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Hector Rebaque

Full Name:
Hector Alonso Rebaque
5th February 1956 (Age 64)
Mexico City
Most recent race (in database):

Was he Formula 1’s last true privateer or a wealthy amateur meddling in a professional sport?

Family background and Formula 1 ambitions

The son of a wealthy México City car dealer, Héctor Rebaque arrived in Europe having just won an IMSA race run in his home town. With a single-seater grounding in Formula Atlantic and Formula 2 when run by Fred Opert Racing, Rebaque paid to make his Grand Prix debut with Hesketh in six races during 1977. He was out-of-his-depth and only qualified once.

So Rebaque invested in state-of-the-art machinery for the following season, buying an ultra-competitive Lotus 78-Ford and forming his own team. Sixth at the German GP was a triumph but that bucked the trend of another unconvincing campaign.

Despite upgrading to the championship-winning Lotus 79, 1979 was another disaster. With the works team struggling in its title defence and customer service minimal, Rebaque failed to score a point. Frustrated, he commissioned Penske Cars to build its own Lotus-copy. The Rebaque HR100 first appeared at the Italian GP and he only qualified it once in the last three races of the year.

Switch to Brabham delivers results

Rebaque’s ambitions were as driver rather than team owner and he replaced Ricardo Zunino as Brabham number two mid-way through 1980. His greatest day came in the 1981 Argentine GP when he ran second behind team leader Nelson Piquet only to retire with mechanical failure. Three fourth place finishes that year were his best F1 results before he left to seek success in America.

Champ Car race winner

Results during his 1982 Champ Car season with Forsythe Racing’s March 82C-Cosworth were modest in the main but Rebaque inherited victory at Elkhart Lake when Al Unser’s Longhorn ran out of fuel on the last lap. Shortly after the highest profile win of his career, Rebaque suffered a big shunt at Michigan that prompted him to quit Champ Cars at the end of the season.

He made a final F1 appearance with Brabham in the 1983 Race of Champions at Brands Hatch. The 29 year old Mexican quit racing and returned home after retiring from that non-championship event. Rebaque now lives in Cuauhtémoc where he works in architecture.

Championship seasons