Heinz-Harald Frentzen

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Heinz-Harald Frentzen
Heinz-Harald Frentzen a.jpg
Born (1967-05-18) 18 May 1967 (age 47)
Mönchengladbach, West Germany
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality  German
Active years 19942003
Teams Sauber, Williams, Jordan, Prost, Arrows
Races 160 (156 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 3
Podiums 18
Career points 174
Pole positions 2
Fastest laps 6
First race 1994 Brazilian Grand Prix
First win 1997 San Marino Grand Prix
Last win 1999 Italian Grand Prix
Last race 2003 Japanese Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 1992, 2008
Teams Euro Racing
Aston Martin Racing
Best finish 13th (1992)
Class wins 0

Heinz-Harald Frentzen (also known as 'HHF'), (born 18 May 1967, in Mönchengladbach) is a German racing driver most famous for his career in Formula One. At various times driving for Williams, Jordan, Sauber, Prost, and Arrows, he achieved three race wins before his retirement from F1 in 2003.

Early career[edit]

He was born in the West German city of Mönchengladbach (North Rhine-Westphalia) to a German undertaker and a Spanish mother. After 5 years in Karting, at the age of 18 Frentzen entered the German Formula Ford 2000 series, in 1986. As in his karting career, he was funded and supported by his father (a funeral director) who also acted as both team boss and head mechanic. After two seasons in Formula Ford he was runner-up in the 1987 series, despite not participating in all races.

Frentzen progressed to German Formula Opel Lotus in 1988 in the Junior Team of former Formula One driver Jochen Mass, who had been impressed by Frentzen's performances in Formula Ford. Frentzen was champion of the German series in his first year, as well as participating in the Formula Opel Lotus Euroseries (in which he finished 6th). The next step was the German Formula 3 Championship in 1989, where Frentzen competed against many future stars including Michael Schumacher and Karl Wendlinger. At the time, there was a big push by Bernie Ecclestone to have a German driver in the Formula One World Championship, so the ONS (the German National Motorsports committee) decided to support both Frentzen and Schumacher. The ONS put up the reward of a Formula One test to the driver who first would take a victory in a Formula 3 race. This ultimately ended up being Schumacher, in a controversial race at Zeltweg, Austria in which Frentzen claimed Schumacher had forced him off the track. However, Schumacher did not get the Formula One test drive anyway; Karl Wendlinger won the German Formula 3 Championship and Frentzen became joint runner-up with Schumacher (the two finishing on identical points totals).

Formula One[edit]

Sauber (1994–1996)[edit]

Frentzen driving for Sauber at the 1995 British Grand Prix.

In 1994 Frentzen was given a Formula One drive by Peter Sauber in a Mercedes powered car, as team mate to Wendlinger. So impressive was he that Frank Williams asked him to replace Ayrton Senna at Williams after the Brazilian's death, but Frentzen chose to remain with Sauber and his performances helped to maintain the team's momentum after Karl Wendlinger was seriously injured at Monaco. The following year in the now Ford-powered Sauber he got his first podium finish at the Italian Grand Prix and ended the year 9th in the Drivers Championship. However, the 1996 Sauber was unreliable, with many races ending in retirements and Frentzen dropping down the order, though he was one of only four drivers running at the end of that year's chaotic, rain-soaked Monaco Grand Prix. The race was won by Olivier Panis.

Williams (1997–1998)[edit]

For the 1997 season, Frentzen replaced Damon Hill at the Williams-Renault team that had won the drivers' championship three times since 1992. At the first race of the season, the Australian Grand Prix, Frentzen went into the lead at the first corner and remained there until his first pit stop. He was running third late in the race when a brake disc exploded, throwing him off the circuit and into retirement.[1] He came back strongly in round four to take his first win at San Marino but the season was disappointing; after the family-atmosphere at Sauber Frentzen found life at Williams difficult, in particular having a troubled relationship with Patrick Head. Despite qualifying for many races on the front row he had a tendency to drift back in the race, usually finishing well behind team mate Jacques Villeneuve. However, because of Michael Schumacher's disqualification from the driver's championship Frentzen ended up second in the championship with 42 points to team mate Villeneuve's 81 having scored just a single win to Villeneuve's seven.

The next year Williams lost the Renault engine instead using a rebranded version called Mecachrome, they also lost Adrian Newey to McLaren and found themselves on the back foot. Nevertheless Frentzen started well finishing third in the opening race. However the might of McLaren and Ferrari shone through and it was obvious that Williams would struggle to keep pace.

The Australian Grand Prix was the highlight of Frentzen's year as the Williams lost pace. He ended up with just 17 points for his efforts, his team mate on just four more. Frentzen and Villeneuve were replaced by Alex Zanardi and Ralf Schumacher for 1999.

Jordan (1999–2001) and Prost (2001)[edit]

Frentzen driving for Jordan at the 1999 Canadian Grand Prix, during his most successful season in F1.

