In Defence of ‘Ferrari’s Worst-Ever Driver’On His Birthday

In Defence of ‘Ferrari’s Worst-Ever Driver’On His Birthday, The Japanese racer, who turns 49 on January 21st, only took part in four Grands Prix for the Super Aguri squad back in 2006 – coming in as a 31-year-old rookie.

In Defence of 'Ferrari's Worst-Ever Driver'On His Birthday

After tipping Christijan Albers into a barrel roll on the opening lap at the San Marino Grand Prix, the FIA stepped in to revoke Ide’s super license until he had gained more experience. 18 years later, Ide’s super license is still revoked after he headed back to Japan and Super GT racing. But the odds were stacked against Ide, meaning he never really got a fair crack at Grand Prix racing.

Who Would Go On To Win Le Mans Three Times

Ide was not a world beater, but held a respectable record in Formula Nippon, finishing third in 2004, just one point behind champion Richard Lyons and level with Andre Lotterer, who would go on to win Le Mans three times and the 2012 WEC title.

Ide would go one better in 2005, but was pipped by Satoshi Motoyama in the final standings before his unexpected F1 call-up to be team-mate to Takuma Sato in the team created especially for him after the works Honda team dumped him ahead of the ’06 season to allow Rubens Barrichello to join from Ferrari.

When It Came To The Season-Opener In Bahrain

When it came to the season-opener in Bahrain, Ide qualified slowest of all, nearly 2.8s slower than Sato – who himself was 1.4s slower than Tiago Montiero. Ide was nearly seven seconds off the pace in Q1, set by Michael Schumacher.

It didn’t get much better as he retired from that race, and the next one in Malaysia, before at least seeing the chequered flag in Australia with a 13th place finish – albeit three laps down on winner Fernando Alonso.

Next time out at Imola, Ide tipped Albers upside down into the gravel at Villeneuve corner on the opening lap, and later retired with suspension problems after 23 laps. They would be the last laps he’d ever drive in F1 machinery.

By abdurrauf2930

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