Twelve years ago this month a young Portuguese driver Tiago Monteiro drove in his first grand prix, the Australian Grand Prix of 2005. His great ambition was to be in Formula 1 and he had had a varied racing career before he finally managed to make it being signed up by Eddie Jordan for his Jordan Formula 1 team.
Tiago has now become the newest member of the Grand Prix Drivers Club.
His racing career started out modestly in the Porsche Carrera Cup in France but quickly moved into the French Formula 3 Championship scoring his first win in 1999 at Albi. Though he stayed in the championship for a further two seasons he finished runner up on both occasions.
In his bid to get into Formula 1 he was helped along the way when David Sears signed him up for the Super Nova team in Formula 3000 but it was not a successful move and he decided to quit Europe for the USA and Emerson Fittipaldi’s Champ Car team but was plagued by breakdowns.
Back in Europe he raced in the Nissan World Series where he began winning again and finished runner up in the Championship to Heikki Kovalainen. He also was test driver for Minardi . However when Tevor Carlin – who ran him in the Nissan series – took over as team manager of Jordan his chance came to move into Formula 1 for 2005.
His highlight of the season was finishing third in the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis but this was the much depleted race where only six cars ran, however, he impressed by finishing in every grand prix he started in save the Brazilian when his engine gave out.
The following season the team was renamed Midland F1 where 9th place was his highest placing before the team was renamed Spyker before the season ended.
Tiego took part in 37 grand prix races and we welcome him into the Club and look forward to seeing him at the next Club event.