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F1 - it's a regular family affair

2014-04-02 09:41

DOUBLE WINNERS: American Mario Andretti (right) holding the 1976 Japanese GP trophy, speaks into a microphone while Britain’s James Hunt (third) watches. Hunt won the '76 championship by one point from Nicki Lauda. Image: AP


Jaco, the best barman in the southern suburbs of Cape Town, is an avid follower of Formula 1 and maybe the most knowledgeable F1 enthusiast in the Western Cape.

I’m an amateur by comparison and he left me guessing the answer(s) to his question about father-and-son drivers who have down the years raced in the big league: ie: drove Formula 1 cars in their own right… Jaco reckoned 10 or so but there could be more!

I did wonder how Wheels24 readers might fare and surpass the three father-and-son champs I lamely suggested with Graham/Damon Hill, Gilles/Jacques Villeneuve and of course Keke and the current F1 driver Nico Rosberg.


OK, in no particular order are: Mario and Michael Andretti make the list, with father Mario a real late starter into the world of motorsport at 35 but won the  F1 title in 1978. Michael had a season or two with McLaren before handing over his seat to one Mika Hakkinen.

Next up would be Jack Brabham (father) and not one but two boys made it to the top, Gary and David. I suppose it helped that he owned a team with the eponymous surname – but that’s exactly what happened with three-times F1 champion winning ways for Jack. Gary had a couple of races to his credit but David kept at it for two seasons with a struggling car. By the way, Brabham’s grandson might yet make it Brabham No.4.

I told you Jaco was a bit of a guru come F1 matters and he then went on to cite Antonio and Alberto Ascari… Antonio senior, alas, succumbed while leading the 1924 French GP but Alberto was simply superb, winning the world title for Ferrari in 1952 and 1953. Sad to mention but Alberto was also to lose his life racing. Both were just 36 years of age and apparently deeply superstitious.

Next up are Nelson and Nelson (jnr) Piquet. Dad won three titles. The sport – it is believed – made him very rich, opening up the doors (and driving seat) for Nelson Jnr… not such a classy driver, perhaps but nevertheless a team!


Manfred and Markus Winkelhock were real triers from days gone by. Manfred struggled with poorly prepared cars, managing only a one-point scoring finish in Brazil in 1982. Alas, another dad to be killed in a car, an endurance race in the US taking its toll.

Markus’ own career consisted of a single grand prix race (managing just 15 laps) but actually led that particular race by gambling on wet tyres while the rest of the field didn’t have a clue.

Another short-lived F1 career but still one for the father-son history books.

If the one above stumped you, the next one will really trip you up! Try Satoru and Kazuki Nakajima. Satoru was another late starter, only making his F1 debut aged 34, achieving 10 top-six finishes but none on the podium! Kazuki raced for the Williams outfit and had the dubious distinction of managing to run over one of the mechanics but still managed sixth in Australia in 2008.

Last but not least is the father and son team of Hans and Hans-Joachim Stuck. In the 1930’s it was the mighty Auto Union car company that held complete dominance until the Silver Arrows (Mercedes) shot to stardom. Stuck snr was renowned as a class act, while Hans-J also proved a decent enough driver with two third places in 1977 – subsequently moving sideways to find more success in sports-car racing.

There you have it … if Wheels24 readers can think of any others, be sure to let us know! Either Email us or use the Readers' Comments section below.

Read more on:    formula 1

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