Keke Rosberg


Record updated

Formula One driver in the early 1980s, and the first regular Finnish driver in the series.

Keke Rosberg
Formula One driver in the early 1980s and, despite his birthplace Stockholm, Sweden, was the first regular driver from Finland in the series.

Keke had a relatively late start to his F1 career, debuting at the age of 29 after stints in the Toyota Atlantic series, Formula Vee, and a successful stint in Formula 2, then the "feeder" to F1.

 Williams had an interest in Keke in 1982, with the retirement of then reigning World Champion Alan Jones leaving a spot open. Given a competitive car, Keke was a revelation. Rosberg consistently scored points and earned his first victory in the French Grand Prix at Dijon-Prenois late that year.

Rosberg's first memorable season came in a year where no driver won more than two races, (though it must be said that the highly successful Ferrari season was damaged by the injuries to Didier Pironi and the tragic fatality of Gilles Villeneuve at Zolder) and consistency won Rosberg the championship, despite using the once ubiquitous Ford/Cosworth normally aspirated V8 against turbo-engined rivals.

In 1989 Keke made his comeback when entering the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in a Ferrari Mondial run by Moneytron (cf. Jean-Pierre Van Rossem), the same team that gave Keke's protege JJ Lehto his debut in Formula One. Keke was a key element of Peugeot's extremely competitive sportscar squad in the early 1990s. But after two years with the mark and varied successes (two victories and a failed attempt at the 24 Hours of Le Mans), he moved on to the German Touring Car Championship, the DTM, driving for Mercedes-Benz and Opel. Here he set up his own team in 1995 and at the end of that year withdrew from driving to concentrate on running it. After spells in Formula BMW, German Formula Three, the Formula Three Euroseries and A1 GP, Team Rosberg is back in the DTM series in 2006, entering two Audis

Keke later spent a long time managing his countrymen Jyrki Järvilehto and future world champion Mika Häkkinen.

His son Nico has proved to be a good driver himself and having graduated to a full seat in the 2006 Williams after a string of F3 and F3000 successes.