Robert Doornbos

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Robert Doornbos
Doornbos.jpg
Nationality Netherlands Dutch
Born (1981-09-23) 23 September 1981 (age 32)
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Previous series
2009
2008–09
2008
2008
2007
200506
200407
2004
2003
2002–03
2001–02
2001, 2003
2000
2000
1999
IRL IndyCar Series
A1 Grand Prix
Superleague Formula
Rolex Sports Car Series
Champ Car World Series
Formula One
Formula One testing
International Formula 3000
Formula Three Euroseries
Italian Formula Three Championship
German Formula Three Championship
British Formula Three Championship
Formula Ford 1800 Benelux
Formula Ford Zetec Netherlands
Formula Vauxhall Lotus Winter Series
Formula One World Championship career
Active years 20052006
Teams Minardi, Red Bull
Races 11
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 2005 German Grand Prix
Last race 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix
Champ Car career
14 race(s) run over 1 year(s)
Years active 2007
Team(s) Minardi USA
Best finish 3rd – 2007
First race 2007 Vegas Grand Prix (Downtown Las Vegas)
Last race 2007 Gran Premio Tecate (Mexico City)
First win 2007 Mont-Tremblant Champ Car Grand Prix (Circuit Mont-Tremblant)
Last win 2007 San Jose Grand Prix (Streets of San Jose)
Wins Podiums Poles
2 6 0

Robert Michael Doornbos (About this sound pronunciation ) (born 23 September 1981 in Rotterdam, Netherlands) is a Dutch racing driver. He has been test and third driver for the Jordan and Red Bull Racing Formula One teams, as well as driving for Minardi and Red Bull Racing in 2005 and 2006. Doornbos then drove for Minardi Team USA in the 2007 and final season of the Champ Car World Series. He competed in the Superleague Formula racing series in 2008, and drove for the Netherlands team in A1 Grand Prix's 2008–2009 season. In 2009, Doornbos competed in the IndyCar Series. He began the season with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, but switched to HVM Racing after the race in Kentucky Speedway.

Tennis player to racing driver[edit]

Doornbos' first sport was tennis, and he competed at semi-professional national level in the Netherlands. His interest in motorsport grew after he was invited to the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix as a guest of WilliamsF1. It was 1997 Formula One Champion Jacques Villeneuve who suggested that he should go for a series such as Formula Ford, as he was too big and too old to race karts. He gave up tennis and focused on racing, joining the JR racing team for the 1999 Opel Lotus UK Winter series. He had a successful season, finishing second in the championship after taking four pole positions, four fastest laps and four wins. In 2000, he competed in the Formula Ford Zetec Benelux series, finishing second in the Belgian championship and fifth overall with one pole, three fastest laps and six podiums.

Formula 3 career[edit]

Returning to the UK in 2001, Doornbos contested the Scholarship class of the British Formula Three championship with FGR Racing. He finished the year fifth in the championship, taking two poles, two wins and nine podiums. He drew attention to himself with a second place finish in the Formula Three support race to the British Grand Prix. He then moved to the German Formula Three championship with Team Ghinzani. He picked up four podiums, but no win. The year also featured a sixth place finish in the prestigious Macau Grand Prix. Continuing with the team in 2003, Doornbos competed in the European Formula Three Championship, visiting the podium seven times. He took pole position at Spa-Francorchamps for the Formula Three Masters event, and finished second in Korea.

Formula 3000[edit]

With support from Red Bull, Doornbos joined reigning International Formula 3000 champions Arden International for the 2004 FIA International Formula 3000 Championship. Partnered with Vitantonio Liuzzi, Doornbos claimed Rookie of the Year after finishing third in the championship. During the year, he took a fastest lap and four podium finishes, including a race win at Spa-Francorchamps.

Formula One[edit]

Test Driver – Jordan[edit]

Prior to the 2004 Chinese Grand Prix, it was announced that Doornbos would be the official Friday test driver for the Jordan Formula One team, replacing Timo Glock, who had been promoted to race duties in place of Giorgio Pantano, whose sponsorship money had "dried up". Doornbos impressed as test driver for the final few races of the season, and was reappointed with the newly-sold Jordan team for the 2005 season.

