F1 career: 158 Grands Prix, 1 victory, 5 podium finishes
4 starts in the 24 Hours of Le Mans
Drawing on the experience accumulated during his long career, Olivier Panis wishes to pass on the skills he acquired in racing by taking advantage of his many years rubbing shoulders with the best, his proficiency, his know-how and his obsession with that excellence which forges champions.
Panis follows in the footsteps of the late Guy Ligier and the emblematic Henri Pescarolo, Hugues de Chaunac, Jacques Nicolet... He wants to join the list of great French team managers. He aims to continue the history, take on the heritage and sublimate it...
40 years racing...
1981-1993: His debut - like the majority of drivers Olivier Panis made his competition debut in 1981 in a kart when he was still an adolescent. In 1988, he moved on and began his single-seater career. He raced in the French Formula Renault Championship, which he won in his second year. After two successful seasons in the French Formula 3 Championship (4th in 1990 and 2nd in 1991), he competed in the International Formula 3000 Series winning the title in 1993.
1994-1996: Ligier - his F3000 title opened the doors of Formula 1 to him in 1994 with the French Ligier team. He came second in the German Grand Prix. The following year, Panis clinched another second place in the Australian Grand Prix and finished in eighth place in the F1 world championship driver ratings. In 1996, he drove the race of his life scoring a historic victory in the Monaco Grand Prix, the first for the Ligier team for 15 years.
1997-1999: Prost Grand Prix - in 1997 he began the season driving for the Prost team (in fact, the new name of Ligier). He confirmed his potential with third place in the Brazilian Grand Prix and second in Spain. After six races he was lying third in the world championship classification behind Schumacher and Villeneuve. He tackled the Canadian GP full of confidence, but a serious accident in the closing stages of the race brought his rise to a brutal halt. After a long period of convalescence, he made his comeback in the Luxembourg Grand Prix in which he finished sixth.
2000-2001: McLaren - he teamed up with Belgian manager, Didier Cotton, which opened up new horizons and he joined the McLaren-Mercedes team as a test driver.
2001-2002: British American Racing - he found a seat in 2001 as he was chosen by the BAR-Honda squad alongside Jacques Villeneuve.
2003-2006: Toyota F1 - Olivier joined Toyota with which he raced in his last grand prix in Japan. He then took on the role of test driver. On 18th September 2006 aged 40 he announced that he was putting an end to his career in F1.
2008-2011: LMS, ILMC, 24 Hours of Le Mans - he continued racing at the top level and spearheaded the Oreca-Matmut team’s attack in the Le Mans Series, the ILMC and the Le Mans 24 Hours. He won the Sebring 12 Hours in a Peugeot 908 HDI FAP with Nicolas Lapierre and Loïc Duval as team-mates.
2010 - 2015: French GT Championship - he shared a car with Eric Debard in the French GT Championship for six seasons and in 2015, Fabien Barthez completed the line-up.
Since 2005: Andros Trophy - Olivier Panis has been racing in Andros Trophy in Elite Pro and in 2019, he won the final at the Stade de France associated with his son Aurélien.
Since 2016, he is Panis Racing's main team manager, together with Tech1 Racing managers Sarah and Simon Abadie and their partner Stephane Dilouya.
"This team is above all a human adventure. We all share the same philosophy of sport,with the desire to pass on, to support and to give back what we’ve got."