DRIVERS: JYRKI JARVILEHTO (J.J.) LEHTO

Name: Jyrki Jarvilehto (J.J.) Lehto
Nationality: Finland
Date of birth: January 31, 1966 - Espoo

Jyrki Jarvilehto was a protege of the 1982 World Champion Keke Rosberg who advised him to use the more manageable "J.J. Lehto" name for racing purposes. He started racing on karts and had originally intended to turn his hand to rallying before the withdrawal of a prospective sponsor steered his interest towards circuit racing. After dominating the Formula Ford scene in Scandinavia he won the 1988 British Formula 3 Championship and was briefly Ferrari's Formula 1 test driver during 1989, the season in which he replaced Bertrand Gachot in the Moneytron Onyx team. He continued to drive for this outfit until it collapsed with considerable debts in the summer of 1990 after which he switched to Dallara in 1991, scoring his first podium finish with a third place in the San Marino Grand Prix. Lehto stayed with Dallara in 1992 and then switched to the emergent Sauber team for its first Formula 1 season in 1993 and on to Benetton as Michael Schumacher's teammate in 1994. Unfortunately that year was blighted by a pre-season testing accident at Silverstone which left him with a broken vertebrae in his neck and he only made a brief racing appearance with the team before being replaced by Jos Verstappen. Apart from a couple of further guest drives for Sauber, that was the end of the popular Finn's Formula 1 career although there was plenty more racing ahead including a Le Mans win in 1995 sharing a McLaren F1-GTR.He went on to enjoy a successful career in sportscars in the United States but returned to F1 as a TV commentator in 2001.

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