The World Championship drivers — Where are they now?

by Richard Jenkins
The Ancien Pilotes at Dijon in 1974

Ancien Pilotes at Dijon 1974

I have endeavoured to try and provide as up-to-date and accurate information as possible for everyone featured on this site, and I am always indebted to the many contributors who help with the information on this site and sadly, space doesn't allow for me to thank everyone here. However, I would like to dedicate the ongoing work, progress and achievements on this site to those contributors who are sadly no longer with us but helped aide this project so much: David McKinney, Len Calinoff, Phil Harms, Gene Heeter, Earl Ma, Don Radbruch, Roscoe H Rann and Barry Lake.

Updates and corrections are always welcomed — please either join the debate here or feel free to contact me on with any information you might have.

This part of the site is also dedicated to the memory of Tony Marsh, as it was his post-Grand Prix life that served as the initial inspiration for "Where Are They Now" back in 1998 For more about what this part of the site is trying to achieve, please read my full introduction.

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Name Born Died Nat Grands Prix Biography
Carlos Pace 06 Oct 1944
Sao Paulo
18 Mar 1977
Mairipora, nr. Sao Paulo
BR 72
(1972-1977)
Killed in an aeroplane crash. The Brazillian GP circuit is named in his memory. A debonair man, he was hugely popular in Sao Paulo, even more so than fellow Paulista and World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi. One of Bernie Ecclestone's all-time favourites, he surely would've won more races but for his untimely death. (Last updated 11 Nov 2012)
Jim Packard 23 Dec 1931
Hendersonville, North Carolina
01 Oct 1960
Fairfield, Illinois
USA 0
(1959-1960)
Killed in a midget race, just after his first Champ Car win. Highly rated, varied driver who had many wins in sprint cars. Served in the Korean War. His widow, Betty, later worked in F1 and at Indianapolis, and she is still involved in the sport as she publishes the Ladies 500, a who's who of females in the sport. (Last updated 28 Jan 2012)
Nello Pagani 11 Oct 1911
Milan
19 Oct 2003
Miazzina
I 1
(1950)
A legend in the bike world, he made appearances at historic events until very recently, when he started to suffer ill-health. Died recently, just after his 92nd birthday. (Last updated 24 Jan 2010)
Riccardo Paletti 15 Jun 1958
Milan
13 Jun 1982
Montreal, Canada
I 2
(1982)
Killed in a nasty accident in the 1982 Canadian GP. Credible F2 racer who struggled to get results in F1, a track at Varano de Melegrani, nr. Parma is named in his honour. (Last updated 11 Nov 2012)
Torsten Palm 23 Jul 1947
Kristinehamn

S 1
(1975)
Brother of Gunnar Palm, a rally co-driver, Torsten was a businessman and racer. For many years, Palm has run a garage in Lidingo, near to where he lives, often dealing with Ferrari cars., for many years now. Swedish F3 champion in 1970, Torsten actually started in rallying as long ago as 1963, but his prowess in F3 led to him concentrating on single-seaters. Lack of finance hindered much of his career, and realising he wasn't going to get much further without it, he stopped racing in 1976. He went into driver management, notably with Eje Elgh. He returned to racing in 1992, in both circuit racing and rallying, before retiring in 1997 to focus on his business interests. More recently, Palm has also become President of Degefors IF football club. (Last updated 13 Jul 2014)
Jonathan Palmer 07 Nov 1956
Lewisham, London

GB 83
(1983-1989)
Formed his own racing series, after working for the BBC - the Formula Palmer Audi series. It's first champion was Justin Wilson and Palmer became his manager. In 2004, Palmer and his two business partners became the new owners of 4 UK circuits - Cadwell Park, Oulton Park, Brands Hatch and Snetterton and they now have a pivotal role to play in the future of UK motorsport. Palmer also ran the revived, albeit shortlived, F2 series. Son Jolyon is now racing. (Last updated 8 Dec 2012)
Olivier Panis 02 Sep 1966
Oullins, Lyon

