Dave Simpson

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Dave Simpson
Nationality Flag of Australia svg.png Australian
Born 31 March, 1982
New South Wales, Australia
F1RWRS
Debut Season 2010
Final Season 2015
Teams Flag of Germany svg.png JLD Motorsport
Flag of Australia svg.png Australian Minardi
Flag of the United Kingdom svg.png Prospec
Flag of Australia svg.png Melrose Racing Team
Flag of Italy svg.png Scuderia Trueba Alitalia
Flag of Australia svg.png Simpson Motorsports
Races 71 (57 starts)
Championships 0
Victories 4
Podiums 6
Points 91
Pole Positions 2
Fastest Laps 2
First Race 2010 German Grand Prix
First Victory 2010 Luxembourg Grand Prix
Final Victory 2011 British Grand Prix
Final Race 2015 Belgian Grand Prix
Best Finish 7th (2010)
Formula One
Debut Season 2005
Final Season 2010
Teams Flag of Italy svg.png Minardi
Flag of the Netherlands.svg.png Spyker
Flag of Germany svg.png BMW Sauber
Races 34 (34 starts)
Championships 0
Victories 0
Podiums 1
Points 39
Pole Positions 0
Fastest Laps 1
First Race 2005 United States Grand Prix
First Victory
Final Victory
Final Race 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Best Finish 13th (2010)

Dave Simpson (born 31 March 1982 in Coffs Harbour, Australia) is a former Australian racing driver, a veteran of the Formula 1 Rejects World Race Series and has also won races in World Touring Cars. He is also credited as being one of the unluckiest Formula One drivers of the 2000's. Dave operates and has previously driven for his Simpson Motorsports operation which runs teams in the F1RWRS and F2RWRS.

Early Racing Career

Dave Simpson's racing career started at age 14, driving a Ford Cortina junior sedan at his local speedway. However, after one season he was fed up with the fighting that goes on in the pits at a speedway meeting and swapped the Cortina for a 100cc Go-kart. Simpson then dominated the local series, with 5 wins out of 7 races, which meant he qualified for the 1996 NSW state championships at Eastern Creek. In that race at Eastern Creek, he and future F1 champion Daniel Melrose caught the attention of Jeroen Krautmeir, team boss of the Precision Motorsports team, as they battled for the lead and recorded a photo finish, with Melrose edging Simpson by less than a hundredth of a second. They were accepted into the Precision Young Driver Program, and headed for the Formula C Championship in Europe. In the 1997 Formula C championship Simpson finished 3rd behind Gianluca Beggio and teammate Melrose. In 1998, Simpson held a comfortable lead going into the final round of the Formula C championship when he was taken out by one of the Ferrari junior team's drivers, and Melrose ended up winning the championship by a single point.

The Junior Formulae

Conspiracy theories arose when Melrose was then picked up by the Ferrari young driver program in 1999, the same year Simpson took an unexpected win in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and finished a distant fourth in British Formula Ford. In 2000 he entered British Formula 3, winning a round at Snetterton as well as qualifying on pole for Brands Hatch. Simpson finished 6th overall in the championship. 2001 was expected to be a landmark year for Dave Simpson in Formula 3, but a late change of plan saw him enter European Formula 3000 under a two season contract. The car he drove was regularly off the pace, scoring no points in 2001. In 2002 the situation looked the same, until a very wet race at Spa Francorchamps saw Simpson leading for most of the race until the car suffered an engine failure on the last straight, losing the win but rolling into second place.

In 2003 Simpson stepped back into a Formula 3 car for the newly formed Euro Series, and was instantly competitive, finishing on the podium in both races on the first race weekend at Hockenheim, and taking four wins at Pau, Le Mans, A1 Ring and Magny Cours to finish in second place behind fellow countryman Ryan Briscoe. Simpson continued in the F3 EuroSeries, leading the series until his major sponsor pulled out midway through the season, and like so many before him, Simpson went back to Australia with his F1 dreams shattered and a career in V8 Supercars.

2005 - V8 Supercars & Minardi F1 Drives

Simpson drove for WPS Racing at the enduro rounds alongside Alex Yoong, the pair finishing 21st at Sandown and 15th at Bathurst. Simpson then drove in the Gold Coast Indy 300 for JLD Motorsport in a one off drive for the team, and took a creditable 5th place. The one off drive turned into a drive for the rest of the season, including a 3rd place at the final round in Mexico City

For 2005 Dave was confirmed as the driver of the #5 Ford Performance Racing Falcon, sponsored by OzJet. As a publicity stunt, owner of OzJet, Paul Stoddart, gave Simpson the 3rd driver role at Minardi for the Australian GP. Simpson was involved in one of the most controversial incidents of 2005, when he was involved in an incident with Michael Schumacher in FP1. The Minardi was sent out behind the two Ferraris with a qualifying setup applied, in the hope Simpson would pass them. Instead Simpson tapped the rear of Schumacher's car and at the next corner Schumi ran the Minardi towards the fence, resulting in Simpson hitting the wall and breaking his suspension. What made this incident even more controversial was the fact that Ferrari had pulled all their backing out of Minardi when Daniel Melrose was promoted to their second driver role. The conspiracy theories from 1998-99 were seemingly proven with this incident.

