Robert Doornbos

Doornbos comes from a wealthy and well-connected Dutch family and originally wanted to become a tennis player until one day he went to the Belgian Grand Prix as a guest of Williams sponsor Komatsu. He started racing in 1999 in the Formula Opel Lotus and in 2000 moved to Formula Ford, finishing fifth in the Benelux Championship. In 2001 he moved to Scholarship Class of the British Formula 3 Championship and finished fifth before moving to the German Formula 3 series in 2002 with Team Ghinzani and stayed with the team in 2003 when it moved into the new Formula 3 Euroseries. In 2004 he moved up to Arden International in Formula 3000 and won at Spa, finishing third in the championship. He also did his first F1 test with Jordan and at the start of 2005 was named as the team's test driver. In the middle of the year, however, Patrick Friesacher ran out of money and so Doornbos switched to become the second Minardi driver, alongside fellow countryman Christijan Albers. At the end of the year Red Bull took over the team but decided that Robert should become test driver for Red Bull Racing in 2006. He raced for the team at the end of the year after the team split with Christian Klien