Drivers

Tiago Monteiro

FIVE FACTS

Pride of a nation: Monteiro earned national hero status when he became the first Portuguese to finish on a Formula One podium after placing third for Jordan in the 2005 US Grand Prix.

Versatility is the spice of life: Starting out in the French Porsche Cup in 1997, Monteiro starred in the country’s Formula 3 championship before climbing up the ranks, gaining experience – and plaudits – in Formula 3000, ChampCar and World Series by Nissan.

Destination touring cars: Monteiro was a WTCC frontrunner from the moment he joined the championship with SEAT in 2007. He earned four wins with the Spanish make and seven for Honda.

Title dreams in tatters: Having excelled during the first half of the 2017 WTCC season, Monteiro was heading for the title only to suffer serious head and neck injuries in a testing crash at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which brought an abrupt end to his campaign.

Heroic recovery: Monteiro has subsequently fought a courageous, albeit arduous battle to regain fitness and be allowed to compete again with Free Practice 1 at WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan coming 415 days since the accident.

Did you know? Monteiro was set for a life more ordinary had he not discovered a knack for driving, as he explains: “My family is in the hotel business and I went to study hotel management in Switzerland. I loved it and that was the direction I was going to go in. But after I finished my studies I had the opportunity to drive a race car, which I thought maybe I could do as a hobby. But then I got discovered, got some opportunities and made the decision that hotel management could wait and I would go back to it if I wasn’t successful in motorsport.”