|Born||May 20th 1975 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil|
Being the son of the owner of one of the most successful Formula Ford manufacturers ever (Van Diemen) pretty much guarantees that you are going to be a racing driver. Firman showed his talent early, winning the Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award in 1993 and was signed by Paul Stewart Racing to run in Formula Vauxhall and the British F3 Championship, winning the title in 1996. While the other top drivers from the '96 F3 series, Juan-Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves and Cristiano da Matta went to CART/Indycars in the USA and enjoyed great success, Firman went to the Japanese Formula Nippon series and virtually disappeared. It was not until he joined former Lotus driver Satoru Nakajima's PIAA Racing team for 2002 that he was able to showcase his abilities. The Formula Nippon series is one of Eddie Jordan's favourite places to find drivers and Firman followed the likes of Ralf Schumacher and signed for Jordan.
With the Jordan team running on a very limited budget, Firman had relatively little chance to test before the start of his rookie season. He managed to match the pace of experienced team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella most of the time and picked up a point in Spain. In practice for the Hungarian GP he had a huge crash after the rear wing collapsed and was sidelined for two races with a serious concussion before returning to finish the season.
Formula One Record
|Year||Team / #||Start||Win||Pole||F Lap||Pts||Pos|
2002 Formula Nippon Champion
2002 Japanese GT Championship runner-up
1996 British F3 Champion
1995 British F3 Championship runner-up
1993 Autosport Young Driver of the Year winner
1993 Formula Vauxhall Junior Champion
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