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De Cesaris driving in 2005 GP Masters season.
Andrea de Cesaris - 208
This one is held by the unfortunate Andrea de Cesaris, with a staggering 208 starts and not a drop of winner's champagne.
The Italian started his career in 1980 with Alfa Romeo. Over the years he drove for McLaren, Alfa Romeo again, Ligier, Minardi, Brabham, Rial, Scuderia Italia, Jordan twice, Tyrrell and Sauber.
Due to his tendency to find walls, gravel traps and other cars early in his career, he earned the nickname "Andrea de Crasheris."
This, coupled with the reliability issues suffered by the cars of the 1980s and early 1990s, meant he was classified as a finisher in only 69 races—around 33 percent of his total.
De Cesaris scored five podiums and came very close to a win on a few occasions—most famously of all at the 1982 Monaco Grand Prix.
Alain Prost led on Lap 74 of 76, but he crashed on the exit of the Harbour Chicane after spinning on a damp track. Riccardo Patrese took the lead, but barely half a lap later he spun at the Leows Hairpin and stalled the car.
Didier Pironi was the next man at the front, passing the stationary Patrese with one and a half laps to go. He managed to get within a mile of the finishing line and promptly ran out of fuel, stopping in the tunnel.
De Cesaris would have taken the lead, but he also ran out of fuel a few corners before Pironi and parked just after the exit of Casino Square.
Derek Daly was the next man in line, but (you guessed it) he ran out of fuel too, before he could start his final lap.
While all this was happening, Patrese managed to roll his car downhill towards Portier and successfully jump-started it. He completed the last lap and a half to win one of the most bizarre races of all time.
De Cesaris was classified third.
Even at 20 races a season, a driver would need an 11-year career to match this one. And it seems somewhat unlikely that an unsuccessful driver could last 11 seasons in the current climate of rapid recycling and pay drivers.
Adrian Sutil is the closest, needing another five and a half seasons to beat de Cesaris.
Andrea wasn't a terrible driver compared to some, but longevity has left him with a host of unwanted records.
Most are for non-finishes, including those for the most total retirements (148) and the most retirements in a single season (14, held jointly with four others).