Former Grand Prix racer – and an absolute nightmare to lap – Philipp Alliot is today celebrating his 58th birthday.
A well-to-do French driver whose entire stint in F1 was almost exclusively spent with mid-grid French-run or supported outfits, Philippe started competitive motor racing only once he had finished his national service, and it took him several seasons apiece to graduate through the ranks of karting, Formula Renault and Formula 3.
His F1 debut came in 1984 with the hopeless Skoal Bandit RAM outfit, with whom he spent two anonymous seasons.
It was Jacques Laffite’s career-ending accident in mid-1986 that saw Philippe join Ligier, picking up a point before signing full-time with the new Larrousse concern in 1987. He stayed there for three seasons, proving decidedly erratic, discourteous when being lapped, and capable of some enormous accidents. Things didn’t improve with another stint at Ligier in 1990.
A period spent sports car racing saw Philippe return to F1 in 1993, again with Larrousse, before he became Peugeot’s test driver with McLaren in 1994, subbing for the banned Mika Häkkinen at the Hungarian Grand Prix. He completed a couple more races with Larrousse at the end of the season and looked likely to continue with the outfit into 1995 until it collapsed.
Now realising that his best days were well behind him, Philippe quit dying his grey hairs and left F1 for good.
[Images via DayLife, F1Ad Narod, F1-Facts, Flickr, SPEED, Spox, Sutton Images, The Cahier Archive]
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