home icon / Race and classic pictures / Many happy returns of the day to Derek Daly

Many happy returns of the day to Derek Daly

Derek Daly, Williams. Italy 1982

© F1-photo.com / Cahier Archive

Former Formula 1 driver Derek Daly celebrates his 65th birthday today.

He was born on this day in 1953 in Ballinteer, Republic of Ireland. Daly was the 1977 British Formula 3 champion, which propelled him into F1 the following season.

He made the first of his 49 starts in Formula 1. The first of them came at the 1978 British Grand Prix with Ensign, although he retired from the race. He was disqualified from the Austrian race after he received an illegal push start. But he was in the top ten in Italy and the US, and scored his first championship points in the final race of the year in Canada.

His first full season in Formula 1 was in 1980 when he joined Tyrell, getting points in Argentina and Britain. A switch to March the following year resulted in a strong of DNQs and retirements and he saw the chequered flag on only four occasions.

He started 1982 with the Theodore team before switching to Williams mid-season. It was his most successful spell in F1, with five points finishes in 12 races. However, sixth place in the US Grand Prix at Caesars Palace proved his Grand Prix swansong.

Daly switched to the US open wheel CART series, which he competed in until 1989. He also made three starts in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He subsequently became an American citizen, set up a race school and worked in broadcasting before settling in Indiana to raise a family.

Among his children is racing driver Conor Daly. The younger Daly has competed in IndyCar, Indy Lights, GP2 and GP3. He even had his own brief flirtation with Formula 1 when he carried out straight line aero test for Force India in 2012. He's competed in four Indy 500 races and is set to be in the field for this year's running in May.

Derek Daly, Monaco. Italy 1982

© F1-photo.com / Cahier Archive

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter