Born in 1957 in Brussels, Thierry Boutsen is a Belgian former Formula One driver. His passion for motorsport sparked when he was three years old. He already knew that he wanted to become a racing driver.
Determined and ambitious, he started his career in 1976 at the André Pilette Racing School in Zolder. In the wake of his military service one year later, he really began to race regularly at a high level.
As a deal with his father, Thierry would need to get his mechanical-engineering degree before fully focusing on a motorsport career. After graduating, he continued to push his limits both intellectually and physically by becoming a professional racecar driver.
"I learned in racing all about precision, preparation, timing, attention to detail, punctuality, motivation, concentration, sacrifices, no right to error, team work, in fact racing is a very good school of life..."
Thierry worked his way up and entered the Benelux Formula Ford Championship. In 1978, he won 15 of the 18 races. From there, he kept going to race in Formula Three, and then in Formula Two, where he became European vice-Champion.
In 1983, he moved up to Formula One with the team Arrows at his home race, the Belgian Grand Prix. Thierry remained with this team during his first four years of Formula One and finished second at the 1985 San Marino Grand Prix.
In 1987, he moved on to Benetton for two years and came fourth in the world Championship of 1988.
1989 marked a watershed. Thierry switched to the Williams team and won his first Grand Prix in Canada. Sustaining this momentum, he took two other wins at the Australian and Hungarian Grand Prix. After the 1990 season, Thierry pursued new avenues and moved on to Ligier, and then to Jordan. As a renowned Formula One champion, he participated in 164 Formula One races in total.
In 1993, he chose to retire from Formula One and continued racing sportscars for six years.
The line must be drawn somewhere, Thierry decided to quit the racing world in 1999 for new adventures.
Williams Renault FW13
1990 - Hungarian Grand-Prix
Hungarian Grand Prix
Victory in 1990
Monaco Grand Prix
Monaco Grand Prix
1998 - Le Mans
1996 - Porsche 911 GT1 Daytona 24 hours
Williams Renaut FW12-C
1989 - Canadian Grand Prix
1991 - Monaco Grand Prix
1989 - Victory
Canadian Grand Prix
Porsche 911 GT1 - 1996
Between Cars and Airplanes
At the end of his driving career, he focused all his efforts on his second passion: aviation.
Thierry founded Boutsen Aviation in 1997 with his wife Daniela, a business dedicated to the complete management of aircraft sales and acquisitions.
The company has sold more than 380 aircraft to date, making it one of the leading European companies in the business aviation industry. However, his passion for motorsport never faded and he remained in touch with his own team, Boutsen Ginion Racing.
Dassault Falcon 7X
Sold by Boutsen Aviation
Thierry Boutsen and his son Cedric
Brussel’s Car Show 2019
In 2018, while he spent most of his time between cars and airplanes, Thierry’s thirst for new challenges led to the development of his new business dedicated to classic cars, Boutsen Classic Cars.
With a unique international network provided by the former driver’s history in motor racing and its Business Jets company, the firm specializes in the sourcing, acquisition and sale of historic cars from the 50’s to the 90’s for discriminating collectors. Boutsen Classic Cars provides exclusive representation worldwide and manages all the aspects of the transactions. The company’s inventory comprises also selective road and race cars, with legendary history.