F 157
(1994-2004)
When he left F1, he worked as a test driver and then eased back into the sport through ice-racing, before becoming a sportscar and GT driver. From the start of 2012, he is only racing in French GT's (partly) and the Andros Trophy, after deciding to retire from all other racing. He is also driving coach and manager to Charles Pic. (Last updated 1 Jul 2013)
Giorgio Pantano 04 Feb 1979
Conselve, Padua

I 14
(2004)
Very successful in F3000/GP2, finally winning the title in 2008, less so with Jordan in F1. A F1 drive didn't materialise straight after his GP2 win and so Pantano went into the Auto GP series, amongst other one-off drive in various series, including the IRL (both in 2011 and 2012), but finding a full drive has been very difficult since then. In 2013, Giorgio spent a whole season racing in the Karting World Championship as well as driving in the GT Open Series, but 2014 saw some career momentum at last with a drive in Blancpain and the FIA GT series. (Last updated 15 Mar 2014)
Massimiliano Papis 03 Oct 1969
Como

I 7
(1995)
Long-time based in the US, Max has been in CART, ALMS, Grand-Am, NASCAR's Nationwide Series and now the USCS. (Last updated 14 Jan 2014)
Michael Parkes 24 Sep 1931
Richmond, Surrey
28 Aug 1977
Riva Presso Chieri, nr. Turin, Italy
GB 6
(1959-1967)
Became involved with management with Ferrari, whilst continuing to race from time to time, before his sad death in a road accident near Turin where his car collided with a lorry. Parkes was born into the automobile business as his father was the Chairman of Alvis. Mike originally worked as a development engineer for the Rootes Group before taking up driving full-time. Because of both his height and his commitment to development and testing for Ferrari, he did not race in many single-seater events, but did win the 1967 International Trophy at Silverstone. Retired at the end of 1972 to work on projects with FIAT and Lancia, which included the Stratos rally car. (Last updated 9 Sep 2014)
Reg Parnell 02 Jul 1911
Derby
07 Jan 1964
Derby
GB 6
(1950-1954)
One of Britain's best racers in the immediate post-war era, Parnell later became a team owner up until his death from peritonitis after a routine appendix operation in 1964. He began his career though in 1934, after buying a Bugatti in a local scrapyard for 25, but unfortunately the gamble failed, and the car broke before he could even attempt to qualify. Retired from a fine racing career in 1957, and then managed the Yeoman Credit and Bowmaker Lola Grand Prix teams, and the Aston Martin sportscar team. (Last updated 2 Aug 2014)
Tim Parnell 25 Jun 1932
Derby

GB 2
(1959-1963)
Took over his father Reg's teams on his death in 1964. Although a director of both the BRDC and Derby County FC, he is mostly now retired, still living in Derbyshire. Often attends reunions. His driving career ended upon Reg's death, but Tim remained linked to the sport for years - either as BRM team manager from 1968 to 1975, or as the manager of Donington Park circuit, or as the Motor Circuit Development Regional Director for Mallory Park and Oulton Park. (Last updated 9 Sep 2014)
Johnnie Parsons 04 Jul 1918
Los Angeles, California
08 Sep 1984
Van Nuys, California
USA 9
(1950-1958)
Winner of the rain-hit 1950 race, Parsons later became Chief Steward for the USAC midget division on the West Coast in the early 1970's.
Riccardo Patrese 17 Apr 1954
Padua

I 256
(1977-1993)
Now more or less retired, works in PR and kept fit playing tennis and by taking part in show jumping and skiing! This came in handy when it meant a surprise return to racing, in the Grand Prix Masters series and a F1 test with Honda in 2008. Also works in TV and visits and drives in historic events. (Last updated 11 Nov 2012)
Al Pease 15 Oct 1921
Darlington, Yorkshire (Now Durham), England
04 May 2014
Sevierville, Tennessee, United States
CDN 2
(1967-1969)
Died in 2014 at his home in Tennessee, after a few years of poor health. Until recently, he did car restoration and still followed the sport on television, and made a few appearances at historic events. Not only born in Britain, but lived there until he served abroad, for the British Army, in India, Rhodesia and Egypt. Because of these tours, he didn't return to the UK, and emigrated to the USA, and then Canada and initially became an illustrator, before moving into the car and racing businesses. Although his GP career was not successful, he did have a lot of success in Canadian racing. (Last updated 5 May 2014)
Roger Penske 20 Feb 1937
Shaker Heights, Ohio

