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, Champ Car and World Series by Nissan. He then 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.
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 on course for the title with the Asian leg of the season remaining only to suffer serious head and neck injuries in a testing crash at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in September of that year. It brought an abrupt end to his campaign and left him fearing he’d never race again.
Heroic recovery: Monteiro subsequently fought a courageous, albeit arduous battle to regain fitness with his return in Free Practice 1 at WTCR Race of Japan in October 2018 coming 415 days after the accident. He scored a weekend-best P11 on his comeback, his rival drivers marking his return to action by forming a guard of honour before he ventured out on track for the first time.
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.”
CAREER SO FAR:
1997: 6, French Porsche Carrera Cup
1998: 12, French Formula 3 Championship
1999: 6 (1 win), French F3 (Dallara-Renault)
2000: 2 (4 wins), French F3 (Dallara-Renault); 2, F3 European Cup and F3 Korean Super Prix
2001: 2 (4 wins), French F3 (Dallara-Renault)
2002: 13 (best result 5), Formula 3000 Championship
2003: 15 (best result 9), Champ Car World Series
2004: 2 (5 wins), World Series by Nissan
2005: 16 (best result 3), Formula One World Championship (Jordan)
2006: (best result 13) F1 (Midland)
2007: 11 (best result 2), World Touring Car Championship (SEAT León)
2008: 12 (2 wins), WTCC (SEAT León TDI)
2009: 9 (best result 2), WTCC (SEAT León TDI)
2010: 5 (2 wins), WTCC (SEAT León TDI)
2011: 6 (best result 3), WTCC (SEAT León TDi/SUNRED León 1.6T)
2012: 9 (best result 3), WTCC (SEAT León/Honda Civic)
2013: 8 (1 win), WTCC (Honda Civic)
2014: 5 (best result 2), WTCC (Honda Civic WTCC)
2015: 7 (2 wins), WTCC (Honda Civic WTCC)
2016: 3 (2 wins), WTCC (Honda Civic WTCC)
2017: 8 (2 wins, missed final eight races through injury), WTCC (Honda Civic WTCC
2018: N/C, WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO (Honda Civic Type R TCR)
2019: 20 (1 win), WTCR (Honda Civic Type R TCR)
2020: 15, WTCR (Honda Civic Type R TCR)