Энциклопедия Формулы 1:

Rambler's Top100

Гонщики, P

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


Оливье Панис

Panis, Olivier

Panis, Olivier Denis

Оливье Панис / Panis, Olivier

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



Улин, Лион

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Ф1: 1994-2004

Оливье Панис / Panis, Olivier - 1994-2004




1994Ligier Gitanes BlondesLigier JS39B
Ligier JS39B
1995Ligier Gitanes BlondesLigier JS41
Ligier JS41
1996Equipe Ligier Gauloises BlondesLigier JS43
Ligier JS43
1997Prost Grand Prix Gauloises BlondesProst JS45
Prost JS45
1998Gauloises Prost PeugeotProst AP01
Prost AP01
1999Gauloises Prost PeugeotProst AP02
Prost AP02
2001Lucky Strike Reynard British American Racing HondaBAR 003
BAR 003
2002Lucky Strike BAR HondaBAR 004
BAR 004
2003Panasonic Toyota RacingToyota TF103
Toyota TF103
2004Panasonic Toyota RacingToyota TF104
Toyota TF104
Toyota TF104B
Toyota TF104B

In the seventies and eighties the Grand Prix grids were full of French drivers, many of them at the top of their profession. By the late nineties only Panis and Jean Alesi represented la Belle France', and at the turn of the millennium Olivier, for the time being at least, can be removed from the list.

Following the traditional karting, Pilote Elf and Formule Renault junior route, the quiet and impeccably mannered Panis emerged as champion in 1989 to earn a move into French F3. His first year, in a Dallara, brought fourth place in the championship, while in the second, despite taking five wins and six poles in a Ralt, he was narrowly beaten to the title by Christophe Bouchut. Olivier then took the well-trodden path to F3000 with the Apomatox team. It was to be a tough year struggling with the Lola chassis, but Panis still impressed enough to land the plum drive with DAMS for 1993. True to its reputation, this amazingly hard-fought series yet again saw the points spread evenly among the leading contenders, but it was Panis who finished at the head of the table in front of fellow Grand Prix aspirants Lamy, Coulthard, de Ferran and Beretta.

Over the next two years, with the backing and confidence of Elf, Panis quietly established himself as a Grand Prix regular, shunting other hopefuls such as Comas, Bernard, Beretta and even younger chargers like Lagorce and Boullion into touch.

Given his chance at Ligier, Olivier made a remarkably assured start to his Formula 1 career, highlighted by his second place in a German GP decimated by accidents. Paired with the experienced Brundle and Suzuki in 1995, he handled the politics of being a Frenchman in an increasingly cosmopolitan team with aplomb and his second place in the end-of-season race at Adelaide no doubt helped him survive the winter reshuffles. He was undisputed team leader in 1996, paired with the wealthy but inexperienced Pedro Diniz as the financially pressured outfit faced up to life as one of Grand Prix racing's poorer relations. Despite the Ligier JS43 suffering from traction problems Panis got the best out of the car wherever he could, and was a shock winner of the rain-hit Monaco Grand Prix. Revelling in the slippery conditions, he drove quite superbly on the day and resisted the challenge of David Coulthard's McLaren for much of the latter part of the race.

With the takeover of Ligier by Alain Prost completed prior to the start of the 1997 season, Panis was the newly renamed Prost team's spearhead, and he kicked off the season in fine style, scoring the revamped organisation's (and Bridgestone's) first-ever points with a fifth place in Australia.

Third in Brazil and second in Spain saw the Frenchman driving at the top of his form until disaster struck when he crashed violently in the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. Both of his legs were badly broken and he spent several months recuperating. Happily he was fit enough to return before the end of the season, but it was very much a case of 'what might have been'.

The promise of 1997 gave way to gloom in 1998 when the first true Prost challenger was compromised by an overweight gearbox and incurable handling problems, and only late in the year was there a glimmer of hope for the frustrated Panis and his team-mate Jarno Trulli.

Things did not improve much in 1999 and when Olivier's relationship with Alain Prost reached rock bottom by mid-year it became clear that his tenure with the team was finally over. Having put himself under the management of Keke Rosberg, the Frenchman was soon found alternative employment, signing a testing contract for McLaren, although plans for him to race in the revitalised German touring car series with Mercedes in 2000 have now been dropped.

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

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