Winkelhock first tried to qualify for Formula One Grand Prix in Italy in 1980 when he stood in for the injured Jochen Mass at Arrows. With the support of BMW he landed a drive with ATS in 1982 but the car was rarely reliable and although he qualified well on several occasions there were few results and a lot of accidents. At the same time he was a regular sports car and touring car driver, winning the Monza 1000 with Marc Surer in 1985.
Manfred's brother Joachim Winkelhock later tried to become a Formula One driver with the AGS team, but never managed to qualify for a race, although he enjoyed a successful career in touring car racing.
Complete Formula One results
(Note: grands prix in bold denote points scoring races.)