HELPING THE FAMILY BUSINESS: What do racers do when they can't drive fast cars? Apparently they drive a hearse, well, at least former F1 driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen does. He is helping the family business. Image: Shutterstock
COLOGNE, Germany - Once a race winner and title contender, Heinz-Harald Frentzen now drives a hearse and is recovering from knee surgery.
Frentzen was a stand-out of the 1999 season driving for Jordan, winning races against the odds and remaining a championship dark horse until the final stages.
The former Williams driver has most recently been racing a Mercedes in Germany's GT Masters series but the Kolner Express newspaper reports that he might be forced to sit out the 2015 season to recover from a serious knee operation.
The publication said the long-term injury dated back to 1999, when he crashed a Jordan in Canada.
Frentzen said: "My knee is still swollen and tender and I have to be careful. It's my braking leg and in GT Masters you need to brake very hard."
While he recovers, it is reported, Frentzen has returned to his native Moenchengladbach to help with his family's undertaking business.
"It's true," he confirmed. "Even in my F1 career, from time to time, I helped my father with the business and now I'm helping my sister Nadine-Nicole."
Their father, Harald, died in 2014.
The Express said one of Frentzen's new roles was hearse driver - the hearse a converted Mercedes E-class.
Frentzen said: "I'm actually retired and at the moment I don't mind not racing in 2015.... but one should never say never."