- Johnny Herbert
John Paul Herbert (born
25 June 1964in Romford, London, England) is a British former racing driverfrom England. He competed in Formula One, winning three races, and also in sports cars winning the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1991 driving a Mazda 787B. He enjoyed much success in lower-level motor racing but never managed to achieve the same level of performance at the top level of motorsport.
During the mid-1980s, Johnny Herbert was widely regarded as a coming man of
motor racing, comparable to the Scot Jim Clark. Winning the Formula FordFestival at Brands Hatchin 1985, Herbert caught Eddie Jordan's attention, and together they won the 1987 British Formula Threetitle. Disaster struck in 1988, though, as Herbert, then a championship hopeful in International Formula 3000was caught up in a major accident at Brands Hatch, badly breaking his legs in a fearsome impact with the barriers. It was an act of huge bravery that saw him back in a racing car at the beginning of 1989, despite the fact he could barely walk. Even more remarkably, he was now in Formula 1, scoring points on his debut in Brazildriving for the Benetton team, then managed by his long time mentor and friend Peter Collins.
However, Herbert's performances could not keep up that standard, and with the Benetton team under new management, he was dropped after failing to qualify for the
Canadian Grand Prix. Herbert returned to Formula 3000, this time in the highly regarded Japanese series. It wasn't long before he received another call from Grand Prix racing, this time Tyrrell. From 1990 to 2000, Herbert was a fixture in Formula One, switching to the dwindling Lotus team, now managed by Peter Collins. After 3 years of frustration, Herbert left Lotus in mid 1994, joining Ligierand then Benetton for the last few races of the season. Although he failed to score any points in 1994, he was retained as Michael Schumacher's team-mate for 1995. At the British Grand Prix, he inherited a hugely popular Grand Prix win after Michael Schumachercollided with Damon Hill. He followed this in similar circumstances at Monza, finishing 4th in the championship. After being dropped by Benetton, Herbert drove for Swiss outfit Sauberin 1996-1998, scoring two podium places. Moving to Stewart Grand Prixin 1999, he scored his third and final Grand Prix win in a remarkable wet/dry European Grand Prix. Staying at Stewart after the team was purchased by Ford and became Jaguar, Herbert endured another frustrating and pointless season, ending the year being stretchered off at Malaysia after a suspension failure caused him to crash heavily.
Since retiring from Grand Prix racing, Herbert has concentrated on Sports Cars, trying to repeat his Le Mans 24 Hours overall win of 1991. Recent years have seen him as one of the front runners in the
American Le Mans Series(ALMS), where he won several events and was a challenger for the 2003 crown.
In 2005, Herbert was appointed to the post of Sporting Relations Manager at
Jordan Grand Prix, which was then renamed Midland F1for the 2006 World Championship. However, in September of that year Spyker Carsbought the team, and renamed it Spyker MF1. Another of the new owners' decisions was to not renew Herbert's contract.
In 2007, Herbert entered the Le Mans 24 Hours driving for the factory
Aston Martinteam at the wheel of the Aston Martin DBR9in the GT1 class. Herbert, along with Peter Koxand Tomáš Engedrove the 007 numbered car to a 9th placed overall finish and 4th in the GT1 class.
In 2008, Herbert won the first season of the
Complete Formula One results
() (Races in bold indicate pole position)
* [http://www.johnnyherbert.co.uk/ Herbert's website]
* [http://www.4mula1.ro/history/driver/Johnny_Herbert Johnny Herbert statistics]
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