Robert Doornbos

Robert Doornbos

Infobox racing driver
name = Robert Doornbos

pixels = 200px
caption =
nationality = flagicon|NED Dutch
date of birth = Birth date and age|1981|09|23
place of birth = Rotterdam
related to =
current series = Superleague Formula
first year = 2008
current team = A.C. Milan
car number = 3
former teams =
starts = 4
wins = 1
poles = 1
fastest laps = 0
best finish =
year =
prev series =
prev series years =
titles =
title years =
awards =
award years =

Former F1 driver
Years = F1|2005 - F1|2006
Team(s) = Minardi, Red Bull Racing
Races = 11
Championships = 0
Wins = 0
Podiums = 0
Points = 0
Poles = 0
Fastest laps = 0
First race = 2005 German Grand Prix
First win =
Last win =
Last race = 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix

Robert Michael Doornbos (Pronunciation|RobertDoornbos.ogg) (born September 23 1981) is a Dutch racing driver. He has been test and third driver for the Jordan and Red Bull Racing Formula One teams, as well as driving for Minardi and Red Bull Racing in 2005 and 2006. Doornbos then drove for Minardi Team USA in the 2007 and final season of the Champ Car World Series, and will compete in the Super League Formula racing series in 2008, as well as representing the Netherlands for A1GP

Tennis Player to Racing Driver

Born in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Doornbos' first sport was tennis, and he competed at semi-professional national level in the Netherlands. His interest in motorsport grew after he was invited to the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix as a guest of WilliamsF1. It was 1997 Formula One Champion Jacques Villeneuve who suggested that he should go for a series such as Formula Ford, as he was too big and too old to race karts. He gave up tennis and focused on racing, joining the JR racing team for the 1999 Opel Lotus UK Winter series. He had a successful season, finishing second in the championship after taking four pole positions, four fastest laps and four wins. In 2000, he competed in the Formula Ford Zetec Benelux series, finishing 2nd in the Belgian championship and 5th overall with one pole, three fastest laps and six podiums.

Formula 3 career

Returning to the UK in 2001, Doornbos contested the Scholarship class of the British Formula 3 championship with FGR Racing. He finished the year fifth in the championship, taking two poles, two wins and nine podiums. He drew attention to himself with a second place finish in the Formula 3 support race to the British Grand Prix. He then moved to the German Formula 3 championship with Team Ghinzani. He picked up four podiums, but no win. The year also featured a sixth place finish in the prestigious Macau Grand Prix. Continuing with the team in 2003, Doornbos competed in the European Formula 3 Championship, visiting the podium seven times. He took pole position at Spa-Francorchamps for the F3 Masters event, and finished 2nd in Korea.

Formula 3000

With support from Red Bull, Doornbos joined reigning Formula 3000 champions Arden International for the 2004 FIA International Formula 3000 Championship. Partnered with Vitantonio Liuzzi, Doornbos claimed Rookie of the Year after finishing third in the championship. During the year, he took a fastest lap and four podium finishes, including a race win at Spa-Francorchamps.

Formula One

Test Driver - Jordan

Prior to the 2004 Chinese Grand Prix, it was announced that Doornbos would be the official Friday test driver for the Jordan F1 team, replacing Timo Glock, who had been promoted to race duties in place of Giorgio Pantano, whose sponsorship money had "dried up". Doornbos impressed as test driver for the final few races of the season, and was reappointed with the newly-sold Jordan team for the 2005 season.

Doornbos completed Friday testing duties for Jordan in all but two of the first 11 events of the year, with French Renault F1 test driver Franck Montagny testing at the European Grand Prix, and Jordan being banned from using a third car at the Canadian Grand Prix after using too many tyres at the previous race.

Race Driver - Minardi

On July 19, Doornbos was appointed as a Minardi race driver for the 2005 German Grand Prix onwards, replacing Austrian Patrick Friesacher, who had encountered sponsorship issues. In his first Formula 1 race, he collided with Jacques Villeneuve, the man who gave advice to Doornbos to start his career as a race driver. Doornbos raced a total of eight Grand Prix for the team, his best result being a 13th position in the Turkish and Belgian Grands Prix.

Doornbos and teammate Christijan Albers became the first all-Dutch team line-up since Carel Godin de Beaufort and Ben Pon drove together for the Ecurie Maarsbergen team at the 1962 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort. The teammates, however, were not the best of friends, which made the internal competition only more interesting. As Doornbos became more adapted to the car, he came closer to his teammate and in the last few races, was often the faster of the two.

Red Bull

The Minardi team ceased to exist in its previous form at the end of 2005, being bought out by Red Bull and becoming their Scuderia Toro Rosso team. Doornbos was unable to find a race drive for 2006, but Christian Horner, his former F3000 boss, had since been appointed as Sporting Director of Red Bull Racing, where he was appointed the team's test and reserve driver.

