FUNO!: Formula 1
Michele Alboreto
in focus

Archives of war

[O]: San Marino 1992. Alboreto wins points by driving for Footwork team. When he dared to drive any engine. (Images, Participations, 1992, San Marino GP, Michele Alboreto, provided by Rainer Nyberg/ MICHELE ALBORETO
by Alfredo Parga/book 'Fórmula 1' (1997)/La Nación (AR)
(translated by Maximiliano Catania/FUNO!)

Buenos Aires (AR), 22 Feb 2005

Time seems to allow the personage - whoever s/he may be - to tell things better. It is possible that the nearness to an event prevents from talking about it properly. An outspoken Alboreto rebuilds his past, word by word.

'When I left Ferrari, at the end of 1988, I accepted to drive for Tyrrell and I did not mind about the money. It was the first-ever car equipped with a mono-damper and many other drivers had refused to drive it. After three races, I managed to be on the podium in Mexico.

'I was totally conscious I had used the same engine for qualifying and for racing. Tyrrell's thank-you consisted in a beautiful kick in my a***, because I was replaced with (Camel-backed driver) Jean Alesi in the team as of French GP, so I went to end up in Footwork. I spent there three years, driving everything; Ford engine, Porsche engine - which it was a disaster -, Mugen engine...

'I endeavoured to do things in the best way. As if I would be driving for first time in F1; that year I took big risks, but I was satisfied. After all I allowed myself a big pleasure: finishing 15 of 16 GPs in the year. Although, when the season finished, all the world in my team seemed to start suffering from amnesia so no one remembered what I had done there.

'An award from journalism was the only thing I had in appreciation of the services rendered; AutoSprint magazine awarded me a prize. It was in that moment when my view of Formula 1 changed completely.

'I looked myself as a constantly squeezed, gradually used lemon. I thought first on doing something with friends; there was a work with Scuderia Italia. Another work, later, with Minardi.

'I know I was thought to be worn-out driver for many people on December 1994, but that wasn't a problem for me. Those criticisms didn't hurt me. After the F1 experience, I began to drive Turismo cars. At first I had a kind of identity problem, so I criticised myself for that, until on a fine day I discovered myself as a competitive driver by testing together with Nannini and Francia, so I regained confidence. Until end of season, I used the Alfa experimental car which none wanted to drive.

'Nowadays, Emerson Fittipaldi's example inspires me a lot. He is a great model of humility and willpower. I remember he was treated as if he were a ghost in his last F1 season. Notwithstanding that, he kept in shape by driving go-karts in Brazil.

'Fittipaldi had the faculty of starting from scratch in America. He motivated himself and built himself his new career. Nowadays, Emerson, aged 50, is a happy man. I hope to have his fortune and talent so that I get to doing what he did, someday.'

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