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  F1 genealogy - Family Affairs
 
     Although Michael and Ralf Schumacher are the only siblings who have both won F1 GPs, they are certainly not the only brothers racing against each other, in the history of Formula One.
     
     There have been a number of brothers who raced against each other in Formula One, such as Emerson Fittipaldi and his elder brother Wilson.
       Wilson Fittipaldi scored just three points in three Seasons--fewer than his son Christian Fittipaldi, when he raced for Minardi and Arrows from 1992-94, before joining uncle Emerson in the CART Series.    Emerson Fittipaldi, twice F1 Champion (1972 in a Lotus and 1974 in a McLaren), was the youngest F1 champion ever, at 25. Emerson was Champion also in the CART Series (1989 in a Patrick), and twice winner of the famous Indianapolis 500 (1989 and 1993).
       Emerson accomplished the rare feat of, twice F1 Champion, going on to win the US CART Series Championship--not to mention the Indianapolis 500.
          Running close to Emerson comes Briton Nigel Mansell, who obtained the CART title (1993) in the year after he won the F1 Championship title (Williams, 1992). Though single titles in either category, Mansel takes the honor as the only driver to have won back-to-back the two most prestigious titles in motor racing.
     
     As already indicated, this is the first time (2001) in the 51-year history of the F1 World Championship, however, that siblings (Michael and Ralf Schumacher) are both Grands Prix winners.
       Should Ralf eventually come also to win a Formula-1 World Championship, that will make it another first time.
     
     Damon Hill made history in 1996 as the first son of a Champion (the legendary Graham Hill) also to win the world championship.
     
     Incidentally, the Fittipaldi brothers hold an original record: Wilson as Emerson's Team Manager, in the Fittipaldi Copersucar Team which they ran from 1976 to 1980.
     
     Britons Peter and half-brother Graham Whitehead were the first brothers to race together, Peter finishing 10th (Ferrari) and Graham 12th (Alta), in the 1952 British Grand Prix.
     
     Mexicans Ricardo and Pedro Rodriguez, who were more successful than the former pair, both lost their lives in crashes (Ricardo in 1962, in a non-championship Mexican Grand Prix, shortly after having signed with Ferrari, and Pedro in 1971, a year after having departed from the Ferrari Team, in a sportscar race in Germany).
       Had it not been for Ricardo's death at such an early age, the Rodriguez brothers would most likely have claimed for them the honor that the Schumacher siblings conquered in 2001.
       For Ricardo, at only 19 years of age, scored 2nd place in his F1 debut race (Monza, 1961), whereas Pedro won 2 Grands Prix and finished 6th in the 1967 and 1968 Championships.
     
     Pedro Rodriguez, who had previously been with the Ferrari team, returned to replace one of the Brambilla brothers, Ernesto (nicknamed Tino), who was to race a Ferrari in the 1969 Italian Grand Prix. (Ernesto Brambilla was injured, after having fallen off a motorcycle, and therefore unable to take part in the race.) Ernesto Brambilla's short F1 career ended right there. The Brabilla brothers never got to race against each other, it should be remarked.
       Brother Vittorio Brambilla, who started out as a mechanic for Ernesto (Tino), was more successful, having scored 15 points in 74 F1 races. Vittorio Brambilla is likely to be remembered for the crash that ensued as he punched the air in sheer exultation for his maiden and only F1 victory ever (in a March), in the 1975 Austrian Grand Prix.
       In rescue of his image, it should be added that both his victory and ensuing accident took place amid a real deluge, which caused the race to be ended shortly after mid-way through.   [ Check the Austrian Grand Prix, and the aftermath of the race which Brambilla won. | Jean Alesi's near Brambilla-style celebration  of his first point's finish for the Prost Team--Monaco, 2001 | Note on Vittorio Brambilla's death ]
     
       Incidentally, the first F3000 race (Brazil) in 2001, came close to witnessing a recurrence of such peculiar victory celebration--this time on a straight and in dry weather, however:
       as Briton Justin Wilson (Coca-cola Nordic Racing) crossed the finish line for his maiden victory in that series, elation made him lose his concentration into a spin, which he was then quick to take control of.
     
     Italy has also given F1 the Fabi brothers, Corrado and Teo, neither of whom achieved much success.
     
     Formula-1 may be on the way to including a yet more special situation, as far as siblings who race against eash other: identical twins whose names (when abbreviated) are likewise identical! (See below.)
     
