BIOGRAPHY
Full Name Michele Alboreto
Nationality Italian
Born 23 December 1956, Milan
Died 25 April 2001, EuroSpeedway Lausitz – 44 years
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PRE-F1 CAREER
Season Series Team Races Poles Wins Podiums F/L Pts Rank
1979 Italian Formula 3
European Formula 3
Euroracing ?
6
?
2
3
0
?
?
?
?
47
19
2nd
6th
1980 European Formula 3
Italian Formula 3
British Formula 3
Euroracing 14
?
1
3
?
?
4
1
0
?
?
?
?
?
?
60
25
4
1st
3rd
13th
1981 European Formula 2
World Sportscar Championship
Le Mans 24 Hours (Group 5)
Minardi
Martini Racing
Martini Racing
10
4
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
2
?
1
1
?
0
13
37
8th
57th
2nd
FORMULA 1 CAREER
Entries Races Non-Starts Poles Wins Podiums F/L Pts DNFs
217 194 23 2 5 23 5 186.50 102
First Grand Prix Last Grand Prix
1981 San Marino Grand Prix 1994 Australian Grand Prix
Season Team Chassis Engine Races Poles Wins Podiums F/L Pts Rank
1981 Tyrrell 010
011
Ford Cosworth 3.0 V8 6
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0 NC
1982 Tyrrell 011 Ford Cosworth 3.0 V8 16 0 1 2 1 25 8th
1983 Tyrrell 011
012
Ford Cosworth 3.0 V8 11
4
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
10 12th
1984 Ferrari 126C4 Ferrari 1.5 V6 Turbo 16 1 1 4 1 30.5 4th
1985 Ferrari 156/85 Ferrari 1.5 V6 Turbo 16 1 2 8 2 53 2nd
1986 Ferrari F1/86 Ferrari 1.5 V6 Turbo 16 0 0 0 0 14 9th
1987 Ferrari F1/87 Ferrari 1.5 V6 Turbo 16 0 0 3 0 17 7th
1988 Ferrari F187/88C Ferrari 1.5 V6 Turbo 16 0 0 3 1 24 5th
1989 Tyrrell
Larrousse
017B / 018
Lola LC89
Ford Cosworth 3.5 V8
Lamborghini 3.5 V12
5
5
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
6
0
11th
1990 Arrows A11B Ford Cosworth 3.5 V8 13 0 0 0 0 0 NC
1991 Footwork A11C
FA12
FA12C
Porsche 3.5 V12
Porsche 3.5 V12
Ford Cosworth 3.5 V8
1
3
5
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0 NC
1992 Footwork FA13 Mugen-Honda 3.5 V10 16 0 0 0 0 6 10th
1993 Scuderia Italia Lola T93/30 Ferrari 3.5 V12 9 0 0 0 0 0 NC
1994 Minardi M193B
M194
Ford 3.5 V8 5
11
0
0
0
0
0
0
0 1
0
24th
POST-F1 CAREER
Season Series Team Races Poles Wins Podiums F/L Pts Rank
1982 Le Mans 24 Hours (Group 6) Martini Racing 1 0 0 0 0 DNF
1983 Le Mans 24 Hours (Group C) Martini Racing 1 0 0 0 0 DNF
1995 DTM
International Touring Car
Schübel Engineering 13
7
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
4
0
22nd
NC
1996 Indy Racing League
Indianapolis 500
Le Mans 24 Hours (LMP1)
Team Scandia
Team Scandia
Joest Racing
3
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
189

11th
30th
DNF
1996-7 Indy Racing League Team Scandia 2 0 0 1 0 62 32nd
1997 Le Mans 24 Hours (LMP) Joest Racing 1 1 1 1 0 1st
1998 Le Mans 24 Hours (LMP1) Joest Racing 1 0 0 0 0 DNF
1999 Sebring 12 Hours (LMP)
Le Mans 24 Hours (LMP)
Audi Sport 1
1
0
1
0
0
1
1
0
0

3rd
3rd
2000 Sebring 12 Hours (LMP)
Le Mans 24 Hours (LMP900)
Petit Le Mans (LMP)
Audi Sport 1
1
1
0
1
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
0
0
0


2nd
3rd
1st
2001 Sebring 12 Hours (LMP900) Audi Sport 1 0 1 1 0 1st


Biography

Renowned for his smooth and stylish driving, this dignified Italian had a long and often frustrating Formula 1 career that petered out, whereupon he followed many of his contemporaries into touring car and endurance racing.

His rise to Grand Prix racing was particularly rapid. A runner-up in his native Formula 3 Championship in 1979, he won the European title the following year after a season-long battle with Thierry Boutsen.

This led to his graduation to Formula 2 with Minardi in 1981, where he peaked with an end-of-season win at Misano. By that point, Michele was already on the Grand Prix stage, propelled into a seat at Tyrrell with a one-off outing at Imola. His debut was enough to impress team owner Ken Tyrrell, who promptly secured Alboreto’s services on a three-year contract.

While he would not grace the points in his rookie season, his next two years with the British privateer team ultimately propelled him as a driver to watch. The naturally-aspirated Tyrrells could not compete with the turbo-powered manufacturer cars in a straight fight, but Alboreto was in his element on the slower street circuits where mechanical grip and driver skill were at the forefront.

