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Mika Juhani Salo (born November 30, 1966 in Helsinkimarker) is a Finnish racing driver. He competed in Formula One between and . His best ranking was 10th in the world championship in 1999. He also won the GT2 class in the 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Career

Formula Three and Japanese racing

In 1989, Salo competed in the British Formula Three Championship, racing for Alan Docking Racing. He raced with the Reynard Toyota package which was not the season's best. Staying with Alan Docking Racing for 1990 and moving to a more competitive Ralt chassis, he raced against countryman and fierce rival Mika Häkkinen in F3, finishing second to him. In 1990, Salo was caught driving under the influence in London. Subsequently the chance of him gaining a FIA Super Licence necessary to compete in Formula One was destroyed in the short-term. He then moved to Japan in an attempt to revive his damaged reputation.

Formula One

1994 – 1998: Lotus, Tyrrell and Arrows

After a few years racing in Japan he made his first F1 start at the penultimate round of the season in Japan for the ailing Lotus team. He was kept on for the season's finale in Australia. Following the collapse of Lotus following the end of the season, Salo moved to Tyrrell for . He was to spend three years with the team, scoring points several times. In the 1997 Monaco Grand Prix he completed the whole (rain-shortened and -slowed) race without refuelling, taking fifth place ahead of the faster Giancarlo Fisichella as a result[94902]. Despite a promising with Arrows, he had no full-time drive in .

1999: British American Racing and Ferrari



Following an injury to BAR driver Ricardo Zonta, Salo did get a short-term drive with the team for three races whilst the Brazilianmarker recovered. However a greater opportunity arose when Michael Schumacher broke his leg at a crash during the 1999 British Grand Prix. Salo was selected as his substitute to partner Eddie Irvine at Ferrari. In his second race in Ferrari at the 1999 German Grand Prix Salo led for part of the race and would have scored a Grand Prix win but team orders demanded that he give the lead to Irvine, who at the time was fighting for the championship with Mika Häkkinen. Following the race, Irvine handed his victory trophy over to Salo as a gesture to show his gratitude. He also finished third at Monzamarker, ahead of Irvine.

2000 – 2002: Sauber and Toyota

Salo was back full-time in with Sauber, taking 11th in the championship, although he left the team at the end of the season to join the new Toyota team in preparation for its F1 entry in . He scored two points for Toyota in their first season, becoming the first driver since JJ Lehto at the 1993 South African Grand Prix to score points on a team's debut by finishing sixth at the 2002 Australian Grand Prix. He retired from Formula One at the end of 2002, after surprisingly getting fired from Toyota.

During his Formula One career, he achieved two podiums, and scored a total of 33 championship points.

Post-Formula One

His first post-F1 race came at the 2003 12 Hours of Sebring, driving the UK-entered Audi R8, the same car he was due to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mansmarker if it had not ran out of fuel already after the first hour. He raced in four CART races for PK Racing during the same year, his best finish being third in Miami in his second series start.

Because of his strong links with Ferrari he was picked up to be part of the development program of the Maserati MC12 GT racer. He made his FIA GT debut in 2004, narrowly losing the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchampsmarker in a Ferrari 575. After that he entered the last four races of the season in the Maseratimarker, winning two races and finishing second once.

2005 was a year somewhat lost in the doldrums with only two participations with the Maserati MC12 in the ALMS GTS-class, a competition where the car turned out to be not even half as competitive as in the FIA GT series.

For 2006, Salo returned to racing full-time, signing with AF Corse in the FIA GT to drive the Ferrari F430 and later on in the year with Risi Competizione in the ALMS. He was victorious in class in the 24 Hours of Spa and finished 3rd in the FIA GT2 Drivers' Championship with 61 points, while his efforts in the ALMS contributed to Risi's Teams' Championship cup.In the following year he continued with Risi Competizione in the ALMS and took the GT2 class honors in the 12 Hours of Sebring and the championship along with teammate Jaime Melo. They won a total of eight races out of twelve in the class. In addition, he won the RAC Tourist Trophy with Thomas Biagi when substituting for Michael Bartels, driving a Maserati MC12 once more.

Salo and Melo with Risi Competizione earned the first team At-Large honours on the 2007 All-American Racing Team, as voted for by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters (AARWBA).Salo raced again in the ALMS for Risi Competizione in 2008. Although he was not successful in defending his previous year's titles, he won the GT2 class in the 24 Hours of Le Mansmarker, coming in 18th overall.

