Valentino Nicchi

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Valentino Nicchi
Nationality Flag of the Vatican City svg.png Vaticani
Born 30 October 1956
Vatican City
Formula One World Championship career
Debut Season 1980
Final Season 1980
Teams Restov
Races 11
Championships 0
Victories 0
Podiums 1
Points 5
Pole Positions 0
Fastest Laps 0
First Race 1980 Brazilian Grand Prix
First Victory N/A
Final Victory N/A
Final Race 1980 European Grand Prix
Best Finish NC (1980)
Life GP career
Debut Season 1991
Final Season 1992
Teams The Crusaders
Races 10 (3 starts)
Championships 0
Victories 0
Podiums 0
Points 0
Pole Positions 0
Fastest Laps 0
First Race 1991 Life 日本グランプリ
First Victory N/A
Final Victory N/A
Final Race 1992 Life SuperPrix de Suisse
Best Finish 48th (1991)


Valentino Nicchi (born October 30, 1956 in Vatican City) is a former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and Formula One driver. He is well known for being Vatican City's first racing driver aswell as being one of the few people to have raced in both motorcycle and Formula One Grand Prix.

Career

Automobile racing history

After the 1978 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season, Valentino decided to quit motorcycling to pursue an auto racing career. He made his 4-wheel racing debut in the 1979 Formula Two Championship, scoring 5 podiums and finishing his first season in 5th. He was probably best known that year for a huge crash at Hockenheim where he went into a barrel roll. His performances impressed enough that he was offered a test/reserve role at Restov Racing in Formula One for the 1980 season and he immediately signed.

Formula One

On his first F1 test at Silverstone, Valentino performed respectively, finishing the session just under 3 tenths slower than one of the regular drivers.

Nicchi made his debut on March 30, 1980 at the Brazilian Grand Prix, driving car number 37 as a replacement for the banned Beppe Gabbiani. He qualified an impressive 16th on his debut, outqualifying his more experienced teammate Gianfranco Brancatelli, before retiring with brake failure.

Gabbiani was banned again after the Belgian Grand Prix for six races, he was fired from the team and Valentino was promoted to the second race seat with immediate effect. His season was marred by severe unreliability as he retired from 9 out of his 11 races, mostly due to car unreliability. His first finish was a surprise 3rd place at Ireland after starting a career-best 5th.

Life GP

On October 1991, Valentino bought a Life L190 to compete in the Life GP Series after watching the series on TV. His team was entered as a non-championship entry for the last round at Japan. Valentino lined up 29th his debut in Suzuka before crashing off at 130R. For the next race, a non-championship round at Brazil, Valentino's reserve driver for the upcoming season Marcus Kun was entered in a 2nd car. The race saw both cars running well in 11th and 13th before Kun retired with suspension problems and was then hit by Frédéric-Maxime Voeckler and Valentino. Valentino recovered to finish the race in 7th.

For '92 Nicchi immediately decided to pour almost all off the team's money into engine reliability. Because of this the car lacked qualifying pace and failed to make the grid for the first 9 races, fortunately the car finally made it for the Swiss SuperPrix as all cars could automatically qualify for the race on the big Le Mans grid, despite supposedly having the most reliable car, he retired.

IndyCar

By now, Nicchi was bored of the LGPS, lacking motivation after failing to qualify for race after race. He decided to move to the IndyCar series with his own team using a Lola chassis. He qualified a fine 13th in Nazareth before crashing out on lap 65 in an accident with Michael Andretti. In Laguna Seca he started a brilliant 2nd but dropped to 8th by the end.

The Crusaders

Valentino originally founded The Crusaders to allow him to compete in the Life GP Series. Since then it's expanded to many other motorsports. Full Article

Complete racing results

Motorcycle Grand Prix Results

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Points 15 12 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1

(Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Class Team Machine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Points Rank Wins
1976 250cc Yamaha TZ250 FRA
-
NAT
2
IOM
2
NED
2
BEL
3
SWE
1
FIN
2
CZE
3
GER
7
ESP
-
73 2nd 1
350cc Yamaha TZ350 FRA
4
AUT
-
NAT
10
YUG
3
IOM
9
NED
-
FIN
-
CZE
11
GER
4
ESP
-
28 7th 0
500cc Yamaha TZ500 FRA
-
AUT
WD
NAT
-
IOM
4
NED
-
BEL
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
CZE
-
GER
-
8 26th 0
1977 250cc Yamaha TZ250 VEN
-
GER
-
NAT
8
ESP
1
FRA
8
YUG
2
NED
6
BEL
2
SWE
4
FIN
-
CZE
-
GBR
-
58 4th 1
350cc Yamaha TZ350 VEN
-
GER
1
NAT
3
ESP
3
FRA
1
YUG
1
NED
-
SWE
1
FIN
1
CZE
-
GBR
-
95 1st 5
1978 350cc Yamaha TZ350 VEN
1
AUT
3
FRA
-
NAT
3
NED
-
SWE
3
FIN
2
GBR
-
GER
1
CZE
-
YUG
-
77 2nd 2
500cc Yamaha TZ500 VEN
-
ESP
3
AUT
-
FRA
-
NAT
-
NED
4
BEL
6
SWE
3
FIN
2
GBR
9
GER
5
53 5th 0

Complete European Formula Two Championship results

(Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Pos Pts
1979 San Remo Racing March/792 BMW SIL
6
HOC
6
THR
5
NÜR
3
VAL
Ret
MUG
Ret
PAU
2
HOC
Ret
ZAN
3
PER
Ret
MIS
3
DON
2
5th 28

Complete Formula One Results

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Points
1980 Gazprom Restov Racing Restov RS11 Lada Turbo AUS RSA BRA
Ret
BEL FRA
Ret
MON
Ret
SUI
Ret
USA
Ret
CAN
Ret
IRE
3
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
EUR
13
AUT
Ret
ITA JAP USE 15th 5

Complete Life GP Series Results

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 NC DC Pts
1991 The Crusaders ESP AND FRA ITA AUT CZE GER SWE BEL SUI LUX EUR GBR ENG POR USE USW JPN
Ret
BRA
7
48th 0
1992 The Crusaders ARG
DNQ
BRA
DNQ
ESP
DNQ
FRA
DNQ
ITA
DNQ
AUT
DNQ
CZE
DNQ
FIN
DNQ
GER
DNQ
SUI
Ret
BEL NED ENG GBR CAN USE USW JPN AUS 47th 0

American Open-Wheel racing results

CART

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Rank Points
1992 The Crusaders SRF PHX LBH INDY DET POR MIL NHA TOR MCH CLE ROA VAN MDO NAZ
Ret
LAG
8
25th 5