Simpson filled the role of anonymous midfielder in the 2005 V8 Supercar season, scoring a best finish of 7th at the Shanghai round before leaving the team to become test driver for Minardi.

Through his brief foray in ChampCar Simpson had picked up some American sponsors, who had convinced the Minardi team to enter Simpson in the second car at Indianapolis. As we all know, the USGP of 2005 was a shambles, with only the six Bridgestone-shod cars racing. Everyone was disappointed about this, especially the crowd, who threw bottles onto the track in protest. Even Minardi and Jordan were disappointed, despite this being a rare chance for scoring points. On lap 9 it started to drizzle, with the rain hitting harder at lap 28, with pitstops coming at lap 33, except for Schumacher and Karthikeyan, who stayed out and paid the price for it. Schumacher fell to third. Simpson continued in second, desperately holding off the seven-time world champion in an underpowered Minardi for the remaining half of the race, and gave the crowd something to cheer for. The podium celebrations for Ferrari were muted, taking their trophies and walking off. Simpson however stayed on the podium, which finally gave the crowd something to cheer about. Melrose then disobeyed orders from Ferrari to go back to the garage, and walked back to the podium to help his close friend celebrate his first podium result in F1, in a move that eventually got him sacked from the Ferrari team as part of a chain of events that took place within the team.

2006 - WTCC & Midland testing

Simpson ran a limited schedule in World Touring Cars in a privately owned Peugeot 407, entering four rounds. He won Race 2 at Magny Cours and Race 2 at Brands Hatch. Simpson then left WTCC after being offered a Midland test drive by Colin Kolles.

2007 - Spyker & BMW Sauber

In 2007 the American sponsors had meant that Simpson edged out Dutchman Christijan Albers for the second Spyker drive that season. The team had just gone through it's second ownership change in recent years and not much was expected of them. Simpson kept up his end of the deal however by finishing all the races he did for Spyker. This proved to be especially important at Monaco as through all the chaos Simpson held off Juan Pablo Montoya in the Toyota for the duration of the race to score 6th place at the Principality plus an 8th place for teammate Adrian Sutil, also at Monaco, meant that Spyker finished 10th in the constructors championship ahead of Super Aguri. After the French Grand Prix Simpson was sacked by the Spyker team citing that one of his American sponsors hadn't paid up. Spanish driver Phoenix McAllister was brought in as a replacement.

This was a blessing in disguise however as the Australian was picked up by BMW Sauber to be the team's third driver amidst strong rumours that then thrid driver Timo Glock was heading for Toyota for the 2008 season. This led to several practice appearances for Simpson once Melrose had wrapped up the championship. This led to a race drive for the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix after Robert Kubica's monster smash the race before. BMW were in a fierce battle with McLaren for the constructors championship and had to score 11 points at Brazil to ensure McLaren had no hope at the championship. Melrose did his bit by winning the race while Simpson finished 7th to score the extra points needed to win the constructor's for BMW.

2008, 2009 - BMW Sauber Test Driver

After his result at Brazil substituting for the injured Kubica, BMW gave the lead test driver role to Simpson for 2008. Dave was immediately fast in the F1.08, sometimes posting faster times than Melrose throughout the off-season. However that was due to the car not exactly being to Melrose's liking. Simpson was given Friday duties for all but two races in 2008, alternating between taking over Melrose's and Kubica's cars at each race.

Simpson was retained for 2009, being very instrumental in the development for the F1.09 as he had a very similar driving style to Melrose. In fact, Dave was the driver who drove the most miles during winter testing. The pace of the F1.09 in the hands of Melrose reflected this, as he won the first ten races of the season on his way to his fourth world championship.

When Melrose announced his shock defection to breakaway series F1RWRS, Simpson was set to become the new second driver for BMW as he had signed the contract for the 2010 season. However, this was not the case when at the end of the season, BMW quit F1, citing financial reasons. Simpson was devastated, as he was out of a drive and the only teams looking for drivers were the 3 new teams. He reluctantly defected to the F1RWRS, where he became Melrose's teammate at JLD Motorsport.

Simpson was rewarded for his dedication and efforts to the team however by being promoted to race duties alongside Melrose for the final 4 races of the 2009 season in BMW's bid to beat the Brawn team to the constructors championship. Bad luck and unreliability however stopped from scoring any points let alone finishes in the last 4 races despite being in podium contention for three of them which cost BMW a chance at stealing the constructors title from Brawn.

