Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Andrea de Cesaris Born in Rome, Italy - May 31, 1959

May 31, 1959 - October 5, 2014
Andrea de Cesaris
Born in Rome, Italy.
De Cesaris was a multiple karting champion, he graduated to Formula 3 in Britain, winning numerous events and finishing 2nd in the championship to Chico Serra. From Formula 3, he graduated to Formula 2 with future McLaren boss Ron Dennis' Project 4 team.

In 1980, de Cesaris was picked up by Alfa Romeo for the final events of the 1980 World Championship, replacing Vittorio Brambilla who had, in turn, replaced Patrick Depailler when he was killed testing at Hockenheim. At just 21 years old, his first race in Canada ended after eight laps because of engine failure. In his second race, at Watkins Glen in the United States, he went off and crashed into the catch fencing at the Junction corner after two laps.

In 1981, largely thanks to his personal Marlboro sponsorship which also happened to be McLaren's main sponsor, de Cesaris landed a seat at McLaren which had after the 1980 season merged with the Project Four Formula 2 team run by Ron Dennis. Although he was quick the season was not a success, with de Cesaris crashing no less than nineteen times either in practice or the race and sometimes in both. It was at this point in his career that the nickname "Andrea de Crasheris" was coined.

He started 208 Formula One Grands Prix, achieving 5 podiums, one pole position, and scored a total of 59 championship points, but remains the driver with the most GP starts without a win. He drove for a total of 10 teams: McLaren, Alfa Romeo, Brabham, Rial, Tyrrell, Jordan, Ligier, Scuderia Italia, Minardi and Sauber.

After retiring from motor-racing, de Cesaris became a successful currency broker in Monte Carlo. It has been reported that he spent six months of the year in this occupation and the remainder windsurfing around the world. In the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, de Cesaris gave a substantial donation to a sail manufacturer whose factory in Sri Lanka had been destroyed in the disaster.

De Cesaris was killed in a road incident on October 5, 2014 at age 55 while riding his Suzuki motorbike. Italian press reported that he died on impact with the guard rail on the outer lane of Rome's Grande Raccordo Anulare motorway, in proximity of the Bufalotta turn-off.

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