Alessandro "Alex" Zanardi (born 23 October 1966 in Bologna, BO, Emilia-Romagna, Italy) is a former Formula One driver who competed in the 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994 seasons, and made a return to the sport in 1999.
Scoring only one single point during the 1993 season at the race in Brazil, he had a horrible crash at Belgium which occured on the Eau Rouge corner, making him miss the rest of the season, being replaced by Pedro Lamy.
Zanardi also competed in other forms of motorsport, including IndyCar, ChampCar and European Touring Car Championship series', during the first 13 years of his motorsport career.
Zanardi is, however, probably best known for a horrific accident suffered during a CART race at Lausitzring in 2001, in which he lost both of his legs. In attempting to rejoin the track following a pit-stop, Zanardi spun across the track, coming to rest at right-angles to the oncoming traffic. As Zanardi's car laid stricken on the circuit, the Forsythe Racing Ford of Patrick Carpentier was able to avoid him, but Alex Tagliani's car was not. Tagliani hit the side of Zanardi's car, just behind the front wheels, at around 200 mph, splitting the car in half. Due to the exceptional work of doctors, Zanardi survived, but he had both legs amputated above the knees as a result of his horrific injuries.
A long and difficult rehabilitation followed, but due to the dedication and ambition of Zanardi, he was back behind the wheel at the 2003 event at Lausitz using a specially adapted "hand-control" car in which throttle and brake were controlled by the driver's hands.
Less than a year later, Zanardi competed in his first competitive race since his accident - the opening race of the 2004 European Touring Car season at Monza. A year later, the series was renamed the World Touring Car Championship and in August 2005, Zanardi won his first race since returning to motorsport - the 2nd race of the WTCC Race of Germany at Oschersleben.
In 2006, Zanardi was given the opportunity to drive a hand-controlled BMW Sauber Formula One car at Valencia.
In 2009 Zanardi elected to retire from competitive motorsport to focus on the production of the Zanardi kart chassis which has been produced since 2004. Zanardi has also competed in numerous Para-Cycling races and, in 2009 stated his intention to represent Italy at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. In 2012 it was confirmed that he would compete at the 2012 Games.
On 5th September 2012, Zanardi won paralympic gold in the hand-cycling at Brands Hatch. The win was the third time Zanardi had been on the podium at the Brands Hatch circuit, after finishing second in a Formula 3000 race in 1991 and third in a hand-operated Touring Car in 2008.
He won another Paralympic gold in 2016 at the Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Formula One Career
Formula One Statistical Overview
Formula One Record
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Pts.||WDC Pos.||Report|
|1991||Footwork Grand Prix International||Footwork-Ford Cosworth||Test Driver||Report|
|Team 7Up Jordan||Jordan-Ford||0||NC|
|1992||Camel Benetton Ford||Benetton-Ford||Test Driver||Report|
|1993||Camel Benetton Ford||Benetton-Ford||Test Driver||Report|
|1994||Team Lotus||Lotus-Mugen-Honda||Test Driver||Report|
|1995–1997: Did not compete|
|1998||Winfield Williams||Williams-Mecachrome||Test Driver|
|2000–2005: Did not compete|
|2006||BMW Sauber F1 Team||BMW Sauber||Test Driver|
|Front Row Starts||0|
|Distance Raced||7275.218 km (4521 mi)|
|Distance Led||0 km (0 mi)|
|Complete Formula One results|
|1995–1998: Did not compete|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap||DNS||Did not start|
|†||Classified finish (retired with >90% race distance)||NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)|
|P||Qualified for pole position||[+] More Symbols|
- Race stopped after 14/81 Laps. Half points awarded
|V T E||Minardi|
Martini · De Cesaris · Campos · Nannini · Pérez-Sala · Barilla · Morbidelli · Moreno · Zanardi · Gounon · Barbazza · Alboreto · Lamy · Badoer · Fisichella · Marques · Lavaggi · Trulli · Katayama · Nakano · Tuero · Sarrazin · Gené · Mazzacane · Yoong · Alonso · Davidson · Webber · Wilson · Kiesa · Verstappen · Bruni · Baumgartner · Albers · Friesacher · Doornbos
M185/M185B · M186 · M187 · M188/M188B · M189 · M190 · M191 · M192 · M193/M193B · M194 · M195/M195B · M197 · M198 · M01 · M02 · PS01/PS01B · PS02 · PS03 · PS04B · PS05
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