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Massimiliano (Max) Papis, past and present.


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#1 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 23:18

Hey guys, it seems that ol' Mad Max has been getting a lot of press these days, and he's such a fun guy to follow that I figured I'd start a thread.

He's running a part-time schedule with Geico as his sponsor in the NASCAR Cup series and his recent 8th place finish at Watkins Glen has really garnered him a lot of well-deserved praise.

I'm all for the internationalization of NASCAR and I like to brag about there being three ex-F1 drivers from three different continents in the race when it's true. Of course Scott Speed ain't exactly much to brag about, especially cos he doesn't even make all the races, but hey it makes my "three different" statements true.

Here's a recent story on ESPN. Talks about how F1 shattered his dreams and how NASCAR is his last stop:

http://sports.espn.g...c...&id=4398982

I'd like to hear some stories you guys know about his time in F1. I've read of the storied drive that got him his "Mad Max" nickname and he's obviously won in AOW a few times. I love reading his Twitter updates and seeing his pics, and of course I love his interviews. His enthusiasm is palpable and he comes across as such a cool, fun, and grounded guy.

Ultimately, I'll own that this thread is very much an excuse to post this video:



and this link to a series of hilarious commercials starting our very own, Max Papis:

http://www.youtube.c...amp;view=videos

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#2 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 23:32

Found this piece, he'll be driving a pretty good car at Gilles Villeneuve on a few weeks:

http://www.scenedail...nwide_race.html

#3 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 23:38

I best remember Max for crashing into Brack twice during some CART season, with Brack being his teammate.

#4 engel

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 23:45

I mostly remember him for the huge pileup in Monza during his F1 days :)
(which overall was a totally crazy race ... Inoue caused a Hill/Schumi crash, Coulthard caused Papis to cause a huge pileup, Alesi's camera took Berger out of the lead (and race) then Alesi retired)

#5 ch103

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 23:54

I best remember Max for crashing into Brack twice during some CART season, with Brack being his teammate.


Best Papis memory, ripping down the pit lane at Daytona for the 24 hr race some years back. There was no speed limit in the pits at that time and he was flying.

#6 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 01:10

I mostly remember him for the huge pileup in Monza during his F1 days :)
(which overall was a totally crazy race ... Inoue caused a Hill/Schumi crash, Coulthard caused Papis to cause a huge pileup, Alesi's camera took Berger out of the lead (and race) then Alesi retired)


AFAIK the only time he raced in Monza in F1 he finished seventh...so I guess his car wasn't very damaged?

#7 engel

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 01:18

AFAIK the only time he raced in Monza in F1 he finished seventh...so I guess his car wasn't very damaged?



don't quote me on this but 95 was still the T car era. I m certain there was a restart (that's how Coulthard was able to race that day after he spun it on the formation lap, he took over the Williams T car) I *think* Max did the same.

#8 ZZMS

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 03:33

I mostly remember him for the huge pileup in Monza during his F1 days :)
(which overall was a totally crazy race ... Inoue caused a Hill/Schumi crash, Coulthard caused Papis to cause a huge pileup, Alesi's camera took Berger out of the lead (and race) then Alesi retired)


huh, how Inoue caused Hill's brainfade? :)

#9 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 04:27

Unmemorable in F1, unspectacular in CART, now trying to play the personality game in NASCAR.


#10 LuckyStrike1

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 09:47

As a Swede I think the lasting memory of Papis is the one of him being teammate at Rahal/Letterman in Champ Car to our own Kenny Bräck and at occassions not being the maybe most supportive of teammates on the track. Right or wrong, that is at least my impression of Papis - That #¤%&%¤ teammate of Bräck who tried to race Bräck so hard it compromised both Bräcks and Papis race and saw de Ferran drive away in the horizon and the championship.

#11 Just waiting

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 11:52

From the article, life must be tough in those $500 per night hotels, (maybe the fee covered a little late night maid service)

For years he paid his way to dozens of races and spent many restless nights in crappy $500-a-night, roach-infested rooms in hopes of seeing -- yes, seeing -- Richard Childress or Joe Gibbs. Grabbing a few minutes with Rick Hendrick was a productive day. A quick chat with Ray Evernham was the birdie chip on 18 that kept him coming back.

maybe should try motel6 at $45 per night. Stayed at many of them, and never saw one roach....at least one that was not being smoked :smoking: :smoking:

Edited by Just waiting, 19 August 2009 - 11:53.


#12 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 11:56

By the time he switched to chasing NASCAR he was hardly poor, he'd done several years of CART at the top level.

