|Team(s)||Arrows, Benetton, Williams, Ligier and Jordan|
|First race||1983 Belgian Grand Prix|
|First win||1989 Canadian Grand Prix|
|Last win||1990 Hungarian Grand Prix|
|Last race||1993 Belgian Grand Prix|
In 1977 Boutsen entered the Belgian Formula Ford 1600 championship and won it in 1978 with 15 victories in 18 races. For 1979 he moved to Formula 3, winning three races in 1980 and second place in the title race, behind Michele Alboreto. In 1981 he moved to Formula 2 and was again second in the championship, this time behind Geoff Lees. The 1981 24 Hours of Le Mans started at 15h00 - one hour earlier than usual due to the general elections.
At 16h06 Thierry Boutsen suffered a massive accident just after the Hunaudières kink, some 400 meters before the Mulsanne bosse (the "hump") when his WM P81-Peugeot was traveling at some 350 km/h. A suspension piece had failed and the car hit the guard-rail losing the entire rear end. Boutsen was untouched, but the debris field of hurled parts and bodywork was spread over 150 meters. Three marshals were struck by the debris. One of them, Thierry Mabillat was killed, struck in the chest by a detached piece of the guard rail. Two of his colleagues were seriously injured, Claude Hertault and Serge David, who lost an arm.
In 1983 Boutsen drove in the European Touring Car Championship and in World Sportscar races, where he won at Monza with Bob Wollek.
In 1983 he paid $500,000 for a drive in Formula One, and made his debut with Arrows at the 1983 Belgian Grand Prix, but a greater opportunity came when he moved to Benetton in 1987. In 1989 Frank Williams signed him on a two-year contract, and he won the rain-soaked Canadian Grand Prix and Australian Grand Prix. In 1990 he scored a victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix over his friend Ayrton Senna's McLaren-Honda. In 1991 he moved to Ligier and from there to replace Ivan Capelli at Jordan in 1993, after which he retired from Formula One. Boutsen briefly drove sports cars in the US, driving for Champion Racing in a Porsche, alongside Bill Adam and Hans Stuck. The trio finished 2nd in class at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1997. After a crash at Le Mans in 1999 he retired from racing altogether.
Complete Formula One results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)