Lehto Järvi began his racing career like many drivers in karting and then to good use Finnish, rallies to drive. For financial reasons, he joined the racing circuit, and he drives in the NordicFormula Ford Championship. Then he won in 1988 the British Formula 3 Championship.
Lehto drives in 1989, his first laps in a Formula 1 car for the Onyx team. In 1989 and 1990 he drives a total of five Formula 1 races for this team. He also has some test mileage may make an F1 car from Scuderia Ferrari . His move to the Dallara team in 1991, has during the Grand Prix of San Marino a sensational climax. During the race he drives himself to the stage, he is third. Also in 1992, he rides for Dallara, but knows how to score. No championship points When the Swiss Sauber in 1993 a new Formula 1 team starts, Lehto goes along with Karl Wendlinger in a Sauber drive. During the first race of the Sauber - Mercedes-Benz is thus Lehto fifth and scored two championship points. At the end of the season '93 he stands thirteenth five championship points.
In 1994 Lehto contracted with the team of Benetton - Ford , as second driver alongside Michael Schumacher . By a heavy crash in a test drive before the start of the season to him, some months forbidden to drive. F1 car with a broken vertebra, This paves the way for the Formula 1 debut Jos Verstappen . During the Grand Prix of San Marino Lehto is still at the start in a Benetton. Precisely the San Marino GP. That's the dramatic course GP weekend when Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger to life and Rubens Barrichello injured. Lehto also gets himself in that race involved in a serious accident, but remains unharmed. Lehto drives later that year sporadically races for Benetton and Sauber and the season ends in 24th with one point. After that, the Formula 1 career of JJ Lehto passed.
Long that will have been no disappointment for Lehto precisely because in 1995 he won the biggest victory of his career. In June he won with Yannick Dalmas and Masanori Sekiya the 24 Hours of Le Mans , driving a McLaren F1 GTR BMW V12. He drives continue in the years 1995 and 1996, the German Touring Car Championship with a Opel Calibra and 1997 GT races in the McLaren F1 GTR. In 1998 he made the great crossing to the United States in order, after an unsuccessful year in the Cart championship, from 1999 to race. Sportscars with
In this American Sportscars Championship, the American Le Mans Series , Lehto runs consecutively in a BMW M3 GTR, a Cadillac and Audi R8. He does not unsuccessfully, on several occasions, he knows how to win races. Furthermore, he regularly makes time to ride in Scandinavia. Rallies He has also since 2000 F1 commentator for Finnish television. In 2005 Lehto back in Europe . Along with Tom Kristensen andMarco Werner , he wins again the 24 Hours of Le Mans, this time in the Audi R8.
Lehto was seriously injured in a boating accident on June 17, 2010. A friend of his came in the crash. On December 14, 2011, he was sentenced to imprisonment for two years and four months. According to the prosecutor Letho was drunk and he run too fast. As Lehto had always denied having driven the boat drew his lawyer appealed the sentence.