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Martin Donnelly’s F3000 gamble, 30 years on

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His British F3 title hopes on the wane, Martin Donnelly gambled on a mid-season move to Formula 3000 in 1988 that turned him from obscurity into the UK's new great hope. Thirty years on, here's how he did it

Whenever Martin Donnelly is discussed, it's difficult to avoid the accident that ended his top-flight career while qualifying for the 1990 Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, when the front suspension on his Lotus-Lamborghini failed at more than 140mph. As the affable Northern Irishman admits, it's what he's best known for.

But two years earlier, Donnelly came within a whisker of making the Formula 3000 paddock look very silly indeed in a half-season campaign that, 30 years on, stands as a timely reminder of what Formula 1 missed.

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