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Motorsport figures in a different discipline to family relative

Many parent-child-sibling duos are in motorsport; but how many have become famous in a different discipline to their relative?

#204 Team Audi Sport Audi RS Q e-tron E2: Carlos Sainz Sr., Carlos Sainz Jr. with family

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Carlos Sainz Sr made history at the 2024 Dakar Rally by becoming the oldest driver ever to win the prestigious event at a remarkable age of 61. 

It was Sainz Sr’s fourth victory in the Dakar, 14 years after his first, adding to an already illustrious career for the double world rally champion. 

So, it is no surprise that his motorsport genes passed through the family with Sainz’s son, Carlos Jr, being a Formula 1 grand prix winner for Ferrari. 

Drivers following their father into motorsport is nothing new though, as Keke and Nico Rosberg are both F1 world champions for example - but how many have become famous via a different motor racing discipline to their parent or sibling? Here are some on the list.  

Father and son  

Carlos Sainz Sr and Carlos Sainz Jr – Rally and Single-seaters 

Sainz Sr’s rally career dates back 44 years to 1980, and one of his best results early on was second in the 1986 Spanish Rally Championship. This catapulted him into the WRC, where he made his debut for Ford in 1987 until making a huge move to Toyota two years later, as Sainz Sr won both his world championships (1990 and 1992) with the Japanese manufacturer.  

Sainz Sr achieved eight more top-three finishes in WRC before ending his 18-year stint in rally’s top category in 2005.  

That coincided with the start of Sainz Jr’s career, as the Spaniard began karting in 2006. He progressed to single-seaters in 2010 where he became a member of the Red Bull junior squad. 

#204 Team Audi Sport Audi RS Q e-tron E2: Carlos Sainz Sr., Carlos Sainz Jr.

Photo by: Audi Communications Motorsport

#204 Team Audi Sport Audi RS Q e-tron E2: Carlos Sainz Sr., Carlos Sainz Jr.

Sainz’s debut in F1 machinery was a young drivers’ test at Silverstone for Toro Rosso in 2013. He made his full F1 debut with the team in 2015 and nine seasons later, after stints for Toro Rosso, Renault and McLaren, he is now a grand prix winner for Ferrari having won at Silverstone and Singapore. 

Although Sainz Jr made his name in a different motorsport discipline to his father, Sainz Sr still raced single-seaters at one point having competed in Formula Ford but it did not go beyond that. 

Nigel Albon and Alex Albon – Touring cars and Single-seaters 

Nigel Albon’s first foray into motorsport came in 1993 when he raced in the Renault Clio Cup a year before completing a season in the British Touring Car Championship. 

Albon drove a Renault 19 for Harlow Motorsport in BTCC but finished 30th in the overall standings failing to score a point. His career highlight came eight years later as Albon won the 2002 Sepang 12 Hours alongside Malaysian team-mates Tunku Hammam and Tommy Lee, before competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia for three years from 2005-07 where fourth in the ’07 standings was the Briton’s best finish.  

It was around that time that his son, Alex, started winning national and European karting championships from 2006-11. He subsequently moved into single-seaters for 2012 with the backing of Red Bull, but a tough year finishing 38th in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and 17th in Formula Renault 2.0 Alps saw Albon dropped from the junior programme after just one season. 

He once again had a tough year before bouncing back in 2014 with third in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. From then, Albon was on the up and second in the 2016 GP3 Series before third in Formula 2 two years later landed him a last-minute call up to F1 with Toro Rosso for 2019 - which meant re-joining the Red Bull programme. 

The Thai-British driver then moved to Red Bull halfway through his rookie season, but Albon ultimately struggled and was dropped for the 2021 season. Albon eventually found his way back into F1 with Williams for 2022, where he has since shone and helped the British outfit rise up the order.  

Mick Doohan and Jack Doohan – Bikes and Single-seaters

Mick Doohan and son Jack Doohan

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Mick Doohan and son Jack Doohan

Mick Doohan is regarded as one of the greatest motorcycle racers ever, having won five consecutive 500cc titles from 1994-98. He began riding at the age of eight in Australia before transitioning to road racing at 19. 

