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Tiago Monteiro

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Biography

Tiago Vagaroso da Costa Monteiro (pron. IPA ; born 24 July 1976 in Porto, Portugal) is a former Formula One driver who drove for Jordan, Midland and Spyker F1 -- all progressive iterations of the same team as it was bought up by new owners -- during a two year stint as part of the Formula 1 circus. In the first year of his Formula One career (2005) he set a new record for the most finishes by a driver in a season (18), and also achieved a podium position (3rd place) at the highly controversial United States Grand Prix.

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 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.

At the podium ceremony, at which none of the scheduled presenters were present, Ferrari drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello quietly accepted their awards, and quickly exited. However, Monteiro stayed behind to celebrate his first podium finish alone amid the booing fans, a decision which although initially controversial, was latterly met with some sympathy from the F1 fraternity.Monteiro testing the MF1 M16 in 2006.

In 2006 Midland re-signed Monteiro to partner Christijan Albers. The two endured a much less successful season, with their car, the M16, not even registering a single point. In the 18 races, Monteiro retired from seven, with his best finish being at the Hungarian Grand Prix where he finished ninth, just outside the points-scoring positions in the 2006 season.



 


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