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Former F1 driver Katayama rescued from mountain

ESPNF1 Staff
December 18, 2009 « Schumacher comeback almost certain says Ferrari boss | »
Former Tyrrell driver Ukyo Katayama was rescued from Mount Fuji , but his two climbing companions are feared dead © Sutton Images
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Former Formula 1 driver Ukyo Katayama has been rescued from Mount Fuji in Japan, but two of his companions are believed to have died.

Katayama, who is an experienced climber, was walking down a trail at about 7000 feet when he was found by a rescue team. While he was unhurt, two others were reported missing in poor weather and sub-zero temperatures, and two bodies were subsequently discovered.

A local agency reported Katayama, 46, had made calls to the police on a mobile phone in the early hours of Thursday morning. The messages said one colleague appeared to have died and another was in danger after their tents had blown away.

Katayama started 94 grand prix between 1992 and 1997, mainly for Tyrrell, but he never made the podium with a best finish of fifth. He moved away from the sport to devote more time to climbing and scaled some of the highest mountains in the world, including Himalayan peaks, Mount McKinley in Alaska and Kilimanjaro in Africa.