Joseph Vonlanthen

Born:
31st May 1942 (Age 77)
St-Ursen, Fribourg Canton
Nationality:
Swiss
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

This Swiss garage owner was a Formula 2 privateer during the 1970s who also started one Grand Prix – the 1975 Austrian GP at the Osterreichring. He had his moments in European single-seaters’ second tier although he normally made up the numbers.

Early racing career

Formula Vee in 1968 was followed by some national Formula 3 success driving a GRD. He bought a GRD 273-Ford for the 1973 F2 season but it was generally a struggle. That said, he was third of only four finishers at Vallelunga’s final round.

A new March 742-BMW was acquired for 1974 but Vonlanthen failed to score a point all year. He continued with the car in 1975 and registered his best international result in the opening race of the season – qualifying fifth and finishing second at Estoril when only beaten by Jacques Laffite. However, Vonlanthen’s life at the sharp end of the F2 field proved short-lived.

Formula 1 with Ensign and Williams

He made a brief Formula 1 foray during 1975 – driving for Ensign in the International Trophy at Silverstone before making his GP debut with a Williams FW03-Ford in the Austrian GP. He only qualified in 29th position but was allowed to start when others were forced to withdraw. That reprieve lasted just 14 laps before Vonlanthen retired with engine failure. He remained with the team for the following week’s Swiss GP (a non-championship race held at Dijon-Prenois in France) when he completed insufficient laps to be classified.

That was the end of his F1 career and Vonlanthen made three F2 starts during 1976 with the March 752-BMW he had campaigned a year earlier. He retired from racing at the end the season to concentrate on his car dealerships that still operate today.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
1976 European F2 Championship
Team Vonlanthen
3 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1975 F1 World Championship
Frank Williams Racing Cars
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1975 European F2 Championship
Brissago Blauband Racing
5 (3) 0 1 0
0% win rate
17th 6
1974 European F2 Championship
Team Vonlanthen
8 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1973 European F2 Championship
Vonlanthen Racing Team
10 (1) 0 1 0
0% win rate
21st 4