Turning 48 today, former Grand Prix driver Andrea Montermini holds the distinction of holding what F1 Rejects calls the “mid-nineties reject triumvirate”: that is, to have driven for three teams that all folded within the space of 18 months.
The Italian-born racer competed in 29 Grands Prix between 1994-6, making his debut at the Spanish Grand Prix with Simtek as the replacement for the fatally-injured Roland Ratzenberger.
Sadly, fate was to deal another cruel blow to the little Simtek team, as Andrea crashed heavily at the final corner of the Curcuit de Catalunya, breaking his left heel and right foot, and ruling him out of action for the rest of the year.
He returned in 1995 with the Pacific team, and drove for the Forti team in 1996 until it collapsed mid-season.
Andrea has also been an occasional IndyCar racer in 1993-4 and 1999. He picked up a remarkable fourth place at the Detroit round in his first season for the poorly-funded Euromotorsport Team.
Since the 2000s, Andrea has been a fixture in GT racing, and won the 2007 International GT Open’s GTA Class championship in a Ferrari F430.