Ricardo Rosset

Ricardo Rosset

27/7/1968

Rosset was a Formula One driver from Brazil who participated in 32 grand prix, debuting on March 10, 1996. He scored no points and his career went largely unnoticed.

Rosset, a close friend of Rubens Barrichello, came from a wealth family with a successful female underwear and bikini business. He started karting at Brazilian national level at the age of 22 in 1989 switching to Brazilian Formula Ford 1600 and 2000 in 1991. That year he won three times and finished 5th in the Championship.

He moved to Europe in 1992 racing in the Formula Opel Euroseries with Peter Thompson Motorsport team. An uninspiring season saw him finish 10th overall.

For 1993 he moved to Engand and joined Alan Docking Racing, finishing joint 6th with Pedro de la Rosa on 18 points.

A switch to the AGS Team in 1994 with a Dallara F394 saw Rosset finish 5th with 132 points. His consistent driving saw him finish only one point behind Dario Franchitti.

After a disappointing Macau F3 race he moved to F3000 for 1994 with David Sears' Super Nova team to drive their Reynard 95D Cosworth. Rosset proceeded to qualifying on pole for his first race at Silverstone, and then went on to win, becoming the first person to win on their F3000 debut. A 2nd at Barcelona showed that Silverstone was not a flash in the pan and after a poor 9th at Pau, he won again at Enna and set the fastest lap. A 9th at Hockenheim but setting the fastest lap was followed by 4th at Spa and 5th at Estoril. He then crashed at Magny-Cours. His teammate Sospiri became F3000 champion with Rosset 2nd overall with 29 points.

In 1996 he moved into Formula 1 with the Footwork Arrows. Signed by the cash-strapped Jackie Oliver he drove the FA17 chassis with a Hart engine as teammate to Jos Verstappen. A few races into the season, Oliver sold out to Tom Walkinshaw and with his sights set on 1997 Walkinshaw neglected the current set up and consequently the car became less and less competitive. Though Rosset was reasonably reliable behind the wheel, he was dropped and had to find another drive for the 1997 season.

Rosset found a drive with Lola. However, the cars were awful. In Melbourne neither driver qualified, Rosset, missing the 107% cut was over a second slower than Sospiri, and nearly 13 seconds off the pole time. Before Brazil the team closed down having run up massive debts in a very short space of time. Rosset thus had nothing but a testing contract at Tyrrell to fill his time apart from an appearance in the Porsche Supercup race at Monaco where he finished 7th.

In 1998 Ken Tyrrell, his team by this time owned by British American Racing, wanted to retain Verstappen, however finances played a greater part in the decision making and Craig Pollock signed Rosset. Ken opposed the decision and left the team before the season even started. At Monaco he spun at the swimming pool and in attempting to rejoin the race drove headlong into the Armco! Where upon the commentator Murray Walker suggested to Martin Brundle that people were debating whether Rosset was F1 quality. Brundle remarked "It's a fairly short debate".

Having spent another season largely unnoticed, or being noticed for all the wrong reasons, Rosset couldn't find a drive for 1999 and retired to concentrate on building up his own sportswear business in Brazil.

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