Nowadays he sells Seat’s in the Belgian city of Tournai. In the early 1990’s though, Philippe Adams was a hero on racetracks. In his Audi 80 he dominated the Belgian Procar-series, but his dream was Formula 1. During two weekends in 1994, he got to live that dream.
In legendary Ketteringham Hall, Adams signed a contract with the Lotus Formula 1-team. Okay, it was a contract for two races only and okay, his brothers house served as the collateral on the loan required to finance his F1-debut, but Adams was a Formula 1 driver. He made his debut during his home Grand Prix on the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit. During the drivers parade he was paraded past his home crowd, and he couldn’t stop crying. The biggest salvation ever, he calls that moment. “I couldn’t stop thinking: I’ve made it!” Adams spun off when he was lapped by Rubens Barrichello and tried too hard to make room fort he Brazilian. He did finish his next race, in Portugal, in sixteenth and last position.
“Thanks tot hat finish my name is part of Formula One history forever”, Adams says, Despite negotiating with several teams Adams’ F1-career never made it past those two races in 1994. The disappointment about that fact lingered for a long time, but with time has faded away. Adams now simply looks back proudly on what he calls “the best time of my life”. Next to the Seat Ibiza he drives Adams owns a Lotus Elan, because he still loves Lotus, even now.
My interview with Philippe Adams was published by Formule 1 and AutoWeek Vlaanderen in 2013.