In defence of ‘F1’s worst ever driver’ on his birthday

Yuji Ide has an unlucky place within the historical past of System 1.

The Japanese racer – who turns 48 on January twenty first – solely took 4 in 4 Grands Prix for the Tremendous Aguri squad again in 2006 – coming in as a 31-year-old rookie.

After tipping Christijan Albers right into a barrel-roll on the opening lap on the San Marino Grand Prix, the FIA stepped in to revoke Ide’s tremendous licence till he had gained extra expertise.

16 years later, Ide’s tremendous licence continues to be revoked after he headed again to Japan and Tremendous GT racing.

However the odds have been stacked in opposition to Ide, that means he by no means actually obtained a good crack at Grand Prix racing.



In defence of Yuji Ide

Ide was not a world beater, however held a decent document in System Nippon, ending third in 2004, only one level behind champion Richard Lyons and stage with Andre Lotterer.

He would go one higher in 2005, however was pipped by Satoshi Motoyama within the last standings, earlier than his sudden F1 call-up to be teammate to Takuma Sato within the workforce created particularly for him after the works Honda squad dumped him forward of the ’06 season.

When it got here to the season-opener in Bahrain, Ide certified slowest of all, almost 2.8s slower than Sato – who himself was 1.4s slower than Tiago Montiero. Ide was almost seven seconds off the tempo in Q1, set by Michael Schumacher.

It did not get a lot better as he retired from that race, and the following one in Malaysia, earlier than a minimum of seeing the chequered flag in Australia with a thirteenth place end – albeit three laps down on winner Fernando Alonso.

Subsequent outing at Imola, Ide tipped Albers the other way up into the gravel at Villeneuve nook and later retired with suspension issues after 23 laps. They might be the final laps he’d ever drive in F1 equipment.

Race Qualifying End result
Bahrain twenty first – Kimi Raikkonen set no time DNF –
Malaysia twenty second DNF –
Australia twenty second thirteenth
San Marino twenty second DNF – suspension

Robust break for Ide

Being shoe-horned into an F1 seat, on the workforce that was purpose-built simply so your teammate might proceed to have a drive most likely is not one of the best environment to make your Grand Prix debut – at any age.

Whereas Ide didn’t have the best time of it, he didn’t present any flashes of promise or talent throughout his temporary stint in F1.

Certainly, his biggest achievement is seeing the chequered flag on the Melbourne avenue circuit with out hitting somebody or one thing.

After the FIA withdrew his superlicence, he returned to Japan to compete in Tremendous GT racing.

Outcomes have been respectable sufficient, though his final win got here in 2010 at Suzuka.

In 2022, Ide claimed a second place at Fuji and a sixth at Suzuka in his part-campaign.

It isn’t honest to characterise Ide as an entire no-hoper who had no proper to be anyplace close to a Grand Prix automobile, in contrast to some others who went earlier than.

A wonderfully competent driver, the playing cards have been stacked in opposition to him, and on the finish of the day, he was just a bit out of his depth in System 1. There is no such thing as a disgrace in that.

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