MAY 25, 2002

An old face in the crowd

THE Monaco Grand Prix has thousands of visitors each year and amongst them are always a few faces from the past in Formula 1. There are the Monaco regulars such as Roy Salvadori, one of the few surviving Grand Prix drivers from the 1950s plus a host of more recent stars such as Nigel Mansell, Riccardo Patrese, Johnny Herbert and Thierry Boutsen.

This year there was a vaguely recognizable figure lurking around the motorhomes on Saturday but the droopy Mexican moustache did a lot of hide the face of Andrea de Cesaris, the third most experienced Grand Prix driver of all time, who contested 208 Grands Prix between 1980 and 1994 (a total beaten only by Riccardo Patrese's 256 and Gerhard Berger's 210). In that time Andrea raced for 10 different teams but never managed to win a race, although he led several races.

Now 42, de Cesaris spends half the year working as a currency trader and the other six months windsurfing all over the world. De Cesaris says that the best windsurfing is in Hawaii but has recently returned from Mexico - hence the unusual facial hair.