Alexander Wurz

Last updated
Alexander Wurz
Alexander Wurz - 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans - Pit Walk.jpg
Wurz in Le Mans 2016
Born (1974-02-15) 15 February 1974 (age 47)
Waidhofen an der Thaya, Lower Austria, Austria
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Flag of Austria.svg Austrian
Active years 19972000, 2005, 2007
Teams Benetton, McLaren, Williams
Entries69 (69 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums3
Career points45
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 1
First entry 1997 Canadian Grand Prix
Last entry 2007 Chinese Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Years1996, 2008–2015
Teams Joest Racing, Team Peugeot Total
Best finish1st (1996, 2009)
Class wins2 (1996, 2009)
Walk of Fame - Le Mans, Handprints and signatures from the winners of the 1996 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Hall of fame Le Mans-winners 1996.JPG
Walk of Fame – Le Mans, Handprints and signatures from the winners of the 1996 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Alexander Wurz (born 15 February 1974) is an Austrian former professional racing driver, driver training expert and businessman. He competed in Formula One from 1997 until 2007, and is also a two-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Contents

He is currently under contract to race for the Toyota factory racing team in the WEC (World Endurance Championship). In Formula 1, he is a commentator for TV and media, as well as being Williams F1 Team's driver coach,[ citation needed ] chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, [1] and occasionally a driver steward.

Career

Cycling

Born in Waidhofen an der Thaya, Wurz competed in cycling events in his youth, and won the BMX World Championship in 1986 at the age of 12. In 2000, Wurz started a mountain bike team with his countryman Markus Rainer. The team, Rainer-Wurz.com, is sponsored by sponsors McLaren, Siemens, and Cannondale, and has won the World Cup several times.[ citation needed ] In the early 2000s, niche bicycle brand Katarga presented a limited edition high-end mountain bike called the Alexander Wurz EVO SL, whose frame prominently featured Wurz's autograph. [2]

Auto racing

Early career

Like most Formula One drivers, Wurz's motorsport career began with karting. In 1991, Wurz drove in Formula Ford. In 1993, he switched to the German Formula Three Championship. During his time in Formula 3, Wurz crashed out of the lead at a race at AVUS in 1995 after a collision with the safety car. [3] From 1996, Wurz drove an Opel Calibra for the Joest Racing touring car team in the DTM. Also in 1996, Wurz, together with Davy Jones and Manuel Reuter, won the Le Mans 24 Hours and in so doing became the youngest ever winner of the 24-hour race, a record he still holds. [4]

Formula One

Benetton (1997–2000)
Wurz at the 1997 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Wurz at Silverstone.jpg
Wurz at the 1997 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Wurz's Formula One debut was on 15 June 1997 at Montreal for Benetton filling in for fellow Austrian Gerhard Berger, who could not race due to illness. [5] Wurz achieved a podium position in his third race (1997 British Grand Prix) before returning to being a test driver upon Berger's return to the cockpit at the German Grand Prix, which Berger won.

Wurz was given a full-time race seat for the 1998 season with Benetton and spent three more seasons at the team, partnered each year by Giancarlo Fisichella. In 1998, he outscored Fisichella by one point to finish joint 7th in the driver's championship together with Heinz-Harald Frentzen. At the 1998 Monaco Grand Prix, he was running second ahead of Michael Schumacher for a brief period, but his hopes of a podium finish were ruined when Schumacher collided with him when tried to pass at Loews hairpin. The collision broke his suspension, causing him to spin off and crash at the Nouvelle Chicane exiting the tunnel.

The 1999 season was a disappointment for both drivers with the uncompetitive B199 (although Fisichella scored a podium in Canada). In the 2000 season, Wurz scored points only at the Italian Grand Prix, while Fisichella scored podium finishes three times. For 2001, Benetton's last season before its transformation into Renault, he was replaced with Jenson Button.

Testing (2001–2006)
Wurz testing for Williams at Silverstone in 2006. Alexander Wurz 2006 Williams.jpg
Wurz testing for Williams at Silverstone in 2006.

In 2001, Wurz was a test driver for McLaren. In 2002 he was almost promoted as race driver for McLaren to replace Mika Häkkinen but he remained as test driver after Kimi Räikkönen took over.