Doornbos completed Friday testing duties for Jordan in all but two of the first 11 events of the year, with French Renault F1 test driver Franck Montagny testing at the European Grand Prix, and Jordan being banned from using a third car at the Canadian Grand Prix after using too many tyres at the previous race.

Race Driver – Minardi[edit]

On 19 July Doornbos was appointed as a Minardi race driver for the 2005 German Grand Prix onwards, replacing Austrian Patrick Friesacher, who had encountered sponsorship issues. In his first Formula One race, he collided with Jacques Villeneuve, the man who gave advice to Doornbos to start his career as a race driver. Doornbos raced a total of eight Grand Prix for the team, his best result being a 13th position in the Turkish and Belgian Grands Prix.

Doornbos and teammate Christijan Albers became the first all-Dutch team line-up since Carel Godin de Beaufort and Ben Pon drove together for the Ecurie Maarsbergen team at the 1962 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort. The teammates, however, were not the best of friends, which made the internal competition only more interesting. As Doornbos became more adapted to the car, he came closer to his teammate and in the last few races, was often the faster of the two.

Effectively, he would become Minardi's last Formula One driver, since the team was bought by Red Bull just before the Belgian Grand Prix.

Red Bull[edit]

Doornbos driving for Red Bull Racing at the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix.

The Minardi team ceased to exist in its previous form at the end of 2005, being bought out by Red Bull and becoming their Scuderia Toro Rosso team. Doornbos was unable to find a race drive for 2006, but Christian Horner, his former F3000 boss, had since been appointed as Sporting Director of Red Bull Racing, where he was appointed the team's test and reserve driver.

He thus spent most of 2006 testing at the racetracks on Fridays, ready to step into a race drive if either David Coulthard or Christian Klien were unable to race. In his role as the Red Bull test driver, he once more showed his talents as a racing driver. In the majority of the Grand Prix tests on Fridays, he was to be found in the top 10, and a number of times he achieved a top three time.

At the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix, he was involved in a controversial incident with Fernando Alonso, which resulted in the Spaniard incurring a two-second qualifying penalty.

After the Italian Grand Prix, when Red Bull Racing announced that Klien had been dropped from the team, Doornbos was promoted to the second race driver role alongside Coulthard for the remaining three races.[1] He entered with a bang by qualifying in the top 10 for his first race, in China. However, he touched Robert Kubica at the first corner during the race and the delay restricted him to 12th place at the finish.

He was subsequently signed as one of the team's test drivers for 2007, alongside Michael Ammermüller,[2] with Coulthard and Mark Webber taking the race seats.

Formula One demonstrations[edit]

In his role as Formula One test and racing driver, Robert Doornbos has given several demonstrations, both on tracks during other race events, as well as on public road. In the Netherlands, he has driven a Formula One car on public roads twice. In 2005, he was one of the drivers of the Monaco aan de Maas event in his hometown of Rotterdam. On 15 August 2006, he made the news with a fundraiser for the children of the 'Stichting Geluk en Vrijheid' (Foundation Happiness and Freedom). At a speed of 326 km/h (204 mph), he drove his Red Bull Formula One Car over the highway A7 on the Afsluitdijk in the Netherlands.[3]

Champ Car World Series[edit]

After missing a racing seat for the 2007 Formula One season, Robert Doornbos signed a contract with Minardi Team USA for the 2007 Champ Car World Series season. He made a successful debut in the series in the first race of the season, the Vegas Grand Prix. After qualifying third, Doornbos finished on the podium, taking second place in the race. This made him the first rookie since Nigel Mansell in 1993 to make it to the podium in his first Champ Car race. A drive through penalty in 2007 Grand Prix of Cleveland quite possibly cost Robert a chance at his first Champ Car victory, but he still managed a fine second place behind Paul Tracy. One week later, however, Robert won the 2007 Mont-Tremblant Grand Prix in Canada and as a result took the joint lead of the championship with Sébastien Bourdais. After scoring this victory, the ESPN broadcast team dubbed him "Bobby D" – a nickname he reportedly enjoys. He later went on to win the 2007 San Jose Grand Prix after an accident during the first lap on turn one left him without his front wing. The accident inadvertently put him on an alternate pit strategy that he used to his advantage and secured the win. Although he impressed many fans and drivers alike with his personality and driving style, Doornbos would end up third in points at season's end, although he did win Roshfrans Rookie of the Year. After the merger of the CCWS and the Indy Car Series was announced for 2008, the Minardi half of the team elected not to take part, reducing HVM Racing to a one-car team. This left Doornbos without a drive for 2008.

