Debut & Sauber (1994-1996)
Frentzen got his debut in 1994 with the Sauber team, scoring his maiden points in only his second race. However a string of retirements late on in the season left him 13th, with only 7 points in his first year.
1995 brought Frentzen to his maiden podium finish at the 1995 Italian GP as well as several more point scoring races. He ended the season 9th with 15 points.
1996 proved the Sauber to be an unreliable car, with 9 DNF’s for Frentzen and again he was only able to score 7 points all season. He did manage to finish 4th in the chaotic 1996 Monaco GP, however this is little conciliation as only 4 cars finished!
1997 saw Frentzen move to Williams, replacing departing Champion Damon Hill. It looked to be his break through year, with his maiden win coming at the 1997 San Marino GP. However it seemed that Frentzen had a troubled relationship with Patrick Head at Williams. Frentzen was out paced by team mate Jacques Villeneuve who went onto win 7 races and take the Championship. Frentzen did manage to finish runner up after the disqualification of Michael Schumacher.
Frentzen had an ok start to 1998, but the Williams dominance was coming to an end and simply could not match the pace of the up coming Ferrari and McLaren. He finished the season a disappointing 7th with only 17 points and 1 podium, which he took at the opening round in Australia.
1999 would be a return to form for the German, with arguably the best season of his career. He moved to Jordan and scored points in all but 4 races and a Pole Position at the European GP. He collected 2 race wins in France and more notably in Italy. He finished the season 3rd with 54 points.
2000 and 2001 would prove to be troubled and difficult seasons for Frentzen, as the Jordan team struggled for pace. He did manage to score two podiums in 2000 at the Brazilian GP & at the US GP. 2001 saw disagreements over the technical direction the team should take with the car and resulted in numerous retirements for Frentzen.
Shortly before his home race in Germany, Frentzen was sacked from the Jordan team by team boss Eddie Jordan and replaced by Prost driver Jean Alesi.
With Alesi now at Jordan, Frentzen took Alesi’s vacated seat at Prost for the rest of 2001. His highest achievement was qualifying 4th at the Belgium GP, but unfortunately finished 9th. At the end of 2001 the Prost team collapsed leaving Frentzen without a seat for 2002.
2002 was a similar story for Frentzen who had signed to drive for the Arrows team. The car had moments of speed and Frentzen scored points twice in Spain & Monaco, but the team was in big finical trouble and was forced to quit F1 after the 2002 German GP. Again leaving Frentzen without a car to drive.
A Return to Sauber (2002-2003)
Frentzen moved back to the team that gave him his break into F1, the Sauber team. He raced for the team at the 2002 United States GP, replacing Felipe Massa and after that took up a full time race seat at the start of the 2003 season alongside Nick Heidfeld.
The season started strongly with Frentzen scoring points in Australia & Brazil. However a mid season slump left Frentzen to fall down the order. He did manage to score a podium for 3rd in the 2003 United States GP, but in the end 2003 would be his final season in F1. He finished it in 11th with 13 points.