What do F1 drivers do when it’s time to hang up the helmet?
For every F1 driver there will come a time when they must leave the pampered sanctuary of the Grand Prix paddock and head out into the real world. And for some of those without a Lewis Hamilton type pension pot, they may actually have to do some proper work for a living.
A fair few of them will wangle their way back into the paddock by becoming a TV pundit, while Formula E is proving to be another popular retirement home.
But what about those who have to find another way to pay those bills or simply need something to while away the hours they’d otherwise spend being adored?
We had a look at where some of them ended up. Some fared better than others, while others took up rather different occupations…
THE DJ – JAIME ALGUERSUARI
From drivers parade to hit parade.
Being a Red Bull backed driver, can often mean you end up having a shorter F1 career than you may have hoped for, as former Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari found out when he was being dropped in December 2011.
As a dominant British F3 champion and rising star, Jaime made his F1 debut for Toro Rosso in 2009, then making him the record holder for the youngest ever Formula One driver.
Sadly, and for whatever reason, he never quite managed to live up to the expectations of Red Bull.
Getting the 'Marko shove' so late in the day, meant all F1 drives for the following season were taken and more often than not in F1, once you're out, you're out.
After a few stabs at Formula E and touring cars, Jaime, at just 25, jacked it all in at the end of 2015 to concentrate on his hobby and increasingly successful new career as a DJ under the stage name Squire.
Rock on Jaime!
THE ADULT VIDEO GAME MAKER – PETER ARUNDELL
Not all 1980’s video games were suitable for the family…
A decent F1 career looked in prospect for British driver, Peter Arundell, when he finished on the podium at his Grand Prix race debut for Team Lotus at Monaco in 1964.
He followed this up with another third place at the next round, the Dutch Grand Prix.
Unfortunately, a nasty F2 crash saw him out for the rest of the year and all of 1965. He made his comeback, again with Team Lotus in 1966 but the results never came so he eventually quit the sport.
Some years later, having moved to America, he decided to set up a software company called Mystique, who made pornographic video games.
The company was responsible for what is reckoned to be the worst video game of all time, the hideous ‘Custer's Revenge’.
Not for a minute do we want to describe the game here but suffice to say, Pac-Man it was most certainly not.
THE FOOD ENVIRONMENTALIST – PEDRO DINIZ
From Diniz in the oven to putting dinner in the oven
Active in F1 from 1995-2000 with 99 entries with Forti, Ligier, Arrows and Sauber, Diniz was known as a pay-driver, though to be fair to him, he could be good on the occasional day.
Despite an astonishing amount of race retirements (including the one pictured at the 1996 Argentine Grand Prix) he did rack up a few points finishes at a time when points only went to the top six.
Among other post-F1 business interests, Pedro is now a director of Food Tank, which according to their website (deep breath):
“Aim to educate, inspire, advocate, and create change. Support environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty and create networks of people, organizations, and content to push for food system change.”
Whatever, it certainly sounds a bit worthier than peddling smutty video games…
THE WINEMAKER – JARNO TRULLI
Jarno Trulli – always had a lot of bottle
A long F1 career, in Jarno’s case; 256 entries with Minardi, Prost, Jordan, Renault, Toyota and Lotus, usually means you have enough spare change for a yacht, a few mansions, and with what he was getting at Toyota, he could probably afford a private jet or two.
Such displays of extravagance are not this Italian's style though, so while he was still in F1, he bought himself a vineyard, the 75-acre Podere Castorani in the foothills between Pescara and the Adriatic.
Now, you have to say Trulli has done rather well for his lot.
Fourteen years as an F1 driver and now sitting under the Italian sun, watching the grapes grow while sipping on a chilled glass of rosé.
THE SEX TOY SALESMAN – ROBERT DOORNBOS
Robert left, in his Red Bull days
Now, come on, admit it, that one caught your eye didn’t it?
Starting out his sporting endeavours as a tennis player, Robert Doornbos switched to four wheels after his interest in motorsport grew when he was invited to the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix as a guest of the Williams F1 team. (It says so on Wikipedia, so it must be true).
Despite showing decent pace and with some good results in F3 and F3000, Robert’s short spell in F1 (11 races plus test driver roles) were with teams on the way down, Jordan and Minardi and with one yet to get into its stride, Red Bull.
On leaving F1, he co-founded Kiiroo, a Dutch company involved in the production of interactive, designer sex toys.
As you do.
Honourable mentions to…
THE POSH CAFÉ CHAIN OWNER – ALESSANDRO NANNINI
Raced in F1 for Minardi and Benetton.
THE ORGANIC FARMER – JODY SCHECKTER
McLaren, Tyrrell, Wolf and Ferrari.
THE ENERGY DRINK PRODUCER – BERTRAND GACHOT
Onyx, Rial, Coloni, Jordan, Lola, Larrousse and Pacific.
THE POLITICIAN – CARLOS REUTEMANN
Brabham, Ferrari, Lotus and Williams
THE BUDDHIST MONK – RIKKY VON OPEL
Ensign and Brabham.