In April 2005, with Juan Pablo Montoya injured, Wurz drove for McLaren in the 2005 San Marino Grand Prix, finishing fourth in the race, but taking third place after both BAR-Honda drivers were disqualified. This gave him the record for the longest interval between podium finishes at eight years.

Since signing to McLaren as test driver, Wurz had been eager to return to racing. At various times, rumours linked him to a return to a full race seat. In 2003 he was strongly linked to a race seat at Jaguar, where the under-fire Antônio Pizzonia was struggling. However, McLaren were struggling with their abortive new car and blocked the move to retain Wurz as a development driver.[ citation needed ] Jaguar then decided to give Pizzonia more time to prove himself, before drafting in Justin Wilson.

Williams (2007)
Wurz at the 2007 Malaysian Grand Prix. Alex Wurz 2007 (crop).jpg
Wurz at the 2007 Malaysian Grand Prix.

Wurz signed a deal with WilliamsF1 to become the team's official test and reserve driver at the beginning of 2006. He drove the third car at all Friday sessions in 2006. It was announced on 3 August 2006 that Wurz would replace Mark Webber as a race driver at Williams for the 2007 season. This was Wurz's first full-time race drive since 2000, and his teammate was Nico Rosberg. At the Monaco GP on 27 May 2007, Wurz scored his first points for Williams, finishing in 7th place after qualifying 11th. He came third for the third time in his F1 career at the Canadian Grand Prix on 10 June 2007, having started 19th on the grid in an action packed race. He nearly repeated this at the European Grand Prix, but was unable to overtake Mark Webber at the final chicane. That race turned out to be Wurz's last points finish. On 8 October 2007 he announced his immediate retirement from Formula One, meaning that the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix was his final race. [6] He cited doubts over his own commitment as the main reason for his departure. [7] He was replaced by Williams test driver Kazuki Nakajima for the final race of the 2007 season in Brazil. [8]

Honda and Brawn GP (2008–2009)
Wurz demonstrating a Honda RA108 at the 2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Wurz Goodwood 2008.jpg
Wurz demonstrating a Honda RA108 at the 2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Wurz was the Honda F1 test driver for the 2008 Formula One season, [9] a role he kept when the team became Brawn GP in 2009. [10]

Williams (2012)

For the 2012 Formula One season, Wurz rejoined the Williams F1 Team, this time to guide the team's inexperienced drivers Bruno Senna and Pastor Maldonado. [11]

Sportscars

Wurz signed with Peugeot to be part of their driving squad for the 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans and he also participated 1000km of Spa in the Le Mans Series.

In 2009, together with Marc Gené and David Brabham, he took outright victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours, driving a works Peugeot. [12] The 13-year gap between Wurz's victories is the largest in the event's history. [4] Together with his victory in 2010 of the 12hrs race of Sebring with Marc Gené and Anthony Davidson and his victory of the 1000 miles race of Road Atlanta with Stéphane Sarrazin and Franck Montagny in 2011 it made him win the 3 big Sportscar Classic Races in a Peugeot 908. [13] [14] Wurz continued to race for Peugeot Sport Total through 2010 and 2011, though no further Le Mans wins were forthcoming. In November 2011, Toyota Motorsports confirmed Wurz as one of their factory drivers for the companies planned return to the 24 Heures du Mans in 2012. [15] Wurz will drive their new LMP1 Hybrid Prototype alongside Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima. [16]

Rallycross

In May 2018 Wurz announced that he would follow in the footsteps of his father by making his competitive rallycross debut at the FIA World Rallycross Championship's World RX of Norway at Lånkebanen the following month, driving a Ford Fiesta Supercar for MJP Racing Team Austria. [17]

Road safety

Wurz is involved in many projects regarding road safety and driver education and training. In 2006, he and his father founded the company Test and Training International, a leader in the field of road safety and driver training. He also works closely with the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile), since 2011 as an operating partner of the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy.

Medical car driver

In the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, Wurz drove the medical car after regular driver Jacques Tropenat fell ill. [18]

Team management

Team Superfund

Wurz lodged an entry for his own team into Formula One (announced on 31 May 2009) but the application was unsuccessful. Team Superfund was one of several new applicants hoping to compete in the sport from the 2010 season onwards. It was believed that Wurz would prefer to align the team with an existing constructor based in the UK, perhaps renting space, facilities and staff from its factory, while Superfund takes time to build up its own headquarters, possibly based on existing resources in Austria. [19] The team would have been funded by Christian Baha, the owner of the Superfund Group, and the cars would be powered by Cosworth engines.

