Chris Dagnall

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Chris Dagnall
Nationality Flag of the United Kingdom svg.png British
Born 9th February, 1960
Lincoln, England
Formula One
Debut Season 1984
Latest Season 1998
Current Team Stewart
Car Number 16
Former Teams Arrows
Races
Championships
Victories
Podiums 4
Points
Pole Positions
Fastest Laps
First Race 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix
First Victory 1988 Brazilian Grand Prix
Last Victory 1996 Japanese Grand Prix
Last Race 1997 Australian Grand Prix (Ongoing)
Best Finish 1st (1991)
F1RWRS
Debut Season 2010
Latest Season 2013
Current Team
Car Number
Former Teams JLD Motorsport, Jones Racing Dagnall Engineering
Races 49 (46 starts)
Championships 0
Victories 4
Podiums 10
Points 150
Pole Positions 6
Fastest Laps 3
First Race 2010 British Grand Prix
First Victory 2011 Luxembourg Grand Prix
Last Victory 2013 Chinese Grand Prix
Last Race 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix
Best Finish 2nd (2012)


Chris Dagnall (born February 9, 1960 in Lincoln, England) is a racing driver, famous for his Formula One career that extended from 1984 to 1999. He uses a red helmet with his name written on its sides, inspired by fellow driver Tiff Needell. He is also the father of three-time F1RWRS champion Mark Dagnall and Formula 1 driver Bradley Dagnall.

Formula 1

1987-1992: Arrows

By 1987, Dagnall was racing for the USF&G Arrows Racing Team alongside fellow Briton Nigel Mansell. The team, gambling on the unfancied Motori-Moderni engines, were seen as rank outsiders ahead of the season. Dagnall's first points of the season would be a remarkable second place finish at the Monaco Grand Prix, where a real race of attrition gifted him the podium behind struggling defending Champion Guillaume Gauthier. Dagnall followed up this result in Monaco with a fifth place in Canada.

1987 would be a season plagued with mechanical issues, with the Italian engine being very quick yet extremely prone to failure. Dagnall would take a second podium in the German Grand Prix as well as two more points finishes in Hungary and Portugal. He would finish the 1987 season in tenth overall.

A new engine supplier called at the Arrows team in 1988, with the British team swapping out their Motor-Moderni for the equally obscure Zakspeed units. The switch would be justified, however, as Dagnall and his new American teammate Brendon Cassidy would manage to take points in the vast majority of races this season. Dagnall's best results would be a pair of third place finishes at the Soviet and Japanese Grands Prix.

Dagnall and Cassidy remained alongside each other in 1989 - but this time Dagnall more than matched his vastly more experienced teammate. He'd take to the podium on three occasions, with third places in San Marino and the Soviet Union as well as following Cassidy home in Arrows' first ever 1-2 finish at the United States Grand Prix. The pair finished equal on 24 points each.

1990 saw Arrows amalgamate with the Benetton outfit to form the Benetton Arrows team and with a new sponsor came a new teammate in 1986 World Champion Guillaume Gauthier. The 1990 car was a vast improvement on anything Arrows had come up with before and with the Ford engines it was immediately one of the best combinations on the grid. Dagnall took a third place in the opener at Phoenix which he followed up with a first ever win at the Brazilian Grand Prix. This gave him the championship lead for the first time in his career and a real opportunity to establish himself as one of the best.

Dagnall remained within touching distance of Berger for most of the season, with the series lead swapping between them race by race. A run of retirements for the Austrian and two wins in close succession meant that Dagnall regained the lead of the championship going into the gap in the calendar induced by the cancellation of the Soviet Grand Prix. However, Dagnall’s season lost momentum from this point onwards as he would only score 5 points in the last 5 races of the season while Berger won twice and thus secured the title easily.

A new year brought another new teammate, as Gauthier was replaced by German rookie Michael Schumacher for 1991. The Arrows team that year were a clear runner-up as McLaren dominated. Dagnall would score a solitary victory at the inaugural Spanish Grand Prix at the new Circuit de Catalunya, ending the year a distant third in the championship.

The Dagnall-Schumacher pairing would remain in situ for 1992. Arrows would remain the second-best team, although this time it was behind Williams, who dominated the year even more than McLaren had in 1991 thanks to their large technological advantage. Dagnall would win twice at Brazil and Portugal, once again finishing third in the championship.

1993: Williams

Growing frustrated with Arrows’ inability to properly challenge for the championship and feeling his status at the team threatened by young teammate Schumacher, Dagnall seized at the opportunity that reigning world champion Alain Prost’s retirement left by moving to Williams for the 1993 season, partnering fellow Brit Jack Christopherson.

1998 - Stewart

In 1998, Dagnall was signed by the Stewart Grand Prix team. His season would be plagued by poor reliability, retiring in twelve out of sixteen races - with his only point coming from a sixth place finish in the German Grand Prix.

Dagnall would find himself out of a Formula One drive in 1999, being replaced by Dario Franchitti at Stewart. In the off-season, Dagnall announced his retirement from Formula One at the age of 39 in order to pursue opportunities in other disciplines.

