Wednesday 11th February 1959
Born on this day, Roberto Moreno, racing driver from Brazil who participated in 75 Formula One Grands Prix, achieved 1 podium, and scored a total of 15 championship points. Moreno was a great childhood friend of Nelson Piquet and originally tried his hand in Formula 1 at the wheel of a Lotus as long ago as the 1982 Dutch Grand Prix. After a patchy period of disappointing results, he restored his reputation by winning the 1988 European Formula 3000 Championship in a Ralt-Honda. He had been spending a disastrous F1 season with Eurobrun in 1990, when he was recruited by Benetton after Alessandro Nannini was badly injured in a helicopter smash. He created his place in the team in his first race for them by finishing second to Piquet in a Benetton 1-2 in the Japanese Grand Prix. Question marks about his fitness, allied to a keenness amongst the Benetton management to recruit the dynamic Michael Schumacher, saw him dismissed from the team less than a week after finishing fourth in the Belgian Grand Prix. He drove twice for Jordan by way of consolation before his serious front-line career fizzled out with spells at Andrea Moda and Forti Corse. He has since reinvented himself to brilliant effect on the CART scene and was very competitive with Patrick Racing in 2000. At the end of 2001 his contract was not renewed. But Roberto “super-sub” Moreno, as he became known, wasn’t through with racing. His moniker, for his rather successful team hopping to fill seats left by injured and dismissed drivers.