Tiago Monteiro

Tiago Monteiro

24/7/1976

Monteiro is a Formula One driver for the MF1 Racing team.

Tiago Vagaroso da Costa Monteiro was born in Porto, Portugal, Monteiro was inspired by his father to begin racing, and drove in the 1997 French Porsche Carrera Cup. He took 5 wins and 5 pole positions to become B-class champion and rookie of the year. In 1998, he moved on to the French Formula 3 Championship, finishing 12th overall and taking the rookie of the year award. He continued in the championship in 1999, taking one win and three other podium positions to finish 6th overall. He also competed in the 24 hours of Le Mans race, finishing 16th overall and 6th in the GT2 class. In the International Renault Finals held at Estoril, Monteiro claimed the win after taking pole position and the fastest lap of the race.

In 2000, Monteiro again competed in French F3, this time finishing 2nd in the championship after taking 4 wins throughout the season. He also competed in the single Formula 3 European Championship double-header race, finishing 2nd overall with one win at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. He also competed in a couple of one-off events, coming 2nd in the Korea Super Prix and 9th at the famous Macau Grand Prix. In the Lamborghini Super Trophy, he managed the fastest lap at Magny-Cours, and both pole position and the fastest lap at Laguna Seca. In 2002, Monteiro again finished 2nd overall in the French F3 Championship after taking 6 pole positions, 4 wins and 4 podiums. Also competing in the French GT Championship, he managed 4 pole positions, 2 class wins and 5 podium finishes in the GTB class. A one-off entry in the Formula France series saw him win in both races, and in the Andros Trophy, he did one fastest lap with a best finishing position of 4th.

In 2002, he moved up to the Formula 3000 International Championship with the Super Nova Racing team, taking 5 top-ten finishing positions on his way to 12th in the championship standings. He also completed the Renault F1 Driver Development Scheme, and had his first taste of a Formula One car, testing with the Renault team at Barcelona. In 2003, he joined Fittipaldi Dingman Racing for the Champ Car World Series, achieving a pole position in Mexico City and leading two races. He finished the year with 10 top-ten finishes, scoring 29 points to come 15th in the championship. Monteiro was signed up as an official Minardi test driver for the 2004 season, but also competed in the Nissan World Series with Carlin Motorsport. He was named Rookie of the Year after finishing 2nd in the championship, and was ranked fifth in Autosport magazine's top ten drivers in the Formula One "breeding ground" championships.

After the Midland Group bought Jordan Grand Prix, Monteiro was announced as a full-time race driver alongside Indian Narain Karthikeyan. In the 2005 United States Grand Prix he achieved his first podium finish in farcical circumstances when all but 3 teams pulled out due to arguments over tyre safety (the Michelin-equipped teams pulled out of the race, not taking their place on the grid. The Bridgestone teams were the only ones to run). Monteiro finished 3rd out of just 6 drivers.

As of the 2005 United States Grand Prix, Tiago is now the most successful Portuguese driver ever in Formula 1 racing. Pedro Lamy held this record before Tiago with 1 point and 6th place at the 1995 Australian Grand Prix with Minardi. Also of note, as of the 2005 Belgian Grand Prix, Tiago had finished every race of the 2005 season, and holds the record for consecutive finishes for a rookie driver in F1, taking this from Jackie Stewart, who finished his first 8 races. At the 2005 Brazilian Grand Prix, however, engine failure brought his run to end. Despite this, however, by finishing the last two races of the season in Japan and China, he still managed to break the record for the most finishes in a single season. Michael Schumacher finished all 17 races of the 2002 season, whilst both he and Rubens Barrichello finished 17 out of 18 races in 2004. 11th place at the 2005 Chinese Grand Prix meant that he had finished 18 out 19 races.

Near the end of the 2005 season Tiago was involved in an incident with Colombian driver Juan Pablo Montoya in the final laps of the Turkish Grand Prix, the crash damaged Juan Pablo's car and caused him to lose control of it on the penultimate lap letting rival Fernando Alonso through and ruining McLaren's chance of a first 1-2 finish since 2000. Some observers consider the accident was caused by a miscalculated maneuver of Montoya.

In 2006 Midland re-signed Monteiro to partner Christijan Albers.

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