|Full Name:||Gabriele Tarquini|
|Born:||2 March 1962, Giulianova (ITA)|
|First GP:||1987 San Marino Grand Prix|
|Last GP:||1995 European Grand Prix|
|Wins:||0||Best Finish:||6th||Best Grid:||11th|
|1984||World Karting Champion|
|1985||Formula 3000, San Remo Racing, 10 races, 1 podium, 14 points, 6th overall|
|1986||Formula 3000, Coloni Racing, 10 races, 7 points, 10th overall|
|1987||Formula 3000, FIRST Racing, 11 races, 2 podiums, 12 points, 8th overall|
|Formula 1, Osella Alfa Romeo FA1G, 1 race, 0 points, Not Classified|
|1988||Formula 1, Coloni Ford FC188/FC188B, 16 entries, 8 races, 0 points, Not Classified|
|1989||Formula 1, AGS Cosworth JH23B/JH24, 15 entries, 6 races, 1 point, 26th overall|
|1990||Formula 1, AGS Cosworth JH24/JH25, 16 entries, 4 races, 0 points, Not Classified|
|1991||Formula 1, AGS Cosworth JH25/JH25B/JH27, 13 entries, 3 races, 0 points, Not Classified|
|Formula 1, Forndmetal Ford F1, 3 entries, 2 races, 0 points, Not Classified|
|1992||Formula 1, Forndmetal Ford GR01/GR02, 13 races, 0 points, Not Classified|
|1993||Italian Touring Car Championship, Alfa Romeo, 3rd overall|
|1994||BTCC, Alfa Romeo 155TS, 8 wins, 14 podiums, 298 points, 1st overall|
|1995||BTCC, Alfa Romeo 155TS, 33 points, 16th overall|
|Formula 1, Tyrrell Yamaha 023, 1 race, 0 points, Not Classified|
|1997||BTCC, Honda Accord, 1 win, 6 podiums, 130 points, 6th overall|
|2000||BTCC Touring Class, Honda Accord, 3 wins, 6 podiums, 149 points, 6th overall|
|2003||European Touring Car Championship, Alfa Romeo Racing Team, 1st overall|
|2005||FIA WTCC, Alfa Romeo 156, 2 wins, 5 podiums, 55 points, 7th overall|
|2006||FIA WTCC, SEAT Sport León TFSI, 1 win, 2 podiums, 57 points, 5th overall|
|2007||FIA WTCC, SEAT Sport León TFSI/TDI, 1 win, 3 podiums, 62 points, 8th overall|
|2008||FIA WTCC, SEAT Sport León TDI, 3 wins, 6 podiums, 88 points, 2nd overall|
|2009||FIA WTCC, SEAT Sport León TDI, 3 wins, 11 podiums, 127 points, 1st overall|
|2010||FIA WTCC, SR Sport León TDI, 5 wins, 10 podiums, 276 points, 2nd overall|
|2011||FIA WTCC, Lukoil SUNRED León TDI/1.6T, 1 win, 6 podiums, 204 points, 5th overall|
Born on the outskirts of the Italian town of Pescara, Gabriele created waves in 1985 when he rocketed into Formula 3000 and immediately assumed the role of a championship frontrunner. Incredibly, he was the reigning karting world champion and he had just a few Formula 3 outings to his name.
After finishing sixth overall in the standings, Gabriele switched to the new Coloni team for the 1986 season, but he could only net a pair of podium finishes as the outfit struggled to find its feet.
He remained in Formula 3000 for one more season with the FIRST squad and again he was a ‘nearly man’ when it came to achieving the ultimate accolades, but he did make his Grand Prix debut with courtesy of a one-off appearance with Osella at the San Marino Grand Prix.
His full-time F1 call-up came the following year with Enzo Coloni’s eponymous F1 team, which was attempting its first full-time tilt at F1. It was a trying season, and he racked up eight failures to qualify over the course of the season.
He was a last-minute call-up to the AGS team for the 1989 season after lead driver Philippe Streiff was paralysed in a testing accident at Brazil, and Gabriele quickly impressed when he picked up a priceless point with sixth place at the Mexican Grand Prix.
But that was to be the highlight of his F1 career, and despite his eternally cheerful disposition, he could do little to save the team from its eventual extinction in 1991 – although the team helped him out by releasing him to the Fondmetal team just before it collapsed.
Despite the advent of Ford HB engines and a very good Sergio Rinland designed chassis, Tarquini’s 1992 season was hampered by Fondmetal’s lack of funding. His hopes of achieving better results were killed off with the team’s insistence that he conserve his car at all costs. Sadly, the team would collapse before the end of the season.
Aside from an undistinguished one-off race drive with Tyrrell in 1995, his F1 career was effectively finished, and so he headed to the world of touring car racing, a field where he has finally blossomed.
After finishing third overall in his maiden season in the Italian Touring Car Championship with Alfa Romeo in 1993, Gabriele won the British Touring Car Championship crown in fine style with the Italian carmaker.
He briefly switched to David Richards’ Honda operation in the late 1990s, before returning to Alfa Romeo and winning the European Touring Car Championship title in 2003.
After following the carmaker into the re-formed World Touring Car Championship in 2005, Gabriele switched to the SEAT team in 2006. In 2008, he narrowly finished as runner-up to team-mate Yvan Muller, but went one better in 2009 to become, aged 47, the oldest driver to be crowned World Champion in an FIA-sanctioned championship.
CLICK HERE to return to our driver profiles.