Ivan Capelli

From Ferrari Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search
Ivan Capelli
Capelli 1991.jpg
1991 United States Grand Prix
FIA Super Licence Flag of Italy Italy
Formula One World Championship career
Active years1985 Formula One season - 1993 Formula One season
TeamsTyrrell Racing, Automobiles Gonfaronnaises Sportives, March Engineering, Leyton House Racing, Ferrari and Jordan Grand Prix
Races98 (93 starts)
List of Formula One World Drivers' Champions0
Wins0
Podiums3
Career points31
Pole position0
Fastest lap0
First race1985 European Grand Prix
Last race1993 Brazilian Grand Prix

Ivan Franco Capelli (born in Milan, May 24, 1963) is an Italy former Formula One driver. He participated in 98 Grands Prix, debuting on October 6, 1985. He achieved 3 podiums, and scored a total of 31 championship points.

Today he is an F1 commentator on the Italian TV station Rai Uno. He should not be confused with Brazilian journalist with same name, author of Blog do Capelli.

Contents

Career


Capelli began his career as a Kart driver when he was 15 years old, and after four years he moved to the Italian Formula Three Championship.

In 1983 he became Italian Formula Three champion, after dominating the series with 9 victories. After that he moved with the Enzo Coloni Racing Car Systems team to the European Formula Three Championship, and here he was the champion again in 1984.

In 1985 he graduated to the European International Formula 3000 Championship with a Genoa Racing March Engineering-Cosworth and won one race. The same year he debuted in Formula 1, driving a Tyrrell Racing, and finishing a tremendous 4th in 1985 Australian Grand Prix. Despite this outstanding result, he was not picked up for a full time F1 drive in 1986.

Instead, he contested the 1986 Formula 3000 Championship, still with Genoa Racing, and also raced a BMW in the European Touring Car Championship. He also raced a couple of times in F1 with the Automobiles Gonfaronnaises Sportives team. Meanwhile, Cesare Garibaldi, the boss of Genoa Racing, was working with Robin Herd of March to create a new F1 team - with Capelli as a core component in their plans. By now, Capelli and Garibaldi had an almost father-son relationship.

Capelli driving for March Engineering at the 1988 Canadian Grand Prix.
File:Ivan Capelli 1991 USA.jpg
Capelli driving for Leyton House Racing at the 1991 United States Grand Prix.

For 1987 Capelli was F1 full-time with the March team, led by Garibaldi and running Herd's new chassis with a Cosworth V8 normally-aspirated engine. Capelli also continued with BMW touring cars for the Schnitzer team, as the March budget was tight (so tight in fact that they raced at the Belgian Grand Prix with a detuned 3.3 litre sports car engine rather than the full 3.5l F1 unit), and the Schnitzer team had works status with BMW, allowing him to be on the German company's payroll. Capelli scored the F1 team's first point with 6th at the Monaco Grand Prix and March's return to F1 was generally seen as competent, professional and promising for the future. On to 1988, and Capelli had a new weapon at his disposal, a new March chassis designed by Adrian Newey - latter to find fame as designer at WilliamsF1 and Team McLaren - allied to the Judd (engine) V8 engine (derived from the Brabham-Honda CART engine and the Judd/Honda F3000 unit). March had hoped to be the favoured development partner for this engine but found themselves sharing it with Williams and Ligier, both of whom had lost their engine deals. Capelli was also joined in the team by British F3 Champion, Brazilian Maurício Gugelmin. Together, they made a strong team, and March was the revelation of the year. Capelli was outstanding, driving brilliantly in particular in British GP, Belgian Grand Prix, Portuguese Grand Prix and Japanese Grand Prix. At Autódromo do Estoril he scored his first podium with a second place behind Alain Prost's McLaren and at Suzuka he made a piece of history by being the driver of the only naturally-aspirated car to lead a Grand Prix in a season of Turbocharger dominance. The future seemed bright for Capelli and March.

Sadly, the momentum was not maintained. March were in financial problems and erstwhile sponsor, Leyton House, acquired a controlling interest in the team. Although Gugelmin finished 3rd in his home race at Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet in 1989, this was done in the 1988 car. The definitive 1989 Leyton House March was a disappointment, and neither driver troubled the leading cars for the rest of the year. However, the team spirit remained intact despite the death of Garibaldi in a car crash. 1990 started off little better. Newey's new car (given the prefix CG in honour of Garibaldi) had excellent aerodynamics but was intolerant of bumps. Things were so bad that on the notoriously bumpy Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez track neither driver could make the car work and both failed to qualify. But then, in one of the most amazing turnarounds in F1 history, at Paul Ricard in French Grand Prix at the very next race, Capelli led Gugelmin in a Leyton House 1-2 deep into the race. Sadly, Gugelmin retired and Capelli was overtaken close to the end by Prost, but a 2nd place was nothing short of miraculous. Revisions to the car had made it more competitive (ironically Newey was sacked shortly before the French race), but in truth it was the billiard table-smooth track which allowed Capelli to show his talent again. Despite some promising showings at Silverstone Circuit and Hockenheimring, the remainder of the year was unfulfilling.

