Olivier Panis Denis ( born September 2, 1966 in Lyon ) is a French racing driver. He took between 1994 and 2004 in 158 Grand Prix races of the Formula 1 World Championship and won one of them. He is currently active in the French Eisrennserie Andros Trophy, where it starts at the side of the four -time Formula 1 World Champion Alain Prost for Toyota.
Olivier Panis began his career in 1981 with kart racing and moved in 1988 to the French Formula Renault, where he won the championship in 1989. He then drove to 1991 in Formula 3 and from 1992 in formula 3000th He won the 1993 championship title.
In 1994, he managed to move up to Formula 1 and competed in the Grand Prix of Brazil in the Ligier -Renault in his first race. Panis fell from the outset by its extreme reliability and a few errors in the solid but not outstanding basic speed on. For his team, he was always points guarantor, if it allowed the car. In the 1996 season the Frenchman unobtrusive to the great surprise of the observers managed to win the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix. Favors one hand through many failures ( there were only three cars to the finish ), the other by an error-free and unimpressed ride he got at the end of the trophy presented by Prince Rainier. He had to keep in the superior McLaren -Mercedes behind in the final quarter of its competitors racing David Coulthard.
1997 Panis broke in a serious accident in the Grand Prix of Canada both legs and had to pause seven races. Up to this race Panis was on the third place in the drivers' championship and drove each in Brazil and Spain on the podium. At the Grand Prix of Luxembourg the Prost- pilot celebrated with a sixth place a strong comeback, but was unable to repeat his good form.
In the following two years Panis driving for the Ligier team follow- Prost Grand Prix, but overtook due to lack of competitiveness in 1999 two championship points again. At the end of the season Panis ' contract with Prost was not renewed.
Lack of alternatives, Panis 2000 was test driver for Team McLaren in the year. There he could do with a good development work and fast test times to gain recognition for the 2001 season and got a contract with BAR. On the side of Jacques Villeneuve, however, he was not able to bring the team decisively forward, and, after two years again the team to perform reconstruction work in the relatively new Toyota racing team.
In the seasons 2003 and 2004 Panis was moderately successful for the Japanese way and worked after the end of his playing career for another two years as a test driver for the team based in Cologne.
After retiring from Formula 1 Panis signed for the 2008 season, a contract with the French team ORECA. Panis should now control together with Nicolas Lapierre a Le Mans prototype in the Le Mans Series. On the changing demands in sports car racing to Panis 2009 said:
« J'ai principalement cohabié avec Nicolas Lapierre et Soheil Ayari. Ce sont des gens que je connaissais depuis l' état d' long temps et Esprite était très bon. Le fait d' arriver en terrain connu a évidemment facilité cet aspect- là choses. [ ... ] Cette facet humaine est beaucoup plus importante et c'est aussi qu'en Formule 1 ce qui me plait dans cette discipline. "
"I went mainly with Nicolas Lapierre and Soheil Ayari. This I know for a long time and the team spirit is very good. The fact that I arrived in the family environment, made things easier. [ ... ] These human aspects are much more important than in F1 and that's something I like about the sport. "
ORECA had the race car manufacturer acquired Courage in the winter break and developed in 2008 the prototype of Courage - Oreca LC70. The car proved to be fast but error-prone, so the driver pairing fell in three of the five championship races from technical defects. The 1000 - km race at Spa -Francorchamps ended Ortelli and Panis on the third overall, behind each a vehicle for the Audi and Peugeot factory teams. At the Nürburgring threw problems with the electronics of the car far back. In addition to the Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans was on the agenda of the team ORECA, but his team-mate Marcel Fässler came from just after midnight of the track and damaged the car beyond repair.
Panis remained for the 2009 season with ORECA, which during the winter break, the sports prototype aerodynamically completely modified. However, the completion of the vehicle, referred to now ORECA 01 to 1000 km race at Spa delayed. So had to play the first championship race in Spain by last year's car Panis and his team-mate Nicolas Lapierre. With the new vehicle is improved, the results of the teams throughout the season. At the last championship race at Silverstone Panis could retract his first overall victory. When not to the championship scoring 24 - hour race at Le Mans Panis and Lapierre were amplified by Soheil Ayari and missed just one podium finish. In September drove Panis, along with Lapierre and Romain Dumas, for ORECA at Petit Le Mans. The originally scheduled 1000 mile run had to be stopped after four hours due to heavy rain and Panis was seen in fifth place and as the best-placed car with a gasoline engine. 2010 ORECA received one of the diesel prototype previously used by the Peugeot factory team Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. Panis, Nicolas Lapierre and Loic Duval were reported with the vehicle 2010 in the Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Meanwhile Panis has worked as a manager of the Formula 1 driver Charles Pic.