Former Formula One driver Clay Regazzoni has died in a road accident in Italy today. Regazzoni was reported to be driving on the A1 Milan-Bologna road when his car collided with another car and a truck. Clay was 67 years old.
In a Formula One career that spanned ten years, Clay won five races and made a huge impact on Formula One, driving very much from his heart and winning fans all across the world through his passionate approach to racing and living.
Although Clay never won the coveted World Championship, he came close in his debut year in 1970, after only competing in 8 of the 13 races, he amassed enough points to be placed third overall. In 1974, Regazzoni again came very close to winning the crown, only missing out by three points, but importantly he beat his team mate Niki Lauda.
Later on in his career, Clay managed to take Williams’ maiden victory – a win that has gone down in history and is hugely admired. Damon Hill – who won Jordan’s first race – often speaks of that Belgian Grand Prix as being one of his finest.
Clay’s career came to an abrupt end in 1980 when he crashed at Long Beach, damaging his spinal cord and paralyzing him from the waist down.
Clay will always be remembered for his ‘heart-on-sleeve’ approach to driving, his good humour and dignity.
“I drive for me, sure, but also for the team and the public.” Clay Regazzoni.
Clay Regazzoni, who passed away today.
[…] On a sad day for Formula One, Lewis Hamilton topped is 2007 team mate and world champion Fernando Alonso. It is the first time both drivers have run on track in the same cars, and Hamilton beat Alonso by 0.25s, sandwiching Heikki Kovalainen in second place. Giancarlo Fisichella finished the final test of the year in fourth, just ahead of James Rossiter and Robert Kubica. […]
[…] Clay Regazzoni – Of course many have been moved to write about the untimely passing of former Ferrari and Williams racer Clay Regazzoni. Full Throttle and Blog F1 provide some thoughts and Jalopnik has some video of the man in action during his career. […]