• Ask Steven

Jungle Boy's Olympian wife

Steven Lynch October 12, 2012
Antonia Pizzonia with his then girlfriend Maurren Higa Maggi at the 2003 British Grand Prix © Sutton Images

Which F1 driver is married to an Olympic gold medallist? asked Stephen Chambers

The only one I know of is the Brazilian Antonio Pizzonia, who drove in 20 GPs for Jaguar and Williams between 2003 and 2005. He married Maurren Higa Maggi, who won the women's long jump at Beijing in 2008, when she became the first Brazilian woman ever to win an Olympic gold medal in an individual event in any sport. Pizzonia, who won some races in the Auto GP World Series championship in 2012, comes from the north-eastern state of Amazonas, which explains his usual nickname "Jungle Boy".

I saw that Jacky Ickx was runner-up in the world championship twice, without ever winning it. Is this a record? And is his six Le Mans victories still a record too? asked David McKinley

Jacky Ickx, the son of a Belgian motor-racing journalist, was second in the F1 world championship in 1969 (behind Jackie Stewart), and also in 1970 (behind the late Jochen Rindt). In the first of those seasons he was driving for Brabham, but he moved to Ferrari for 1970. The record for finishing second in the world championship without ever winning it is four times, by Stirling Moss, the runner-up each year from 1955 to 1958. Apart from Ickx, the only men to have done it twice without ever winning the title are Ronnie Peterson (1971 and 1978) and Rubens Barrichello (2002 and 2004). Ickx's six wins in the Le Mans 24-hour race were a record at the time of his last victory in 1982 - but has been surpassed since by Denmark's Tom Kristensen, who won it eight times between 1997 and 2008, including six successive victories from 2000.

What is the record number of races that a driver has entered without ever getting any points? Narain Karthikeyan must be getting close! asked Dale Murray

Well, first of all Narain Karthikeyan - who has now taken part in 44 GPs - has scored points in the world championship: in 2005, his single season with Jordan, he managed five. They all came in that year's controversial United States GP at Indianapolis, when only six cars started the race after concerns about whether the tyres would stand up to the high-speed corners at the Brickyard. Jordan were one of the three teams who did take part, and Karthikeyan finished fourth, just behind his team-mate Tiago Monteiro. It's true that since his comeback for HRT in 2011 Karthikeyan's best place has been a lowly 15th, but that's not entirely his fault in an uncompetitive car. The record for taking part in the most GPs without ever scoring a point is 58 (of which he actually started 50), by the Italian Luca Badoer, who raced for various back-of-the-grid teams between 1993 and 1999 without troubling the scorers. Ferrari's long-term test driver, Badoer got another chance in 2009 after an injury to Felipe Massa, but finished only 17th and 14th in his two outings before being replaced. Another Italian, Nicola Larini, did not score a point until his 69th race (45th start) when - as a stand-in for the injured Jean Alesi at Ferrari - he finished second in the tragic 1994 San Marino GP, in which Ayrton Senna was killed. Alesi was fit for the next race, and Larini was out: he returned three years later for Sauber, but left after just five races after falling out with the management.

Tyrrell ran naturally aspirated engines in 1987 and won the Colin Chapman Trophy © Sutton Images

I found reference to something called the "Colin Chapman Trophy" in 1987. What was this, and how long did it last? asked George Peyton

The Colin Chapman Trophy - named after the charismatic founder of the Lotus racing team - was awarded in 1987 to the leading "atmospheric" team, which wasn't a reference to the quality of their hospitality but meant that they were running normally aspirated engines, rather than the turbocharged ones favoured by the bigger teams. Tyrrell - who scored only 11 points in the championship proper - were the runaway winners of this competition, finishing with 169 points to Lola's 43. Tyrrell's Jonathan Palmer, who finished as the leading non-turbocharged driver on seven occasions, won the individual title and collected the Jim Clark Trophy. Both awards lasted only one year: nowadays the Colin Chapman Trophy is awarded during the Historic F1 series.

Why do the lists show Timo Glock as 19th in the world championship, ahead of the other drivers with no points? asked Ken Wilson

The reason is that Timo Glock has the highest finishing position this season of any of the "pointless" drivers - he was 12th in the Singapore GP in the Marussia. The Caterham pair of Heiki Kovalainen and Vitaliy Petrov come next (along with the one-race Lotus substitute Jerome d'Ambrosio) with a best placing of 13th; Narain Karthikeyan and Charles Pic have both managed 15th; while Pedro de la Rosa's best is 17th. It might not seem very important, but it is vital for the teams, not just for bragging rights - the placings determine the teams' standings in the constructors' championship, with implications for the amount of prizemoney they will receive.

Why is Nico Rosberg always shown as German? Isn't he Finnish, like his father? asked Paul Hayden

The Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg actually has dual German/Finnish citizenship, but he's usually considered German - for a start he was born there, in Wiesbaden, in 1985. His father, Keke Rosberg, was the first Finnish driver to win the world title, which he did in 1982 (famously winning just one race that season). Just to confuse things even further, Keke was actually born in Sweden!