Doohan rode the 1988 Superbike World Championship where he won in Japan and Australia before moving to grand prix racing in 1989. He claimed his first victory in 1990 and won a race every season until 1999, when leg injuries sustained from a crash in qualifying for the Spanish motorcycle Grand Prix effectively ended his career.  

Initially, his son Jack was intent on following a similar career path, however, at the age of five the younger Doohan broke his leg while riding a bike and he subsequently pursued four-wheels instead. Doohan started competitive karting in 2012 before moving to single-seater racing in 2018 and Jack has gradually progressed through the ladder to end up as Alpine’s reserve driver after third in the 2023 Formula 2 standings. 

John Button and Jenson Button – Rallycross and Single-seaters 

John Button became an F1 paddock regular as he supported his son Jenson at almost every grand prix the 2009 world champion competed in - however, what came before was a pretty stellar career.  

Jenson’s late father made his name in the 1970s finishing runner-up in the 1976 British Rallycross and Lydden Rallycross championships, before creating Rocket Motorsport when Jenson began karting at 11 years old.  

Button won many karting titles including the 1997 European Championship ahead of moving to single-seaters in 1998, where Jenson immediately won the British Formula Ford Championship before his big move to F1 two years later. 

Jenson drove his rookie season with Williams, which started a 16-year stint in motorsport’s top category. However, Jenson continued to race after leaving F1 as Button won the 2018 Super GT Championship and is set for a World Endurance Championship drive in 2024. 

Jenson Button, Brawn GP and an emotional John Button celebrate

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Jenson Button, Brawn GP and an emotional John Button celebrate

Niki Lauda and Mathias & Lukas Lauda – Single-seaters, Sportscars and Rally Raid

Niki Lauda was a true racer at heart as he started a career in the industry despite his parents’ disapproval, so the Austrian took a bank loan to land an F1 seat because all family ties were cut off. 

Lauda had the last laugh as he became world champion in 1975 and was on course to repeat that feat in 1976, until a devastating crash at a wet Nurburgring almost cost his life. However, Lauda miraculously returned three races later and although he lost the title on the final day of that season to James Hunt, the Ferrari driver won the championship again in 1977.  

He subsequently retired from F1 at the end of 1979, but Lauda returned for 1982 to become a triple world champion in 1984. It is therefore no surprise that this passion for motorsport was passed down to his sons.  

Mathias Lauda started in formula racing but made a name for himself mostly in sportscars, as he spent four seasons in DTM before doing Porsche Supercup in 2010-11. Later in Mathias’ career he raced in various other categories, which included winning the 2017 LMGTE Am class in WEC.

His older brother, Lukas, was Mathias' manager at the time, but then he attempted racing himself by competing in the 2022 Rallye du Maroc as part of the World Rally-Raid Championship. Lukas also competed in the 2024 Dakar where he finished 15th in the challenger class.  

Stig Blomqvist and Tom Blomqvist – Rally and Single-seaters 

The Blomqvist family is quite similar to the Sainzs in that the father is a rally world champion, while the son pursued single-seater racing. Stig Blomqvist began rallying in 1964 before competing on a global stage six years later where his first victory came at the 1971 Swedish Rally, which was part of the International Championship for Manufacturers and later became the World Rally Championship in 1973. 

Blomqvist was eventually crowned WRC champion in 1984 and continued to compete in WRC rounds until 2006, while attempting rallycross part-time alongside.  

Tom Blomqvist, BMW Team RBM, BMW M4 DTM with his Stig Blomqvist

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Tom Blomqvist, BMW Team RBM, BMW M4 DTM with his Stig Blomqvist

Meanwhile, his son Tom began karting in 2003 where he won various championships in New Zealand until moving to Europe in 2009 for single-seaters. 

He left single-seaters for DTM in 2015, before returning to open cockpit racing for the 2017-18 Formula E championship. Since then, Blomqvist has raced in IndyCar, finished second in class at the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours and twice won the Daytona 24 Hours which included sealing the 2022 IMSA SportsCar Championship crown.  

Henrik Lundgaard and Christian Lundgaard – Rally and Single-seaters 

Henrik Lundgaard had a stellar motorsport career as he made his WRC debut at the 1995 Monte Carlo Rally. His next WRC appearance came two years later with a points finish at the same event and Lundgaard entered various more rallies over the coming seasons. 