USA 2
(1961-1962)
Still runs his legendary Penske outfit but now in the IRL and NASCAR. (Last updated 24 Jan 2014)
Cesare Perdisa 21 Oct 1932
Bologna
10 May 1998
Bologna
I 7
(1955-1957)
Became a businessman after his early retirement form racing.
Sergio Perez 26 Dec 1989
Guadalajara

MEX 70
(2011- )
GP2 championship runner-up in 2010 who moved up to F1 with Sauber in 2011, and stayed there in 2012, doing so well, nearly winning a race, that he moved to McLaren in 2013. That was not a success however for a number of reasons, and he left them at season's end to join Force India. (Last updated 7 Sep 2014)
Luis Perez Sala 15 May 1959
Barcelona

E 26
(1988-1989)
Was team principal to the HRT F1 team, until they collapsed, after a spell as an advisor. Is a team management consultant, but is also closely involved with young driver programmes and helps his nephew Daniel Juncadella with his career. Now retired from a long racing career which included GT and touring car racing. Lives in Barcelona. (Last updated 15 Mar 2014)
Larry Perkins 18 Mar 1950
Murrayville, Victoria

AUS 11
(1974-1977)
Retired as a driver in 2003, but until 2013, he owned, ran and was senior engineer of his own Perkins Engineering firm. Now fully retired after selling both business and sporting divisions of the company, he will keep links to the sport but other than being a consultant to engineering and aviation businesses, he will spend time travelling in his motor homes, which he builds and restores. (Last updated 15 Sep 2013)
Xavier Perrot 01 Feb 1932
Zurich
08 Dec 2008
Zurich
CH 1
(1969)
Died after a long period of ill-health. Ran a garage for a while and was a huge help to Peter Sauber when he set up his team. Retired from racing after marrying, but still followed the sport until his death. (Last updated 11 Nov 2012)
Henri Pescarolo 25 Sep 1942
Montfermeil, nr. Paris

F 57
(1968-1976)
Involved with ELF - now a young driver tutor and mentor. Continued racing until around 2005, then concentrated on his successful, title-winning endurance team recently. Since 2010, finance has caused a number of hiatuses from the sport, and the team was liquidated in 2013. Henri is likely to stay in sportscars in some capacity, even as a consultant for the time being. (Last updated 9 Jan 2013)
Alessandro Pesenti-Rossi 31 Aug 1942
Gerosa, Bergamo

I 3
(1976)
Still alive, living near Gerosa. Private entrant, who was capable in F2 but F1 was a step too far. Retired from racing in 1978. (Last updated 31 Oct 2013)
Jiggs Peters 28 Sep 1920
Metuchen, New Jersey
25 Dec 1993
Pittstown, New Jersey
USA 0
(1955)
Real name Fred, he has been unusually active since death, as his ashes have been taken by a friend to parties and for a ride in a midget car! (Last updated 24 Jan 2010)
Josef Peters 16 Sep 1914
Dusseldorf
24 Apr 2001
Dusseldorf
D 1
(1952)
Solid but unspectacular sports car stalwart of the 1950's.
Ronnie Peterson 14 Feb 1944
Orebro
11 Sep 1978
Milan, Italy
S 123
(1970-1978)
Died of injuries sustained in a start-line crash in the Italian GP at Monza. Hugely pouplar, this fast and spectacular driver was brilliant in F2, before leaving us with many top ballsy drives in F1 to remember him by. (Last updated 11 Nov 2012)
Vitaly Petrov 08 Sep 1984
Vyborg, nr. St Petersburg