In 1999 Frentzen moved to Jordan in a straight swap with Ralf Schumacher and enjoyed probably the best season of his career in the Mugen-Honda powered car, with two race wins including a memorable French Grand Prix and scoring points in the majority of races. Frentzen finished third in the Driver Championship and was regarded by many as the driver of the year.

Frentzen driving for Arrows at the 2002 French Grand Prix.

2000 and 2001 were critical years as Honda also began to supply the BAR team, resulting in a race between the teams as to who would secure the regular engine supply. In 2000 Frentzen managed two podiums, which were the best results for the team, but Jordan still finished down the grid and, crucially, behind BAR. After some low points finishes, injury, disagreements about the technical direction of the team (Frentzen reportedly offered to pay for the changes to fix the car, out of his own pocket) and then a string of retirements half way through the 2001 season, Jordan sacked Frentzen and replaced him with Jean Alesi. Frentzen took Alesi's place at the struggling Prost team, and managed to qualify a brilliant fourth at Spa, before the outfit collapsed financially at the end of the season.

Arrows (2002) and Sauber (2003)[edit]

Frentzen driving for Sauber at the 2003 French Grand Prix.

2002 saw Frentzen drive for the Arrows team. He put in some impressive performances, scoring points on two occasions and outpacing both the Jaguars who ran the same engine. But the team went bankrupt in August and Frentzen was released from his contract. Back with Sauber for 2003, after a one-off drive replacing Felipe Massa at the 2002 United States Grand Prix, Frentzen managed a mini-renaissance, proving himself more than a match for his highly rated team mate Nick Heidfeld and even scoring a podium finish in the penultimate race of the year in the United States.

DTM[edit]

Frentzen driving for Audi (Abt) in the 2006 DTM season.

For 2004, Frentzen moved to the German Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters saloon car series to drive for Opel, encouraged by the success achieved in the series by fellow F1 refugee Jean Alesi. Unfortunately his Opel Vectra was not a competitive car, and he was regularly outpaced by not only the Audi and Mercedes drivers but also by his Opel teammates, eventually finishing the season 14th in the championship standings. However he remained in the DTM with Opel for the 2005 season and finished the year in 8th as best-placed Opel driver, with his best result a 3rd place from pole position at Brno in the Czech Republic.

After Opel withdrew after the 2005 season, Frentzen joined Audi for 2006. He would finish 3rd at the first race of the season at Hockenheim and again at the 8th race of the season at Barcelona. Frentzen finished the season 7th in the final standings and quit the team stating he had "no support from the team".

Recent activity[edit]

HHF Hybrid Concept Car (Gumpert Apollo)

In April 2008, Frentzen drove the Bahrain race in the Speedcar Series of the 2007/2008 season and later on joined the Speedcar Series for the complete 2008/2009 season.

He competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Aston Martin Racing driving one of the two factory Aston Martin DBR9s with Karl Wendlinger and Andrea Piccini in the GT1 class. His team finished 4th in class and 16th overall.

Also in 2008, Frentzen built the HHF Hybrid Concept Car which he entered in the 24 Hours Nürburgring with his own Team. The chassis was a bought Gumpert Apollo road car with a 3.3 litre V8 bi-turbo with 520 hp and an electric motor with approximately 136 hp. Frentzen finished the race but was not classified due to two conventional gearbox failures.

In 2011, Frentzen won a special one-off 'ROC Legends' race against Hans-Joachim Stuck, Marc Duez and Stig Blomqvist as part of the 2011 Race of Champions.

In 2012, Frentzen competed in the ADAC GT Masters season with a Callaway Competition Corvette Z06, and returned to the series in 2014 with a HTP Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3.

Racing record[edit]

Complete International Formula 3000 results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 DC Points
1990 Eddie Jordan Racing Reynard 90D Mugen DON
Ret
SIL
Ret
PAU
Ret
JER
17
MNZ
Ret
PER
5
HOC
6
BRH
7
BIR
Ret
BUG
Ret
NOG
DNQ
18th 3
1991 Vortex Motorsport Lola T91/50 Mugen VAL
Ret
PAU
Ret
JER
12
MUG
6
PER
5
HOC
DNQ
BRH
12
SPA
5
BUG
Ret
NOG
Ret
14th 5

Complete Japanese Formula 3000 results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 DC Points
1992 Team Nova Lola T92/50 Mugen SUZ
FUJ
MIN
SUZ
AUT
SUG
FUJ
FUJ
SUZ
6
FUJ
7
SUZ
3
14th 5
1993 Team Nova Lola T93/50 Mugen SUZ
Ret
FUJ
Ret
MIN
Ret
SUZ
8
SUG
14
FUJ
2
SUZ
10
FUJ
12
SUZ
5
9th 8

