Luciano Burti

Burti began racing go karts in Brazil in 1991 in his native Sao Paulo. He then followed in the footsteps of many Brazilians and headed for Europe where he competed in Formula Vauxhall Junior in 1996 with Martin Donnelly Racing, finishing third in the British series with four wins. He then competed in two winter championships, winning the British with Paul Stewart Racing and becoming the New Zealand Formula Ford champion as well. In 1997 he moved to Formula Vauxhall with PSR and won the British title and in 1998 he finished third in the British Formula 3 series with the team, while also becoming the test driver for Stewart Grand Prix. He continued as Stewart test driver in 1999 and continued to be a frontrunner in F3, finishing second in the British series. In 2000 he test drove for Jaguar Racing and made his debut in Austria when Eddie Irvine was forced to stand down because of illness. He joined the team fulltime in 2001 but was soon dropped in favour of Pedro de la Rosa and was switched across to Prost Grand Prix. At the Belgian GP he was shoved off the track at high speed by Irvine and was fortunate to escape without substantial injury although doctors recommended that he sit out the rest of the season to avoid possible problems if he had another accident. At the end of the year Prost went out of business and Burti was left with no job and so became the second Ferrari test driver. This did not involve much work and at the end of 2004 Burti began to look for a future in Brazilian stock car racing.