RUS 53
(2010-2012)
After leaving F1, Vitaly was without a drive until moving to the DTM in 2014. (Last updated 28 Feb 2014)
Alfredo Pian 21 Oct 1912
Las Rosas, Santa Fe
25 Jul 1990
Las Rosas, Santa Fe
RA 0
(1950)
Decent and veteran endurance and road racer in his native land, his one GP attempt was, rather unusually at Monaco, rather than locally.
Charles Pic 15 Feb 1990
Montelimar

F 39
(2012-2013)
Drove in F1 for two years, for Marussia and Caterham. Dropped at the end of 2013, however and it was only a good 10 months later that he returned to racing, but this time in Formula E. Before reaching Formula 1, Pic was particularly impressive in Formula Renault 3.5, and was also a race winner in the GP2 series. Pic is also Lotus F1's current reserve and test driver. (Last updated 10 Sep 2014)
Francois Picard 26 Apr 1921
Villefranche-sur-Saone
29 Apr 1996
Nice
F 1
(1958)
Mainly in privately entered Ferrari sportscars, with many class wins. His career was ended by a crash at the Moroccan GP and he then retired to live in Monaco.
Ernie Pieterse 04 Jul 1938
Parow, Bellville

ZA 2
(1962-1965)
Useful national racer. Largely keeps a low profile, but is a visitor to historic events in his home country. (Last updated 24 Jan 2010)
Paul Pietsch 20 Jun 1911
Freiburg im Breisgau
31 May 2012
Karlsruhe
D 3
(1950-1952)
Pre-war starlet, who at the age of 100 at death, was the last surviving pre-war Grand Prix driver and the first ever Grand Prix driver to reach 100. He was well enough to celebrate his centenary at a host of special events to mark the occasion. The founder of Das Auto and Motor Presse publishing concerns, the latter of which arranged a special rally in his honour, the Paul Pietsch Classic. (Last updated 15 Jul 2012)
Marvin Pifer 13 Mar 1928
Adrian, Michigan
04 May 1974
Adrian, Michigan
USA 0
(1952)
Marvin''s son, of the same name, competed in the same machinery - sprint cars! Marvin himself ran a jeep and Triumph dealership in Adrian, but was diagnosed with MS in 1963. By 1968, he was in a wheelchair, 4 years later he sold his business and 2 years after that, the illness had killed him. Started racing under his brother Aldon''s name. Fought in Korea, and as well as his dealerships, also ran an automotive repair business. (Last updated 4 Oct 2010)
Andre Pilette 06 Oct 1918
Paris, France
27 Dec 1993
Etterbeek
B 9
(1951-1964)
Ran a racing school at Zolder until the late 1980's.
Teddy Pilette 26 Jul 1942
Brussels

B 1
(1974-1977)
Later a constructor in the sport. He appears nowadays at many historic meetings and also has a role in his late father's racing school. He also has many links on the web to historic motorsport. (Last updated 6 Apr 2010)
Luigi Piotti 27 Oct 1913
Milan
19 Apr 1971
Godiasco
I 6
(1955-1958)
Businessman and amateur driver who was mainly in sportscars. Won the Hyeres 12 hours in 1954 with Trintignant.
David Piper 02 Dec 1930
Edgware, Middlesex

GB 2
(1959-1960)
Despite having part of his leg amputated after a crash in 1970, David still races and appears at historic events. Also runs a Ferrari garage near his home in Surrey. He is also involved in historic racing administration. (Last updated 11 Nov 2012)
Nelsinho Piquet 25 Jul 1985
Heidelberg, Germany

BR 28
(2008-2009)
Son of Nelson. Promoted to the Renault F1 drive in 2008 and stayed there in 2009, but when he was dropped, he revealed that he crashed deliberately in the Singapore GP of 2008. He agreed a deal with the FIA that he wouldn''t be punished for cheating, but has found that much of F1 snubbed him anyway and is now in the US, racing first in NASCAR trucks and now in the NASCAR sprint series itself. In 2014, he also appeared in Formula E. (Last updated 10 Sep 2014)
Nelson Piquet 17 Aug 1952
Rio de Janeiro

