Dutch courage

By on Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Van der Garde will be the first Dutch driver in six years. Caterham F1 Team

The Netherlands isn’t a country synonymous with motor-racing. Sure, there was Spyker – briefly – and a fantastic circuit in Zandvoort, but Giedo van der Garde will become only the fifteenth Dutchman in history to start a race when the lights go out in Australia next month. We take a look back at some of the other fourteen Dutch drivers to start a race.

Christijan Albers

  • Years active: 2005-7
  • Teams: Minardi, Midland, Spyker
  • Races: 46
  • Best result: 5th
  • Points: 4

F1’s most recent Dutchman raced for minnows Minardi, Midland and Spyker between 2005 and the middle of 2007. Albers arrived in the sport after success in DTM and coped as well as could have been expected in the Minardi PS05, finishing fifth in the six car US Grand Prix, his only points in the sport. Albers moved across to Midland for 2006 and the team morphed into Spyker by the end of the season. Albers’s most famous moment came at the 2007 French Grand Prix, when he left the pits with his fuel hose still attached, a move which Niki Lauda described as the stupidest thing he’d ever seen in the sport. Having been outperformed all season by rookie team-mate Adrian Sutil, Albers hung on for one more race after which he was dropped due to his lack of sponsorship money.

Robert Doornbos

  • Years active: 2005-6
  • Teams: Minardi, Red Bull
  • Races: 11
  • Best result: 12th
  • Points: 0

Doornbos was given his chance in F1 by Minardi in the middle of 2005, having acted as Jordan’s test driver since 2004. Doornbos joined fellow Dutchman Albers at the team and had the match of his compatriot by the end of the season. Minardi was purchased by Red Bull, leaving Doornbos without a seat but he remained with the drinks company into 2006. Red Bull dropped Christian Klien with three races remaining of 2006, with Doornbos replacing the Austrian for those events. Doornbos qualified in the top ten in China but failed to score a point and couldn’t find a seat for 2007.

Giedo van der Garde will be the Netherlands's 15th F1 driver. Caterham F1 Team.

Carel Godin de Beaufort

  • Years active: 1957-64
  • Teams: Ecurie Maarsbergen, Scuderia Ugolini
  • Races: 31
  • Best result: 6th
  • Points: 4

De Beaufort became the first Dutch driver to score points in the sport when he finished 6th in his home race in 1962. He raced a privateer Porsche in all but two races and added a further three sixth places throughout his career. Racing in his distinctive orange livery, he gradually won fans but his career was curtailed after he suffered a fatal accident during practice for the 1964 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, aged just 30.

Jan Lammers

  • Years active: 1979-82, 1992
  • Teams: Shadow, ATS, Ensign, Theodore, March
  • Races: 41
  • Best result: 9th
  • Points: 0

Lammers may have never set the world alight but he does hold the record for most years passed between Grand Prix starts. Lammers was lumbered with woeful machinery in the early 1980s as he only qualified for twenty one of thirty nine races. He returned with March at the end of 1992 but failed to trouble the points scorers and the team shut down before the start of 1993. He was more successful outside of Formula One, winning the 1988 Le Mans 24 hours.

Gijs van Lennep

  • Years active: 1971, 1973-5
  • Teams: S.A.N, Williams, Ensign
  • Races: 10
  • Best result: 6th
  • Points: 2

Van Lennep drove most of his races for the emerging Williams team and claimed a couple of points courtesy of two sixth places. He was more successful in sportscar racing as he emerged victorious in the last ever Targa Florio and also claimed two outright wins in the Le Mans 24 hours in 1971 and 1976.

Van der Garde testing in Jerez. Caterham F1 Team.

Huub Rothengatter

  • Years active: 1984-86
  • Teams: Spirit, Osella, Zakspeed
  • Races: 30
  • Best result: 7th
  • Points: 0

Rothengatter stepped up to Formula One a few seasons after achieving indifferent results in Formula Two. Rothengatter never got the chance to assert himself in the sport as he lacked financial backing and always drove for teams towards the back of the grid. He never completed a full season in his three years in the sport and seventh place – in a race with eight finishers – was the high point.

 Jos Verstappen

  • Years active: 1994-98, 2000-1, 2003
  • Teams: Benetton, Simtek, Footwork, Tyrrell, Stewart, Arrows, Minardi
  • Races: 107
  • Best result: 3rd
  • Points: 17

Verstappen is F1’s most successful Dutchman courtesy of two successive podiums while driving for Benetton in the 1994 season. But rather than his on track results – he finished tenth in the championship – it was a huge fire during the German Grand Prix for which he is best remembered. Verstappen then spent the best part of the next decade racing for midfield or backmarker teams, finishing in the points on only four other occasions.


If you liked this post then share it with your friends on social media websites. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest F1 news.

On this day
  • Michael Schumacher won the 2003 San Marino Grand Prix.