Michele Alboreto, Tyrrell Ford 011 - 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix

Alboreto’s maiden victory came at the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix

His maiden Grand Prix win came at the 1982 season-ending Caesars Palace Grand Prix in Las Vegas (pictured right), and he dispelled any thoughts of this being a fluke with a superb drive to victory on the narrow streets of Detroit the following year.

Ferrari came knocking, offering Alboreto a multi-year contract and he had little hesitation in signing on the dotted line.

His 1984 campaign started strongly with victory at Zolder in the Belgian Grand Prix, but his season fell apart as his Ferrari engine repeatedly let him down.

The 1985 season was the high mark of his Grand Prix career. With two wins and eight podiums in the first ten races of the season, he led McLaren’s Alain Prost in the Drivers’ Championship standings. He would score points just once more, with four successive reliability-induced retirements in the last four Grands Prix allowing the canny Prost to sweep to the title.

He would never again visit the top step of a Grand Prix podium. His 1986 season at Ferrari was dogged by his car’s appalling handling, with a reliability-assisted podium at Austria the year’s only highlight.

The 1987 season was comparatively more competitive with three podium finishes, however in contrast to teammate Gerhard Berger who claimed back to-back wins at the end of the year it was a poor showing.

To the delight of the passionate tifosi, Berger and Alboreto broke Ferrari’s winless streak with a 1-2 finish at the 1988 Italian Grand Prix – mere days after the death of team founder Enzo Ferrari.  With the young Austrian once again showing him up Alboreto found himself further pushed to the margins in an increasingly hostile team environment and opted to return to Tyrrell for 1989.

His reunion with the team was brief. Although he claimed a splendid third place at the Mexican Grand Prix, his time at the outfit lasted just two more races before he was pushed out. Ostensibly this was due to a sponsorship clash – Alboreto was personally sponsored by Marlboro, while Tyrrell had just secured a deal with rival tobacco firm Camel – but the end result was that his replacement, a young French-Sicilian called Jean Alesi, would rock the establishment on his debut.

Alboreto was back on the grid two races later, joining forces with the Larrousse team – a fact not lost on many was the French team’s Camel sponsorship. After a string of retirements, he finally saw the chequered flag at Portugal but failed to make the grid for the remainder of the season.

His 1989 season marked the start of the decline of Alboreto’s Formula 1 career. He moved to the Footwork-sponsored Arrows team in 1990 and in what was a holding year for the team while it waited for works Porsche engines in 1991, he failed to score a point in a B-spec version of its 1989 car.

Things were only worse in 1991. The much-heralded Porsche V12 engine was overweight and shockingly unreliable. Alboreto either failed to qualify or finish in the first six races before the Porsche engines were dumped for Ford Cosworth motors, and five further failures to qualify proved that the radical chassis wasn’t much good either.

Michele Alboreto, BMS Scuderia Italia Lola Ferrari T97/30 - 1993 German Grand Prix

Alboreto struggled in the execrable BMS Scuderia Italia Lola Ferrari in 1993. He failed to qualify the dreadful car five times.

Staying on for a third season with the team, he enjoyed something of an Indian summer with the new Mugen Honda powered car. Four top-six finishes propelled him to tenth in the standings.

Then came the nadir of Alboreto’s Grand Prix career. He joined the Scuderia Italia outfit for 1993, which had hitherto been a regular midfield team running customer Dallara chassis for the past five years.  The team’s switch to a Lola chassis promised much, but Alboreto knew the car was a complete dog in his very first test laps. He failed to qualify the beastly car five times, with the team folding before the end of the season while it negotiated a merger with the Minardi team.

The merger went ahead and Alboreto came as part of the deal, teaming up with his Italian countryman Pierluigi Martini who largely had his measure for much of the season. Alboreto garnered a sixth place at the Monaco Grand Prix, but with the team struggling to keep pace with the technical changes demanded in the wake of the double fatalities to Roland Ratzenber and Ayrton Senna, he became increasingly dispirited. It was no surprise that he announced his retirement before the end of the season.

Alboreto was given the seemingly attractive opportunity to drive a factory Alfa Romeo T155 in the high-profile DTM and ITC championships for 1995. Expecting to at last have competitive machinery at his disposal, Michele struggled to adapt to the cut and thrust of tin-top racing.

A return to open-wheel racing came when he was signed as one of the ‘name’ drivers in the new Indy Racing League in 1996. Despite being an oval racing novice, Alboreto scored three top-six finishes in his five outings. A shot at victory at the Indianapolis 500 was denied to him by a gearbox failure.

Alboreto switched to endurance racing, partnering with Stefan Johansson and Tom Kristensen to win the 1997 Le Mans 24 Hours with Joest Racing’s factory Porsche team.

He switched to the Audi Sport operation in 1999, assisting the team to back-to-back podium finishes at the Sebring 12 Hours and Le Mans 24 Hours, while also winning the 2000 Petit Le Mans.

His 2001 season started by winning the Sebring 12 Hours at his third attempt. The following month, he was testing the Audi R8R at the EuroSpeedway Lausitzring in preparation for another tilt at the Le Mans 24 Hours.  A puncture triggered a tyre failure, causing the car to flip over the barriers and into an earth bank before it rebounded into the back of the crash barriers. Alboreto was killed instantly.

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