Personal life

Wurz is the second son of former rallycross driver Franz Wurz, who won the European Rallycross Championship in 1974, 1976 and 1982.

Wurz is married to Julia Horden and has three sons: Charlie (also a racing driver), Felix and Oscar. [20] [21] He used to race with different coloured boots on each foot,[ citation needed ] but since his return to racing in 2007, he wears matching pairs. On 10 November 2015 Wurz announced via his Twitter that after 20 years he would retire from racing. [22]

Racing record

Career summary

SeasonSeriesTeamRacesWinsPolesF/LapsPodiumsPointsPosition
1992German Formula Ford 1600 Walter Lechner Racing School 95539170 [23] 1st
1993 Austria Formula 3 Cup RSM Marko  ? ? ? ? ? ?1st
German Formula 3 Championship 1600002713th
Masters of Formula 3 10000N/A17th
1994 German Formula 3 Championship G+M Escom Motorsport 19313122192nd
Macau Grand Prix 10000N/A15th
Grand Prix de Monaco F3 10000N/A10th
Masters of Formula 3 10000N/A26th
1995 German Formula 3 Championship G+M Escom Motorsport 150003746th
British Formula 3 Championship 10000421st
Macau Grand Prix 10000N/A7th
Grand Prix de Monaco F3 10000N/A6th
Masters of Formula 3 10000N/ANC
1996 International Touring Car Championship Opel Team Joest 2000104316th
24 Hours of Le Mans Joest Racing 11001N/A1st
1997 Formula One Mild Seven Benetton Renault 30001414th
FIA GT Championship AMG Mercedes 1015432510th
1998 Formula One Mild Seven Benetton Playlife 160010178th
1999 Formula One Mild Seven Benetton Playlife 160000313th
2000 Formula One Mild Seven Benetton Playlife 170000215th
2001 Formula One West McLaren Mercedes Test driver
2002 Formula One West McLaren Mercedes Test driver
2003 Formula One West McLaren Mercedes Test driver
2004 Formula One West McLaren Mercedes Test driver
2005 Formula One West McLaren Mercedes
Team McLaren Mercedes
10001617th
2006 Formula One Williams F1 Team Test driver
2007 Formula One AT&T Williams 1600011311th
2008 Formula One Honda Racing F1 Team Test driver
24 Hours of Le Mans Team Peugeot Total 10000N/A5th
2009 Formula One Brawn GP F1 Team Test driver
24 Hours of Le Mans Team Peugeot Total 11001N/A1st
2010 Le Mans Series Team Peugeot Total 100001131st
24 Hours of Le Mans 10000N/ADNF
2011 American Le Mans Series Peugeot Sport Total 21001N/ANC
Le Mans Series 11001N/ANC
Intercontinental Le Mans Cup 42002N/AN/A
24 Hours of Le Mans 10000N/A4th
2012 FIA World Endurance Championship Toyota Racing 63304963rd
24 Hours of Le Mans 10000N/ADNF
2013 FIA World Endurance Championship Toyota Racing 6130269.54th
24 Hours of Le Mans 10000N/A4th
2014 FIA World Endurance Championship Toyota Racing 812051165th
24 Hours of Le Mans 10000N/ADNF
2015 FIA World Endurance Championship Toyota Racing 80001796th
24 Hours of Le Mans 10000N/A6th
2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Ford Chip Ganassi Racing 100002727th
2018 World Rallycross Championship MJP Racing Team Austria 20000029th

Complete International Touring Car Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

YearTeamCar1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526Pos.Pts
1996 Opel Team Joest Opel Calibra V6 4x4 HOC
1

