JJ Lehto

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
JJ Lehto
JJ Lehto 2004
Nation: FinlandFinland Finland
Formula 1 world championship
First start: 1989 Spanish Grand Prix
Last start: 1994 Australian Grand Prix
1989–1990  Onyx  • 1991–1992  Dallara  • 1993–1994  Sauber  • 1994  Benetton
World Cup balance: Twelfth World Cup ( 1991 )
Starts Victories Poles SR
62 - - -
World Cup points : 10
Podiums : 1
Leadership laps : -
Template: Info box Formula 1 driver / maintenance / old parameters

Jyrki Juhani Järvilehto , called JJ Lehto , (born January 31, 1966 in Espoo ) is a Finnish automobile racing driver . Between 1989 and 1994 he competed in the top motorsport class, Formula 1, and twice won the Le Mans 24-hour race in his career .


JJ Lehto is the son of a lawyer from Helsinki and found in his compatriot, the former Formula 1 world champion Keke Rosberg , a talent promoter who also encouraged him to shorten his name, which is difficult to pronounce, in the media. After the usual way of kart races and various formula series such as Formula Ford , Lehto won the British Formula 3 Championship in 1988 and was even invited to tests at Ferrari , as several winners of this series had already developed into top drivers.

formula 1

Onyx (1989–1990)

In the 1989 season, JJ Lehto drove for the Onyx team of Belgian finance manager Jean-Pierre Van Rossem . Onyx was originally founded by Mike Earle and had made good results in Formula 3000 until Van Rossum took over the majority of the shares in 1988. When the young team started in Formula 1 in 1989 , internal tensions created poor conditions from the start. At the end of the year there was an open break in the team management. One of the reasons was certainly unclean tricks with additional tanks that were supposed to "simulate" the minimum weight. In the following year Lehto drove again alongside Stefan Johansson and Bertrand Gachot . Thanks to his controlled driving style, he was soon considered one of the best newcomers. During that season, onyx began to show signs of disintegration. Both the main financier and Porsche , which had been traded as a potential engine supplier, withdrew.

Dallara (1991-1992)

Lehto managed to jump to Dallara thanks to Rosberg . The cars of this racing team were still powered by Judd engines in the 1991 season , but Ferrari engines were used the following year . In Imola , Lehto even reached the podium with a third place. With these four points, he achieved twelfth place in the final ranking at the end of the season.

At the beginning of the 1992 season, Lehto achieved better results with the Dallara cars from Scuderia Italia than the Ferrari works cars. The press said mockingly that the “wrong” Ferrari would at least have achieved respectable successes, especially since Dallara also competed in the classic red of Italian racing cars.

Sauber and Benetton (1993–1994)

In the 1993 season, the Finn moved to the newly formed Swiss Sauber racing team. At the side of the talented Austrian Karl Wendlinger , the black cars achieved impressive starting positions and final results at the beginning of the season. However, further development stagnated, a main sponsor turned out to be a blender, and the fact that, thanks to Steve Nichols , Sauber had built an aerodynamically effective car, but was one of the few teams without an active chassis for cost reasons , also helped both drivers advance not really. In addition, there were unfortunate collisions in which both pilots pushed each other out, and the emerging withdrawal of the Ilmor / Mercedes engine. Only a fourth and a fifth place were the meager results. But after Riccardo Patreses left Formula 1, a cockpit had become free at the end of the season. In addition to former vice world champion Michele Alboreto , Lehto was scrutinized during test drives with the Benetton , where he soon became a teammate of Michael Schumacher .

But even before the start of the season, Lehto had such a serious accident during test drives in Silverstone that his neck muscles had to be severed during an operation to stabilize the fractured cervical spine. This should put him out of action for a long time. So the newcomer Jos Verstappen took his place first. It wasn't until the third race, at the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, that the Finn was back in the cockpit. When he started he stalled the engine; Much of the field could pass, but the Portuguese Pedro Lamy in the Lotus drove into the rear of the Benetton at almost 200 km / h. The flying debris injured some spectators and led to a lengthy safety car phase. After the race resumed, Ayrton Senna had a fatal accident in the Tamburello corner.

Due to the renewed whiplash and the still unhealed neck injuries of the winter, Lehto had to take a longer break and then drove after his teammate Michael Schumacher completely out of shape. A sixth place at the Canadian Grand Prix was the only presentable result. In order to better support Schumacher in the fight for the World Cup, Flavio Briatore dismissed the Finns two races before the end of the season to hire Johnny Herbert instead . Lehto then returned to the races in Italy and Portugal as a replacement for Schumacher, who had been suspended due to an incident at Silverstone . Then Lehto went back to Sauber, as Wendlinger was still severely suffering from the Monaco injuries , but after an engine failure on the first lap in Suzuka, he was only able to come in tenth in the last race in Adelaide . In total, he took part in 62 Grands Prix and was able to collect ten points.

German Touring Car Championship and Le Mans

For the 1995 season Lehto found no contract in Formula 1, but finally cured his injuries. In the same year he won the Le Mans 24-hour race in a McLaren F1 GTR BMW -V12. He then drove for Opel in the German Touring Car Championship and the International Touring Car Championship , where he was one of the most popular drivers. There he was also one of the top performers who contributed to Opel's victory in the brand evaluation. After the temporary end of this racing series, Lehto switched to GT racing and at times drove for the Hogan team in the Champ Car series. In 2002 he started again for Opel as a guest starter at the DTM race weekend on the A1-Ring .

