Pedro Diniz

Full Name:
Pedro Paulo Falleiros dos Santos Diniz
Born:
22nd May 1970 (Age 49)
Sao Paulo
Nationality:
Brazilian
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

Pedro Diniz brought a healthy budget and unstinting enthusiasm to his six-year Formula 1 career. The son of a wealthy supermarket owner, Diniz benefited from the willingness of suppliers to his father’s chain as potential sponsors.

Early racing career

He graduated to Sud-Am Formula 3 in 1990 with just a year’s experience in Brazilian Formula Ford. Second in the final Sud-Am round of the year, Diniz decided his ambitions were best served in the British F3 Championship. An erratic 1991 with West Surrey Racing was followed by improved form in Edenbridge Racing’s Ralt RT36-Mugen that included third place finishes at Thruxton and Brands Hatch during 1992.

Still inexperienced but having shown progress, Diniz graduated to Formula 3000 for the 1993 and 1994 seasons with a Forti Corse Reynard-Cosworth. He struggled initially and made crucial mistakes when well placed during his second season. But it finally came right in the penultimate race of 1994 when fourth at Estoril – his only F3000 score and good enough for 12th in the standings.

Formula 1 with Forti and Ligier

Diniz signed a three-year contract with Forti and helped fund the team’s F1 graduation in 1995. He drove sensibly and even began to out-qualify his experienced team-mate Roberto Moreno. Seventh in the Australian Grand Prix was his best result but, despite his long-term commitments, Diniz moved to Ligier after just one season. His car was engulfed in flames after a refuelling pitstop during the 1996 Argentine GP. The Ligier JS43-Mugen proved to be a good chassis and Diniz finished sixth in both Spain and Italy that year.

Subsequent seasons with Arrows and Sauber

When Tom Walkinshaw left the team and bought Arrows, the Brazilian signed as reigning champion Damon Hill’s team-mate for the 1997 season. He qualified his Arrows A18-Yamaha eighth in Belgium and finished fifth at the Nürburgring after withstanding Olivier Panis’s pressure for the last 30 laps to score his best result to date.

He repeated that result at Spa-Francorchamps in 1998 although that second season with the team was hampered by the late arrival of the Arrows A19 and a lack of reliability. Diniz spent his last two F1 seasons with Sauber and it is to his credit that he was now a reliable number two driver who was not out of his depth in the category. He survived a spectacular barrel-roll at the start of the 1999 European GP at the Nürburgring in which the rollbar of his Sauber C18-Petronas was torn away.

His final season as an F1 driver came in 2000 and Diniz then became co-owner of Prost Grand Prix. It proved a short-term association however for Diniz fell out with Alain Prost a year later shortly before the team went into liquidation. Pedro Diniz has since managed the family business and was also involved in promoting Formula Renault in Brazil.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2000 F1 World Championship
Red Bull Sauber Petronas
16 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1999 F1 World Championship
Red Bull Sauber Petronas
16 0 0 0
0% win rate
13th 3
1998 F1 World Championship
Danka Zepter Arrows
16 0 0 0
0% win rate
13th 3
1997 F1 World Championship
Danka Arrows Yamaha
17 0 0 0
0% win rate
16th 2
1996 F1 World Championship
Ligier Gauloises Blondes
16 0 0 0
0% win rate
15th 2
1995 F1 World Championship
Parmalat Forti Ford
17 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1994 FIA International F3000 Championship
Forti Corse
8 0 0 0
0% win rate
12th 3
1993 FIA International F3000 Championship
Forti Corse
8 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1992 Halfords British F2 Championship
Edenbridge Racing
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0