Formula One’s cut-throat nature means that in recent years many capable drivers have fallen by the wayside and been forced out of the sport due to a lack of finance or for simply being too old. However, this weekend has proven that there is life after F1 as a number of drivers have thrived in other series.
On Saturday, former Sauber, Williams and Lotus driver Nick Heidfeld claimed his first win at Petit Le Mans as a curtain was drawn over the American Le Mans Series at Road Atlanta. Driving for Rebellion Racing, the German driver was part of the victorious three man team that also comprised of Nicolas Prost (son of F1 legend Alain) and Neel Jani, both of whom claimed their second successive Petit Le Mans win. Heidfeld raced in 183 grands prix, finishing on the podium thirteen times without managing to win a race.
An early start on Sunday saw a number of former Formula One drivers racing in the latest round of the World Endurance Championship at the 6 Hours of Fuji in Japan. However, just sixteen laps were completed due to torrential rain and the race was eventually red flagged with over three hours left on the clock. This handed Toyota their first win of the season with former Williams drivers Alexander Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima piloting the winning car and three-time Le Mans winner and former Toyota driver Allan McNish finishing in second place. Gianmaria Bruni and Giancarlo Fisichella finished second in the GTE Pro class whilst Bruno Senna was victorious with Aston Martin Racing in the GTE Am race.
Finally, former Toyota and Virgin (now Marussia) driver Timo Glock claimed his first win in the German touring car championship, DTM. The German driver took advantage of the wet conditions at Hockenheim to win the final race of the season and cap off a memorable debut year in the championship.