Leonhard von Gottorp

From F1 Alternate
Jump to: navigation, search

Template:Infobox Racing Driver

Leonhard Von Gottorp (born 9 January 1941 in Hanover, Lower Saxony, died 4 October 2014 in Shanghai, China) was a German racing driver who has raced in Formula One and in F1RWRS. At 73 years of age, he was the oldest driver in the history of the latter series and the oldest driver in any major open-wheel racing series.

Early Life

Being born into the remnants of German royality, the Gottorp family managed to save their wealth from the many changes at the end of WW2. With said wealth, Von Gottorp enjoyed a fine education and started to race in minor series after being invited by a friend of his. In the winter of 1966, Von Gottorp started planning entering a few Formula 1 races in the following year. For that purpose, he bought a used Cooper and prepared to enter F1.

Formula 1 Career

In his first race he impressed whilst battling with Chris Amon on his debut in France before both cars retired. Despite failing to qualify for the 1967 German Grand Prix, Rob Walker offered him a car for the 1968 F1 Grand Prix. Von Gottorp returned to the grid for the Italian Grand Prix and managed to score a point, profiting from many retirements, an erratic performance by Chris Amon and a late-race spin by Jacky Ickx. In 1968, Von Gottorp earnt a reputation as a top driver with him being able to battle and beat Jim Clark in South Africa before scoring a pole position in Monaco. Sadly technical issues made it impossible for him to challenge for the world championship. The downfall of Rob Walker's team ruined his chance though with three DNQs and only four points in the next two years. Von Gottorp then disappeared of the face of the Earth for a year before attempting an unsuccessful F1 comeback with a BRM in 1972. He realised afterwards that his career in F1 was over.

F1RWRS Career: 2014

Despite being de facto long-time retired from motor racing with a few unsuccessful appearances in the 2012 Lotus Racing League season as well as a moderately succesful career in F1RGP2C in the ninties, Von Gottorp approached Tropico Grand Prix when the team announced their intention to replace Darren Older Jr.. Using the last bit of his once impressive financial assets and a minor sponsorship deal with internet service provider 1&1, the old German bought the seat and was due to debut at the Belgian Grand Prix. Older left the team on his own terms before the Norisring weekend, joining Scuderia Alitalia. This propelled him in the car a week before his planned debut. He showed that he has not unlearnt driving fast, giving rookie Miko Fäkkinen a hard time in both pratice and pre-qualifying, forcing the Finn to bring up the rear. He followed his impressive debut by using the full extent of his experience in the wet Spa pre-qualifying, pushing the inferior Tropican car to 11th place in one of the best laps of the year, beating his team mate by almost 10 seconds. After that impressive performance, reality struck back and the German driver failed to leave the bottom half of the pre-qualifying grid.

Death

Von Gottorp died on October 4, 2014 in his hotel room, in Shanghai, China, after a maid found him not responding to her knocking. Paramedics suspected that Von Gottorp may have been died due to his old age. A memorial service have been scheduled for him after the race, and the 2014 Chinese Grand Prix was held with a one-minute silence before the start.

Complete Career results

Complete Formula One Grand Prix results

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 WDC Points
1967 Leonhard Von Gottorp Cooper T79 Climax Straight-4 RSA ESP MON BEL NED FRA
Ret
GBR GER
DNQ
ITA
6
CAN USA MEX 25th 1
1968 Rob Walker Racing Team Lotus 49 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 RSA
1
ESP
Ret
MON
2
BEL
Ret
NED
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
8
GER
Ret
ITA
Ret
CAN
6
USA
Ret
MEX
Ret
7th 16
1969 Rob Walker Racing Team Lotus 49B Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 RSA
Ret
ESP
Ret
MON
Ret
NED
9†
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
DNQ
ITA
Ret
CAN
Ret
USA
7
MEX
5
16th 2
1970 Rob Walker Racing Team Lotus 72C Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 RSA
7
ESP
7
MON
7
MEX
7
NED
7
FRA
DNQ
GBR
6
GER
DNQ
AUT
Ret
ITA
Ret
CAN
9
USA
6
MEX
Ret
22nd 2
1972 Marlboro BRM BRM P180 BRM P142 3.0 V12 ARG RSA ESP MON BEL
Ret
FRA GBR GER AUT ITA CAN USA NC 0
  • † Driver did not finish the Grand Prix, but was classified as they completed over 90% of the race distance.

Complete F1RWRS results

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
2014 Tropico Grand Prix Tropico TGP001 Yamaha OX88 TAS AUS BRA MEX USA MON FRA GBR GER
DNPQ
BEL
DNPQ
ITA
DNPQ
MED
DNPQ
NED
DNPQ
MAC
DNPQ
CHN
DNPQ
JPN =26th 0