2010 - BMW Sauber

For 2010 Simpson remained in F1 thanks to a 11th hour deal with Peter Sauber, who had regained ownership of his team after BMW left.

F1RWRS

2010

After Simpson's departure from BMW, Simpson was one of the highest-rated drivers in the F1RWRS field. Simpson's debut at the 2010 F1RWRS German Grand Prix was disappointing but Simpson made up for it one race later, winning the 2010 F1RWRS Luxembourg Grand Prix. It was his first win in a major series since 2003 and Simpson celebrated, his luck apparently turning for the better. However, the rest of Simpson's season was mixed; he took three wins but only finished seventh in the championship with 33 points.

Other than an eighth place at the Tasman Grand Prix, all of Simpson's points came in the form of victories. Because of the consistency-based points system of the 2010 season, Simpson's position in the championship was hurt but he impressed many who had underestimated his talents. Simpson became the first driver to win multiple F1RWRS races and the first Australian driver to win an F1RWRS race.

His three wins (most of any driver that season) all came in dramatic fashion. The 2010 F1RWRS Luxembourg Grand Prix saw him hold off a charging Luca Pacchiarini to win by 1.9 seconds. His second win at the 2010 F1RWRS Chinese Grand Prix fell directly into his hands as James Davies' tyre exploded with only two laps to go, gifting Simpson a win. The 2010 F1RWRS Belgian Grand Prix was perhaps the most dramatic as leader Gary Cameron and Pacchiarini took each other off the track on the final lap, again gifting Simpson an incredible win.

2011

2011 saw another up and down season. The British GP was arguably his finest ever result in F1RWRS, following up a great start with blistering pace throughout the race to win by almost one minute. However it would be the only time he would finish on the podium that season - and immediate decline in performance meant the team fell foul of the qualifying rules more often than not where anyone and anybody could be eliminated by Friday Afternoon - which he failed to escape from in his home round of Australia. He had scored one more point than the previous season, but with an extra 6 races on the calendar compared to the previous year it meant slipping to a shared 8th place in the drivers championship.

2012

Simpson's second season with Australian Minardi was a disaster. 3rd in Adelaide and 5th at Oschersleben were his only points of the season. He spent most of the season finishing outside the Top 10, and even failed to pass pre-qualifying three times. At the end of the season, the team folded, and he moved on to Prospec.

2013

After moving to the twice former champions Prospec, it looked like Simpson would finally have the chance to regain his early career form. However, Prospec were a team in decline, and it showed in the results. The season started in reasonable fashion, with four points scoring results in the opening four races of the season - including a year best 3rd in Australia.

However from there it went downhill - 6th in Britain would be both his and his team's final points of the season, and eventually failing to qualify twice in the second half of the season. To his credit, he blew his team-mate Gary Cameron out of the water, outscoring the Brit 10 points to 2.

2014

Prospec retained Simpson for the following season, however after three races and no points, team and driver agreed to part ways to allow pay-driver Jean-Luc Schiller to step in.

He was then able to secure a one-off deal for the Monaco Grand Prix with Virgin Melrose Racing Team, the latest incarnation of the former JLD team which former teammate and good friend Daniel Melrose had taken over. In one of the most chatoic races in the history of the sport, Simpson had climbed all the way to second place in the torrential rain and puddle-filled Monaco track, but unfortunately the BMW engine in the back of his car did not go the distance and he retired.

Simpson was then signed up by Scuderia Alitalia, who had just taken control of the former Trueba Racing Team after the Monaco weekend. As a replacement for Fredo Mestolio, Simpson drove the second car for the French and British GP weekends but left the team in acrimonious circumstances and was replaced by Darren Older Jr.

Without a drive, Simpson was left on the sidelines but stepped in once again at MRT as the team struggled with Nathanael Spencer's erratic form. Dave drove the car in the Mediterranean Grand Prix, but as in Monaco he retired from the race. Spencer re-assumed his seat for the following event.

At the final race of the year, the Alitalia team called up Simpson to return to the team for one final race, after Older Jr had left, ensuring the team would incur a hefty financial penalty if they ran a sixth driver that season. Simpson agreed to the deal, but it mattered little as the team failed to clear pre-qualifying.

2015

For 2015, Dave returned to team management, and entered the F1RWRS with his Simpson Motorsports team which he had established for the F2RWRS in 2014. Whilst he had signed fellow Australians Daniel Melrose and Mitchell Macklin to drive his cars, Macklin was forced to carry out a one race ban for events from the previous year, and so for the season-opening Tasman Grand Prix, Simpson drove the new car. It was off the pace however and neither driver qualified, a trend that would continue throughout the year. Melrose left the team after the fourth race in an attempt to find himself a more competitive drive, and Simpson returned to the cockpit to take his place, driving for six races from Mexico to Belgium, failing to qualify for them all. At this point, Simpson was able to hire Saudi pay driver Saeed Al Faisal who had been released from ArrowTech and Al Faisal took over from Dave for the rest of the year as the team tried to raise the finance to fund an improved car for 2016.

