It happened today

Happy birthday, Gianni Morbidelli!

13 Jan 1968

On 13th January 1968, Gianni Morbidelli was born in Pesaro. The Italian was the most frequent test driver for Scuderia Ferrari from 1989 to 1997, also competing in one Grand Prix with the Maranello squad, in Australia on 3rd November 1991, when he was called in to replace Alain Prost, who was dismissed following comments made after the Japanese Grand Prix two weeks earlier.

The race was affected by rain, which bucketed down on the Adelaide street circuit right from the first start, so that the main priority for the drivers was staying on track, rather than pushing the throttle. From the tenth lap onwards, the rain intensified and inevitably, so too did the number of off-track excursions. As he crossed the line for the sixteenth time, Senna waved his arms to indicate the race should be stopped and so it was. The Stewards decided to take the results as from the end of lap 14, which reinstated some drivers who, like Mansell for example, had ended up in the guard rails. It was bad luck for Morbidelli, who was third on lap 16. The Italian was classified sixth, bringing home half a point, as the points available were halved. However, Morbidelli made up for this disappointment four years later at the very same track, when he finished third at the wheel of an Arrows.

With his Formula 1 adventure at an end, Morbidelli switched to GT and Touring Car racing, occasionally, around the mid-noughties at the wheel of a 575 GTC Maranello.