Lundgaard’s career highlight is winning the 2000 European Rally Championship, where the Dane won five of 10 rallies and scored over double the points tally of runner-up Bruno Thiry. 

It was not long until Henrik’s son, Christian, started his motorsport journey but that was in road racing and not rally. Christian began karting in 2012 where a successful stint, which included winning the 2015 European Championship, gave him a shot at single-seater racing for 2017. 

Christian began by winning the 2017 Spanish F4 Championship and he progressed up to F2 before heading state-side for IndyCar in 2022. Lundgaard’s maiden IndyCar victory came in 2023 and he is set for another season in the championship this year.  

Franz Wurz and Alexander Wurz – Rallycross and Single-seaters 

Franz Wurz made his name through rallycross in the 1970s where he won the European Rallycross Championship in ’74, ’76 and ’82. However, his son Alexander, pursued single-seaters as he progressed from karting to F1 while Wurz made his debut with Benetton in 1997 a year after winning the Le Mans 24 Hours.  

Alex Wurz is first in the new MP4-17 in Barcelona

Photo by: LAT Photographic

Alex Wurz is first in the new MP4-17 in Barcelona

However, he left Benetton at the end of 2000 to become McLaren’s test driver before landing a full-time spot on the F1 grid again with Williams in 2007. That stint only lasted a season though and afterwards he raced Le Mans Prototypes across various championships before becoming chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA), which is a role he still holds today.  

Siblings    

While many father-son duos have competed in a different motorsport discipline to each other, the list also extends to siblings. 

Lewis Hamilton and Nicolas Hamilton – Single-seaters and Touring Cars 

From a very early age Lewis Hamilton was tipped for stardom and he has achieved exactly that by winning seven F1 world championships, while setting the record for most grand prix victories and pole positions. 

However, what his half-brother Nicolas has achieved is also pretty remarkable. Nicolas, who has cerebral palsy, became the first disabled BTCC driver in 2015 and races with a specialised car as a result. 

Nicolas has driven in six BTCC seasons with 24th in 2023 being his best result, while Hamilton has competed in other closed cockpit championships like the Renault Clio Cup UK and European Touring Car Cup alongside supporting his brother at various F1 grands prix. 

Max Chilton and Tom Chilton – Single-seaters and Touring Cars 

Max Chilton is mostly known for his stint in F1, where the Briton raced two seasons for Marussia in 2013-14 yet failed to score a point in the uncompetitive machinery. That came after starting karting at the age of 10 as he then progressed through the single-seater ladder, where fourth in the 2012 GP2 Series championship led to him moving into F1.  

After F1, Chilton drove six seasons in IndyCar and in 2022 he broke the hillclimb record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with a time of 39.08s while driving the McMurtry Speirling. Meanwhile, his older brother of six years, Tom, had a totally different motorsport career as he competed in closed cockpit racing. 

Tom and Max Chilton in 2009

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Tom and Max Chilton in 2009

As a teenager, Tom raced in the 1999 and 2000 BRSCC T Cars Championship, before making his BTCC debut in 2002. Last year was Tom’s 17th season in BTCC where third in the 2018 standings is his best result, while Chilton has also competed in the World Touring Car Cup Championship. 

Stirling Moss and Pat Moss – Single-seaters and Rally 

Stirling Moss’s achievements in his racing career are well-known, having won 16 grands prix, finished runner-up in the F1 drivers’ championship four times and he is regarded by many as the greatest driver to never win the world title. 

However, Moss’ sister, Pat, was quite an accomplished rally driver. At 11 years old her older brother taught her how to drive and by the age of 18, Pat had started driving in club rallies before competing in the 1955 RAC Rally, now known as the Rally of Great Britain, where she finished third in the ladies’ class. 

Pat had her major breakthrough three years later finishing fourth at the RAC and Liege-Rome-Liege rallies, before winning the first of five European Ladies’ Rally Championships in 1958. 

In 1960 Pat claimed her maiden international victory - the first woman in history to do so - at the Liege-Rome-Liege Rally before more wins at the 1962 Tulip and German rallies. By this point Pat was one of the UK’s most accomplished rally drivers, however, once she gave birth in 1969, she started rallying much less and fully retired in 1974.

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