Andrea Bertolini is an Italian racing driver who has an impressive record in GT racing. He was the world's best GT1 driver four times, by winning FIA GT Championship in 2006, 2008 and 2009 and then the inaugural FIA GT1 World Championship in 2010.
After that, he captured several more championship titles – 2011 Superstars International Series, 2013 Asian Le Mans Series GTC class, 2014 European Le Mans Series GTE class and 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship GTE Am class.
At Le Mans 24 Hours, Bertolini participated six times, taking victory in the GTE Am class in 2015. At Spa 24 Hours, Bertolini was an overall winner two times, in 2006 and 2008.
Driving go-karts until the age 27
Born in December 1973 in Sassuolo, Andrea Bertolini spent his youth as a karting racer. He contested Italian and international karting competitions until 2000 when he finally decided to move into car racing. While racing with go-karts, he became the youngest Ferrari test driver at the age 19, working for company's experimental and development department.
His first competition in a car racing was the 2001 FIA GT Championship, in which he was driving Porsche 911 GT3 R for Art Engineering in the NGT class. In his debut season, Bertolini was sharing the #53 Porsche with four different drivers. Scoring no wins or podiums, he was 31st in the final standings.
2002 – first season in a Ferrari
For the 2002 FIA GT Championship season, Bertolini joined JMB Racing to drive the #51 Ferrari 360 Modena. His teammate for most of the season was Andrea Garbagnati and they scored six podiums in the NGT class, ending a season fourth in the points. At Spa 24 Hours, they finished fourth in the #50 Ferrari, joined by Andrea Montermini and Christian Pescatori.
In 2003, Bertolini was again fourth in the championship, driving the #52 Ferrari 360 Modena in the NGT class. He was race winner four times, sharing a car with Fabrizio de Simone and Andrea Garbagnati. In August, Bertolini joined Mauro Baldi in one round of the American Le Mans Series, driving a Ferrari at Mosport.
Maserati development driver and Scuderia Ferrari test driver
In 2004, Bertolini slowed down his racing activities, having development duties with Maserati and testing duties with Scuderia Ferrari F1 team. In the FIA GT Championship, he participated in one race (Spa 24h) with GPC Squadra Corse, driving a Ferrari 360 Modena, and then switched to AF Corse to drive Maserati MC12 GT1, a car he had been involved in developing.
In four races with Maserati MC12, sharing a car with former F1 driver Mika Salo, he was a race winner two times, at Oschersleben and Zhuhai.
Double programme with Maserati in 2005
In 2005, Bertolini had a double programme with Maserati MC12 GT1, driving for Risi Competizione in the American Le Mans Series and for JMB Racing in the FIA GT Championship. In North America, he was on a podium two times.
In the FIA GT Championship, Bertolini scored one victory (Magny-Cours) and five podiums to finish fourth in the overall standings. His partner in the #15 Maserati was Karl Wendlinger. They finished second at Spa 24 Hours, sharing a car with Philipp Peter.
FIA GT Champion and Spa 24h winner in 2006
For the 2006 FIA GT Championship season, Bertolini joined Vitaphone Racing Team to drive the #1 Maserati MC12 GT1. Together with Michael Bartels, he won three races and became the FIA GT champion for the first time. They were winners at Silverstone's Tourist Trophy, Oschersleben and Spa 24 Hours. The third driver at Spa was Eric van de Poele.
In 2007 FIA GT Championship, Bertolini continued to drive Maserati MC12 GT1 but switched to the #11 car of the Scuderia Playteam Sarafree. Sharing a car with Andrea Piccini and scoring one victory (Bucharest), Bertolini finished fifth in the final standings. He was also fifth at Spa 24 Hours.
Two more FIA GT Championship titles with Vitaphone Racing Team
For the 2008 FIA GT Championship season, Bertolini returned to Vitaphone Racing Team and captured his second championship title. Michael Bartels was again his partner in the #1 Maserati MC12 GT1. They won two races, both in Belgium, at Spa and Zolder. At Spa 24 Hours, Eric van de Poele and Stephane Sarrazin joined them.
In 2009, Andrea Bertolini and Michael Bartels continued to share the #1 Maserati and captured their third championship title together. They were race winners two times, at Adria Raceway and Hungaroring.
2010 - winner of the inaugural FIA GT1 World Championship
Championship-winning streak continued in 2010, in the inaugural season of the FIA GT1 World Championship. Bertolini and Bartels were the race winners four times in the #1 Maserati MC12 GT1 – at Brno, Paul Ricard (twice) and Algarve.
