Zanardi enjoys BMW F1 at Valencia

Zanardi enjoys BMW F1 at Valencia

25 November 2006 – Alessandro Zanardi has made motor racing history once again: At the DELL Formula BMW World Final, the leg- amputee successfully returned to the cockpit of a Formula One car.

On Saturday morning, he completed a total of 12 laps at Valencia's "Circuit de la Comunitat". The 40-year-old's fastest lap was clocked at 1:21.63 minutes. The 1999 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka had been the last of his 41 races at the pinnacle of motorsport.

In 2001, Zanardi lost both legs in an accident, but made a spectacular racing comeback with BMW only two years later. Since then, he has managed to win two rounds of the FIA World Touring Car Championship for BMW Team Italy- Spain, thereby making a name for himself once again as a touring car driver.

"This is a special opportunity for me," said Zanardi. "I saw some very happy faces; everybody was surprised that everything was working so smoothly. BMW always gave me maximum support, especially in the WTCC. Driving the Formula One car is another step. I am very proud that I am doing this. The car was fantastic. Everything is so precise; I was really amazed - because usually you need more time to work on all the details of the car. I expected the car to be much rougher. But it feels rather like a beautiful BMW 7 Series, not like a Formula One car."

BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen said: "After just a few installation laps on Thursday, Alessandro Zanardi had far more time today to enjoy his Formula One comeback. I was impressed with how well the modifications on the car are working. Alessandro felt comfortable from the word go, which has also been proved by his lap times. It's obvious that he is no Formula One newcomer. He has not forgot how to drive a race car like this at the limit."

Because Zanardi can generate more force with his right limb, the engineers had moved the car's braking pedal from the left to the right side of the cockpit. The right prosthesis is fixed to the brake pedal via Velcro tape. In order to make the most effective use of the narrow space in the cockpit, Zanardi uses specially made prostheses. They are considerably smaller than the ones he uses normally. He shifts gears with a paddle on the right rear side of the steering wheel. On the left side there is another paddle, which is used to accelerate the car.

On Sunday, Zanardi will complete more laps on the 4.005-kilometre track. The highlight of the weekend, the DELL Formula BMW World Final, will get underway at 14:30hrs (13:30hrs GMT). In total, 37 talented drivers will be fighting for title glory and an attractive winner's prize: a Formula One test drive with the BMW Sauber F1 Team.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Tuesday 2 September 2014

  2. Haas changes name of Formula 1 team 16:50

    Haas changes name of Formula 1 team

    Gene Haas has altered the name of his new Formula 1 team, which is set to join the grid in 2016. The American's squad,...

    F1
  3. Barbados to host 2014 Race Of Champions 15:34

    Barbados to host 2014 Race Of Champions

    The 2014 Race Of Champions will take place in Barbados, after the country overcame rival bidders. The Bushy Park Circuit...

    Misc
  4. Red Bull's Gasly joins Caterham GP2 team 15:16

    Red Bull's Gasly joins Caterham GP2 team

    Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly will contest the final three GP2 rounds of 2014 with Caterham Racing. The 18-year-old...

    GP2
  5. Ferrari open to Ross Brawn return 14:42

    Ferrari open to Ross Brawn return

    Ferrari's new Team Principal, Marco Mattiacci, has said that he would welcome back Ross Brawn, should the latter desire to...

    F1
  6. Video: Räikkönen puts on show in Rotterdam 13:28

    Video: Räikkönen puts on show in Rotterdam

    Look back at Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen's demo runs at the VKV City Racing event in Rotterdam.

    F1
  7. McLaren looks to consolidate fifth position 11:39

    McLaren looks to consolidate fifth position

    McLaren says its aim for the rest of the season is to secure fifth in the championship standings. The Woking-based team...

    F1
  8. Two DRS zones retained for Monza 10:41

    Two DRS zones retained for Monza

    The FIA has retained the traditional pair of DRS zones for this year's Italian Grand Prix. Since the introduction of the...

    F1
  9. Alonso insists he will stay at Ferrari 09:14

    Alonso insists he will stay at Ferrari

    Fernando Alonso insists that he has no intention to leave Ferrari at the end of the 2014 campaign. The Italian marque,...

    F1
  10. Sochi grandstand named in Kvyat's honour 08:23

    Sochi grandstand named in Kvyat's honour

    Russian Grand Prix organisers have named a grandstand at Sochi Autodrom in Daniil Kvyat's honour. The grandstand in...

    F1
  11. Honda open to customer teams from 2016 07:12

    Honda open to customer teams from 2016

    Honda says it would be open to supplying customer teams in Formula 1 from the 2016 campaign, having clarified that its power...

    F1
  12. Monza memories: Closest Formula 1 finish 05:07

    Monza memories: Closest Formula 1 finish

    Relive the closest finish in Formula 1 history at the 1971 Italian Grand Prix. Peter Gethin took the chequered flag first,...

    F1
  13. Monday 1 September 2014

  14. Video: Ronaldo, Button go for a spin 18:57

    Video: Ronaldo, Button go for a spin

    Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo went for a spin with McLaren driver Jenson Button at the Circuito del Jarama on...

    F1
  15. I won't give up in title fight, Hamilton vows 18:04

    I won't give up in title fight, Hamilton vows

    Lewis Hamilton insists that he will not give up in his quest for the 2014 Formula 1 title, as he looks to cut Mercedes...

