Success in the lower formulae doesn’t always translate to top-flight F1, as former Grand Prix driver Enrico Bertaggia (turning 48 today) would attest.
After driving a near-death Coloni, he switched to the farcical Andrea Moda outfit – his record of being the slowest driver in all of his prequalifying appearances still stands to this day.
To be fair, much was initially expected of Venice-born Bertaggia after he took the Italian F3 crown and the Monaco F3 support race in 1987, in addition to winning the prestigious 1988 Macau Grand Prix.
But it was in the bigger categories that his form started to unravel, and two seasons in Formula 3000 proved little and achieved even less.
Despite this, he bought a seat at Coloni midway through 1989 as a replacement to Pierre-Henri Raphanel, but failed to prequalify in every event that he was entered. Indeed, he was the slowest of all six prequalifying drivers at each event, a feat no other driver has achieved before or since.
He returned to F1 with the disastrous Andrea Moda outfit in 1992, and after the team’s entry was excluded at the season-opening South African Grand Prix, he stormed out when it turned out that the cars wouldn’t be ready in time for the next race at Mexico.
[Images via ASAG, Corbis Images, F1 Nostalgia and F1 Rejects, F1i]