Thierry Boutsen


  • Brussels, Belgium Place of Birth
  • 13 July 1957 Date of Birth
  • 1983 Belgian Grand Prix F1 Debut
  • Jordan Grand Prix Current/Last Team

Thierry Boutsen began his motorsports journey at Pilette Racing School, quickly emerging as a standout driver and embarking on a Formula Ford career in 1977. By 1978, he was competing in the Benelux countries, driving a Crosslé and clinching 15 wins out of 18 races. His impressive performance caught the eye of his childhood hero, Jacky Ickx.

BornThierry Marc Boutsen
13 July 1957
Brussels, Belgium

With Ickx’s support, Thierry progressed to Formula 3 in 1979, securing three wins in 1980 and finishing second in the championship, just behind Michele Alboreto. He then advanced to Formula 2 in 1981, where he again finished as runner-up, this time to Geoff Lees.

In 1983, Thierry participated in the European Touring Car Championship and World Sportscar races, achieving a notable victory at Monza with teammate Bob Wollek. The same year, he invested $500,000 to join the Formula 1 circuit with Arrows at the Belgian Grand Prix and later drove for Benetton in 1987.

Thierry’s Formula 1 career peaked when Frank Williams signed him for a two-year stint in 1989. During this time, he triumphed at both the rain-drenched Canadian and Australian Grand Prix races. In 1990, he secured a win at the 1990 Hungarian Grand Prix, besting his friend Ayrton Senna. After stints with Ligier and Jordan, he retired from Formula 1 in 1993.

Post-retirement, Thierry competed in the German Super Touring Championship in 1994 and 1995 with a Ford Mondeo, but struggled against the dominant Audi and BMW teams. At the 1995 Le Mans, he and his team finished sixth in the Kremer K8-Porsche.

Thierry returned to sports cars in 1996, teaming up with Hans Stuck in a works Porsche 911 GT1. They finished second at Le Mans and won races at Brands Hatch and Spa. Despite several top finishes in 1997, victories eluded them, and they were eventually released from the team.

In 1998, Thierry raced a Porsche 911 GT1 in select US GT championship events and drove Toyota’s Le Mans contender, the GT-One. He raced the GT-One again in 1999, but an accident caused by a collision with a back-marker led to serious back injuries. This incident prompted him to retire from racing, focus on his family, and manage his aviation business, Boutsen Aviation, in Monaco.

Thierry Boutsen Formula One World Championship career

Active years1983–1993
TeamsArrows, Benetton, Williams, Ligier, Jordan
Entries164 (163 starts)
Career points132
Pole positions1
Fastest laps1
First entry1983 Belgian Grand Prix
First win1989 Canadian Grand Prix
Last win1990 Hungarian Grand Prix
Last entry1993 Belgian Grand Prix

Sources: and


Driver Nationality Current/Last Team F1 Debut Status
Austrian Benetton 1984 Austrian Grand Prix Retired
Italian Benetton 1977 Monaco Grand Prix Retired
Brazilian Williams 1993 South African Grand Prix Retired


Team Nationality Debut Season Status
Arrows British 1978 Historic
Benetton British, Italian 1986 Historic
Williams British 1978 Current
Ligier French 1976 Historic
Jordan Grand Prix Irish 1991 Historic