The world outside F1 - I

OK, Formula 1 is one of the best and the most highlighted categories of motorsport. But if the drivers think like some spectators, that F1 is everything in a driver's career, they would retire from motorsport even earlier than the nowadays standard.

This is a long-time scenario that we see, but it's more evident today: not all drivers are trying to reach F1, and lots of drivers keep racing in high level even after F1 retirement.

Let's get the exmaple of sportscar racing. Some recent ex-F1 drivers, as well some from other eras, are seeing on sportscar racing a way to keep competing in good championships, and there are lots of them everywhere.

This year's World Endurance Championship will have on track a huge pack of ex-F1s, like Lucas di Grassi, Alex Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin, Kazuki Nakajima, Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and ex-RBR Mark Webber, all of them only in LMP1-H, the main category. Other drivers include Christijan Albers, Nick Heidfeld, Stefan Johansson, Shinji Nakano, Gianmaria Bruni and Bruno Senna, this last one being not a full-season entry.

Vettel may be envious seeing Webber aside the Porsche 919 Hybrid.

2014 United Sportscar Championship features Sebatien Bourdais, Christian Fittipaldi, David Brabham, Max Papis, Justin Wilson, Bruno Junqueira, Pedro Lamy, Jan Magnussen, Giancarlo Fisichella, Olivier Beretta, Markus Winckelhock and Mika Salo in the ex-F1 group.

ex-STR Bourdais aside João Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, celebrating the Rolex 24 win.

Going now to Europe, we have in 2014 European Le Mans the presence of Christian Klien and Karun Chandhok, both of them ex-Hispania drivers, although Chandhok ran his last race for Lotus(Caterham nowadays). This season's Blancpain GT Series has ex-Prost Tomas Enge, ex-Williams and motorsport legend Alex Zanardi which ran in F1 for Williams.

Zanardi using the BMW colors he will defend this year in BSS

Going now to the touring car universe, in WTCC this year we have ex-Jordan an MF1 Tiago Monteiro, as well Gabriele Tarquini, that ran from the late 80s until the mid 90s, and Gianni Morbidelli, that ran in from 1990 to 1997, when he retired F1 after a disastrous season at Sauber.

Tarquini and Monteiro in the Castrol Honda suits.

DTM has 3 o them: newcomer to the series Vitaly Petrov, ex-Renault, Caterham and Alonso blocker(sorry, I couldn't resist the joke), returning Paul di Resta, former Force India driver in recently past seasons, and established Timo Glock, ex-Toyota and Marussia.

Petrov posing with the Mercedes C-Coupé he will drive this year.
Will he be as good as Timo Glock with BMW?

Brazilian Stock Car championship has ex-BAR and Toyota Ricardo Zonta, past Jaguar and Prost driver Luciano Burti, jungle boy Antonio Pizzonia, that driven for Jaguar and Williams, and the most recent addition was the twice vice-champion Rubens Barrichello, after he spending a year in IndyCar Series.

Some of them stay racing in open wheels, as the cases of Juan Pablo Montoya, that returned to Indy after some years in NASCAR, Takuma Sato, former Jordan, BAR and Super Aguri driver, running in Indy too, and Vitantonio Liuzzi and Narain Karthikeyan, ex-HRT drivers, run in Japan's Super Formula, the new name of Formula Nippon.

This time Ganassi will be Montoya's rival. Will he beat them?

As you can see, dear reader, there's a variety of championships that has at least one ex-F1 driver in the lineup, and obvoiusly this is a boost in terms of public, because there's the point that if there's a driver that you know in that series, this can attract you to watch that. In conclusion, even the die-hard F1 fan can find something that interests him in other championships, starting for the driver, and as time goes by, the series as a whole.

Next post I will talk about a not so rare but interesting fact: drivers with awful moments in F1 but with success after that.


I know that there are drivers mentioned here that run in more than one championship, but if he was mentioned once, I felt that it doesn't need a repeat.

And as I preferred to work only with concrete facts at the moment, there are some championships whose lineups weren't totally filled that may appear some Ex-F1 in the lineup.

Photos: Zimbio, AutoBlog, AutomobilSport