Allan McNish, the former F1 driver and three-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours classic, will return to the FIA Stewards’ panel for the first time in 2013 at this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
The 43-year-old Scot has served as the Drivers’ Representative on three previous occasions since the policy was introduced in 2011.
While he might be more famous for his endurance racing exploits – which also include four Sebring 12 Hour wins and three American Le Mans Series titles – his association with Formula 1 actually stretches back into the early 1990s, when he served as a test driver for McLaren and Benetton. He also tested the execrable MasterCard Lola in 1997 ahead of its short-lived F1 foray.
His persistence finally earned him another F1 opportunity in 2001, when the team required an experienced development driver in the lead-up to their 2002 F1 debut. His efforts were rewarded with a place on the grid in the 2002 season.
But the season was a disaster for the Scot, who was the sole full-time rookie of the four to start the season (Mark Webber, Felipe Massa and Takuma Sato being the others) who would not finish in the top-six of any race that season. McNish nearly mirrored the Australian GP point-scoring efforts of his team-mate Mika Salo at the Malaysian GP, where a superb drive was thwarted by a pit-lane blunder from his pit crew. Incredibly, both he and Salo were sacked at season’s end.
His association with Toyota now finished, McNish was Renault’s test driver for the 2003 season, and also dabbled in a little work with ITV. He returned to his true home of sports cars, and teamed up with the Audi factory team with incredible success ever since.
Allan graciously gave RichardsF1.com an exclusive interview earlier this year, which can be read by clicking here.