minardi european

1. 2001 Japanese Grand Prix ★ Qualified: 18th ★ Race Classification: 11th

Reasons for choosing: This was arguably the most impressive race in Fernando’s very impressive (if slightly unspectacular) debut season. It wasn’t his highest race finish that season infact, as he finished 10th in that years German Grand Prix, but that result was due to over half of the grid retiring. This result was achieved on his own merits, outracing his own team mate by quite some margin, aswell as other more experienced drivers in better cars. His team boss at the time Paul Stoddart described it as “53 laps of qualifying”.