Formula 1 careers can take many twists and turns, but almost all of them last longer than one lap. But for Mario Dominguez, fate conspired against him to keep grand prix racing just out of reach, as he tells MATT KEW
It’s a tough ask to imagine the disappointment for Mario Dominguez, but consider his situation just for a moment.
The Mexican has two IndyCar wins under his belt and has just finished a career-best of fifth in the 2004 Champ Car standings for Herdez Competition. Alongside the American single-seater aspirations, though, he’s long held designs on the ultimate goal of a Formula 1 drive.
As such, aged 29, he’s in advanced talks with sponsors to put together a package for a full grand prix season. In order to seal the deal, he’s on a flight to Europe as there’s a chance to impress on a maiden F1 test.
Finally, he lowers himself into the carbonfibre tub and heads out of the garage. But it’s only for a solitary installation lap. After that, the day is done and before long commercial partners walk away. Barely three miles in, the F1 dream is over.
Granted, even a handful of corners in a GP machine is more than most will ever experience. But it nevertheless makes for a bitter pill for Dominguez to have swallowed, especially when he had been all set to extensively test the Toyota-powered Jordan EJ15 ahead of a proposed seat for the 2005 season.
“Back then, the team was in the middle of switching hands from Jordan to Midland,” Dominguez tells Autosport. “I had always had an interest in racing in Formula 1. We did get interest from the new team, so I flew to England in order to do a test.
“We spent, like, three days actually