Vincenzo Sospiri

'Vince' as he is known in the pit lane, had been pushing for an F1 opportunity for several seasons, since impressing in F3 and then, in 1995, winning the European F3000 championship with the Super Nova team after his best ever season. Finally, for 1997, F1 opened its arms.As early as 1994 he had tested for the Simtek team at Estoril, and immediately showed speed and commitment. But unable to raise F1 money he opted for one last effort to win the F3000 crown. This aim realized, in some style, he was desperate to make his mark in F1 and emulate his old F3000 teammate, Damon Hill. The two remained sworn enemies after a number of clashes.After intermittent testing with Benetton in 1996, Vince finally got his chance to race, with Lola, but it blew up in his face. Marque founder Eric Broadley had badly underestimated the size of the F1 challenge this time around, and after his cumbersome cars failed to qualify for the first race, in Melbourne, the whole thing was quietly abandoned. Sospiri moved on, racing in Indycars and sportscars on the American and European scene.