Pedro Lamy

Pedro Lamy was the son of a second-hand car dealer. He started competing in motocross when young before moving into kart racing and winning the Portuguese title in 1988. The following year he raced in Formula Ford in Portugal and then in 1990 moved to the GM Lotus Euroseries. The following year he joined Draco Racing, succeeding Rubens Barrichello in the drive, won the European title and was recruited to drive for the WTS team in German Formula 3. He won 11 of 26 races and took the title at his first attempt. It was an impressive performance and propelled him upwards towards F1.

He signed for Crypton Engineering in Formula 3000, which had just won the 1992 title with Luca Badoer. He was immediately competitive and won his third race, on the streets of Pau. He was up against a strong field including David Coulthard, Gil de Ferran and Olivier Panis and it was the Frenchman who came on strong with three consecutive wins and his DAMS team mate Franck Lagorce added another two to make it a DAMS sweep of five consecutive wins. Lamy, however, was in with a shot at the title at the final round of the series in Nogaro. On the second lap Panis was taken out and the title was Lamyís for the taking but his luck ran out almost immediately when two drivers collided in front of him and took him off. The title went to Panis.

At 21 Pedro was on the verge of what looked like a stellar F1 career. He made his Formula 1 debut at Monza, standing in for Alex Zanardi, who was out of action having crashed his Lotus heavily into the barrier at Eau Rouge at Spa. Lamy stayed with Team Lotus in 1994 but once again he was unlucky and at Imola had a big crash, running into the back of JJ Lehto`s stalled Benetton at the start of the ill-fated race. He was unhurt. Just after the Monaco Grand Prix Lamy was testing at Silverstone when the rear wing fell off his car at Abbey. The car took off, flew into and through the debris fencing and ended up in the pedestrian tunnel under the track on fire. Lamy was fortunate to survive the crash but escaped with two smashed legs which kept him out of racing until the middle of 1995 when he joined Minardi, thanks to a decent sponsorship deal from Portugal. He scored a point that year in Adelaide and stayed with the team in 1996, only to be overshadowed by Giancarlo Fisichella and at the end of the year he dropped from the Formula 1 scene.

He went on to have a successful career in sports car racing, winning the GT2 title in 1998 in a Dodge Vipers. He went on to race in DTM with Mercedes in 2000 and in the V8 Stars series in a Jaguar in 2002 before returning to sportscars with Aston Martin.