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Mika Salo

Mika Salo 2007 (crop).JPG
Mika Salo
Caption Mika Salo in 2007
Nationality 22px-Flag of Finland.png Finnish
Years F1 1994, 2000, 2002
Team(s) Lotus, Tyrrell, Arrows, British American Racing, Ferrari, Sauber, Toyota
Races 111 (109 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 2
Points 33
Poles 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 1994 Japanese Grand Prix
Last race 2002 Japanese Grand Prix


Mika Juhani Salo (born November 30, 1966 in Helsinki) is a Finnish former Formula One driver. His best ranking was 10th in the world championship in 1999.

Formula 3 and Early F1 career

In 1989, Salo competed in the British Formula 3 championship racing for Alan Docking Racing. He raced with the Reynard Toyota package which was not the seasons best. Staying with Alan Docking Racing for 1990 and moving to a more competitive Ralt chassis, he raced against countryman and fierce rival Mika Häkkinen in Formula 3, finishing 2nd to him. During the months following the 1990 season, Salo was caught driving under the influence in the UK. Subsequently the chance of him gaining an Formula 1 superlicence were destroyed. He then moved to Japan in an attempt to revive his damaged reputation. After a few years racing in Japan he made his first Formula 1 start at the penultimate round of the 1994 season in Suzuka, Japan for the dying Lotus team. He was kept on for the seasons finale in Adelaide, Australia. Salo competed in F1 at Tyrrell the year after. He was to spend 3 years with the team, scoring points several times, most notably by running the whole of the wet 1997 Monaco Grand Prix without a pit stop (and with a damaged front wing), the only driver to do this since refuelling was reintroduced in 1994. Despite a promising 1998 with Arrows, he had no full-time drive in 1999.

Substitute for Ferrari

Following an injury to BAR driver Ricardo Zonta, Salo did get a short-term drive for 1999, for three races. However, when Michael Schumacher broke his leg at a crash during the 1999 British Grand Prix Salo was selected as his long-term substitute to partner Eddie Irvine at Ferrari. In his second race in Ferrari at the 1999 German Grand Prix Salo led for much of the race and would have scored a Grand prix win but team orders demanded that he give the lead to Irvine, who at the time was fighting for the championship with Mika Häkkinen. Following the race, Irvine handed his victory trophy over to Salo as a gesture to show his gratitude. He also finished third at Monza, ahead of Irvine.

Ferrari to Sauber

He was back full-time in 2000 with Sauber, taking 11th in the championship, although he left the team for 2001 to help the new Toyota team prepare for its entry in 2002. He scored 2 points for them in their first season, becoming only the 2nd driver to score points on a team's debut in the modern era by finishing 6th at the 2002 Australian Grand Prix (the other being fellow Finn, JJ Lehto for Sauber in 1993). He retired from Formula 1 at the end of this season, after surprisingly getting fired from Toyota. Rumours said that the reason for Salo's release was personal problems with staff working for Toyota, but this has not been confirmed.

During his Formula One career, he achieved 2 podiums, and scored a total of 33 championship points.

After F1

His first post-F1 race came at the 2003 12 Hours of Sebring, driving the UK-entered Audi R8, the same car he was supposed to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans if it had not ran out of fuel already after the first hour. He raced in four CART races for PK Racing during the same year, his best finish being third in Miami in his second series start.

Because of his strong links with Ferrari he was picked up to be part of the development program of the Maserati MC12 GT racer. He made his FIA GT debut in 2004, narrowly losing the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in a Ferrari 575. After that he entered the last four races of the season in the Maserati, winning two races and finishing twice once.

2005 was a year somewhat lost in the doldrums with only two participations with the Maserati MC12 in the ALMS GTS-class, a competition where the car turned out to be not even half as competitive as in the FIA GT series.

