Daniel Moreno

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Daniel Moreno (born February 28, 1968) is a Canadian racing driver who raced in the F1RGP2C. Moreno joined the series at its outset in 1994 for Williams and continued to drive for the team for the next five seasons. He was one of the most experienced drivers in the F1RGP2C and was best-known for winning the Drivers Championship in 1996. However, he procured a frosty relationship with the media, with British tabloids in particular, during his time at Williams. Because of this, his European reputation has suffered in recent years following his abrupt retirement from European motorsport in 2003. Moreno's decided to quit racing altogether in 2005 and joined the Canadian Formula 1 (and F1RWRS, eventually) broadcasts on TSN where he continues to this day.

Biography

Early Career

Daniel Moreno began his racing career at eleven when his uncle, a local karting enthusiast, offered young Daniel a chance to race for his eleventh birthday. According to Moreno, he was "absolutely shite" in his first karting experience and finished in dead last. However, he was able to convince his parents to commit to a career as a professional driver (a monumental feat). His uncle refused to give Daniel a ride until he had learned how to drive properly. One year later, armed with a few hundred hours of practice, Daniel reentered the local Canadian karting series. Suddenly, Moreno was dominating the field, much to the surprise of his fellow racers. Moreno moved up to national karting championships at age fourteen. Moreno won his first of three consecutive Canadian National Karting Championship titles in 1983. By 1985, Moreno was in American and Canadian Formula Ford, switching between the two series on off-weekends. Moreno decided to graduate high school early and was actually accepted into Notre Dame university but he forewent schooling to focus on racing. In 1986, Moreno was linked to a drive in the newly-created Indy Lights series but he moved up to US F2000 for one year before moving to Indy Lights in 1987.

Moreno was solid, if unspectacular, during his two seasons in the Indy Lights series. Moreno also made a few one-off starts in the Atlantic Championship but his efforts mostly stayed in Indy. His team, Brockmore Racing, folded in early 1989, leaving Moreno without a drive. He chose to risk everything in a move to Europe to compete in the more competitive Formula 3000 development series. Unable to get a drive in Internation F3000, Moreno drove in the British F3000 series for 1989 against reject legends such as Pedro Chaves and Gary Brabham. Moreno was able to make his way through the ranks and earned himself a spot in the prestigious International F3000 Series for 1990. The competition was fierce; future F1RGP2C champion and teammate Jack Christopherson, Sebastien Belo, Jean-Denis Deletraz, Eddie Irvine, future F1 champion Damon Hill and Andrew Spokes all raced against Moreno that year. Moreno hung around the back for 1990 but he was able to secure a drive on sheer potential for 1991. In 1991, he was signed by Il Barone Rampante during Giuseppe Cipriani's F3000 project. Cipriani had no need for money and having already signed Alessandro Zanardi, he had filled his prerequisite quota for Italians. Moreno's speed over one lap immediately showed itself as he took six pole positions across ten races during 1991. Unfortunately, poor reliability and a few first-lap crashes prevented Moreno from making a serious championship run, unlike his teammate Zanardi. Il Barone Rampante still finished in second in the championship with Moreno's assisstance. In January 1992, Ken Tyrrell surprisngly signed Moreno for Tyrrell for the 1992 Formula One season while Zanardi tested for Benetton and raced for Minardi.

Formula One

Tyrrell

Moreno's first seven races in Formula 1 were nothing short of a disaster. His rookie season made Andrea de Cesaris' first full season in 1981 look consistent by comparison. Moreno crashed out on Lap 1 in South Africa, spun off on Lap 6 in in Mexico and retired with gearbox trouble on Lap 14 in Brazil. His first career finish came in Spain but he was only eleventh after spinning twice during the race. Moreno was involved in another first corner incident in San Marino, taking out Aguri Suzuki on Lap 1. However, he recovered and was running in the points before his engine blew on Lap 28. In Monaco, Moreno spun off at Mirabeau on Lap 21, nearly causing a red flag. Finally, at his home race in Canada, Moreno shocked everyone by qualifying in fifth but a late mechanical failure pushed him out of the race. Ken Tyrrell had had enough of his new driver and replaced him, ironically, with Andrea de Cesaris. He found a home at the cash-strapped Lotus team who needed a replacement for Johnny Herbert who had been sacked after the Canadian Grand Prix. Moreno was more consistent at Lotus but could only manage one point throughout 1992. He was retained, barely, for 1993.

Lotus

After his mediocre performances in 1992, few expected Moreno to make an impact at the underfunded Lotus team. However, he was reunited with his old F3000 comrade Zanardi and proved his qualifying talent once again by qualifying fourteenth in South Africa, slightly ahead of his teammate. The finest moment of Moreno's brief Formula One career came at the famous 1993 European Grand Prix at Donington Park, where he finished in a brilliant fourth position. In sharp contrast to his inconsistency at Tyrrell, Moreno bounced from strength to strength at Lotus in 1993. Moreno scored a sixth place at his home race in Canada and another sixth place in France. By this point, Williams had taken an interest in signing Moreno to their new team for the F1RGP2C, a major step up for Moreno. He responded with three straight DNFs, crashing out of the British and Hungarian Grand Prix. But Moreno completed the season in strong form, scoring his second fourth place of the year at the final race in Adelaide. Williams felt confident enough to sign Moreno for the 1994 F1RGP2C season, partnering Jack Christopherson.

F1RGP2C Results

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 DC Pts
1992 Tyrrell Racing Organisation RSA
Ret
MEX
Ret
BRA
Ret
ESP
11
SMR
Ret
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
=16th 1
Team Lotus FRA
7
GBR
Ret
GER
9
HUN
6
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
POR
10
JPN
8
AUS
10
1993 Team Lotus RSA
Ret
BRA
11
EUR
4
SMR
7
ESP
Ret
MON
Ret
CAN
6
FRA
6
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
5
ITA
8
POR
9
JPN
Ret
AUS
4
10th 10
1994 Rothmans Williams Renault BRA
4
PAC
2
SMR
Ret
MON
Ret
ESP
Ret
CAN
1
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
4
ITA
5
POR
4
EUR
Ret
JPN
Ret
AUS
3
5th 31
1995 Rothmans Williams Renault BRA
Ret
ARG
8
SMR
3
MON
1
ESP
2
CAN
1
FRA
1
GBR
3
GER
1
HUN
Ret
BEL
1
ITA
Ret
POR
2
EUR
3
JPN
1
PAC
Ret
AUS
2
2nd 90
1996 Rothmans Williams Renault AUS
2
BRA
2
ARG
1
LUX
2
SMR
1
MON
Ret
ESP
2
CAN
2
USA
2
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
1
HUN
3
BEL
2
ITA
1
JPN
3
1st 90
1997 Rothmans Williams Renault AUS
DNQ
BRA
1
ARG
Ret
SMR
Ret
MON
1
ESP
1
CAN
Ret
USA
2
FRA
1
GBR
Ret
GER
1
HUN
4
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
AUS
2
JPN
Ret
1st 65
1998 Winfield Williams AUS
Ret
BRA
10
ARG
9
SMR
6
ESP MON CAN USA FRA GBR AUT GER HUN BEL ITA JPN 12th 1