Ret
HOC
2

Ret
NÜR
1

12
NÜR
2

DSQ
EST
1

10
EST
2

8
HEL
1

Ret
HEL
2

9
NOR
1

12
NOR
2

8
DIE
1

9
DIE
2

8
SIL
1

7
SIL
2

4
NÜR
1

Ret
NÜR
2

DNS
MAG
1

10
MAG
2

6
MUG
1

6
MUG
2

9
HOC
1

Ret
HOC
2

DNS
INT
1
INT
2
SUZ
1
SUZ
2
16th43

Complete Formula One results

(key) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

YearEntrantChassisEngine12345678910111213141516171819WDC Points
1997 Mild Seven Benetton Renault Benetton B197 Renault RS9 3.0 V10 AUS BRA ARG SMR MON ESP CAN
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
3
GER HUN BEL ITA AUT LUX JPN EUR 14th4
1998 Mild Seven Benetton Playlife Benetton B198 Playlife GC37-01 3.0 V10 AUS
7
BRA
4
ARG
4
SMR
Ret
ESP
4
MON
Ret
CAN
4
FRA
5
GBR
4
AUT
9
GER
11
HUN
16
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
LUX
7
JPN
9
8th17
1999 Mild Seven Benetton Playlife Benetton B199 Playlife FB01 3.0 V10 AUS
Ret
BRA
7
SMR
Ret
MON
6
ESP
10
CAN
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
10
AUT
5
GER
7
HUN
7
BEL
14
ITA
Ret
EUR
Ret
MAL
8
JPN
10
13th3
2000 Mild Seven Benetton Playlife Benetton B200 Playlife FB02 3.0 V10 AUS
7
BRA
Ret
SMR
9
GBR
9
ESP
10
EUR
12
MON
Ret
CAN
9
FRA
Ret
AUT
10
GER
Ret
HUN
11
BEL
13
ITA
5
USA
10
JPN
Ret
MAL
7
15th2
2005 West McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4-20 Mercedes FO 110R 3.0 V10 AUS MAL BHR
TD
SMR
3
ESP MON
TD
EUR
TD
CAN USA FRA GBR GER
TD
17th6
Team McLaren Mercedes HUN
TD
TUR ITA BEL
TD
BRA
TD
JPN CHN
2006 Williams F1 Team Williams FW28 Cosworth CA2006 2.4 V8 BHR
TD
MAL
TD
AUS
TD
SMR
TD
EUR
TD
ESP
TD
MON
TD
GBR
TD
CAN
TD
USA
TD
FRA
TD
GER
TD
HUN
TD
TUR
TD
ITA
TD
CHN
TD
JPN
TD
BRA
TD
  
2007 AT&T Williams Williams FW29 Toyota RVX-07 2.4 V8 AUS
Ret
MAL
9
BHR
11
ESP
Ret
MON
7
CAN
3
USA
10
FRA
14
GBR
13
EUR
4
HUN
14
TUR
11
ITA
13
BEL
Ret
JPN
Ret
CHN
12
BRA 11th13

Driver did not finish the Grand Prix, but was classified as he completed over 90% of the race distance.

Sports car racing

Le Mans 24 Hours results

YearTeamCo-DriversCarClassLapsPos.Class
Pos.
1996 Flag of Germany.svg Joest Racing Flag of the United States.svg Davy Jones
Flag of Germany.svg Manuel Reuter
TWR Porsche WSC-95 LMP13541st1st
2008 Flag of France.svg Team Peugeot Total Flag of France.svg Stéphane Sarrazin
Flag of Portugal.svg Pedro Lamy
Peugeot 908 HDi FAP LMP13685th5th
2009 Flag of France.svg Team Peugeot Total Flag of Australia (converted).svg David Brabham
Flag of Spain.svg Marc Gené
Peugeot 908 HDi FAP LMP13821st1st
2010 Flag of France.svg Team Peugeot Total Flag of Spain.svg Marc Gené
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Anthony Davidson
Peugeot 908 HDi FAP LMP1360DNFDNF
2011 Flag of France.svg Peugeot Sport Total Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Anthony Davidson
Flag of Spain.svg Marc Gené
Peugeot 908 LMP13514th4th
2012 Flag of Japan.svg Toyota Racing Flag of France.svg Nicolas Lapierre
Flag of Japan.svg Kazuki Nakajima
Toyota TS030 Hybrid LMP1134DNFDNF
2013 Flag of Japan.svg Toyota Racing Flag of France.svg Nicolas Lapierre
Flag of Japan.svg Kazuki Nakajima
Toyota TS030 Hybrid LMP13414th4th
2014 Flag of Japan.svg Toyota Racing Flag of France.svg Stéphane Sarrazin
Flag of Japan.svg Kazuki Nakajima
Toyota TS040 Hybrid LMP1-H219DNFDNF
2015 Flag of Japan.svg Toyota Racing Flag of France.svg Stéphane Sarrazin
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Mike Conway
Toyota TS040 Hybrid LMP13876th6th

Le Mans Series results

YearEntrantClassChassisEngine12345RankPoints
2010 Team Peugeot Total LMP1 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP Peugeot HDI 5.5 L Turbo V12
(Diesel)
LEC SPA
4
ALG HUN SIL 31st11
2011 Peugeot Sport Total LMP1 Peugeot 908 Peugeot HDI 3.7 L Turbo V8
(Diesel)
LEC SPA1
1
IMO SIL EST NCN/A
1 Driver run for the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, no points awarded for the Le Mans Series.