For 2006, Mika is back full-time, having signed with Risi Competizione in the ALMS and with AF Corse in the FIA GT to drive the Ferrari 430. He finished 3rd in the Drivers' Championship with 61 points.

He currently resides in Monaco with his Japanese wife Noriko Salo (born Endo) and their son, Max and daughter Mai.

Complete Formula One Results

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Points
1994 Team Lotus Lotus 109 Mugen Honda V10 BRA
PAC
SMR
MON
ESP
CAN
FRA
GBR
GER
HUN
BEL
ITA
POR
EUR
JPN
10
AUS
Ret
- 0
1995 Nokia Tyrrell Yamaha Tyrrell 023 Yamaha V10 BRA
7
ARG
Ret
SMR
Ret
ESP
10
MON
Ret
CAN
7
FRA
15
GBR
8
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
8
ITA
5
POR
13
EUR
10
PAC
12
JPN
6
AUS
5
15th 5
1996 Tyrrell Yamaha Tyrrell 024 Yamaha V10 AUS
6
BRA
5
ARG
Ret
EUR
DSQ
SMR
Ret
MON
5
ESP
DSQ
CAN
Ret
FRA
10
GBR
7
GER
9
HUN
Ret
BEL
7
ITA
Ret
POR
11
JPN
Ret
13th 5
1997 Tyrrell Tyrrell 025 Ford V8 AUS
Ret
BRA
13
ARG
8
SMR
9
MON
5
ESP
Ret
CAN
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
13
BEL
11
ITA
Ret
AUT
Ret
LUX
10
JPN
Ret
EUR
12
17th 2
1998 Danka Zepter Arrows Arrows A19 Arrows V10 AUS
Ret
BRA
Ret
ARG
Ret
SMR
9
ESP
Ret
MON
4
CAN
Ret
FRA
13
GBR
Ret
AUT
Ret
GER
14
HUN
Ret
BEL
DNS
ITA
Ret
LUX
14
JPN
Ret
13th 3
1999 British American Racing BAR 01 Supertec V10 AUS
BRA
SMR
7
MON
Ret
ESP
8
CAN
FRA
GBR
10th 10
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F399 Ferrari V10 AUT
9
GER
2
HUN
12
BEL
7
ITA
3
EUR
Ret
MAL
JPN
2000 Red Bull Sauber Petronas Sauber C19 Petronas V10 AUS
DSQ
BRA
DNS
SMR
6
GBR
8
ESP
7
EUR
Ret
MON
5
CAN
Ret
FRA
10
AUT
6
GER
5
HUN
10
BEL
9
ITA
7
USA
Ret
JPN
10
MAL
8
11th 6
2002 Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota TF102 Toyota V10 AUS
6
MAL
12
BRA
6
SMR
Ret
ESP
9
AUT
8
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
EUR
Ret
GBR
Ret
FRA
Ret
GER
9
HUN
15
BEL
7
ITA
11
USA
14
JPN
8
17th 2


Complete CART results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest race lap)

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Rank Points
2003 PK Racing 22px-Flag of the United States.png
STP
 
22px-Flag of Mexico.png
MTY
 
22px-Flag of the United States.png
LBH
 
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png
BRH
 
22px-Flag of Germany.png
LAU
 
22px-Flag of the United States.png
MIL
 
22px-Flag of the United States.png
LS
 
22px-Flag of the United States.png
POR
 
22px-Flag of the United States.png
CLE
 
22px-Flag of the Canada.png
TOR
 
22px-Flag of the Canada.png
VAN
 
22px-Flag of the United States.png
ROA
 
22px-Flag of the United States.png
MDO
 
22px-Flag of the Canada.png
MTL
 
22px-Flag of the United States.png
DEN
14
22px-Flag of the United States.png
MIA
3
22px-Flag of Mexico.png
MXC
5
22px-Flag of Australia.svg.png
SRF
11
22px-Flag of the United States.png
FON
NH
16th 26
Mika Salo driving for Ferrari