F1 pay driv­ers, from the play­boy pilot to the three-time champ

CAR (UK) - - Front Page -

Al­fonso de Portago Pay driv­ers have been a fea­ture of F1 from the very start, al­though few have names as ­ine as Al­fonso An­to­nio Vi­cente Ed­uardo An­gel Blas Fran­cisco de Borja Cabeza de Vaca y Leighton, bet­ter known as Al­fonso de Portago. He raced for Fer­rari in 1956 and ’57, con­test­ing ­ive GPs. He was sec­ond at Sil­ver­stone in only his sec­ond out­ing. The Span­ish multi-mil­lion­aire twice rode in the Grand National horse race and, aged just 17, he ­lew his aero­plane un­der Lon­don Bridge for a bet. Niki Lauda Niki Lauda re­lects the other end of the pay driver spec­trum. Heir to a bank­ing dy­nasty, Lauda shunned his fa­ther’s wish for him to get in­volved in the fam­ily busi­ness. In­stead, he bor­rowed money against his life in­sur­ance to se­cure a drive with March in Formula 1. That money paid for the open­ing 13 races of his ca­reer, be­fore he was hired by BRM in 1973. He paid o– the loan in full when he got his ­irst Fer­rari con­tract in ’74.

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