With 18 Grands Prix to his name and no points to show for it, 1990s Formula One driver Taki Inoue might not be the most successful of racing drivers but he’s certainly one of the most memorable.
Inoue will always be remembered by two bizarre and unfortunate incidents during the 1995 season. The first during the Monaco Grand Prix when in practice, his Footwork rolled into the barriers – with him in it – while being towed back to the pits. The most famous, or should that be infamous, moment however was the Hungarian Grand Prix when after retiring with engine failure, Inoue was run over by the medical car live on TV. Now retired and living in Monaco, RedBull.com caught up with the man himself.
RedBull.com: You’re happy to call yourself the worst Formula One driver ever, why is that?
Taki Inoue: It is true. I only did 18 starts and couldn’t get a point and in qualifying I was always massively off the pace from my team-mate, around two to five seconds. I never overtook any cars during my F1 career. I believe definitely I am one of the worst Formula One drivers ever.
RB: If you were so bad, how did you get into F1?
TI: That’s a good question. I believe the most important thing to get into F1 is timing. In my case, I just had a little bit of good luck. For example, when Damon Hill raced with Brabham in 1992 he rarely qualified but after that, when he raced with Williams, he won the world championship. This is Formula One.
RB: What was your first race like?
TI: A total disaster. I can’t even remember all of it.
RB: Is it true you didn’t know what a pit stop was?
TI: Very true. At that time F1 was the only series to have a pit stop. How did I know what a pit stop was before F1?
RB: What are you most happy memories of your time in Formula One?
TI: Struggling to catch up on the payment due date to the team. On the other hand, it was a nasty memory.
RB: And the least happy memories?
TI: Same as above.