Gianni Morbidelli ( born January 13, 1968 in Pesaro ) is an Italian race car driver. He launched between 1990 and 1997 in the highest class of motorsports Formula 1, where it was briefly among other things for the traditional team Ferrari.
Morbidelli began his racing career at the age of twelve years in karting. In 1982, he was with the Italian team Vice Junior World Champion and also recorded in the following years some considerable success at national and international level. In 1987, Morbidelli into formula racing and was the sixth overall place right off the bat the best rookie of the Italian Formula 3 Championship. The following season, he improved to fifth place and won his first Formula race. 1989 finally the Italians with seven race wins in twelve races Italian Formula 3 champion. At the same time took Morbidelli in that season on the Italian Touring Car Championship, where he won in a BMW M3 twice and finished fourth in the championship. These successes earned him promotion to the next higher formula classes.
1990 Morbidelli was first appointed as a test driver in the Ferrari Formula 1 team, where he was to work out the established regular drivers and multiple Grand Prix winners Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell. On the side he played a few races in the European Formula 3000, where he recorded a victory. On top of that Morbidelli was the season opener of Formula 1 in Phoenix / United States also made his Grand Prix debut for the Scuderia Italia, but failed to qualify for the race itself. At the next Grand Prix in Brazil, he made it better and started from 16th place in his first Formula 1 race. Further deployments in the "king class " got Morbidelli again until the end of the season, where he played two race for Minardi.
1991 was the Italian Ferrari test pilot and was engaged by Minardi as a regular driver. The material did not allow points standings, although he had failed in Mexico in seventh just short of it. As a former world champion Prost 's Ferrari end of the season to the world press described as " truck ", thus provoking his being sacked from the team, Morbidelli came at the season finale in Australia to train and drove the Ferrari in torrential rains to sixth place. Since the race was canceled, however, after 14 of 81 rounds because of the extreme conditions, he got only credited half a world championship point for the result.
For the following season, 1992, Morbidelli legitimate hopes for a race seat at Ferrari alongside Jean Alesi made after separation from Alain Prost. There, however, the experienced Ivan Capelli was preferred. So Morbidelli remained at Minardi and suffered another unsuccessful season. For 1993, he could not grab a racing cockpit and involuntarily paused before him the Footwork Arrows team undertook in 1994 next to the World Cup nephew Christian Fittipaldi. Many failures were offset by at least three championship points and a further commitment for 1995, where he had to indeed share his cockpit with the newcomer Massimiliano Papis and so came to only ten missions, the last race of the season in Australia but as a third party for the first time on the podium.
For the 1996 season, however, Morbidelli again received no race seat and was again engaged only in 1997 as a replacement for the hapless Nicola Larini at Sauber. After seven deployments, however, was finally concluded and the Italians had to end his Formula 1 career. Overall, Morbidelli drove 67 Grand Prix races, collecting 8.5 points.
He then continued his career in other racing classes. So he started in 1998 in the British Touring Car Championship ( BTCC ) at Volvo, 2006, he drove in the World Touring Car Championship ( WTCC) an Alfa Romeo. 2007/2008 he took part in the Speedcar Series, where he competed against, among others former Formula 1 driver. There Morbidelli won some races for themselves. In the following season 2008/2009 he was even able to win this series.