Perry McCarthy (born 3 March 1961) is a British racing driver, who drove for the Andrea Moda team in Formula One in 1992, though never making it into a race, before moving into sportscars, including driving in the 24 Hours of Le Mans five times between 1996 and 2003.
Born in Stepney, East London, McCarthy grew up to work for his father's company servicing North Sea oil rigs. Unlike most Formula One drivers, McCarthy did not start racing in karts. He worked his way through the junior categories of motor sport in Europe, such as Formula Ford, Formula 3, eventually F3000 and various touring and sports car races in the US, including drives for Spice Engineering.
In 1991, McCarthy was chosen to test for the Footwork Formula One team. Although he impressed the team, his break did not come until the eve of the 1992 Formula One season, when he was signed by the independent Andrea Moda team run by Andrea Sassetti who thought that entering Formula One would be a good way to advertise his shoe business. The team was uncompetitive, disorganized and poorly managed, and after a lengthy battle to gain an FIA Super Licence the season soon descended into farce. Because Sassetti was unable to release McCarthy for Enrico Bertaggia, who had left the team before and attempted to return with the promise of extra funding, McCarthy received unfair treatment from the owner, being frequently denied more than a handful of laps in which to prepare, which led to his failure to qualify for any Grand Prix. His Grand Prix debut in Spain lasted eighteen metres down the pit lane in pre-qualifying before the engine failed. In the British Grand Prix, he was sent out with wet tyres on a dry track. For the Hungarian Grand Prix, he was only allowed to leave the pits 45 seconds before the end of the pre-qualifying session, which made it impossible for him to set a lap time even if he had a faster car. Finally, in the Belgian Grand Prix, Andrea Moda's final entry, McCarthy was sent out for the qualifying session with a broken steering part in his car, which has been extracted from teammate Roberto Moreno's car, which would have led to a violent crash at the Raidillon curve had McCarthy not managed to regain control of the car. He relived this dramatic story and discussed his brief stint around the F1 paddock during an appearance on award-winning motoring podcast Fuelling Around. The team folded before the end of the season in controversial circumstances and McCarthy was left without a drive. In a July 2004 interview with The Times, McCarthy discussed how this period in his career had contributed to his being dubbed the world's unluckiest racing driver, saying "Dick Dastardly had more luck than me".
Activity: 1992 Grand Prix:10 Drivers Championships: - Victories: 0 Podiums: 0 Pole Positions: 0 Fastest Laps: 0 Career Points: 0