Superleague Formula[edit]

After failing to secure a seat with competitive teams in the unified IndyCar Series, and refusing to drive for uncompetitive teams, Doornbos opted to sit out the 2008 season in search for a competitive seat in 2009. It was announced on 21 May 2008 that Doornbos would drive for A.C. Milan in the Superleague Formula, a newly created racing series where the cars are sponsored by football clubs. The club's technical director is the son of Giancarlo Minardi, former owner of the Minardi Formula One team under its take over by Paul Stoddart. Doornbos finished third in the inaugural 2008 season.

IndyCar Series[edit]

Doornbos contested the 2009 IndyCar Series season with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing. Since he had no previous oval track racing experience, he has received coaching from fellow Dutchman Arie Luyendyk. Doornbos has finished no worse than 12th in his first three races but the highlight has been a second place start in his first oval track race at Kansas (helped by disqualifications of Dario Franchitti and Hélio Castroneves for dipping below the white line during qualifying). Lining up beside his team-mate Graham Rahal, Newman/Haas/Lanigan cars formed the front row for the first time since Milwaukee in 2006. He took the lead after the first round of pit stops, but on that first stop under yellow he bumped a stationary tyre in the pit stall ahead of him. He was penalised to the rear of the field and was no longer a factor.

On 4 August 2009 Doornbos posted on his official website that he was leaving Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing effective immediately. He stated that there was the option for him to leave the team after 12 races and he decided to take it. He also said that he would like to stay in IndyCar and would announce his future plans shortly.[4]

On 5 August 2009 Doornbos signed with HVM Racing in the IndyCar Series for the remainder of the 2009 and to drive for the team through 2010, however this did not happen.

Motorsports career results[edit]

Career summary[edit]

Season Series Team Races Poles Wins Points Position
1999 Formula Ford 1800 Benelux Team JR Racing  ? 4 4  ? 2nd
Formula Vauxhall Lotus Winter Series  ?  ?  ?  ? 2nd
2000 Formula Ford 1800 Benelux  ?  ?  ?  ? 58 5th
Formula Ford Zetec Netherlands  ?  ?  ?  ? 61 6th
Formula Ford Festival Sweeney/Hopper Racing 1 0 0 N/A NC
2001 British Formula Three Fred Goddard Racing (National Class) 26 1 2 182 5th
German Formula Three JB Motorsport 6 0 0 0 NC
2002 German Formula Three Team Ghinzani 18 0 0 17 11th
Italian Formula Three 1 0 0 4 11th
European Formula Three Cup 1 0 0 N/A 11th
Macau Grand Prix 1 0 0 N/A 6th
Korea Super Prix 1 0 0 N/A 8th
2003 Formula Three Euroseries Team Ghinzani 20 0 0 40 9th
Italian Formula Three 1 0 0 6 16th
British Formula Three Menu Motorsport 4 0 0 26 17th
Macau Grand Prix 2 0 0 N/A 16th
Korea Super Prix 1 0 0 N/A 2nd
Masters of Formula Three  ? 1 0 0 N/A 18th
2004 International Formula 3000 Arden International 10 0 1 44 3rd
Formula One Jordan Ford Test driver
2005 Formula One Jordan Grand Prix Test driver
Minardi F1 Team 8 0 0 0 25th
2006 Formula One Red Bull Racing 3 0 0 0 24th
2007 Champ Car World Series Minardi Team USA 14 0 2 268 3rd
Formula One Red Bull Racing Test driver
2008 Superleague Formula A.C. Milan 9 2 2 267 3rd (1)
2008–09 A1GP Team Netherlands 6 1 1 75 (1) 4th (1)
2009 IndyCar Series Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 13 0 0 225 16th

