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Andrea Chiesa

6th May 1964 (Age 56)
Milan, Lombardy (I)
Most recent race (in database):

An Italian-born Swiss national, Andrea Chiesa made his Italian Formula 3 debut in 1985 but initially struggled with the unfancied (in Italy at least) Volkswagen engine. He left Trivellato and joined Euroracing for his third season in the category and his Dallara F387-Alfa Romeo won three of the first four races in 1987. He led the standings all year only for Enrico Bertaggia to steel the title at the final round – Chiesa finishing as a disappointed runner-up.

Formula 3000 race winner but frustrated in F1

Chiesa graduated to Formula 3000 in 1988 and would race in the series for four seasons. Less-than-impressive in Cobra International’s Lola T88/50-Cosworth during his rookie campaign – sixth at Monza his only score – he was still chosen for the fully-funded Q8 Team Ford for 1989. His Roni Motorsport-prepared Reynard 89D-Cosworth finished second at Vallelunga and Chiesa won at Enna-Pergusa as he was classified sixth in the championship.

He joined the Labatt’s-sponsored Paul Stewart Racing for 1990 and armed with two seasons experience, a competitive Lola T90/50-Mugen and another paid for drive – he should have challenged for the title. Chiesa did finish second at Donington Park and Birmingham but seventh in the standings was not what he had hoped for. His F3000 career petered out with his Apomatox Reynard 91D-Cosworth finishing no higher than ninth in 1991.

Nevertheless, Chiesa raised enough sponsorship to graduate to F1 in 1992 with Fondmetal. He was out-performed by team-mate Gabriele Tarquini and struggled to coax his Ford-powered GR01 into the field. When he did, Chiesa crashed on each of his three starts before being replaced by Eric van de Poele after the German GP.

Career after Formula 1

A one-off Champ Car appearance at Surfers Paradise in 1993, where he retired Euromotorsport’s old Lola-Cosworth after just two laps, was his last major single-seater race. The death of his father prompted temporary retirement as he ran the family business.

He returned in sports cars from 1996 before switching to the FIA GT Championship in 2001. The highlights of his three seasons in GT3 Porsches both came in the Spa 24 Hours – finishing sixth overall in 2001 for Freisinger Motorsport before taking a fine third position in 2003 with Seikel Motorsport’s 996 GT3-R.

Chiesa spent four years in Loris Kessel’s Italian GT team from 2003 – winning the N-GT title that year and the next. He has most recently driven a Maserati Quattroporte in the country’s Superstars touring car series.

Championship seasons