Formula 1 Rejects World Race Series

2010 - JLD Motorsport

After many years away from the driving seat managing the careers of his two sons Mark and Bradley, Dagnall received a call from JLD Motorsport mid way through 2010 to replace Daniel Melrose after the Australian decided to solely focus on winning another F1 title for the rest of the year. After initially declining the offer for the Belgian Grand Prix, Dagnall made his debut at the 2010 F1RWRS Chinese Grand Prix and drove the final two races of the year for the team. Despite not scoring a point in either event, the 50 year old was still driving like he'd never left with an emphatic pole position at the season closing race at Eastern Creek.

2011-2012 - Jones Racing

Having proven that he still has what it took to be a top-line driver and highly motivated to race again, Dagnall signed a two-year deal with the brand new Jones Racing team alongside team boss Sammy Jones, a long-time fan of the Brit. While results for the former champion were few and far between in the early going for both drivers, there was some promise out of the all-new team with Dagnall scoring pole position at the Saxon Grand Prix before scoring the team's first points of the year in 6th place. At the next race at the Nurburgring, Dagnall scored his first race win in 15 years as he survived the attrition that decimated the field that afternoon. The Brit continued to show some of the Dagnall of old over the course of the year with further points finishes in England, Adelaide, and Bathurst as well as a podium at the season-closing race at Laguna Seca to end the year on a high note and secure 6th place in the championship.

Dagnall and Jones Racing headed into 2012 looking for improvements in their results and entered the season as dark horses for the occasional podium and regular points finishes. However, Dagnall's year got off to a horrific start with two DNPQs in the first two races of the season. The veteran managed to turn his run of poor form around at the next race at Hockenheim, which started a streak of points scoring and podium finishes in the first half of the year, rocketing him right into championship contention. It was during this time that Dagnall scored his first, and only, win of the season with an emotional victory at home in Silverstone on what to this day remains one of the most controversial races in F1RWRS history. Heading into the second half of the season, Dagnall was considered the sentimental favourite against his championship rivals Kay Lon and Pippa Mann and, as the most consistent of the trio in the back half of the year, headed into the final round of the championship at Indianapolis the championship favourite, just one point behind Lon. On a day where none of the championship contenders were in serious contention for the race win and with double points on offer, Dagnall managed to beat Lon home for 4th place on the road. However, Pippa Mann was a lap ahead of the duo and with her second place finish at the Brickyard, she managed to leapfrog the pair of them to win the title right at the death.

2013 - Dagnall Engineering

With all the political maneuvering in the background heading into 2013, Dagnall ended up being the big winner over the off-season where he was able to secure a number of Jones Racing's assets including equipment and team trucks after Jones had decided to leave the sport, a decision that he would later reverse. Using these, and establishing his own base in the East Midlands, just outside Donnington, Dagnall quickly formed Dagnall Engineering. Dagnall's son Mark was handed the chance to make his debut alongside his father and despite the incredibly busy off-season for the team and the short turn-around time it gave them, Dagnall arrived in Australia as a pre-season favourite for the drivers' championship.

Despite all the grandeur predictions, not even the most seasoned punters could have predicted the relative ease with which the two Dagnall cars won the Tasman Grand Prix with Mark finishing ahead of his father on debut. While Mark's season went from strength to strength after that point, the elder Dagnall struggled throughout most of the European and American season, due to 10 straight retirements killing whatever momentum he had from 2012 and the Tasman GP. Better results followed towards the end of the year though, ensuring Chris came away third in the championship, whilst Mark comfortably won the title. Dagnall Engineering easily took the constructors' championship, and at the age of 53, Chris called time on his racing career, allowing him to focus on managing his team.

Personal life

Dagnall has maintained a strong friendship with former Stewart teammate Jan Magnussen since their short stint together in 1998 - with the two families holidaying together regularly in the years following and the two patriarchs becoming mentors for each-other's respective children. Dagnall even hired Jan's son Kevin as a test driver, later race, when the Dane found himself out of a seat in 2016.

Results

Formula One results

Complete ARWS Results

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 DC Pts
2010 JLD Motorsport JLD 01 Porsche 366 GER LUX SAX CHN TAS BHR BEL GBR
14
AUS
17
20th 0
2011 RubberTex-Jones Racing Jones RTJ-100 Renault RS9000T-11 BAV
DNPQ
GER
17
SAX
6
LUX
1
BEL
Ret
GBR
11
ENG
8
KEN
12
NED
19
TAS
4
AUS
7
NSW
15
SUR
Ret
CHN
12
USA
3
6th 37
2012 RubberTex-Jones Racing Jones RTJ-101 Renault RS9000T-12 BAV
DNPQ
SAX
DNPQ
GER
5
LUX
3
BEL
2
NED
4
GBR
1
KEN
8
ENG
9
TAS
6
SUR
2
NSW
7
AUS
Ret
CHN
5
USA
5
500
4
2nd 81
2013 Dagnall Engineering Dagnall CD-01 Zakspeed 1500 TAS
2
AUS
Ret
MEX
Ret
USA
Ret
MON
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
NED
Ret
BEL
Ret
POR
Ret
MED
1
MAC
Ret
CHN
1
JPN
3
BRA
5
3rd 32