Retired

Martin Brundle

British

  • King's Lynn, Norfolk, England Place of Birth
  • 1 June 1959 Date of Birth
  • 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix F1 Debut
  • Jordan Grand Prix Current/Last Team

British motor racing driver and former Formula One star Martin Brundle is best known for his close rivalry with Ayrton Senna in British Formula Three and his role as an F1 commentator for Sky Sports. Born in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, Brundle was an intelligent and fast driver who never quite found consistent success in the top levels of single-seaters. However, he excelled in other racing disciplines. Brundle was the 1988 World Sports Car Champion, setting a record points haul, and won the 1990 Le Mans 24 Hour Race for Jaguar.

NationalityBritish
BornMartin John Brundle
1 June 1959
King’s Lynn, Norfolk, England

Brundle’s Formula One career began with Tyrrell in 1984. He impressed with aggressive and fast drives, finishing second in Detroit. However, his season took a downturn with a crash in Dallas, breaking his ankles, followed by Tyrrell’s disqualification from the championship due to a technical infringement. Brundle stayed with Tyrrell for two more seasons, but the team struggled without a works engine supply. In 1987, he moved to Zakspeed but only scored two points due to the car’s lack of competitiveness.

After four years with underfunded teams, Brundle sought new opportunities, winning the world sports car title in 1988 and guest driving for Williams at the 1988 Belgian Grand Prix. He returned to F1 full-time in 1989 with Brabham, but the team couldn’t reclaim their former glory, prompting Brundle to return to sports cars in 1990. His Le Mans victory that year rejuvenated his career, but a top-tier F1 seat still eluded him.

In 1991, Brundle rejoined Brabham, but the team had declined further, yielding sparse results. His big break came in 1992 with Benetton, a rising team. Despite never outqualifying his teammate Michael Schumacher, Brundle often out-raced him in the second half of the season. His best chance for a win came in Canada, but his car failed. He finished the season with several strong performances.

Despite a successful 1992, Brundle was dropped from Benetton for 1993 in favour of Riccardo Patrese. He nearly secured a deal with Williams but ultimately lost out to Damon Hill. Brundle then raced for Ligier in 1993, achieving another podium. In 1994, he joined McLaren alongside Mika Hakkinen after Alain Prost declined to return. The season was marred by unreliable Peugeot engines, but Brundle managed a notable second-place finish at the 1994 Monaco Grand Prix.

In 1995, Brundle returned to Ligier, sharing the second seat with Aguri Suzuki, and achieved a strong fourth place at Magny-Cours and his final podium at Spa. He joined Jordan in 1996, racing alongside Rubens Barrichello, and enjoyed a solid season with regular points finishes, his best result being fourth.

Unable to secure an F1 seat beyond 1996, Brundle continued to compete in sports cars, driving for Nissan, Toyota, and Bentley, though a second Le Mans victory eluded him. His final Le Mans appearance came in 2001, after which he focused on his role with the BRDC and became a highly regarded F1 commentator for ITV.

Although he never won an F1 race, he achieved nine podiums and scored 98 championship points, with a best championship finish of sixth in 1992. Known for his strength on street circuits and slower tracks like Monaco, Adelaide, and the Hungaroring, Brundle’s talent was undeniable, even if circumstances often worked against him. His sports car successes, however, firmly established his racing credentials.

Martin Brundle Formula One World Championship career

F1 Career1984–1989, 1991–1996
TeamsTyrrell, Zakspeed, Williams, Brabham, Benetton, Ligier, McLaren, Jordan
EnginesFord, Renault, Zakspeed, Judd, Yamaha, Peugeot, Mugen-Honda
Entries165 (158 starts)
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums9
Career points98
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry1984 Brazilian Grand Prix
Last entry1996 Japanese Grand Prix

Sources: Historicracing.com and Wikipedia.com

Teammates

Driver Nationality Current/Last Team F1 Debut Status
Italian Benetton 1977 Monaco Grand Prix Retired
German Mercedes 1991 Belgian Grand Prix F1 Legend
Finnish McLaren 1991 United States Grand Prix F1 Legend
French Toyota Racing 1994 Brazilian Grand Prix Retired
Brazilian Williams 1993 South African Grand Prix Retired

Teams

Team Nationality Debut Season Status
Tyrrell British 1970 Historic
Williams British 1978 Current
Brabham British 1962 Historic
Benetton British, Italian 1986 Historic
Ligier French 1976 Historic
McLaren British 1966 Current
Jordan Grand Prix Irish 1991 Historic