Capelli in the cockpit of his Leyton House Racing for the 1991 United States Grand Prix.

In 1991, Leyton House was responsible not only for chassis development but also bankrolled the ambitious Ilmor V10 engine programme. With so many new ingredients, results were again thin on the ground although Capelli often qualified and raced well. When Leyton House's owner Akira Akagi was arrested in connection with the Fuji Bank fraud, the team was in a precarious state. Fortunately Capelli had signed for Scuderia Ferrari for the '92 season, so he voluntarily stepped down, allowing pay driver Karl Wendlinger to finish the season. As a mark of the man and his loyalty, he personally paid to attend the races he missed to offer support to the team and advice to his rookie substitute.

In 1992, Capelli's plans were laced with hope of a crowning glory. Arguably he had been too loyal to March and Leyton House, choosing to remain with them and their family atmosphere despite offers from more established teams and the inconsistent equipment he was receiving. Finally, however, he had made the break, and had signed for a top team, an Italian driving a Ferrari. The Scuderia had gone through a tough time in 1991, but with a new car, the FA92 (nicknamed the F-15 on account of its resemblance to the American fighter jet), expectations were high. Unfortunately, the new car was a disaster and before the season began Capelli was showing his disappointment. A driver who enjoyed the convivial atmosphere of a family-type team, he struggled to integrate with the bureaucratic structure of early 90s Ferrari. Losing motivation, the team in turn lost confidence in him and his teammate Jean Alesi gained the upper hand. While Capelli occasionally performed adequately, the season was a disaster punctuated with some embarrassing crashes. Capelli was sacked before the season's end.

This experience seemingly broke his spirit, but those who had worked with him at March still had faith, notably Ian Phillips, now Jordan team manager. Taking a Jordan Grand Prix seat for 1993, Capelli failed to rediscover the spark that not long ago had marked him as a champion of the future. After failing to qualify for the second race in 1993 Brazilian Grand Prix, he left the team by mutual consent. Capelli was distraught and Jordan was disappointed too - they knew Capelli had the ability, but he just couldn't muster it up any longer. His F1 career was over.

Following F1, he raced with mixed results in touring cars for Nissan and in the Maserati one-make series. He also became an F1 commentator on Italian TV station Rai Uno and remains a popular personality in the F1 paddock. Having come to terms with the disappointment of Ferrari, he has regained the happy disposition which had originally made him popular.

