F1: Beyond The Grid

157: Danny Sullivan: from taxi driver to F1 points and Indy victory

Listen on

Episode notes

How does a young man from Kentucky go from driving a New York taxi to racing in Formula 1 and winning the Indy 500? Danny Sullivan’s extraordinary story starts with a childhood obsession with F1 books. It sparked a dream of becoming a racing driver, and he moved to Europe to make it come true. Incredibly, Danny lived with the legendary team boss Ken Tyrrell, who gave him an F1 drive in 1983. Danny tells Tom Clarkson about his best moments in Formula 1: how an inspired but risky strategy call helped earn him a 5th place at Monaco, and the time he battled wheel-to-wheel with world champion Keke Rosberg in a thrilling race finish. After a short stint in F1, Danny returned to America and wrote a dramatic new chapter with victory at the 1985 Indy 500. Even now his story continues, helping to make big calls as a FIA Driver Steward - all part of a whirlwind career that he recounts in vivid detail.