Drivers who disappeared mid-season


Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
As an alternative to my Drivers who Quit thread, there are a lot more who were obliged to leave F1 mid-season, often before they felt they were ready to bow out, but never got into an F1 car again Red Bull have certainly been busy in this department over the last few years but there have been many more through history. I'll kick you off with a few who spring to my mind.

Jan Magnussen - Father of Kevin, Jan did one race for McLaren in 1995 before signing up for his old mate Paul Stewart at Stewart Grand Prix for 1996. Jackie Stewart described Jan as "he most talented young driver to emerge since Ayrton Senna". His F1 performances didn't seem to suggest he had Senna's talent and was dropped half way through the 1998 season to be replaced by Jos Verstappen.

Pierluigi Martini - Mr Minardi, well no that was Giancarlo Minardi, but apart from one outing for Toleman in 1984 Martini spent most of his F1 career driving for Minardi. Half way through the 1995 season Minardi ran out of cash and Pierluigi was replaced by Pedro Lamy and he was never seen in an F1 car again.

Nelson Piquet jnr - Someone who had to live up to having the same name as a three times F1 World Champion, unfortunately he wasn't in the same league as his dad. Half way through the 2009 season Nelsinho was replaced at Renault by Romain Grosjean, there then followed a very unseemly spat between the Piquet family and Renault as Nelson jnr claimed he had been asked to deliberately crash at the Singapore GP in 2008. It turned out he had, it didn't get him his F1 seat back but it resulted in Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds being given lengthy bans from the sport and Renault having to pay the Piquet family "substantial" damages and issue a formal apology for defamation.

There must be many more.
Just thought I would add Jan Lammers to this, the Frank Sinatra of F1 in terms of comeback. Jan disappeared mid-season in 1981 when driving for ATS and in 1982 at the wheel of a Theodore before making a comeback (for two races) at March in 1992.
Didn't think you could get your license suspended for that?...

While we're on this thread's topic another driver who had his license revoked was Thomas Danielsson. Well, he never made it into F1 but he was tipped as a future star after winning his first F3000 race at Silverstone in the late eighties/early nineties, can't quite remember which.

His results though quickly went downhill and it was subsequently found he was suffering from some rare eye condition, causing a loss of spatial awareness. His license was subsequentlly revoked and he disappeared off the scene for while. He then lodged an appeal arguing that his handicap didn't prevent him from racing in safe conditions. He unexpectedly won his appeal but despite that no team would touch him afterwards. He went and tried his luck in Japan in the local F3000 championship and various japanese series but his results remained mediocre so maybe his eye problems did handicap him more than he let on....

I'd always wondered whatever happened to him because his early career had looked very promising but for whatever reason it's been very difficult to find any info on him anywhere on the net. Just seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth...
Last edited:
Being very slow mainly.
Possibly because of some pirouettes during every free practice, I guess he was preparing for „Dancing On Ice".

Aguri tried to get him back until the team folded which is totally crazy. I'm afraid Ide was an amateur and a safety hazard. On that ground the FIA rightly revoked his licence.
I was thinking about putting this thread up looks like someone beat me to it and I will take this meaning not drivers who were forced to leave due to the team folding
the one that springs to mind

Antonia Pizzonia - highly rated by Williams and made his debut in Jaguar unfortunately his teammate was Mark Webber who clearly was No 1 in the team and it seemed he never really settled . Part of that was also Webber did not respect him for some reason

Pressure from the top wanting a British driver meant he was replaced by Justin Wilson. He made sporadic appearances for Williams in 2004 and 2005 and beating Webber on a few ocassions no less. Denied a full season drive at Williams by the intervention of Mario Thiessen who wanted a German driver to replace the outgoing Ralf Schumacher. He decided to join IndyCar.
Top Bottom