Patrick Tambay, Former Ferrari F1 Driver, Has Died

Patrick Tambay 7 photos
Photo: Henk Graalman/Wikipedia
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Former F1 driver Patrick Tambay who raced for Ferrari in the 1980s, died at 73.
Born on June 25, 1949, in Paris, Frenchman Patrick Tambay made his Formula 1 debut in 1977 when he competed in just one Grand Prix, the French Grand Prix, for the Surtees team. Tambay then moved to McLaren, where he raced for two seasons, in 1978 and 1979.

In 1980, Tambay returned to CanAm championship racing for Lola, but only for one year. In 1981, the French driver started the year with the Theodore F1 Racing team for the first six Talbot-Ligier, ending the season with the French team.

His best result in Formula 1 was with Ferrari in 1982. He replaced his good friend's seat, Gilles Villeneuve, who died during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder on May 8 of the same year.

That year he also took his first career F1 victory in the German Grand Prix. His second and last victory came at the Italian Grand Prix, at Imola, where he raced onboard the Ferrari 126 C2 with the number 27 car that belonged to Villeneuve. In 1984 he moved to Renault but never repeated his outstanding results at Ferrari. He ended his Formula 1 career after the 1986 season when he raced for Team Haas (also known as Lola-Haas).

During his career, Tambay started in 114 Grand Prix races. He gathered 103 points, climbed 11 on the finishing podium, took five pole positions, and scored two wins.

After ending his F1 career, Tambay raced in the World Sportscar Championship for Silk Cut Jaguar and in the 24 hours of the Le Mans race, where he finished 4th. He also competed in the Paris-Dakar rally raid, where he finished twice on the podium.

After giving up his racing career for good, Tambay worked as a commentator for French television and became a politician and deputy mayor of Le Cannet, a suburb near Cannes.

Tambay died of Parkinson's disease, which he had suffered from for several years, on December 4, 2022, his family announced.
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