In 2006, F1 bid goodbye to the Jordan and Minardi teams. It wasn’t long before newcomers, Spyker and Super Aguri took their place. Aguri recruited former BAR-Honda driver Takuma Sato and rookie driver Yuji Ide.
However, Sato practically wiped the floor with Ide, and the 31-year old was one of the worst F1 drivers. Ide’s F1 career lasted only four races, with the last straw being the San Marino Grand Prix. After a crash with Spyker’s Christijan Albers, the FIA revoked Ide’s super-license.
The FIA took the austere step after several F1 teams and drivers expressed safety concerns regarding his driving. Out of the four F1 races, he only managed to reach the chequered flag once, finishing 13th in Australia.
The 31-year old was slapped with a reprimand in Imola after he sent Albers barrel-rolling into the gravel run-off. The furious Dutchman accused him of pushing him off the road and the FIA agreed.
Admittedly, Super Aguri founder Aguri Suzuki accepted the FIA’s decision, but hope that Ide would get a second chance. Sadly, it never came to pass, and Ide’s F1 career ended for good.
Since then, the Japanese driver has been racing in Formula Nippon and the Super GT series. Unfortunately for Yuji Ide, his performance continued to remain unspectaculsr. His highest position in either of the championships, was 11th in Super GT on three occasions.
In addition to that, he only bagged one solitary in 2010 at the Suzuka Circuit. Otherwise, he could only boast of two podiums in almost a decade, both of which, came in Suzuka.
Was Yuji Ide that bad an F1 driver?
Admittedly, though he never won a single championship, he managed best finishes of 2nd in the 1999 Super GT championship. He also finished as the runner up in the 2005 Formula Nippon championship. A year earlier, he even finished third in the Formula Nippon championship.