    F1
  16. Van der Garde gets another FP1 outing 16:00

    Van der Garde gets another FP1 outing

    Sauber reserve Giedo van der Garde will get his seventh practice outing of 2014 at the Italian Grand Prix. The former...

    F1
  17. Honda can match Mercedes, Arai reaffirms 14:09

    Honda can match Mercedes, Arai reaffirms

    Honda's motorsport chief, Yasuhisa Arai, has reiterated his belief that the Japanese brand will be able to match current...

    F1
  18. Lotus drivers back Parabolica changes 13:42

    Lotus drivers back Parabolica changes

    Lotus duo Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado have backed the decision to replace the gravel trap on the outside of Monza's...

    F1
  19. Ricciardo collects Lorenzo Bandini trophy 12:50

    Ricciardo collects Lorenzo Bandini trophy

    Daniel Ricciardo collected the Trofeo Lorenzo Bandini at a ceremony in Brisighella, Italy on Sunday. The trophy, awarded...

    F1
  20. 11:13

    Photos: 2014 VKV City Racing Rotterdam

    F1
  21. Álex Márquez seals Moto2 promotion 11:07

    Álex Márquez seals Moto2 promotion

    Álex Márquez, the younger brother of reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc, will step up to the Moto2 class with the Mark VDS R...

    MotoGP
  22. Force India duo confident over Monza chances 10:37

    Force India duo confident over Monza chances

    Force India drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez are hopeful of putting together a more competitive showing at this w...

    F1
  23. Márquez had 'score to settle' after 2013 09:14

    Márquez had 'score to settle' after 2013

    Repsol Honda rider Marc Márquez says he had a "score to settle" with Jorge Lorenzo at this year's British Grand Prix, having...

    MotoGP
  24. Monza memories: Button caught out at restart 05:00

    Monza memories: Button caught out at restart

    Relive the drama as Jenson Button is caught out by a slow Safety Car restart at the 2000 Italian Grand Prix.

    F1
  25. Sunday 31 August 2014

  26. Aleshin's condition upgraded to stable 15:57

    Aleshin's condition upgraded to stable

    Mikhail Aleshin will remain in hospital but his condition has been upgraded to stable following his huge IndyCar practice...

    Indy
  27. Verstappen damages wing during Rotterdam run 15:42

    Verstappen damages wing during Rotterdam run

    Dutch youngster Max Verstappen has had a minor crash during his first public Formula 1 outing at the VKV City Racing event...

    F1
  28. Williams plans to retain Massa, Bottas – Smedley 14:31

    Williams plans to retain Massa, Bottas – Smedley

    Williams Head of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley says the team plans to retain current drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri...

    F1
  29. 13:51

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Silverstone

    MotoGP
  30. Márquez beats Lorenzo for 11th win of 2014 13:50

    Márquez beats Lorenzo for 11th win of 2014

    Marc Márquez came out on top in a battle with Jorge Lorenzo to claim his 11th victory of the season in the British Grand...

    MotoGP
  31. Lotterer open to more Caterham outings 11:49

    Lotterer open to more Caterham outings

    André Lotterer says he is open to more Formula 1 outings with Caterham, having made his debut in the sport with the team at...

    F1
  32. Gastaldi adamant Lotus can revive fortunes 10:09

    Gastaldi adamant Lotus can revive fortunes

    Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi is adamant that there is 'plenty to look forward to' at Lotus, despite the squad...

    F1
  33. 06:00

    Latest IndyCar photos: Saturday at Fontana

    Indy
  34. Power finally captures title, Kanaan wins Fontana 05:54

    Power finally captures title, Kanaan wins Fontana

    Will Power's voice cracked audibly as he spoke to his team on the cool-down laps at Fontana on Saturday night.  Three times...

    Indy
  35. Video of the Day: Formula 1 in every Renault 05:00

    Video of the Day: Formula 1 in every Renault

    Renault drivers receive an unexpected, special welcome whilst arriving at a supermarket car park.

    F1
  36. Saturday 30 August 2014

  37. 18:24

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Silverstone

    MotoGP
  38. Márquez beats Dovizioso to Silverstone pole 15:01

    Márquez beats Dovizioso to Silverstone pole

    MotoGP championship leader Marc Márquez claimed pole position for the British Grand Prix in cool and cloudy conditions...

    MotoGP
  39. Maldonado anticipating tough Monza weekend 13:18

    Maldonado anticipating tough Monza weekend

    Pastor Maldonado is anticipating a tough time for Lotus as Formula 1 heads to the high-speed Monza for next weekend's...

    F1
  40. 12:30

    Photos: Red Bull's 50 Formula 1 wins

    F1
  41. Márquez quickest despite fall at Silverstone 10:48

    Márquez quickest despite fall at Silverstone

    Marc Márquez set the fastest time during the third practice session for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, before...

    MotoGP
  42. Aleshin in 'serious but stable' condition 10:09

    Aleshin in 'serious but stable' condition

    SMP Racing driver Mikhail Aleshin is in a 'serious but stable' condition following a violent accident during practice for...

    Indy
  43. Video of the Day: Singapore winner's trophy 05:00

    Video of the Day: Singapore winner's trophy

    View the winner's trophy for this year's Singapore Grand Prix, inspired by the Singapore Airlines logo.

    F1
  44. Aleshin airlifted to hospital after violent crash 04:50

    Aleshin airlifted to hospital after violent crash

    Russian rookie Mikhail Aleshin has been airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center in California after a violent...

    Indy
more news