Энциклопедия Формулы 1:

Rambler's Top100

Гонщики, M

Курсивом отмечены гонщики,
выступавшие только
в Indy 500 (1950-1960)


Джанни Морбиделли

Morbidelli, Gianni

Джанни Морбиделли / Morbidelli, Gianni

(c) 'Who is Who' by Steve Small, 2000



Пезаро, Римини

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Ф1: 1990-1997

Джанни Морбиделли / Morbidelli, Gianni - 1990-1997




1990Scuderia Italia SpADallara BMS-190
Dallara BMS-190
SCM Minardi TeamMinardi M190
Minardi M190
1991Scuderia Ferrari SpAFerrari F1-91B (643)
Ferrari F1-91B (643)
SCM Minardi TeamMinardi M191
Minardi M191
1992Minardi TeamMinardi M191B
Minardi M191B
Minardi M192
Minardi M192
1994Footwork FordFootwork FA15
Footwork FA15
1995Footwork HartFootwork FA16
Footwork FA16
1997Red Bull Sauber PetronasSauber C16
Sauber C16

When Gianni set foot on the podium for the first time in Adelaide at the end of 1995 having claimed a hugely popular third place in the Footwork-Hart, he could look back with satisfaction on a job well done, but faced the prospect of no further Grand Prix employment. It was a situation which the polite and personable Italian had known before, but it was galling for him nonetheless to have to settle for a testing contract with Jordan before a similar role with Ferrari led to another Grand Prix opportunity with Sauber.

With a racing background (his family produced World Championship-winning motor cycles), Morbidelli raced karts from 1981 to 1986 before moving into Italian F5. Although he was certainly quick he was prone to accidents, which spoiled his 1988 season, but the following year he deservedly claimed the crown with his Forti Corse Dallara, earning a testing contract with Ferrari.

The 1990 season saw him make a brief unscheduled Grand Prix debut for Dallara in place of the indisposed Pirro, before he concentrated on his planned F3000 campaign with Forti, which got off to a slow start. Once he got to grips with the Lola he scored a fine win at Enna and, with Paolo Barilla out of favour at Minardi, Gianni finished the season back in Formula 1 with the luxury of a contract in his pocket for a full season with the Faenza team (and Ferrari power) in 1991. The campaign failed to live up to expectations, but Gianni impressed enough for Ferrari to draft him in to replace the departed Prost in Australia, where he finished sixth in the rain-shortened race to earn a priceless half-point.

He returned to Minardi in 1992, but the season was spent in the mire once more as they struggled to develop their Lamborghini-powered car. Without the necessary sponsorship to retain his place, Morbidelli then found himself dumped and was left to race in the Italian touring car championship with an Alfa Romeo. Luckily Jack Oliver had faith in Morbidelli's abilities and drafted him into his Footwork team to renew his Grand Prix career in 1994. With customer Cosworth power the team were never in the hunt for major honours, but Gianni scored three priceless points to help keep his seat as pay-drivers hovered in the hope Oliver would take their money.

So highly did Oliver think of Morbidelli that he retained his services in 1995 as team leader, no doubt assisted by the arrival of Taki Inoue, who brought much-needed finance. Sixth place in Canada was a bonus, but within another race Morbidelli was forced onto the sidelines as Max Papis bought his way in. Fortunately for Oliver, he was able to recall Gianni for the final three races and was of course rewarded with that podium finish which was the team's best result since 1989.

Morbidelli's reinstatement to the Grand Prix ranks with Sauber in 1997 came after Nicola Larini's bust-up with the team and Gianni was to find out that the number two seat in the Swiss outfit was no easy berth. Any chance of making an impression was stymied when he broke his arm badly in a testing accident, which forced him out for three races, and the season ended with another injury after a practice crash in Japan.

Looking for a fresh challenge in 1998, Gianni turned to touring cars, driving for Volvo in the BTCC. By his own admission, he found it difficult to adapt to front-wheel drive but he was not the first ex-Grand Prix driver to fail to adjust to the demands of this specialised form of racing.

(c) 'Who is Who' by Steve Small, 2000

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