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Driver Bio: Scott Speed

Driver Bio: Scott Speed

Scott Andrew Speed was born on January 24th, 1983 in Manteca, California, USA. Currently no longer driving in Formula One, Speed started his career at the young age of ten.

Early Career

Starting out in karts in 1993, Speed spent eight years learning the ropes before progressing to the US Formula Russell series in 2001 and winning the title in his debut year. In 2002, Scott raced in the US Barber Formula Dodge championship and the US Star Mazda series, although he couldn’t repeat his success of 2001. Wanting to move further up in the motorsporting world, Speed moved to Europe and in 2003 he competed in the British Formula Three championship with ADR team, and also won the Red Bull Driver Search Program.

Scott clinched the Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup championship in 2004, and he also won the German Formula Renault title. These performances won him the opportunity to race in the newly formed GP2 series in 2005 (the recognised feeder series to Formula One and formerly known as Formula 3000) with the iSport team. Speed was soon promoted within the team and he finished third in the final standings with 67.5 points, just behind Nico Rosberg and Heikki Kovalainen. Towards the end of the year, Scott also participated in the first three races of the new A1GP series for A1 Team USA.

2005

In 2005, Scott also became the first American driver to take part in a Formula One event since Michael Andretti in 1993. Speed acted as a test driver for Red Bull Racing at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, and also at Indianapolis for the United States Grand Prix.

After Red Bull purchased the Minardi team in late 2005 (and renamed Scuderia Toro Rosso), Scott was announced as the teams second full-time driver alongside Vitantonio Liuzzi for 2006.

2006

The season started full of promise, but the uncompetitive nature of the STR meant the two drivers often floundered towards the back of the grid. At the third race of the season, Scott surprisingly managed to finish in the points – an admirable effort for such a young team and driver – but Speed had 25 seconds added to his final finishing time for overtaking under yellow flags. This penalty dropped the American to ninth place and out of the points. After the race, Scott fell into trouble again after directing abusive language towards David Coulthard. This infringement of etiquette was penalised with a US$5000 fine.

Despite some fine drives during the year, Speed couldn’t manage any points, and his team mate Liuzzi only accrued one during the season. Scott drove well and was often finishing in tenth and eleventh places, but couldn’t manage any more with the car.

2007

Although the announcement was late, Speed was been retained by the STR team for 2007 and was once again partnered with Vitantonio Liuzzi.

However, with the prospect of not being able to get any more frmo the 2007 car as he could with the 2006 version, Scott became increasingly agitated with the management of the squad. At the European Grand Prix held at the Nurburgring in Germany, Speed spun off the circuit in the same place as many other drivers, including the title leader at the time Lewis Hamilton. Incensed by this, team owners Franz Tost and ex-F1 driver Gerhard Berger had a public disagreement with Speed and it is alleged that Tost assaulted Speed by pushing him against the rear wall of the garage. Speed issued a statement via his website saying that he wouldn’t drive for Tost or Berger again.

A week later it was confirmed that Scott had left the team and BMW test driver Sebastien Vettel would replace the American for the remainder of the season.

Post Formula One

Following his departure from STR, Speed returned to America to compete in a stock car race with a Red Bull-sponsored Toyota-powered Eddie Sharp Racing car. Speed qualified and finished seventh.

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