Complete Formula One results


(F1 driver results legend 2) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Pts.
1985 Formula One season Tyrrell Racing Tyrrell Racing Tyrrell 014 Renault F1 V6 engine Turbo-charged 1985 Brazilian Grand Prix
1985 Portuguese Grand Prix
1985 San Marino Grand Prix
1985 Monaco Grand Prix
1985 Canadian Grand Prix
1985 Detroit Grand Prix
1985 French Grand Prix
1985 British Grand Prix
1985 German Grand Prix
1985 Austrian Grand Prix
1985 Dutch Grand Prix
1985 Italian Grand Prix
1985 Belgian Grand Prix
1985 European Grand Prix
Ret
1985 South African Grand Prix
1985 Australian Grand Prix
4
17th 3
1986 Formula One season Automobiles Gonfaronnaises Sportives Automobiles Gonfaronnaises Sportives AGS JH21 Motori Moderni V6 engine Turbo-charged 1986 Brazilian Grand Prix
1986 Spanish Grand Prix
1986 San Marino Grand Prix
1986 Monaco Grand Prix
1986 Belgian Grand Prix
1986 Canadian Grand Prix
1986 Detroit Grand Prix
1986 French Grand Prix
1986 British Grand Prix
1986 German Grand Prix
1986 Hungarian Grand Prix
1986 Austrian Grand Prix
1986 Italian Grand Prix
Ret
1986 Portuguese Grand Prix
Ret
1986 Mexican Grand Prix
1986 Australian Grand Prix
NC 0
1987 Formula One season Leyton House March Engineering March Engineering March 871 Ford Motor Company Cosworth DFV V8 engine 1987 Brazilian Grand Prix
DNS
1987 San Marino Grand Prix
Ret
1987 Belgian Grand Prix
Ret
1987 Monaco Grand Prix
6
1987 Detroit Grand Prix
Ret
1987 French Grand Prix
Ret
1987 British Grand Prix
Ret
1987 German Grand Prix
Ret
1987 Hungarian Grand Prix
10
1987 Austrian Grand Prix
11
1987 Italian Grand Prix
13
1987 Portuguese Grand Prix
9
1987 Spanish Grand Prix
12
1987 Mexican Grand Prix
Ret
1987 Japanese Grand Prix
Ret
1987 Australian Grand Prix
Ret
19th 1
1988 Formula One season Leyton House March Engineering March Engineering March 881 Judd (engine) V8 engine 1988 Brazilian Grand Prix
Ret
1988 San Marino Grand Prix
Ret
1988 Monaco Grand Prix
10
1988 Mexican Grand Prix
16
1988 Canadian Grand Prix
5
1988 Detroit Grand Prix
DNS
1988 French Grand Prix
9
1988 British Grand Prix
Ret
1988 German Grand Prix
5
1988 Hungarian Grand Prix
Ret
1988 Belgian Grand Prix
3
1988 Italian Grand Prix
5
1988 Portuguese Grand Prix
2
1988 Spanish Grand Prix
Ret
1988 Japanese Grand Prix
Ret
1988 Australian Grand Prix
6
7th 17
1989 Formula One season Leyton House March Engineering March Engineering March 881 Judd (engine) V8 engine 1989 Brazilian Grand Prix
Ret
1989 San Marino Grand Prix
Ret
NC 0
March Engineering March CG-891 Judd (engine) V8 engine 1989 Monaco Grand Prix
11
1989 Mexican Grand Prix
Ret
1989 United States Grand Prix
Ret
1989 Canadian Grand Prix
Ret
1989 French Grand Prix
Ret
1989 British Grand Prix
Ret
1989 German Grand Prix
Ret
1989 Hungarian Grand Prix
Ret
1989 Belgian Grand Prix
12
1989 Italian Grand Prix
Ret
1989 Portuguese Grand Prix
Ret
1989 Spanish Grand Prix
Ret
1989 Japanese Grand Prix
Ret
1989 Australian Grand Prix
Ret
1990 Formula One season Leyton House Racing Leyton House Racing Leyton House CG901 Judd (engine) V8 engine 1990 United States Grand Prix
Ret
1990 Brazilian Grand Prix
DNQ
1990 San Marino Grand Prix
Ret
1990 Monaco Grand Prix
Ret
1990 Canadian Grand Prix
10
1990 Mexican Grand Prix
DNQ
1990 French Grand Prix
2
1990 British Grand Prix
Ret
1990 German Grand Prix
7
1990 Hungarian Grand Prix
Ret
1990 Belgian Grand Prix
7
1990 Italian Grand Prix
Ret
1990 Portuguese Grand Prix
Ret
1990 Spanish Grand Prix
Ret
1990 Japanese Grand Prix
Ret
1990 Australian Grand Prix
Ret
10th 6
1991 Formula One season Leyton House Racing Leyton House Racing Leyton House CG911 Ilmor V10 engine 1991 United States Grand Prix
Ret
1991 Brazilian Grand Prix
Ret
1991 San Marino Grand Prix
Ret
1991 Monaco Grand Prix
Ret
1991 Canadian Grand Prix
Ret
1991 Mexican Grand Prix
Ret
1991 French Grand Prix
Ret
1991 British Grand Prix
Ret
1991 German Grand Prix
Ret
1991 Hungarian Grand Prix
6
1991 Belgian Grand Prix
Ret
1991 Italian Grand Prix
8
1991 Portuguese Grand Prix
17
1991 Spanish Grand Prix
Ret
1991 Japanese Grand Prix
1991 Australian Grand Prix
18th 1
1992 Formula One season Ferrari Ferrari F92A Ferrari V12 engine 1992 South African Grand Prix
Ret
1992 Mexican Grand Prix
Ret
1992 Brazilian Grand Prix
5
1992 Spanish Grand Prix
10
1992 San Marino Grand Prix
Ret
1992 Monaco Grand Prix
Ret
1992 Canadian Grand Prix
Ret
1992 French Grand Prix
Ret
1992 British Grand Prix
9
1992 German Grand Prix
Ret
1992 Hungarian Grand Prix
6
1992 Belgian Grand Prix
Ret
1992 Italian Grand Prix
Ret
1992 Portuguese Grand Prix
Ret
1992 Japanese Grand Prix
1992 Australian Grand Prix
13th 3
1993 Formula One season Sasol Jordan Grand Prix Jordan Grand Prix Jordan 193 Brian Hart Ltd. V10 engine 1993 South African Grand Prix
Ret
1993 Brazilian Grand Prix
DNQ
1993 European Grand Prix
1993 San Marino Grand Prix
1993 Spanish Grand Prix
1993 Monaco Grand Prix
1993 Canadian Grand Prix
1993 French Grand Prix
1993 British Grand Prix
1993 German Grand Prix
1993 Hungarian Grand Prix
1993 Belgian Grand Prix
1993 Italian Grand Prix
1993 Portuguese Grand Prix
1993 Japanese Grand Prix
1993 Australian Grand Prix
NC 0
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Enzo Coloni
Italian Formula Three Championship
1983
Succeeded by
Alessandro Santin
Preceded by
Michel Ferté
List of Monaco Grand Prix Formula Three support race winners
1984
Succeeded by
Pierre-Henri Raphanel
Preceded by
Pierluigi Martini
European Formula Three Championship
1984
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
Christian Danner
International Formula 3000
1986
Succeeded by
Stefano Modena
Awards
Preceded by
none
Lorenzo Bandini Trophy
1992
Succeeded by
David Coulthard (1995)

External links


Information

Personal tools