Enrique Bernoldi is a Brazilian racing driver who competed in more than twenty different racing competitions since he started to race in 1995. In more than 20 years long career, he won only one championship title, the 1996 Formula Renault Eurocup.
The highlight of Bernoldi's career was his participation in the Formula One, with 28 starts in two seasons (2001 and 2002) with Arrows.
Enrique moved to Europe at the age 16
Enrique Bernoldi (full name Enrique Antonio Langue e Silverio de Bernoldi) was born on October 19, 1978, in Curitiba, Brazil. He started racing with go-karts as an 8-year-old boy, winning many regional and national titles until the age 16.
In 1995, Enrique moved to Europe and started a career with open-wheel single-seaters. His first race was in the Formula Alfa Boxer in Italy, in which he finished fourth. He then scored a podium in the French Formula Renault and won the race in the last round of the 1995 Formula Renault Eurocup.
1996 Formula Renault Eurocup winner - only championship title in a career
In 1996, Bernoldi entered the full season of the Formula Renault Eurocup and dominantly won the title,with hundred-points gap over the second-placed driver. It remained his only championship title for a whole career.
The next step was the British Formula 3 in 1997. He was driving for Promatecme team and finished fifth in the points, with one victory (Spa-Francorchamps) in fourteen races. He was also successful az non-championship Macau Grand Prix, finishing third. He remained with Promatecme in 1998, winning six races and finishing as the championship runner-up, behind another Brazilian Mario Haberfeld. Bernoldi took podiums in two non-championship events, finishing second at Masters of Formula 3 and third at Macau Grand Prix.
Helmut Marko recruited Bernoldi to Red Bull Junior Team
For 1999 season, Helmut Marko recruited Bernoldi to drive for the Red Bull Junior Team in the International Formula 3000 championship. Without wins and podiums, Bernoldi finished 18th in the points.
In 2000, he was a little bit successful, finishing 15th in the points. As Red Bull was the main sponsor of the Sauber Petronas F1 team, Bernoldi had an opportunity to test Formula One car in both seasons. He also tested for the Prost GP team.
2001 - Bernoldi debuted in F1 with Arrows
For 2001 season, Bernoldi signed a contract with Orange Arrows Asiatech Formula One team, to drive the #15 Arrows A22-Asiatech alongside Jos Verstappen. After three consecutive retirements in first three races (Australia, Malaysia and Brazil), he finally finished the race at Imola, scoring 10th place.
Of 17 starts during his debut F1 season, he retired ten times. His best result was 8th place at the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. Despite being better than Bernoldi, Verstappen was replaced by Heinz-Harald Frentzen for 2002 season.
2002 - shortened Formula 1 season due to financial problems
In 2002, Bernoldi was driving the #21 Cosworth-powered Arrows A23. At the season-opening Australian Grand Prix both Arrows' drivers were disqualified, Frentzen for leaving pit lane under a red light and Bernoldi for changing to the team's spare car after the race had started.
Later in the season, Bernoldi had eight DNFs, finishing only two races, being 12th at Monaco and 10th at European Grand Prix at Nürburgring. At the French Grand Prix, he even failed to qualify. Because of serious financial problems, Arrows withdrew from the championship after 12 rounds, with five more races in the calendar.
Two seasons in the World Series by Nissan
Bernoldi didn't find another F1 team for 2003, so he switched to the World Series by Nissan. Participating in 18 races for two teams (RC Motorsport and GD Racing), he scored two wins and finished sixth in the points.
Three seasons as Honda's test driver
During 2004, Bernoldi joined Lucky Strike BAR Honda F1 team as a test driver. He completed two test at Jerez Circuit. He remained BAR Honda's test driver for two more seasons, with no competition commitments in 2005 and 2006. He also tested for Rocketsports Champ Car team. Bernoldi's only race in 2006 was one-off participation in the Argentina's TC 2000 series with Honda Civic.
For 2007 season, Bernoldi was released from Honda and he returned to Brazil, to compete full season in the Brazilian Stock Car Copa Nextel. He reached two podiums with Biosintetica/Action Power Volkswagen Bora, finishing 13th in the points after twelve races.
2008 - season in the IndyCar Series
In 2008, it was a time for North American adventure. Bernoldi signed a contract with Rocketsports to compete in the Champ Car World Series. However, following the merger of Champ Car and the Indy Racing League, Rocketsports decided not to compete in the new series.
Bernoldi entered the 2008 IndyCar Series with Conquest Racing. His best result was fourth place at Long Beach and he finished 22nd in the points. After some public criticism of the team, a tumb injury forced him to miss the final two races of the season. The contract wasn't renewed for 2009 and Bernoldi had to look for another arrangement.
Season in the Superleague Formula and switch to GT racing
Bernoldi joined Flamengo/Astromega team in the 2009 Superleague Formula. He scored one podium in ten races and finished 16th in the points.
During 2009, Bernoldi also competed in the FIA GT Championship for Sangari Team Brazil. In five races with the #6 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, he was sharing the car with Roberto Streit and Xavier Maassen. Bernoldi and Streit won the race at Circuit Paul Ricard and Bernoldi finished 7th in the points. Bernoldi also participated in four races of the Brazilian Stock Car series, driving Peugeot for RCM Motorsport.
Two seasons in the FIA GT1 World Championship
In 2010, Bernoldi was focused only on the new FIA GT1 World Championship, driving the #2 Maserati MC12 for Vitaphone Racing. Bernoldi's best result was pole position and victory at his home race at Interlagos, where he shared the car with Xandy Negrao. For the rest of the season, his co-driver was Miguel Ramos.
In 2011, Bernoldi stayed in the FIA GT1 Championship, partnering Ricardo Zonta, Warren Hughes and Nicky Catsburg in the Sumo Power GT's #20 Nissan GT-R R35. Without wins and podiums, Bernoldi finished 12th in the final standings. He also entered four races of the Brazilian GT Championship, driving Ford GT together with Paulo Bonifacio.
Changing teams and competitions in recent years
The season 2011 was last year when Bernoldi drove a full season in some championship, after that he changed many teams in many competitions but never raced a full schedule. In 2012, he was driving Ferrari 458 Italia in three different competitions – for Vita4One Team in the Italian GT Championship, for AF Corse-Waltrip in the FIA World Endurance Championship and for AF Corse in the International GT Open.
He also participated in two races of the 2012 SPEED EuroSeries, driving for Team JD in a Tatuus CN. In 2013, he was driving Tatuus prototype in few races of the V de V Endurance Challenge. During 2014 and 2015, Bernoldi had a one-off appearances in the Brazilian Stock Car series. In 2016, he participated in few races of the North American edition of Lamborghini Super Trofeo, driving Lamborghini Huracan.
Photos: Enrique Bernoldi FB,