#13 jdanton

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 12:14

From wikipedia...(bolded part for emphasis)

After a spell as the Lotus team's test driver in 1994, Papis replaced Gianni Morbidelli in the Footwork team for seven races in the middle of the 1995 Formula One season, as he brought valuable sponsorship to the cash-strapped outfit. Despite being a race-winner in Formula 3000, he often struggled with the unfamiliar car, and was occasionally outpaced by his much-maligned team-mate, Taki Inoue. He also proved to be an unlucky driver, suffering a spectacular puncture and suspension failure on his début race at Silverstone due to clipping the pit lane wall after a tire change, being left on the grid at Hockenheim due to a transmission failure, and spinning on dust and oil kicked up by David Coulthard at the Ascari Chicane on the first lap of the Italian GP, causing a pile-up and a restart. However, he only missed out on a point in the restarted race when he was overtaken by Jean-Christophe Bouillon's Sauber on the last lap. When Morbidelli returned, Papis was out of a drive and headed to America for 1996.

I generally like the guy, but his blatent F1 bashing in an effort to play up to NASCAR is annoying... edited b/c I can't spell.

Edited by jdanton, 19 August 2009 - 17:35.


#14 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 13:58

From the article, life must be tough in those $500 per night hotels, (maybe the fee covered a little late night maid service)


maybe should try motel6 at $45 per night. Stayed at many of them, and never saw one roach....at least one that was not being smoked :smoking: :smoking:


Obviously a typo. Meant $50 a night or less.

#15 potmotr

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 14:10

AFAIK the only time he raced in Monza in F1 he finished seventh...so I guess his car wasn't very damaged?


Yeah, he was part of the pile up with Montermini and Moreno at the exit to Variante Ascari.

IIRC Papis started it as he spun first on the dust from Coulthard's spin on the warm up lap(!) at the same corner.

The race was restarted and Papis was able to finish seventh, but there was a lot of attrition that day.

Both Jordan's broke down, both Ferraris failed to finish, Hill took out Schumacher, Badoer, Panis and Lavaggi spun off, Brundle thrashed the back of his car to bits returning to the pits with puncture and Moreno and Montermini didn't take the restart.

Still, good to almost get into the points for Papis.

The thing I found most interesting is that Papis was great family friends with the Zanardis.

When Alessandro was at Lotus in 1993 he played a part in Papis getting his first F1 test with that team.

Edited by potmotr, 19 August 2009 - 14:11.


#16 Spunout

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 17:26

Not much memories of Papis in F1, I´m afraid. Just one of the pay drivers from times when you had devastatingly poor teams struggling to survive. He wasn´t good enough to earn an F1 seat on merit, but had the money and connections. I don´t know how much of his comments are genuine (claiming Cup drivers are better than F1, sports cars and IndyCar drivers put together - on road courses - was either lunacy or arse-licking...not to mention critisizing F1 for favouring less talented guys with fat wallets - like Max Papis), but in NASCAR he at least seems like nice guy.

Edited by Spunout, 19 August 2009 - 17:26.


#17 Pikachu Racing

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 20:17

I best remember Max for crashing into Brack twice during some CART season, with Brack being his teammate.


That cost Kenny the championship that year. He was leading a good margain but his so-called teammate screwed it up for him.

#18 MattPete

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 20:44

I have two memories:

(1) Turning on Daytona 24 and seeing him real in the cars ahead of him at an impossible speed. It was stunning. I think that's where he got the Mad Max moniker from.

(2) Thinking he was a selfish asshole. I don't remember what it was that he did, but he turned from all-around nice guy (but the "Mad Max" self referals were getting old) to a self-centered jerk. Maybe it was the Bräck thing that you guys mentioned.

#19 Slyder

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 20:58

In Grand Am, everyone remembers Papis vs. Magnussen at Homestead several years ago; that kind of pissed some fans against him. Papis's onboard camera of that hard-hitting battle is unforgettable.

That and deliberately causing a huge multicar accident at the exit off Turn 2 at Watkins Glen in the Grand Am race a few years back. Max played the "I feel so ashamed card" but it just didn't seem honest. I got the feeling that he knew very well what he was doing.

He's a decent chap nevertheless. Could be very fast, but very inconsistent as well.

Edited by Slyder, 19 August 2009 - 20:58.


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#20 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 01:17

He's racing right now in the NASCAR Truck race at Bristol. He started 19th and is now, I believe, 26th, having just received the Lucky Dog.

#21 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 15:36

Thanks for the memories. Now I'm starting to feel perhaps a little reality creeping into my romantic view of Papis.

#22 Rob G

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 17:47

(2) Thinking he was a selfish asshole. I don't remember what it was that he did, but he turned from all-around nice guy (but the "Mad Max" self referals were getting old) to a self-centered jerk.

"CART needs Max Papis more than Max Papis needs CART." IIRC that's exactly what he said sometime around 2002 or 2003.