of birth : 19 September 1973|
Birthplace : Belo Horizonte
Marital status : Single
Height : 165 cm
Weight : 59 kg
Wins : 0
Points scored : 0
Number of GP : 0
Pole Position : 0
Podiums : 0
First GP : 2003 (Melbourne)
Best result : 0
P R O F I L E
Cristiano da Matta was
born on 19 September 1973 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil to
a father, Toninho, who was a 14-time Brazilian touring
car champion with a career spanning three decades. In
1990, Cristiano started in the Go-Kart series and was
a winner from the start. Adopting an identical helmet
to the one his father wore, only alternating the
colour red to blue, in two-and-a-half years he won
He was the winner of the Minas Championship in 1990
and 1991, the 1991 Brazilian Championship, the 1992
Rio-Minas Championship, and the 1992 Sao Paulo
Championship. Da Matta's next step was the 1993
Brazilian Formula Ford Championship and he won the
title with 4 victories.
He moved up to Formula 3 in 1994, winning the
Brazilian Championship with 4 wins and 2 races to go.
The following year, he went to England for the British
Formula 3 Series and achieved one victory. Whilst
taking part in Formula 3000 in 1996, he started to
seriously consider racing in the USA and, in 1997, he
relocated to the USA for the Indy Lights Series.
Finishing the season in the 3rd position he was given
the "Rookie of the Year" honour.
In 1998, he signed with the Tasman team and won the
title with 4 victories. After only 2 years in the Indy
Lights series, Da Matta achieved 7 wins and 4 pole
positions. 1999 was Cristiano's first year in the CART
Championship. Team Arciero Wells, which was powered by
Toyota engines, called him up and the Brazilian
impressed in the opening race with 4th position on the
grid, the best of all the Toyota-powered drivers. 2
races after that, in Nazareth, he earned a best finish
In 2000, Cristiano drove for PPI Motorsports Toyota/Reynard
(previously named Arciero Wells). He took his first
victory in the CART series at Chicago and was placed
10th in the overall championship standings. He then
moved on to the Newman-Haas team in 2001 and took his
Toyota-powered Lola to 3 victories and a total of 5
podium finishes to finish 5th in the CART
In 2002, he claimed victory in the CART drivers'
championship with Newman-Haas Racing and Toyota,
dominating the series with 7 poles, 7 victories and a
total of 11 podium finishes. He now moves to Formula
One with Toyota on a two-year contract with Panasonic
Toyota Racing. This new move sees him take an already
successful relationship to an exciting new level in
C A R E E
R H I G H L I G H T S
Lights Series, 3rd.
(PPI Motorsports), 10th.
(Newman Haas), 5th.
(Newman Haas), champion.