F1 at dawn
- Mattijs Diepraam
- 8W April 1999 issue
- 1989 & 1990 prequalifying - Rise and failing to shine, by Mattijs Diepraam
- Andrea Moda - Only slightly bigger than Life, by Mattijs Diepraam
- Naoki Hattori - Jap journo turns racing driver, by Mattijs Diepraam
1989 Spanish GP (prequalifying)
The misery of prequalifying could not have been illustrated better than by this picture, taken by our man Felix Muelas in his days as a marshall at Jerez! Enrico Bertaggia is the sad victim of our paparazzo, eternally captured while coming in after a banzai lap during the fraught Friday morning session.
Of the small dozen of drivers whose F1 career fell victim to the wonders of prequalifying, Bertaggia is a prime candidate for Most undistinguished F1 career honours, maybe only outdone by countryman Claudio Langes or Gary Brabham's ghastly Life experience. Then again, Bertaggia looked quite a prospect with an Italian F3 title under his belt and showing promise in F3000 for Forti, so his totally uneventful participations in the F1 World Championship came as more of a disappointment.
After the miseries of 1989 prequalifying, when in 6 tries for Coloni he managed to relieve himself from 39th and last position only once, Enrico got himself involved with the even more disastrous Andrea Moda project. As if Bertaggia hadn't learned from experience, the Coloni link was there again, shoe magnate Andrea Sassetti taking over the remains of the Coloni team after F1's third Enzo had been unable to survive a dramatic season with Langes and Naoki Hattori. Next to Alex Caffi, Bertaggia was in the midst of the farce in which Andrea Moda's two updated Coloni cars were excluded from the South African GP and the team's subsequent withdrawal from the Mexican GP for not having its Nick Wirth-designed S921s ready in time. Bertaggia left in misery, getting replaced by the equally luckless Perry McCarthy.
Sadly, Enrico has been unable to revive his career, in his post-F1 days mainly consigned to national racing and the occasional GT drive for the ORECA Chrysler squad.