DRIVERS: PEDRO DINIZ

Name: Pedro Diniz
Nationality: Brazil
Date of birth: May 22, 1970 - Sao Paulo, Brazil

Pedro Paulo Diniz never had to struggle in life. His father was one of the wealthiest men in Brazil thanks to his successful Pao de Acucar supermarket chain and the CBD distribution company. Diniz Family suppliers were only too keen to help the youngster in his racing career in exchange for better product-placement in the stores. Pedro began kart racing in 1987 and two years later moved to Formula Ford in Brazil. In 1990 he raced in the South American Formula 3 series and then joined West Surrey Racing in the British F3 series in 1991.

Initially he struggled but in 1992 he proved to be quicker with Edenbridge Racing and felt ready to graduate to Formula 3000 with Forti Corse in 1993. Once again he struggled but by the end of 1994 had scored one fourth place for Forti.

Forti had always aspired to owning a Formula 1 team and the Diniz family helped him to achieve this in 1995. Diniz was partnered by F1 veteran Roberto Moreno and sometimes he was quicker. Tom Walkinshaw spotted this (and the money) and signed Diniz for Ligier in 1996. His best results were sixth places in Spain and Italy. The following year Walkinshaw left to take over Arrows and took Diniz with him. As team mate to Damon Hill, he looked quite convincing, beating the World Champion on several occasions and scoring one fifth place at the Nurburgring. A second year at Arrows score the same number of points as his team mate Mika Salo and then he moved on to Sauber for the 1999 season, up against Jean Alesi. he scored three points to Alesi's two and survived a huge accident at the start of the European GP which saw the rollbar torn from his car. A second season at Sauber (alongside Salo) resulted in no points at all and at the end of the season Diniz could not find a drive. At the end of the year the family decided to buy 40% of the Prost Grand Prix operation but Pedro did not drive but rather took a management role in the operation for a few months before the family fell out with Alain Prost. After that Diniz concentrated on promoting Formula Renault in South America.

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