Alessandro-Nannini.png Nannini.gif Full Name Alessandro Nannini
Nationality Italian
Born 7 July 1959, Sienna (ITA)
Died
Website Official Website
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First Grand Prix 1986 Brazilian Grand Prix Last Grand Prix 1990 Spanish Grand Prix
Grands Prix 76 Non-starts 2
Wins 1 Podiums 9
Best Finish 1st, 1989 Japanese Grand Prix Points 65
Fastest Laps 2 Best Qualifying 3rd, 1989 United States GP
Retirements 47 Laps Led 21

Career Highlights

1986 Formula 1, Minardi Motori Moderni M185B, 14 races, 0 points, Not Classified
1987 Formula 1, Minardi Motori Moderni M187, 16 races, 0 points, Not Classified
1988 Formula 1, Benetton Ford B188, 16 races, 2 podiums, 12 points, 10th overall
1989 Formula 1, Benetton Ford B189, 16 races, 1 win, 4 podiums, 32 points, 6th overall
1990 Formula 1, Benetton Ford B189B/B190, 14 races, 3 podiums, 21 points, 8th overall

 

Alessandro Nannini, 1989 San Marino Grand Prix

Biography

‘Sandro’, as he was affectionately known, was born in the Italian town of Siena and into a very talented family: his father was a widely respected and talented baker, and his sister would go on to become one of the country’s highest-profile rock singers. For Sandro, it was all about motorsport.

His first forays into motorsport came in the 1970s in rallying, before he switched to open-wheeled competition and drove for Minardi in the 1982 Formula 2 championship.

By 1986, he had made his F1 debut with Minardi, and despite being a clear number-two to his mercurial team-mate Andrea de Cesaris, it was Sandro who had the more senior compatriot’s measure.

A further year with the Faenza team followed before he was appointed at Benetton in 1988, as team-mate to Thierry Boutsen.

It was here that the chain-smoking racer started to blossom, picking up regular points finishes and was a solid contender in 1989, peaking with victory at that year’s infamous victory at the Japanese Grand Prix after Ayrton Senna was disqualified for an illegal push-start by the marshals.

In 1990, his stock continued to rise, and he might have won the Hungarian Grand Prix but for being rammed off-track by Senna.

But tragedy would strike just a few weeks later, when he was involved in a helicopter crash that severed his right hand at the forearm. Incredibly, the limb was reattached with microsurgery, but his F1 days were over.

Having fully recovered, Sandro was a regular competitor with Alfa Romeo between 1992-6 in the Italian Touring car Championship, winning races aplenty and proving that he had lost none of his touch and finesse behind the wheel.

Cruelly, it was a blossoming F1 career cut short.

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