffering the effects of a broken wrist he’d incurred in the weeks leading up to his return to the cockpit.
[Images via F1 Rejects]