American Le Mans Series results

YearEntrantClassChassisEngine123456789RankPoints
2011 Peugeot Sport Total LMP1 Peugeot 908 Peugeot HDI 3.7 L Turbo V8
(Diesel)
SEB1
8
LBH LIM MOS MDO RDA BAL MON PET1
1
NCN/A
1 Driver run for the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, no points awarded for the American Le Mans Series.

Intercontinental Le Mans Cup results

YearEntrantClassChassisEngine1234567
2011 Peugeot Sport Total LMP1 Peugeot 908 Peugeot HDI 3.7 L Turbo V8
(Diesel)
SEB
8
SPA
1
LMS
4
IMO SIL PET
1
ZHU

Complete FIA World Endurance Championship results

YearEntrantClassChassisEngine12345678RankPoints
2012 Toyota Racing LMP1 Toyota TS030 Hybrid Toyota 3.4 L V8 (Hybrid) SEB SPA LMS
Ret
SIL
2
SÃO
1
BHR
Ret
FUJ
1
SHA
1
3rd96
2013 Toyota Racing LMP1 Toyota TS030 Hybrid Toyota 3.4 L V8 (Hybrid) SIL
4
SPA
Ret
LMS
4
SÃO COA FUJ
1
SHA
2
BHR
Ret
4th69.5
2014 Toyota Racing LMP1 Toyota TS040 Hybrid Toyota 3.7 L V8 (Hybrid) SIL
2
SPA
3
LMS
Ret
COA
6
FUJ
2
SHA
2
BHR
1
SÃO
4
5th116
2015 Toyota Racing LMP1 Toyota TS040 Hybrid Toyota 3.7 L V8 (Hybrid) SIL
4
SPA
5
LMS
6
NÜR
6
COA
Ret
FUJ
6
SHA
5
BHR
3
6th79

Complete WeatherTech SportsCar Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

YearEntrantClassChassisEngine12345678910RankPoints
2016 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing P Ford EcoBoost Riley DP Ford EcoBoost 3.5 L V6 Turbo DAY
5
SEB LBH LGA DET WGL MOS ELK COA PET 27th27

Complete FIA World Rallycross Championship results

(key)

Supercar

YearEntrantCar123456789101112WRXPoints
2018 MJP Racing Team Austria Ford Fiesta BAR POR BEL GBR NOR
18
SWE CAN FRA LAT
18
USA GER RSA 29th0

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References

  1. "Accident Panel". Federation Internationale de l'Automobile. 3 December 2014.
  2. "Mountain-bike Alexander Wurz Edition". Veni, vidi, velo!. 21 April 2014. Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  3. "Safety car hits Wurz".
  4. 1 2 "Third-time plucky for Peugeot". Autosport . 196 (12): 36–47. 18 June 2009.
  5. F1 Racing magazine, December 1997, pg 46
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Sporting positions
Preceded by
Peter Wieser
Austria Formula 3 Cup
Champion

1993
Succeeded by
Josef Neuhauser
Preceded by
Yannick Dalmas
JJ Lehto
Masanori Sekiya
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1996
With: Manuel Reuter & Davy Jones
Succeeded by
Michele Alboreto
Stefan Johansson
Tom Kristensen
Preceded by
Allan McNish
Rinaldo Capello
Tom Kristensen
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
2009
With: Marc Gené & David Brabham
Succeeded by
Timo Bernhard
Romain Dumas
Mike Rockenfeller
Awards
Preceded by
Giancarlo Fisichella
Lorenzo Bandini Trophy
1999
Succeeded by
Jarno Trulli
Trade union offices
Preceded by
Pedro de la Rosa
GPDA Chairman
2014–
Succeeded by
Incumbent