(1) = Team standings

Complete International Formula 3000 results[edit]

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

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 DC Points
2004 Arden International SMR
3
ESP
14
MON
6
EUR
2
FRA
5
GBR
10
GER
4
HUN
7
BEL
1
ITA
3
3rd 44

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 WDC Points
2004 Jordan Ford Jordan EJ14 Ford RS2 3.0 V10 AUS
MAL
BHR
SMR
ESP
MON
EUR
CAN
USA
FRA
GBR
GER
HUN
BEL
ITA
CHN
TD
JPN
TD
BRA
TD
2005 Jordan Grand Prix Jordan EJ15 Toyota RVX-05 3.0 V10 AUS
TD
MAL
TD
BHR
TD
SMR
TD
ESP
TD
MON
TD
EUR
CAN
USA
TD
25th 0
Jordan EJ15B FRA
TD
GBR
TD
Minardi F1 Team Minardi PS05 Cosworth TJ2005 3.0 V10 GER
18
HUN
Ret
TUR
13
ITA
18
BEL
13
BRA
Ret
JPN
14
CHN
14
2006 Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB2 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 BHR
TD
MAL
TD
AUS
TD
SMR
TD
EUR
TD
ESP
TD
MON
TD
GBR
TD
CAN
TD
USA
TD
FRA
TD
GER
TD
HUN
TD
TUR
TD
ITA
TD
CHN
12
JPN
13
BRA
12
24th 0

American Open-Wheel[edit]

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

ChampCar[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Rank Points
2007 Minardi Team USA LVS
2
LBH
13
HOU
3
POR
3
CLE
2
MTT
1
TOR
6
EDM
11
SJO
1
ROA
14
ZOL
7
ASN
13
SRF
4
MXC
Ret
3rd 268

IndyCar[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Rank Points
2009 N/H/L Racing STP
11
LBH
9
KAN
12
INDY
Ret
MIL
14
TXS
11
IOW
Ret
RIR
9
WGL
9
TOR
Ret
EDM
9
KTY
19
16th 283
HVM Racing MDO
14
SNM
10
CHI
18
MOT
16
HMS
Ret
Years Teams Races Poles Wins Podiums
(Non-win)
Top 10s
(Non-podium)
Indianapolis 500
Wins
Championships
1 2 17 0 0 0 5 0 0

Indianapolis 500 results[edit]

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
2009 Dallara Honda 23 28 N/H/L

Complete Superleague Formula results[edit]

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

2008[edit]

Year Team Operator 1 2 3 4 5 6 Position Points
2008 A.C. Milan Scuderia Playteam DON NÜR ZOL EST VAL JER 3rd 335
17 DN 1 6 18 4 2 2 2 17 1 10

2010–2011[edit]

Year Team Operator 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Position Points
2010 SC Corinthians Azerti Motorsport SIL ASS MAG JAR NÜR ZOL BRH ADR POR ORD BEI NAV 12th 363
11 7 X 9 15 X 12 16 X 9 5 X 7 10 X 3 16 X 15 18 X 8 6 X 6 3 5 18 15 X DN DN C 9 15 X
2011 Netherlands Atech Reid Grand Prix HOL BEL 16th 16
11 DN X
Japan 5 7 6 2nd 136

† Non Championship round

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Grandprix.com article dated September 11, 2006". Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  2. ^ "Doornbos and Ammermueller both named as Red Bull testers". Grandprix.com. 26 January 2006. Retrieved 2006-01-26. 
  3. ^ "Video of the demonstration". Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  4. ^ "Robert leaves Newman Haas Lanigan Racing". Retrieved 2009-08-04. 

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Will Power
Champ Car Rookie of the Year
2007
Succeeded by
Final
Preceded by
Koos de Ronde
Rotterdam Sportsman of the year
2005
Succeeded by
Robin van Persie