BR 204
(1978-1991)
His racing career came to a virtual halt in 1992 after a big crash at Indianapolis and he still suffers slightly from the crash injuries. Now a grandfather, he is a successful businessman with a satellite tracking company in Brazil. He also keenly follows and guides his son, Nelson Angelo. Piquet Sr ran the GP2 team which featured his son, but sold it after Nelsinho's progression, but still acts as a consultant. Has now retired, his las race being a win at the Mille Mihila with his son, Bouchut and Castroneves in 2006. Nelson's youngest son Pedro has also started racing! (Last updated 24 Jan 2010)
Renato Pirocchi 23 Jun 1933
Notaresco, Teramo
29 Jul 2002
Chieti
I 1
(1961)
After retirement, Renato became President of the Automobile Club in Pescara and helped re-launch the Svolte di Popoli annual festival. He died in 2002, after suffering kidney problems. (Last updated 8 Mar 2013)
Didier Pironi 26 Mar 1952
Villecresnes, nr. Paris
23 Aug 1987
off the Isle of Wight, England
F 70
(1978-1982)
Forced to retire from F1 due to leg injuries, Pironi moved to powerboating but perished in a crash in 1987. (Last updated 11 Nov 2012)
Emanuele Pirro 12 Jan 1962
Rome

I 37
(1989-1991)
One of sportscars and touring cars modern legends. He won Sebring in 2000 and took a hat-trick of Le Mans wins between 2000-2002. This is on top of touring car titles, a career he eked after leaving F1 and he also won the ALMS title in 2005. He won his 5th Le Mans in 2007. Raced in ALMS in 2008 but dropped in 2009, he retired from major events. Since then he has been in Italian endurance events. He also works for the FIA as a F1 commissioner at the Grand Prix's, also works in TV and in a more ambassadorial role in future and still keeps visiting historic events, as well as being a driver coach and mentor. (Last updated 15 Mar 2014)
Antonio Pizzonia 11 Sep 1980
Manaus

BR 20
(2003-2005)
After missing out on a permanent drive in F1, he went to Champ Cars, then returned to Europe and GP2. Dropped midway through the season, he is racing in endurance events and touring cars in his homeland, as well as Grand-Am and the WEC. Also completes in triathlons. (Last updated 31 Mar 2013)
Jacques Pollet 02 Jul 1922
Roubaix
16 Aug 1997
Paris
F 5
(1954-1955)
Was Gordini's test driver who was promoted to race driver in sports cars and GP's after some strong performances. He also had a Le Mans class win to his credit during his career. (Last updated 24 Jan 2010)
Ben Pon 09 Dec 1936
Leiden

NL 1
(1962)
Now owns and runs a hugely successful winery and lodge in California, USA. (Last updated 24 Jan 2010)
Dennis Poore 19 Aug 1916
Paddington, London
12 Feb 1987
Kensington, London
GB 2
(1952)
A pivotal name behind the motoring magazine, Autosport, funding it due to his wealth. This came from his many business ventures, which included the family propellor business, Norton motorcycles and the taxi manufacturer, Carbodies. (Last updated 27 Dec 2013)
Sam Posey 26 May 1944
New York City, New York

