Most Formula One drivers get their first taste of racing machinery at preposterously young ages – Michael Schumacher started karting aged four. Tiago Monteiro had to wait 16 years longer than that, first getting to drive his father’s Porsche around Paul Ricard in France aged 20.
From there he progressed rapidly, hitting F3000 in 2002 and sampling Champ Car and F1 machinery the following year. In 2004 he finished runner-up to Heikki Kovalainen in the World Series by Nissan (now World Series by Renault), winning five times and beating ex-F1 driver Enrique Bernoldi.
That earned him an F1 seat with Jordan for 2005 and although the 28 year-old impressed with incredible consistency to finish almost every race.
The mass withdrawal of Michelin-shod cars from that year’s United States Grand Prix allowed him to stand on the podium of an F1 race for the one and only time in his career.
He stayed with Jordan as the team became Midland for 2006, but failed to keep his place as the team changed again to Spyker. Adrian Sutil moved in and Monteiro joined the Seat World Touring Car team.