Former Ferrari driver Tambay dies aged 73

Former Ferrari driver Tambay dies aged 73

Patrick Tambay gained the 1983 San Marino Grand Prix – certainly one of his two grand prix victories

Former System 1 driver Patrick Tambay has died aged 73.

The Frenchman, whose groups included McLaren, Ferrari and Renault, gained two grands prix in a profession of 114 begins that spanned from 1977 to 1986.

Tambay, who had suffered from Parkinson’s illness, was greatest identified for his affiliation with Ferrari.

He was a number one member of a era of prime French F1 drivers that included the likes of Alain Prost, Rene Arnoux, Didier Pironi and Jacques Laffite.

Tambay was greatest identified for his emotional season and a half with Ferrari in 1982 and 1983, and the way his profession was intertwined with that of his pal, the legendary Gilles Villeneuve.

The pair made their grand prix debuts collectively on the 1977 British Grand Prix; Villeneuve for McLaren, Tambay for Theodore.

Regardless of a headline debut by Villeneuve at Silverstone, which has gone down in F1 legend, McLaren most popular Tambay for a full-time drive in 1978.

That freed up Villeneuve for a transfer to Ferrari, the place the Canadian grew to become an iconic determine for his bravery, pace and daring acrobatic model over 4 seasons with the staff.

Tambay’s profession, nevertheless, stalled after two years with McLaren, when he returned to the struggling Theodore for 1980, then completed the second half of 1981 with a transfer to Ligier.

In 1982 his time in F1 seemed to be over, however when Villeneuve was killed in a horrific crash in qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix, Ferrari turned to Tambay as his substitute.

Tambay made his debut for the staff on the Dutch Grand Prix alongside Pironi, whose victory at Zandvoort confirmed his standing as championship favorite.

However three races later Pironi suffered career-ending leg accidents in a crash in qualifying in Germany that bore outstanding similarities to the accident that had killed Villeneuve.

Tambay gained the race the following day, in a automotive bearing Villeneuve’s well-known quantity 27, instantly securing a spot within the hearts of the well-known Ferrari followers, the tifosi.

“We’re all deeply saddened by the information of Patrick Tambay’s passing,” Ferrari mentioned in a press release.

“He was one of many true stars of the 80s, profitable two races with the Scuderia and serving to to win the producers’ titles in 1982 and 1983.”

Patrick Tambay, Ferrari 126C2B, Canadian Grand Prix, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, June 12, 1983
Tambay joined Ferrari after the loss of life of his pal Gilles Villeneuve

His place as a Ferrari hero was secured on the 1983 San Marino Grand Prix.

The race at Imola the earlier 12 months had marked the collapse of Villeneuve’s relationship with Ferrari.

Pironi stole victory from his teammate’s nostril when Villeneuve thought they had been beneath staff orders to cruise one-two to the end. Workforce principal Marco Piccinini sided with Pironi and Villeneuve vowed by no means to talk to the Frenchman once more.

Two weeks later, Villeneuve had crashed to his loss of life, nonetheless livid on the method occasions had unfolded, and conscious that his time at Ferrari could be over on the finish of the 12 months.

At Imola in 1983, Tambay began from the identical third place on the grid as Villeneuve the 12 months earlier than, and a Canadian flag had been painted on the observe in entrance of his automotive.

And when Ricciardo Patrese crashed his Brabham out of the lead within the closing levels, Tambay inherited a victory that many in Italy noticed as destiny, sending the gang rapt.

Tambay and teammate Rene Arnoux had been title contenders that 12 months however each misplaced out to eventual champion Nelson Piquet of Brabham and Prost at Renault.

And when Ferrari signed Michele Alboreto alongside Arnoux for 1984, Tambay moved to Renault for 2 years.

The staff, which had simply fired Prost after they did not win the 1983 title collectively, started a decline. They did not win a race within the two seasons Tambay teamed with Englishman Derek Warwick, though Tambay took pole place on the 1984 French Grand Prix.

He joined the brand new US-based Haas staff in 1986, however the outfit was not aggressive. They collapsed after only one season and Tambay’s F1 profession ended there.

After a two-year hiatus from the game, Tambay returned to the cockpit of the World Sportscar Championship in 1989, ending fourth at Le Mans in a Jaguar, then taking over the desert rally, twice ending within the prime three of the well-known Paris-Dakar Rally.

Tambay was additionally godfather to Gilles Villeneuve’s son Jacques and was concerned in his racing improvement in a profession that noticed him win the 1995 IndyCar title and the Indianapolis 500, after which the F1 World Championship with Williams in 1997.

Alpine’s French driver Esteban Ocon mentioned: “An icon of French motorsport has left us. My ideas exit to his household, mates and family members.”

French sports activities journalist and presenter Alexandre Delperier added: “You are gone my expensive pal. So many reminiscences. What a ardour for F1 shared on (TV channel) RMC Sport. I am mourning the great man you had been.”

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