Christian-Danner.png Danner.gif Full Name Christian Danner
Nationality German
Born 4 April 1958, Münich (DEU)
Website Official Website
Twitter @danner4dhl
First Grand Prix 1985 Belgian Grand Prix Last Grand Prix 1989 Canadian Grand Prix
Grands Prix 36 Non-starts 11 (10 DNQ, 1 EXC)
Wins 0 Podiums 0
Best Finish 4th, 1989 United States Grand Prix Points 4
Fastest Laps 0 Best Qualifying 16th (x5)
Retirements 22 Laps Led 0

Career Highlights

1981 European Formula 2, March Racing BMW 812, 12 races, 2 points, 18th overall
1982 European Formula 2, March Racing BMW 822, 13 races, 6 points, 4th overall
1983 European Formula 2, Onyx Racing March BMW 832, 12 races, 3 podiums, 21 points, 5th overall
1984 European Formula 2, BS Automotive March BMW 842, 11 races, 4 podiums, 23 points, 5th overall
1985 International F3000, BS Automotive March 85B, 11 races, 4 wins, 7 podiums, 51 points, 1st overall
  Formula 1, West Zakspeed Racing L4T 841, 2 races, 0 points, Not Classified
1986 Formula 1, Osella Squadra Corse Alfa Romeo V8T FA1F, 6 entries, 5 races, 1 DNQ, 0 points
  Formula 1, Barclay Arrows BMW L4T A8 / A9, 10 races, 1 point, 18th overall
1987 Formula 1, West Zakspeed Racing L4T 861 / 871, 15 races, 0 points, Not Classified
1989 Formula 1, Rial Racing Cosworth V8, 13 entries, 4 races, 9 DNQ, 3 points, 21st overall
1992 IndyCar Series, Euromotorsport Lola Cosworth, 8 races, 0 points, Not Classified
1993 IndyCar Series, Euromotorsport Lola Cosworth, 3 races, 2 points, 31st overall
1994 IndyCar Series, Project Indy Lola Ford T93/00, 2 races, 2 points, 30th overall
1995 IndyCar Series, Project Indy Reynard Ford 95i, 2 races, 6 points, 25th overall
  ITCC, Schübel Engineering Alfa Romeo 155, 14 races, 1 win, 48 points, 9th overall
1996 ITCC, Spielfilm Alfa Romeo 155, 25 races, 1 podium, 48 points, 15th overall
1997 CART, Payton-Coyne Racing Lola Ford T97/00, 3 races, 1 point, 31st overall


Christian Danner, 1986 Hungarian Grand Prix


Christian Danner’s pursuit of motorsport is not without plenty of irony, for his father – an automotive engineer – was one of the first leading researchers to campaign for law changes to reduce motor accident fatalities.

German-born Danner started out racing Renault 5s while completing his own studies in mechanical engineering before he was talent-scouted to join the Cassani Racing Team in the German Group 4 series in 1980.

Some solid performances in Procar saw him spotted by BMW motorsport boss Dieter Stappert, who signed the him to drive for BMW’s Formula 2 team. By 1983, Danner was a frontrunner in the series, while also maintaining a full-time role with BMW in the European Touring Car Championship.

In 1985, he scraped together the necessary funding to secure himself a seat in the inaugural Formula 3000 championship, which he won, and in doing so he became the first German to win an international motorsport title in the modern era.

His reward was two F1 outings at the end of the year with the Zakspeed concern, where he gained plenty of attention for being the first ever male F1 driver to compete with an earring!

He joined Osella for the start of 1986, and it was his connections with BMW that saw him helicoptered into Arrows mid-season after Marc Surer’s career-ending rally accident. He took his first championship point with sixth place at the attrition-hit Austrian Grand Prix.

He returned to Zakspeed for 1987, but was generally outperformed by Martin Brundle in the sister car, which enjoyed its usual bout of unreliability.

Danner was – in many people’s eyes – too tall for the sport, and he was sidelined without a drive in 1988 before making a return in 1989. His comeback was with the Rial team run by the mercurial Gunther Schmid, a man not averse to destroying his own F1 cars if he didn’t get his way! A freak fourth place at Phoenix was the sole highlight, and the team collapsed before the season had finished.

With no more F1 drivers on offer, Danner went to Japan and its Formula 3000 scene before embarking on an unsuccessful stop/start tilt at IndyCars.

Tin-top racing beckoned and in 1992 he won the Spa and Nurburgring 24 Hours races, as well as ITCC races at Helsinki and the Norisring in 1995 with Alfa Romeo.

Danner turned to TV commentary and has been a regular on Germany’s RTL F1 commentary team.

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