DRIVERS: PIERLUIGI MARTINI

Name: Pierluigi Martini
Nationality: Italy
Date of birth: April 23, 1961 - Ravenna

Pierluigi's uncle was Giancarlo Martini, whose greatest claim to Formula 1 fame was that he managed to crash a borrowed Ferrari 312T on the warm-up lap for the 1976 Race of Champions at Brands Hatch. Pint-sized and curley-haired, "Piero" would make rather more Formula 1 progress than his uncle, his path to the sport's senior category assisted by his winning the 1983 European Formula 3 title in a Ralt-Alfa Romeo. He failed to qualify a Toleman in the 1984 Italian Grand Prix, but In 1985 he began Formula 1 in earnest with the Motori Moderni V6-engined Minardi. However, he was hopelessly inexperienced and dropped back into Formula 3000 for the next two-and-a-half seasons. He was then invited back into the Minardi team in time to score the marque's first Championship point with a sixth place at Detroit in 1988. In 1991 he achieved his best results, finishing fourth in the 1991 San Marino and Portuguese GPs.

He switched to the BMW Dallara team in 1991 where he partnered J.J. Lehto, staying there to the end of 1992 and then spent most of the following three seasons driving for Minardi again. He scored fifth places in the 1994 Spanish and French Grands Prix, but at the end of 1995 his Formula 1 career ground to a halt. In 1999 he shared the winning BMW V12 LMR at Le Mans together with Yannick Dalmas and Joachim Winkelhock.

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