The Finn was able to repeat his Le Mans victory in 2005 alongside record winner Tom Kristensen and Marco Werners in an Audi R8 LMP.


Bridge, damage to the left pillar from the accident

JJ Lehto has been working as a commentator on racing events for Finnish television since 2001.

On June 17, 2010 Lehto was involved in a speedboat accident near Jomalvik ( Raseborg ). He was traveling on his boat with a friend at excessive speed (almost 40 knots instead of the allowed 5) when the ship crashed into a bridge pier. Lehto's companion was killed and he survived seriously injured. After the accident, he was found to have an alcohol content of 1.7 per mille through an Alcotest , this value was later increased to 2.53 per mille through a blood test. In August 2011, Lehto was charged with manslaughter , as reconstructions of the accident had led to the conclusion, according to the prosecution and police, that Lehto was behind the wheel at the time of the accident. During the trial, Lehto declared he was innocent and did not drive the boat while prosecutors asked for a five-year prison term. On December 14, 2011, he was sentenced to two years and four months in prison by the Länsi-Uusimaa District Court in Finland . In addition, he was supposed to pay 20,000 euros in compensation for pain and suffering to the family of the victim and financially support the three children of the deceased until they came of age. The appeal process began on October 2, 2012 in Turku. While Lehto's defense submitted a new opinion after it was not Lehto but his friend who drove the boat, the prosecutor's office demanded an increase in the prison sentence to the originally requested five years. With the decision of the court of appeal on November 30, 2012, Lehto was finally acquitted of the charge of negligent homicide; it cannot be clearly proven that he steered the boat.


Le Mans results

year team vehicle Teammate Teammate placement Failure reason
1990 United KingdomUnited Kingdom Richard Lloyd Racing Porsche 962 GTi United KingdomUnited Kingdom James Weaver GermanyGermany Manuel Reuter failure Fire
1991 GermanyGermany Porsche Kremer Racing Porsche 962 CK6 FinlandFinland Harri Toivonen GermanyGermany Manuel Reuter Rank 9
1995 United KingdomUnited Kingdom Kokusai Khaihatsu Racing McLaren F1 GTR FranceFrance Yannick Dalmas JapanJapan Masanori Sekiya Overall victory
1996 United KingdomUnited Kingdom Gulf Racing McLaren F1 GTR United KingdomUnited Kingdom James Weaver United KingdomUnited Kingdom Ray Bellm Rank 9
1997 GermanyGermany BMW Schnitzer Motorsport McLaren F1 GTR United KingdomUnited Kingdom Steve Soper BrazilBrazil Nelson Piquet failure accident
1999 GermanyGermany BMW Motorsport BMW V12 LMR DenmarkDenmark Tom Kristensen GermanyGermany Jörg Müller failure accident
2002 FranceFrance DAMS Cadillac Northstar LMP FranceFrance Eric Bernard FranceFrance Emmanuel Collard Rank 12
2003 United StatesUnited States Champion Racing Audi R8 ItalyItaly Emanuele Pirro SwedenSweden Stefan Johansson 3rd place and class win
2004 United StatesUnited States ADT Champion Racing Audi R8 ItalyItaly Emanuele Pirro GermanyGermany Marco Werner Rank 3
2005 United StatesUnited States ADT Champion Racing Audi R8 DenmarkDenmark Tom Kristensen GermanyGermany Marco Werner Overall victory

Sebring results

year team vehicle Teammate Teammate placement Failure reason
1999 GermanyGermany Team BMW Motorsport BMW V12 LMR GermanyGermany Jörg Müller DenmarkDenmark Tom Kristensen Overall victory
2000 GermanyGermany BMW Motorsport BMW V12 LMR GermanyGermany Jörg Müller Rank 3
2001 GermanyGermany BMW Motorsport BMW M3 GTR GermanyGermany Jörg Müller Rank 10
2002 United StatesUnited States Team Cadillac Cadillac Northstar LMP FranceFrance Eric Bernard FranceFrance Emmanuel Collard failure Electrics
2003 United StatesUnited States Champion Racing Audi R8 SwedenSweden Stefan Johansson ItalyItaly Emanuele Pirro Rank 2
2004 United StatesUnited States Champion Racing Audi R8 GermanyGermany Marco Werner ItalyItaly Emanuele Pirro Rank 2
2005 United StatesUnited States ADT Champion Racing Audi R8 GermanyGermany Marco Werner DenmarkDenmark Tom Kristensen Overall victory

Web links

Commons : JJ Lehto  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. www.mclaren.com . Retrieved May 6, 2014.
  2. Helsingin Sanomat: Former F1 driver under suspicion following fatal boat accident (June 22, 2010)
  3. Helsingin Sanomat: Järvilehtoa epäillään törkeästä kuolemantuottamuksesta (June 27, 2011)
  4. hs.fi: Jyrki Järvilehto and prosecutor disagree over who was driving speedboat when former FI pilot's friend was killed in 2010 crash
  5. Nelonen: Jyrki Järvilehdolle syytteet törkeästä kuolemantuottamuksesta (August 25, 2011)
  6. http://www.motorsport-total.com/f1/news/2011/12/Ex-Formel-1-Pilot_Lehto_muss_zwei_Jahre_ins_Gefaengnis_11121410.html
  7. hs.fi: Former F1 driver Jyrki Järvilehto given prison sentence for fatal speedboat crash
  8. nelonen.fi: Järvilehdolta uusi asiantuntijalausunto hovioikeuteen
  9. http://www.motorsport-total.com/f1/news/2012/11/Lehto_in_Berufungsverhandlung_freigesierter_12113014.html