In 2009, he joined the Risi Ferrari team at the blue-riband races only, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Petit Le Mans event, winning all three of them.Having won these enduro races all more than once, Salo feels he is ready for a new challenge. He has set his mind on NASCAR, having recently had his first test with Michael Waltrip Racing at the half-mile New Smyrna Speedway.

Personal

He currently resides in Monacomarker with his Japanese wife Noriko Salo (born Endo) and their two children, son Max and daughter Mai. His godson Jesse Krohn competes in Formula Renault, both in Scandinavia and the UK.

Like fellow Finns Keke Rosberg and JJ Lehto, both former F1 drivers, Salo has commentated on several F1 races on MTV3 and the pay-channel MTV3 MAX. During the controversial 2005 United States Grand Prix, he walked out of the commentator's booth in mid-race after the Michelin teams refused to race.

Racing record

Complete Formula One results

(key)
Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Points
1994 Team Lotus Lotus 109 Mugen Honda V10 BRA

PAC

SMR

MON

ESP

CAN

FRA

GBR

GER

HUN

BEL

ITA

POR

EUR

JPN

10
AUS

Ret
NC 0
1995 Nokia Tyrrell Yamaha Tyrrell 023 Yamaha V10 BRA

7
ARG

Ret
SMR

Ret
ESP

10
MON

Ret
CAN

7
FRA

15
GBRmarker

8
GER

Ret
HUN

Ret
BEL

8
ITA

5
POR

13
EUR

10
PAC

12
JPNmarker

6
AUS

5
15th 5
1996 Tyrrell Yamaha Tyrrell 024 Yamaha V10 AUS

6
BRA

5
ARG

Ret
EUR

DSQ
SMR

Ret
MON

5
ESP

DSQ
CAN

Ret
FRA

10
GBR

7
GER

9
HUN

Ret
BEL

7
ITA

Ret
POR

11
JPN

Ret
13th 5
1997 Tyrrell Tyrrell 025 Ford V8 AUS

Ret
BRA

13
ARG

8
SMR

9
MON

5
ESP

Ret
CAN

Ret
FRA

Ret
GBR

Ret
GER

Ret
HUN

13
BEL

11
ITA

Ret
AUT

Ret
LUX

10
JPN

Ret
EUR

12
17th 2
1998 Danka Zepter Arrows Arrows A19 Arrows V10 AUS

Ret
BRA

Ret
ARG

Ret
SMR

9
ESPmarker

Ret
MON

4
CAN

Ret
FRA

13
GBR

Ret
AUT

Ret
GER

14
HUN

Ret
BEL

DNS
ITA

Ret
LUX

14
JPN

Ret
13th 3
1999 British American Racing BAR 01 Supertec V10 AUS

BRA

SMR

7
MON

Ret
ESP

8
CAN

FRA

GBR

10th 10
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F399 Ferrari V10 AUT

9
GER

2
HUN

12
BEL

7
ITA

3
EUR

Ret
MAL

JPN

2000 Red Bull Sauber Petronas Sauber C19 Petronas V10 AUS

DSQ
BRA

DNS
SMR

6
GBR

8
ESP

7
EUR

Ret
MON

5
CAN

Ret
FRA

10
AUT

6
GER

5
HUN

10
BEL

9
ITA

7
USA

Ret
JPN

10
MAL

8
11th 6
2002 Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota TF102 Toyota V10 AUS

6
MALmarker

12
BRA

6
SMR

Ret
ESP

9
AUT

8
MON

Ret
CAN

Ret
EUR

Ret
GBR

Ret
FRA

Ret
GER

9
HUN

15
BEL

7
ITA

11
USA

14
JPN

8
17th 2


Complete CART results

() (Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest race lap)
Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Rank Points
2003 PK Racing
STPmarker
 


MTY
 


LBH
 


BRH
 


LAU
 


MIL
 


LS
 


POR
 


CLEmarker
 


TOR
 


VAN
 


ROA
 


MDO
 


MTL
 


DEN
14


MIA
3


MXC
5


SRFmarker

11

FON
NH

16th 26


References

  1. 1999 German Grand Prix www.grandprix.com Retrieved June 21, 2007
  2. NHRA News: AARWBA All-America team includes new champs, Anderson, others (12/8/2007)
  3. Salo relishing NASCAR chance (17/11/2009)



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