Guido Cappellini
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What they say about him…

Stephen J. Michael (The Voice)

What they say about him…

Stephen J. Michael (The Voice)

Stephen J. Michael (The Voice)

Interestingly enough, Guido’s and my career have mirrored each other after over 34 years in the sport.His first Intrenational F. 1 race was mine, as well in Nassau, Bahamas, in December of 1985.In his early days of his F.1 Racing, Guido was dressed perfectly in all his italian splendor, wearing his Stefanel Clothing sponsor, making the rest of us looking rather plane Jane. However, because he couldn’t speak english at the time, he was left in the corner like a lost puppy dog in social occasions and was very unnoticeable getting little attention, while his racing results were the same… unnoticeable.Guido should have died in early summer of 1987, with his massive accident in Bristol, England. He somehow survived with barely a scratch and it was great for the sport that he did live on to see another race day.Guido was now known with a nickname of “Crash-a-lini” back in those days and had a loto f drivers waiting to take him to the “woodsheed” for a boxing match or two, after a series of incidents that would make late great Ferrari F.1 driver Gilles Villeneuve blush!Guido did the smart thing early in his F.1 career: he raced in every race he could get his hands on…this ment he raced not only on the World Tour but the U.S. Tour as well to gain more seasoning and more valuable laps which are so important in our sport!Was he a factor early on? No…it took him 5 years to win his first F.1 race… I remember in particular an event, in 1987, in F.1 lauderdale, Florida, when Scott Gillman, a 4-time World Champion and now a “Hall of Famer”, started  12th on the grid and Guido started 13th… this was a “normal”  starting position for these future world champions and little did we know that this battle between these special talents would go on for the next 20 years!The world, in 1980’s and 1990’s was different then today…there were two diffrent F. 1 Series: one in North America and one based in Europe, Time and time again when the best of North America at the time came to race with the World Series drivers they would win two thirds of the races, what does this say about the sport at that time?The bottom line is this. Guido never won a race in North America and the European Series top to bottom in their line-up wasn’t as strong a sit was North America.So, the age old questioni s, “Is Guido Cappellini the best driver in the history of the sport?”…Well, having watched most races from 1984, onward I would have to rate Guido, as 3rd best… Bill Seebold of St. Louis, Missouri, with over 400 vicrories would be Number One… and of course Renato Molinari of Como, Italy, would be 2nd! Taking into consideration this includes what happened back, in the 1970’s thru today and how each driver when active influenced the sport!Guido’s greatest moments came when in 1997 Californian driver Scott Gillman moine the F. 1 Tour from America. Other than Michael Werner and Jonathan Jones there was no other driver that could consistantly challenge the man from Como as seen. When Cappellini won 8 out of 9 events in 1996, the Gillman/Cappellini rivarly saved the sport!For ten years these two grays went tooth and mail battling, race after race, until a heart condition forced Gillman out of the Series in 2007 while leading the Championship and retired.Maybe his most impressive Championship season came at Guido’s last in 2009… having gained just one podium finish in the first seven races and loocking lost for dead, Guido came storming back and dominated the final half of that grueling 16 race campaign to win the title for 10th and final time and then retiriting his racing career for good: that was special!Guido, who was ruthless on the water, as a driver, is actully a shy personalità… his strenghts have always been his loyalty from his closet team members, who have been at his side for almost 4 decades… this was important for his success.His constant vision of improving the sport is always amazing to me and his knowledge and future thinking for the aspect of safety is second to none!I truly have to say, I admire Guido cappellini as a persone outside the cockpit now a lot more than when he was a driver!What he did last year (2018) and the management of team Abu Dhabi and creating a winning environment between three very win hungry drivers while keepimg it harmonious at the same time, was remarkable to watch. I look forward to see what more he can offer the sport in the near future as well.So, to sum it up in my opinion: no, Guido wasn’t the best driver of all time, however he is a true “Hall-of-famer” and has added so much to the sport after his driving career ended— and that’s what I admire about him the most!Guido..let’s see if we can continue to greet each other in the paddock for 35 more years.. it wouldn’t be a show without us around, eh?

Speaker, “The Voice” of F1 Inshore for 34 years
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