Taki Inoue, once a marshal in Hungary, is what you would call an absolute cult hero. He is one of the drivers that once drove around in the Formula One that everyone knows. It doesn’t matter which generation you ask, they all know Taki. Because Taki is the ultimate GOAT, the one that made the Formula One fun. Racing for Simtek and Footwork he was a couple of times one of the headlines in the newspaper. However, this was not due to his results on the track. It was mostly due to the weird accidents that happened to him. We all remember him for helping the marshals in Hungary!
Via the Japanese Formula 3, which he competed in in 1991 until 1993, Taki arrived in the Formula One. Simtek, who had a horrible year, hired the Japanese driver to gain some media attention and probably for the Yens as well. While it was, his first Grand Prix Inoue managed to qualify his Simtek S941 on the 26th place. Both Pacific drivers Gachot and Belmondo failed to qualify for the race. In lap three, he spun-off the track and had to retire from the race. So far his first Grand Prix.
However, Taki would return in 1995 on the grid! Based on his raw talent and some Yens he signed a deal with Jacky Oliver’s Footwork team. He would participate the whole season for the team. A great move. As Footwork, while it was far from a financial stable team in 1995, was a decent team with a decent car. Gianni Morbidelli would become his teammate. During the season Morbidelli would be replaced with Papis only to be replaced by Morbidelli again who scored a 3rd place eventually with the FA16 in Australia.
Inoue however, he became that year the Cult hero we know him of today. Not because he outpaced Papis a couple of times, no it were the weird and insane accident Taki was involved in. Besides some spins and a bunch of retirements, he did decent. Until Monaco. It’s the 26th of May 1995 when Inoue stalls his FA16 during the free practice session. While he and his car are being towed away by a recovery vehicle rally driver Jean Ragnotti flew into the back of the FA16.
You may say that Ragnotti went mental when he did his demonstration laps in the Renault Clio. Including hand break turns in Loews. His passenger was someone from the FIA itself. Overseen Taki he was too late with braking in the Piscine complex and slammed his Clio in the back of the Footwork. The result, the Footwork with Taki in it flipped upside down into the barriers. As a result, the car was written off, the roll bar broke due to the rope that was attached to it. Taki, he suffered some injuries, as he did not wear his seatbelts anymore. He had a slight concussion though permitted eventually to race a day later.
If you think it couldn’t get weirder, well the Hungary Grand Prix was yet to come. It’s the 15th of August 1995 when 24 cars are starting their V12, V10 and V8 engines. Inoue on place 18 outpaced his teammate Papis again. However, in lap 13, Taki’s engine starts to act weird and forces him to retire from the race. While he parked his Footwork partly on the grass partly on the track, he went to the barrier to grab a fire extinguisher and help the marshals. However, the Medical Car was already on it ways and on the grass. While he rans, together with another marshal, back to his FA16 Inoue get hit by the medical car.
As a result, Inoue felt on the engine cover of the Tatra 623 with the fire extinguisher in his hand. He quickly stands up though falls on the ground. The other marshal was only inches to be hit as well by the Tatra. Some minor injuries on his leg were the result of his accident. He would be fit for the next race. Eventually Taki Inoue would complete the season, and with today’s point system would have scored six points for the team. For 1996, Inoue was flirting with Tyrrell however they chose for Salo and Katayama. Eventually, Inoue would sign a contract with the Minardi team. Team photos were already made and the M195B unveiled when problems appeared on the horizon. Some of Taki’s sponsors failed to pay the amount of money they agreed on. Which resulted in Taki’s retirement for Minardi.
You can’t imagine it now though there were years in the Formula One there were plenty of test drivers per
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.