Vincenzo Sospiri


Vincenzo Sospiri

Former F1 driver


image-size = 150
pixels = 150
Name = Vincenzo Sospiri
Nationality = flagicon|Italy Italian
Years = 1997
Team(s) = Mastercard Lola
Races = 1 (0 starts)
Championships = 0
Wins = 0
Podiums = 0
Poles = 0
Fastest laps = 0
Points = 0
First race = 1997 Australian Grand Prix
First win =
Last win =
Last race = 1997 Australian Grand Prix

Vincenzo Sospiri (born October 7, 1966) is an Italian racing driver.

Early career

Born in Forlì, Sospiri started racing in the Italian 100CC Karting Championships at the age of 15. He spent a long time working his way through the karting ladder, eventually becoming World Karting Champion in 1987. Sospiri then progressed to Formula Ford, before working through to Formula 3000 in 1991, as team-mate to Damon Hill in the Middlebridge Lola T91/50 Cosworth. In an uncompetitive car, he was only capable of 9 points all season, but produced an incredible result to finish 2nd at the German round of the championship at Hockenheim. He stepped back down into the Italian F3 series in 1992, before making a return to Formula 3000 in 1993, driving a Reynard 93D Judd for the Mythos team. After an improved season, he moved to the Super Nova team for 1995. It was during this season that he won the Formula 3000 title, beating team-mate Ricardo Rosset to the championship.

Formula One

He had tested for the Simtek Formula One team at Estoril in 1994, but was unable to raise enough funds to gain a race seat at the time. Despite winning the Formula 3000 title in 1995, very few options were available for Sospiri, so he chose to take the role of Official Benetton test driver for the year.

Sospiri finally got his chance to race in Formula One with the MasterCard Lola project in F1|1997. Unfortunately it was clear from the first race, where both Sospiri and his team mate Ricardo Rosset were more than 10 seconds off the pace and failed to qualify, that the car was not capable of making the grid in a world championship race. Sospiri hoped to return to the grid in Brazil, but the team was withdrawn due to the massive debts incurred by its failing Formula One effort.

After Formula One

Vincenzo Sospiri has since turned his attention to other sports, driving the remainder of the 1997 season, including the Indianapolis 500, in the Indy Racing League. In 1998 and 1999, he won the Sports Racing World Cup with a Ferrari 333 SP, teaming up with Emmanuel Collard. This resulted in a drive in the lead Toyota at the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans with Collard and Martin Brundle. Unfortunately, frequent gearbox problems and a puncture while Brundle was driving took the polesitter out of the race. He retired from racing in 2001 and is now the team manager for the Euronova team in Italian Formula 3000.

Complete Formula One results

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