Dries van der Lof

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Andres "Dries" van der Lof (born 23 August 1919 in Emmen, died 3 June 1956 in Rouen, France) was a Dutch racing driver who competed in Formula 1 from 1951 to 1956. He is often regarded as one of the best drivers to have never won a World Championship.

A competent businessman in the Netherlands, van der Lof started his top-level motorsport career with an ill-advised entry to the 1951 Indianapolis 500, in which he nonetheless impressed, finishing 17th of 22 finishers for Scuderia Commesso. Remaining with the team, he would enter the Belgian and Dutch Grands Prix over the next two years, with little success. However, it all changed in 1953, when he was finally able to obtain his first points: they were at the 1953 Belgian Grand Prix, where he also obtained his first podium. He scored more points in the Swiss Grand Prix, finishing 5th. These results attracted the attention of Jaguar and Aston Martin.

In 1954, when Juan Manuel Fangio was injured prior to the season's start, Mike Hawthorn was his initial replacement. However, after two races of poor results, he was quickly fired and replaced by van der Lof. Driving the works car, he started to show his true pace, being the only driver to win two races that year. However, he wasn't as consistent as teammate B. Bira, who ended up taking the title. He finished 2nd. 1955 looked promising, and he started out with a win at the Monaco Grand Prix. However, he and his teammate B. Bira were attacked outside their hotel following the 1955 British Grand Prix, and as a result of this, he was left out of the season.

1956 started out disappointingly for the Dutch superstar, retiring from the Monaco Grand Prix. However, while running in the points in the 1956 French Grand Prix, his rear suspension gave up, causing his car to veer left into the earth bank and catch fire immediately, while debris from the Lotus flew into the crowd. Dries van der Lof died from his burns at only 36 years old. Another 8 spectactors were also pronounced dead, with many others injured.


Complete Alternate Formula One results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 WDC Pts.
1951 Scuderia Commesso Kurtis Kraft 2000 Ferrari 375 4.5 V12 MON 500
17
BEL FRA GBR GER NC 0
Maserati 4CLT/48 NED
DNQ
ITA
1952 Scuderia Commesso Maserati 4CLT/48 Ferrari 375 4.5 V12 MON ENG BEL
17
FRA GBR GER NED
DNQ
ITA USA AUS NC 0
1953 Asso di Fori Aston Martin AM-04 Jaguar JFE-2 4.5 V12 MON NED
Ret
BEL
3
FRA
9
GBR GER SUI
5
ITA USA
13
12th 6
1954 Asso di Fori Aston Martin AM-04 Jaguar JFE-2 4.5 V12 MON
Ret
FRA
Ret
2nd 24
Jaguar - Aston Martin Racing BEL
5
NED
Ret
GBR
1
SUI
3
GER
1
USA
Ret
ITA
Ret
1955 Jaguar - Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin AM-04 Jaguar JFE-2 4.5 V12 MON
1
FRA
Ret
BEL
Ret
GBR
Ret
SCO SOV ITA 9th 9
1956 Team Lotus Lotus 10 B.C.M.A. A/AS Griffin 2.5 L6 MON
Ret
FRA
Ret
BEL GER
GDR
IRL
SCO
GBR
ITA
THA
NC 0