Other Motorsports

With the World Rally Championship moving the Australian Rally from Kingscliff to Simpson's hometown of Coffs Harbour, he expressed interest in making a one-off appearance at the 2011 Rally Australia. Thanks to his long-standing connections with BMW, they gave him one of their new Mini Clubman WRC cars to wring the neck out of. Simpson used the car with great effect to win Stage 5 of the event before eventually finishing 4th for the rally, behind first time winner Henning Solberg, Mirko Hirvonen and Sebastien Loeb.

Complete Formula One Grand Prix results

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 WDC Points
2005 Minardi Cosworth Minardi PS04B Cosworth CK2004 AUS
TD
MAL BHR =19th 8
Minardi PS05 Cosworth TJ2005 SME ESP MON EUR CAN USA
2
FRA GBR GER HUN TUR ITA BEL BRA JPN CHN
2007 Etihad Aldar Spyker F1 Team Spyker F8-VII Ferrari 055 AUS
22
MAL
21
BAH
18
ESP
17
MON
6
CAN
16
USA
19
FRA
19
GBR
20
17th 5
BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.07 BMW P86/7 EUR HUN TUR ITA BEL
TD
JPN CHN
TD
BRA
7
2008 BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.08 BMW P86/8 AUS
TD
MAL
TD
BHR
TD
ESP
TD
TUR
TD
MON
TD
CAN
TD
FRA
TD
GBR
TD
GER
TD
HUN
TD
EUR BEL
TD
ITA
TD
SIN JPN
TD
CHN
TD
BRA
TD
NC 0
2009 BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.09 BMW P86/9 AUS
TD
MAL
TD
CHN
TD
BHR
TD
ESP
TD
MON
TD
TUR
TD
GBR
TD
GER
TD
HUN
TD
EUR
TD
BEL
TD
ITA
TD
SIN
Ret
JPN
Ret
BRA
Ret
ABU
Ret
31st 0
2010 BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber C29 Ferrari 056 BHR
15
AUS
Ret
MAL
Ret
CHN
14
ESP
10
MON
7
TUR
10
CAN
13
EUR
14
GBR
Ret
GER
13
HUN
Ret
BEL
4
ITA
Ret
SIN
11†
JPN
Ret
KOR
17
BRA
11
ABU
7†
13th 26

Complete F1RWRS Results

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 DC Pts
2010 JLD Motorsport JLD 01 Porsche 366 GER
14
LUX
1
SAX
11
CHN
1
TAS
8
BHR
16
BEL
1
GBR
15
AUS
13
7th 33
2011 Australian Minardi Minardi PS04B Cosworth V10 BAV
4
GER
12
SAX
5
LUX
Ret
BEL
10
GBR
1
ENG
Ret
KEN
Ret
NED
18
TAS
18
AUS
DNPQ
NSW
DSQ
SUR
4
CHN
18*
USA
5
=8th 34
2012 OzJet Team Minardi Australia Minardi PS04C BMW P86/12 BAV
DNPQ
SAX
5
GER
13
19th 14
European Aviation Team Minardi Australia Minardi PS10 LUX
Ret
BEL
10
NED
16
GBR
DNPQ
KEN
16
ENG
DNPQ
TAS
3
SUR
13
NSW
24
AUS
Ret
CHN
21
USA
10
500
13
2013 Prospec Prospec PRS 291 Lamborghini 3512 TAS
6
AUS
3
MEX
4
USA
6
MON
Ret
FRA
8
GBR
6
GER
11
NED
Ret
BEL
14*
POR
DNQ
MED
Ret
MAC
DNQ
CHN
17
JPN
19
BRA
Ret
=13th 10
2014 Pemberton Prospec Racing Prospec PRS 301 Lamborghini 3512 TAS
7
AUS
9
BRA
11
MEX USA =26th 0
Virgin Melrose Racing Team BMW MRT M5 BMW P89 MON
Ret
MED
Ret
NED MAC CHN
Scuderia Trueba Alitalia Trueba Alitalia TA-14 Ford HB I FRA
Ret
GBR
DNPQ
GER BEL ITA JPN
DNPQ
2015 Gulf Simpson Motorsports Simpson GSM-010 BMW P89/NA TAS
DNQ
AUS MED MON MEX
DNPQ
USA
DNPQ
CAN
DNPQ
GBR
DNPQ
GER
DNPQ
BEL
DNPQ
AUT ITA NED CHN JPN BRA =24th* 0*
  • * Season in Progress
  • † Driver did not finish the Grand Prix, but was classified as they completed over 90% of the race distance