Alessandro Zanardi’s F1 career came in two parts. The first, with a Lotus team that was very much on its last legs, lasted from 1992-4 and yielded very little.
In 1993 he suffered a shocking accident at Spa-Francorchamps when his active suspension system failed and was unable to participate in the rest of the season. His seat was taken by Pedro Lamy, and when Lamy himself was injured at Silverstone in testing the following year Zanardi got his seat back.
He moved to Champ Cars and won the 1997 and 1998 titles for Chip Ganassi Racing, before returning to Formula One in a high-profile deal with Williams for 1999. But he struggled with the grooved-tyre, narrow-track cars and cut short his two-year contract at the end of just one season.
He returned to Champ Car racing but disaster struck in 2001 at the Lausitzring, when he spun while returning to the track and was struck almost head on by Alex Tagliani.
The horrifying accident robbed him of both his legs. But, following a tremendous recovery, he returned to racing in the World Touring Car Championship in a specially modified BMW.
He now competes in paralympic athletic events and marathons.
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