USA 2
(1971-1972)
Worked for Speedvision (commentated for over 10 years), and still occasionally on TV and also writes, paints and is a railroad expert, but has sadly been in ill-health recently. (Last updated 8 Dec 2012)
Charles Pozzi 27 Aug 1909
Paris
28 Feb 2001
Levallois-Perret
F 1
(1950)
Ran a huge Ferrari dealership, which ran advertising on the F1 cars in the late 70's. He was still involved in French motor sport, in one way or another until his recent death.
Ralph Pratt 17 Mar 1910
Portage, Ohio
15 Dec 1981
Fayetteville, Pennsylvania
USA 0
(1950)
Midget legend who was Roger Penske's boyhood hero and a source of inspiration for Penske for many years. Perhaps the greatest midget driver of them all, he took a colossal 142 wins in 4 years and even won, in the same day, three different races at three different tracks in Ohio! Fought in WW2, and then worked for a firearms company in Pennsylvania after retiring from racing. (Last updated 14 May 2014)
Jackie Pretorius 22 Nov 1934
Potchefstroom, Transvaal
30 Mar 2009
Johannesburg
ZA 3
(1965-1973)
A very popular man, he was a regular at historics and worked for many years for Wynn Oil. Sadly, robbers broke into his house twice - the first time the attack killed his wife and injured Jackie. Despite this, he still attended historic events and stayed upbeat, but when the 2nd attack happened, Jackie was badly injured, and after a spell in a coma, he died, leaving the whole South African motor racing world aghast and in mourning over his murder. (Last updated 24 Jan 2010)
Ernesto Prinoth 15 Apr 1923
Ortisei, Bolzano
26 Nov 1981
Innsbruck, Austria
I 0
(1962)
Became a successful manufacturer of snow-grooming vehicles, which still runs very successfully today. Died of a heart-attack whilst at work at the Innsbruck ski resort in Austria. (Last updated 27 Dec 2013)
David Prophet 09 Oct 1937
Hong Kong
29 Mar 1981
Silverstone, Northamptonshire
GB 2
(1963-1965)
Killed in a helicopter crash, just after attending the International Trophy race meeting in Silverstone. A Midlands based motor trader, he was decent in sportscars and club racing. His career was quite a lengthy one, starting in Formula Junior in 1961. He intially retired from racing in 1972, before returning for a couple of Shellsport Group 8 races in 1977. (Last updated 6 Sep 2014)
Alain Prost 24 Feb 1955
Lorette, Saint-Chamond, nr. St. Etienne

F 199
(1980-1993)
Took on the running of the Ligier team, renaming it Prost and started very well. But Panis' injury in 1997 led to a downfall in fortunes and Prost announced bankruptcy in 2002. After a well-deserved rest, he's back and indeed racing and winning, in the annual ice racing tournaments (Champion in 2007 and 2008, no less) and in French GT racing. Also works as a motorsport advisor and helps his son who is now racing and is now involved in the new Formula E series. (Last updated 30 Jun 2014)
Tom Pryce 11 Jun 1949
Ruthin, Denbighshire, North Wales
05 Mar 1977
Kyalami Circuit, South Africa
GB 42
(1974-1977)
Killed in a horrific accident in the South African GP. Wales' greatest ever driver, this shy modest driver was extremely fast. Welsh speaking, he also worked at a garage and could've been a World Champion but for his death. (Last updated 11 Nov 2012)
David Purley 26 Jan 1945
Bognor Regis, Sussex
02 Jul 1985
off the coast, nr. Bognor Regis, Sussex
GB 7
(1973-1977)
Heir to the Lec refrigeration company, this amazing man survived a whole lot of scrapes before his death in a biplane whilst performing aerobatics off the Sussex coast. Purley spent a while in the army, surviving a near-fatal parachute jump accident. During a 16 year career in the sport, he will always be remembered for two things - trying in vain to save Roger Williamson from a needless fiery death at Zandvoort in 1973, an effort that earnt him a George Medal - and a crash at the British Grand Prix in 1977, when he went from 120 miles per hour to zero in just 26 inches, which earnt him an unwanted place in the Guinness Book of Records. Purley's heart actually stopped for a very short while, but recovered to race only a year later. (Last updated 7 Sep 2014)
Clive Puzey 11 Jul 1941
Bulawayo

RSR 0
(1961)
A major player in the main opposition movement in Zimbabwe to Robert Mugabe, Puzey ran a garage in Harare which was attacked in the first Zimbabwean uprising in 2000. Clive was shaken but unhurt, but has since emigrated to Australia. He is still well, and runs a garden products business and as he is a dyslexic, runs a support group to help other people with dyslexia. (Last updated 15 Apr 2014)

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