Alex Caffi

The son of an Italian club racer, Brescia driver Alex Caffi grew up racing in motocross and then moved quickly through the junior Italian formulae into the national Formula 3 series, while at the same time continuing his accountancy studies. He was runner-up to Alessandro Santin in the Italian F3 series in 1984 and again in 1985. In the second year he switched chassis three times and won with both Martini and Dallara cars.

In his final year in Formula 3 in 1986 he fought for the title with a talented bunch, which included Nicola Larini, Stefano Modena and Marco Apicella. That same year he did his military service at the Cecchignola Sports Centre in Rome. Caffi made his F1 debut later that year at Monza, driving the cumbersome Osella-Alfa Romeo. He remained with Osella in 1987 and did enough to win respect for his determination. That led to the chance to drive for Scuderia Italia Dallara in 1988 and he scored an impressive fourth place for the team at Monaco in 1989. That year he was partnered by Andrea de Cesaris and was running second in Phoenix when he was taken out by his team mate. After that things were strained but Caffi remained a hot property and moved to the Footwork/Arrows team at the start of 1990 to be part of the much-vaunted Porsche V12 engine programme. That was a disaster and the 1991 season effectively put pay to Caffiís long-term F1 prospects.

At the start of 1992 he was nominated as one of the drivers for the Andrea Moda team, but withdrew from this deal after only a couple of events when it became clear that the cars were not race ready. After F1 he raced on and off in sports and touring cars, mainly in the United States, where in 1998 he had an IRL test at Pikeís Peak Raceway. In recent years he has concentrated on endurance races, notably the Daytona 24 Hours, Sebring 12 Hours, Spa 24 Hours and Le Mans 24 Hours and has even tried his hand at rallying. When he is not racing he is an instructor at the official Subaru Italia safety driving and racing school.