       The current Formula 3000 grid includes the Brazilian Sperafico twins, rookies Rodrigo and Ricardo, who race in separate teams this Season (as, in fact, they have done in other categories, as well).
       The Sperafico twins look exactly alike, a fact that now and then generates curious situations, which they are prompt to talk about with a pinch of amusement.
       No less confusing is the fact that both are R.Sperafico: the media often forgets that, in their case, it does not suffice to use the initial letter for the first name, followed by the surname. So, on TV, for instance, as the F3000 race standings are displayed on the screen, the name R.Sperafico appears twice--the spectator left wondering which of the brothers, Ricardo or Rodrigo, is ahead of the other... The Eurosports TV channel is one that has not realized yet the need to figure out a way of making unambiguous reference to the twins.
       Rodrigo races with the Italian F3000 Coloni Team, whereas Ricardo partners "jungle boy" Antonio Pizzonia in the Brazilian F3000 Petrobrás Team.
       (The Petrobrás Team are the current F3000 Champions. This title was conquered with Bruno Junqueira at the wheel, partnered by Brazilian Max Wilson, both of whom are currently competing in the US CART Series, where Junqueira drives for Montoya's former team.)
       If the Sperafico twins both make it to F1 later on (which they might, since they are both pretty fast drivers), they'll be setting another first also in this higher category, as far as the genealogical aspect of F1 goes.
       There are two other Speraficos in the racing world, by the way, cousins Alexandre and Rafael Sperafico, both currently competing in the US Formula Barber Dodge (see about this category right below). The Speraficos are all fast drivers: Alex (Alexandre) won from pole (after shattering the track qualifying record) at the Sebring International Raceway (Florida) on March 17, 2001, whereas younger cousin and rookie Rafael, 2000 Barber-CART Big Scholarship winner, set the fastest lap of the same race. Rafael, who started from second place, finished sixth, after having dropped to the last position and fighting his way up through the race.
       Should Rafael and Alexandre Sperafico eventually cross the Atlantic, there would be four Sperafico cousins in all, racing against each other in categories paving the way to Formula-1. Whether or not the quartet will find their way to F1, a family as fast as the Speraficos is not exactly daily routine, and thus worth mentioning.   [ More on the Sperafico twins | Read about the Barber Dodge Pro Series, where you can also check further on Rafael and Alexandre Sperafico's successful careers in the US. ]
           The Barber Dodge Pro is a very competitive international open-wheel series, sponsored by the prestigious Skip Barber racing school. The series prides itself in being the only category selecting drivers solely on the basis of their ability and speed--not sponsorship. As it is the Official Entry Level Professional Race Series of CART, it could be said that Barber Dodge is to CART much the same as F3000 is to F1.
           Here are a few racing drivers who have competed in the Barber Dodge Series, all Skip Barber trained drivers, and whose names you are likely to have heard: Brazilian jungle boy  Antonio Pizzonia (winner of both the British Formula Renault and the British F3 championships, now a F3000 rookie, partnering F3000 rookie Ricardo Sperafico in the Petrobrás Team), Swedish CART rookie Kenny Brack (winner at the Nazareth Speedway, May 2001), Michael Andretti, NASCAR's sensation Jeff Gordon, Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya (1994 Barber Pro Series racer), and Brazilian Helio Castroneves, winner of the 2001 Indy-500 and one of the contenders for the 2001 CART Title, not to mention many names on the Indy-500 starting Grid whom you may be familiar with, as well.   [ Read about the Barber Dodge Pro Series--the same link as above. ]
     
     
     As already mentioned, Briton Damon Hill claimed for the Hill family in 1996 the honor of being the only father and son to have both been crowned with Champion's title, in the entire history of F1 (to this date).
       Damon's father, Graham Hill, was the legendary Mr.Monaco, a nickname given him for his five wins on that famous and challenging racing track.
       In Monaco, however, it was not Damon, but the late Brazilian Ayrton Senna who often evoked Graham Hill's memory, as a result of Senna's many victories on that same track.
     
     Of fathers and sons who were both racing drivers, the history of F1 includes a few others, such as:
     
       Jack Brabham's offsprings, David and Gary, who followed their father's career never to score a single F1 victory, however;
       American Mario Andretti and his son Michael  [ see picture above ];
       Brazilian Wilson Fittipaldi and his son Christian (whose uncle, Emerson, became a legend not only in F1 but also in the US CART series);
       and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve and his son Jacques (currently racing with the BAR Team).
     
     The sons of a few former F1 champions are likely on their way:
       American Derek Hill (the son of one time F1 champion Phil Hill--Ferrari, 1961),
       Australian Tomas Scheckter (the son of one time F1 champion Jody Scheckter--Ferrari, 1979), who started the 2001 as Jaguar test driver, to be dismissed in May   [ Check on Tomas Scheckter's dismissal ]   and
       Brazilian three-time F1 Champion Nelson Piquet's "Junior," Nelson Angelo Piquet, usually referred to as Nelsinho Piquet--not to get confused with his notorious father. (Father Piquet, Nelson Piquet Souto Maior, won his F1 titles with Brabham, 1981-1983, and Williams, 1987.)
           Incidentally, father and son Piquet, in partnership, conquered pole position in this year's (2001) 1000-Km of Brasilia, a yearly racing event that takes place on a track named after the father Piquet, in the Brazilian capital.
    Although the father-son team did not win the race, they took the honors for the fastest race lap: 2'04"478, on lap 28 (in a total of 183 laps), when father Piquet was behind the wheel.
           The winning team, who completed the 1000 Km distance in 7h.13'30", included Felipe Giaffone, the only Brazilian driver participating in every one race of the US IRL Season, this year (2001). Giaffone flew home especially for the 1000-Km of Brasilia.
     
     [ See on Michael and Ralf Schumacher, in the Section for the Imola Grand Prix, where the younger of the Schumacher brothers took his maiden F1 victory ]
     


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