Eddie Cheever

Enormously popular, yet sometimes regarded as rather highly strung, this American driver grew up in Italy where he cut his competitive teeth in kart racing during his early teens. Cheever made his Formula 1 debut in a one-off outing for the Hesketh team in the 1978 South African Grand Prix, but it was not until 1980 that he became a full-time member of the Formula 1 fraternity when his Formula 2 entrant Enzo Osella graduated to the big time. He spent 1981 with Tyrrell, finishing fourth in the British Grand Prix, then switched to Ligier the following year to finish second in Detroit. In 1983 he got his biggest break yet when he partnered Alain Prost in the works Renault team, taking an excellent third in France and second in Canada. Two disastrous years followed at Alfa Romeo and he was out of Formula 1 in 1986 - apart from a guest outing for the Haas-Lola team in Detroit - before returning for a three year stint with Arrows. At the end of 1989 Cheever realized that his Formula 1 career had got stuck in something of a rut, so he went to the USA in an effort to carve himself a niche in the Indycar series. In 1992, he qualified second on the grid for the Indy 500 and finished fourth at only his third attempt at the classic event. He finally realized an ambition in 1998 when he won the 500 from 17th place on the grid and leading 76 of its 200 laps. Since then Cheever has become a team owner in the Indy Racing League, with the backing of Red Bull. He has not officially retired from racing but wants to build up the team before getting back behind the wheel.