In 2010, Bertolini also scored few wins outside FIA GT1 World Championship. Together with Alessandro Pier Guidi, he took class victory at non-championship Vallelunga 6 Hours race, driving a Maserati GrandTurismo MC. He was also a race winner two times in the Maserati Trofeo Europe.
Superstars International Series champion with Maserati
In 2011, Bertolini's main competition was the Superstars International Series.He was driving a Maserati Quattroporte for Swiss Team, winning seven races and taking the championship title. Six rounds of International Series were counting for the Italian Superstars Series, in which Bertolini finished fifth.
His other commitments in 2011 were occasional participations in the Maserati Trofeo Europe, Italian GT Championship and Spa 24 Hours attempt with Vitaphone Racing's Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.
Switching to Ferrari in the FIA World Endurance Championship
In 2012, Bertolini moved to Ferrari to participate full season in the FIA World Endurance Championship with AF Corse. He was sharing the #71 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 with Olivier Beretta. Marco Cioci joined them in two rounds, at Sebring 12 Hours and Le Mans 24 Hours. At Sebring, they were GT Pro class winners. In his Le Mans debut, Bertolini finished fourth in the GTE Pro class.
Besides racing in the FIA WEC, Bertolini was driving for AF Corse in the Blancpain Endurance Series, scoring two wins and finishing fourth in the Pro-Am classification. His partners were Niek Hommerson and Louis Machiels.
Asian Le Mans Series GTC champion in 2013
In 2013, Bertolini participated in four different competitions with two Ferrari teams. He was most successful in the Asian Le Mans Series with AF Corse, becoming the GTC class champion. He was also driving for AF Corse in the Blancpain Endurance Series, finishing fifth in the Pro-Am category. He scored an overall victory at Vallelunga 6 Hours with AF Corse, sharing a car with Marco Cioci and Piergiussepe Perazzini.
The other team was British JMW Motorsport. In the European Le Mans Series, Bertolini finished sixth in the GTE class in JMW's Ferrari 458 Italia. At Le Mans 24 Hours, sharing a car with Abdulaziz Al Faisal and Khaled Al Qubaisi, he finished 10th in the GTE Pro class.
European Le Mans Series GTE champion in 2014
In 2014, Bertolini had diverse programme again, expanding his schedule to three races of the IMSA United Sports Car Championship with Krohn Racing. His main competition was the European Le Mans Series, in which he became the GTE class champion in SMP Racing's Ferrari 458 Italia GTC. His teammates were Victor Shaytar and Sergey Zlobin. Bertolini also participated in Le Mans 24 Hours with SMP Racing, not finishing the race.
In few other FIA WEC races, Bertolini was driving for AF Corse, same as in one race of the Blancpain Endurance Series. It was the Spa 24 Hours race, where he took Pro-Am class victory and finished 6th overall together with Niek Hommerson, Louis Machiels and Marco Cioci.
GTE Am class world champion in 2015
In 2015, Bertolini spent a full season with SMP Racing in the GTE Am class of the World Endurance Championship. Sharing a car with Victor Shaytar and Alexey Basov, he scored three wins and took the championship title in the GTE Am class. One of those wins is at Le Mans 24 Hours.
In 2015, Bertolini also took part at Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours, finishing second at Sebring in the GTLM class in the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari he was sharing with Giancarlo Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer.
ELMS vice-champion in 2016
In 2016, Bertolini rejoined JMW Motorsport to drive Ferrari 458 Italia GTC in the European Le Mans Series. He was sharing the #66 car with Robert Smith and Rory Butcher, finishing second in the GTE class standings after three wins in six races.
In 2016, Bertolini was also driving Ferrari 488 GTE in greatest endurance races – Daytona 24 Hours, Sebring 12 Hours, Le Mans 24 Hours and Petit Le Mans, but without notable results.
2017 - driving for Spirit of Race in two competitions
In 2017, Bertolini stayed in a cockpit of Ferrari 488 GTE or GT3, driving for Swiss team Spirit of Race in the European Le Mans Series and Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. His ELMS partners in the #51 Ferrari were Gianluca Roda and Giorgio Roda. They were GTE class winners at Spa 4 Hours, finishing sixth in the final points. In the Blancpain GT Series, Bertolini competed in the #53 Ferrari with Niek Hommerson and Louis Machiels, scoring just one Pro-Am class podium at Monza.