Keke Rosberg

Keke Rosberg is the first Finnish driver to race in Formula One regularly. |  Rosberg’s pole-position winning lap in the British Grand Prix in 1982 remained the fastest (highest average speed) lap in F1 till the year 2001.


Name: Keke Rosberg
Nickname: Keke
DOB: Dec 6 1948
Place Of Birth: Stockholm, Sweden
Nationality: Finnish
Most Races For: Williams - 62
Keke Rosberg

Keijo Erik Rosberg, better known as “Keke”, was born on December 6, 1948, in Solna, Stockholm County, Sweden, although he grew up in Oulu and Lisalmi in Finland. In his early years of racing, he kept to driving in the Formula Vee, Formula Atlantic and the Formula 2 series which was then considered as the stepping stone to F1 racing.

Keke’s Formula One debut came quite late in his career in 1978, at the age of 29. He kicked off his career racing with the Theodore team and put up an eye-catching performance in the non-Championship BRDC International Trophy at Silverstone which he won despite rain-soaked conditions. Sadly, for Keke, the team decided to suspend their racing due to an uncompetitive engine. Keke, in the following races, shuttled between the ATS team and Theodore, finally racing for ATS without much success.

Without any remarkable achievement in his first season, the Finnish driver joined hands with the Wolf racing outfit midway through the 1979 edition of the Formula One World Championship. Due to Rosberg’s inability to finish races, the team could barely do anything better than his previous employers. After a very unsatisfactory season, Keke moved to the Fittipaldi Automotive team in 1980 and earned his first few points in Argentina after finishing third. But he could not take it to task for the rest of the season and the 1981 season was worse – with no points at all.

Like every cloud has a silver lining, Keke’s gloomy career suddenly gleamed with a sparkling FW07C car, from the Williams stable, at his disposal. Frank Williams, known to have a way with spotting talent, offered Keke a position in his team for the 1982 season. And Keke grabbed this chance with both his hands to finish on the podium six times, including his first win at the Swiss Grand Prix. With 44 points under his belt, he took away the Championship title and resurrected his Formula One career.

Keke, having built a good relationship with the Williams team stayed on for the following three seasons till 1985, when he ended with a high of 40 points, 6 podium finishes, 2 wins and third spot in the Drivers’ Championship. In 1983 and 1984, he had done little to be among the first three racers in the standings but showed good consistency in his driving. He was fifth in 1983 and eight in the 1984 edition of the F1 Championship.

Just when Williams acquired new and more powerful engines for their 1986 season, Rosberg, in awe of the 1984 and 1985 Constructors’ Championship winner McLaren agreed to race for them in anticipation of another title. But his dream was cut short by their below par engines and he just finished sixth with only one podium finish at Monaco.

Someone who would later admit that he quit the sport too early, Keke was a champion who always had the hunger for speed and it just showed when Nico Rosberg, his son, debuted in 2006 for Williams to carry forward the mantle.

-Anup Pareek

  • GPs
YearTeamClaGPs WinsPolesPods FLsPts
1978ATS, Wolf, Theodore-900000
Total 11455173159.5


Keke Rosberg - Season Performance

According to stats...

  • Keke Rosberg is the first Finnish driver to race in Formula One regularly.
  • Rosberg’s pole-position winning lap in the British Grand Prix in 1982 remained the fastest (highest average speed) lap in F1 till the year 2001.


"He won't win another world championship. The world - and the world championship - now belongs to the young ones."
-Keke Rosberg on Michael Schumacher


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