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key) (races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Pts.
1994 Sauber Mercedes Sauber C13 Mercedes 2175B 3.5 V10 BRA
Ret
PAC
5
SMR
7
MON
DNS
ESP
Ret
CAN
Ret
FRA
4
GBR
7
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
POR
Ret
EUR
6
JPN
6
AUS
7
13th 7
1995 Red Bull Sauber Ford Sauber C14 Ford ECA Zetec-R 3.0 V8 BRA
Ret
ARG
5
SMR
6
ESP
8
MON
6
CAN
Ret
FRA
10
GBR
6
GER
Ret
HUN
5
BEL
4
ITA
3
POR
6
EUR
Ret
PAC
7
JPN
8
AUS
Ret
9th 15
1996 Red Bull Sauber Ford Sauber C15 Ford JD Zetec-R 3.0 V10 AUS
8
BRA
Ret
ARG
Ret
EUR
Ret
SMR
Ret
MON
4
ESP
4
CAN
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
8
GER
8
HUN
Ret
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
POR
7
JPN
6
12th 7
1997 Rothmans Williams Renault Williams FW19 Renault RS9 3.0 V10 AUS
8
BRA
9
ARG
Ret
SMR
1
MON
Ret
ESP
8
CAN
4
FRA
2
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
3
ITA
3
AUT
3
LUX
3
JPN
2
EUR
6
2nd 42
1998 Winfield Williams Williams FW20 Mecachrome GC37-01 V10 AUS
3
BRA
5
ARG
9
SMR
5
ESP
8
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
FRA
15
GBR
Ret
AUT
Ret
GER
9
HUN
5
BEL
4
ITA
7
LUX
5
JPN
5
7th 17
1999 Benson & Hedges Jordan Jordan 199 Mugen Honda MF-301 HD 3.0 V10 AUS
2
BRA
3
SMR
Ret
MON
4
ESP
Ret
CAN
11
FRA
1
GBR
4
AUT
4
GER
3
HUN
4
BEL
3
ITA
1
EUR
Ret
MAL
6
JPN
4
3rd 54
2000 Benson & Hedges Jordan Jordan EJ10 Mugen Honda MF-301 HD 3.0 V10 AUS
Ret
BRA
3
SMR
Ret
GBR
17
ESP
6
EUR
Ret
MON
10
CAN
Ret
FRA
7
AUT
Ret
9th 11
Jordan EJ10B Mugen Honda MF-301 HE 3.0 V10 GER
Ret
HUN
6
BEL
6
ITA
Ret
USA
3
JPN
Ret
MAL
Ret
2001 Benson & Hedges Jordan Honda Jordan EJ11 Honda RA001E 3.0 V10 AUS
5
MAL
4
BRA
11
SMR
6
ESP
Ret
AUT
Ret
MON
Ret
CAN EUR
Ret
FRA
8
GBR
7
GER 13th 6
Prost Acer Prost AP04 Acer 3.0 V10 HUN
Ret
BEL
9
ITA
Ret
USA
10
JPN
12
2002 Orange Arrows Arrows A23 Cosworth CR-3 3.0 V10 AUS
DSQ
MAL
11
BRA
Ret
SMR
Ret
ESP
6
AUT
11
MON
6
CAN
13
EUR
13
GBR
Ret
FRA
DNQ
GER
Ret
HUN BEL ITA 18th 2
Sauber Petronas Sauber C21 Petronas 02A 3.0 V10 USA
13
JPN
2003 Sauber Petronas Sauber C22 Petronas 03A 3.0 V10 AUS
6
MAL
9
BRA
5
SMR
11
ESP
Ret
AUT
DNS
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
EUR
9
FRA
12
GBR
12
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
ITA
13
USA
3
JPN
Ret
11th 13

Complete DTM results[edit]

(key)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pos Points
2004 OPC Team Holzer Opel Vectra GTS V8 2004 HOC
11
EST
12
ADR
12
LAU
Ret
NOR
Ret
SHA
7
NÜR
Ret
OSC
14
ZAN
Ret
BRN
6
HOC
12
14th 3
2005 OPC Team Holzer Opel Vectra GTS V8 2005 HOC
Ret
LAU
14
SPA
15
BRN
3
OSC
14
NOR
6
NÜR
12
ZAN
3
LAU
7
IST
Ret
HOC
18
8th 17
2006 Abt Sportsline Audi A4 DTM 2006 HOC
3
LAU
13
OSC
4
BRA
17
NOR
11
NÜR
6
ZAN
5
CAT
3
BUG
10
HOC
14
7th 24

A non-championship one-off race was held in 2004 at the streets of Shanghai, China.

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1992 Netherlands Euro Racing Netherlands Charles Zwolsman, Sr.
Japan Shunji Kasuya
Lola T92/10-Judd C1 271 13th 6th
2008 United Kingdom Aston Martin Racing Italy Andrea Piccini
Austria Karl Wendlinger
Aston Martin DBR9 GT1 339 16th 4th

References[edit]

  1. ^ Grand Prix Results: Australia 1997 Grandprix.com Retrieved 13 May 2010

External links[edit]