He thus spent most of 2006 testing at the racetracks on Fridays, ready to step into a race drive if either David Coulthard or Christian Klien are unable to race. In his role as the Red Bull test driver, he once more showed his talents as a racing driver. In the majority of the Grand Prix tests on Fridays, he was to be found in the top 10, and a number of times he achieved a top 3 time.

At the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix, he was involved in a controversial incident with Fernando Alonso, which resulted in the Spaniard incurring a two-second qualiying penalty.

After the Italian Grand Prix, when Klien announced he would no longer be driving for Red Bull Racing, Doornbos was promoted to the second racing seat alongside Coulthard for the remaining three races. [cite web|url=| article dated September 11, 2006|accessdate=2007-06-03] He entered with a bang by qualifying in the top 10 for his first race, in China. However, he touched Robert Kubica at the first corner during the race and the delay restricted him to 12th place at the finish.

He was subsequently signed as one of the team's test drivers for F1|2007, alongside Michael Ammermüller, [cite news| title = Doornbos and Ammermueller both named as Red Bull testers | publisher| url =| date =2006-01-26| accessdate =2006-01-26] with Coulthard and Mark Webber taking the race seats.

Formula One Demonstrations

In his role as Formula One test- and racing driver, Robert Doornbos has given several demonstrations, both on tracks during other race events, as well as on public road. In the Netherlands, he has driven a Formula 1 car on public roads twice. In 2005, he was one of the drivers of the Monaco aan de Maas event in his hometown of Rotterdam. On August 15, 2006, he made the news with a fundraiser for the children of the 'Stichting Geluk en Vrijheid' (Foundation Happiness and Freedom). At a speed of 326 km/h (204 mph), he drove his Red Bull Formula One Car over the highway A7 on the Afsluitdijk in the Netherlands. [cite web|url=|title=Video of the demonstration|accessdate=2007-06-03]

Renault demonstrations (2008)

On May 30, 2008, a test is planned for Robert Doornbos to test the Renault R28 Formula One racing car on the Silverstone Circuit. This test is for Robert to get acquainted with the car, which he will show in 4 streetdemonstrations for the team later this year, in Rotterdam, Moscow and 2 other locations. [] This is made possible because of the mutual sponsor ING, and both parties say that it does not imply that Robert Doornbos will be race in Grand Prix for Renault.

Champ Car World Series

Champ Car driver
Name = Robert Doornbos
Nationality = flagicon|NED Dutch
Car number = 14
Team = Minardi Team USA | Races = 14
Championships = 0
Wins = 2
Podiums = 6
Poles = 0
First race = 2007 Las Vegas Grand Prix
Last race = 2007 Gran Premio Tecate
First win = 2007 Champ Car Mon-Tremblant
Latest win = 2007 San Jose

After missing a racing seat for the 2007 Formula One season, Robert Doornbos signed a contract with Minardi Team USA for the 2007 Champ Car World Series season. He made a successful debut in the series in the first race of the season, the Vegas Grand Prix. After qualifying 3rd, Doornbos finished on the podium, taking 2nd place in the race. This made him the first rookie since Nigel Mansell in 1993 to make it to the podium in his first Champ Car-race. A drive through penalty in 2007 Grand Prix of Cleveland quite possibly cost Robert a chance at his first Champ Car victory, but he still managed a fine second place behind Paul Tracy. One week later, however, Robert won the 2007 Mont-Tremblant Grand Prix in Canada and as a result took the joint lead of the championship with Sébastien Bourdais. After scoring this victory, the ESPN broadcast team dubbed him "Bobby D" - a nickname he reportedly enjoys. He later went on to win the 2007 San Jose Grand Prix after an accident during the first lap on turn one left him without his front wing. The accident inadvertently put him on an alternate pit strategy that he used to his advantage and secured the win. Although he impressed many fans and drivers alike with his personality and driving style, Doornbos would end up 3rd in points at season's end, although he did win Roshfrans Rookie of the Year. After the merger of the CCWS and the Indy Car Series was announced for 2008, Minardi elected not to take part, leaving Doornbos without a drive for 2008.

uperleague Formula

After failing to secure a seat with competitive teams in the IRL, and refusing to drive for uncompetitive teams, Doornbos opted to sit out the 2008 season in search for a competitive seat in 2009. It was announced on May 21st 2008 that Doornbos will drive for A.C. Milan in the Superleague Formula, a newly created racing series where the cars are sponsored by football clubs. The A.C Milan club's technical director is the son of Giancarlo Minardi, former owner of the Minardi Formula One team under its take over by Paul Stoddart.

Motorsports Career Results

Career summary


() (Races in bold indicate pole position)

uperleague Formula

*Season in progress


External links

* [ The official website for Robert Doornbos]
* [ Robert Doornbos profile and statistics]
* [ Robert Doornbos career statistics] at Driver Database

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