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OBSCURE F1 A-Z: ELIO DE ANGELIS


In this 26 part series of posts I will be going through the alphabet and for each letter a profile piece on an obscure driver - some you may have heard of before some you may never knew even sat in an F1 car let alone raced one. I have chosen a driver for each letter choosing them based on their surnames (with one their first name). The first of this 26 part series is Elio de Angelis.

De Angelis was born March 26th 1958 in Rome, Italy - he raced in Formula One between 1979 - 1986. He raced for teams including Shadow, Lotus and Brabham.

In the eight years that de Angelis raced he entered 109 races starting 108. He made his debut at the 1979 Argentine Grand Prix where he finished an impressive seventh place and one lap down in his Shadow -Ford one place off of the points and one place behind double World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi.

In the 108 races he competed in he racked up a respectable 122 points. With three pole positions, nine podiums and two races wins the first at the 1982 Austrian Grand Prix and second at the 1985 San Marino Grand Prix.

During his eight years of racing at the pinnacle of motorsport de Angelis had some very famous teammates including Nigel Mansell - WDC 1992, during the 1980 season at Brabham as a replacement for double World Champion Nelson Piquet (who had moved to Williams.

Five years later still at the Lotus team de Angelis was joined by Ayrton Senna who had recently left the Toleman team.

However if we look back right to the beginning of his F1 journey de Angelis could have been a Ferrari driver - as a replacement to Niki Lauda for the 1977 season - however Ferrari decided to go for Gilles Villeneuve instead. If Ferrari had chosen de Angelis we could have had a second Italian World Champion the first being Ascari who won the title in 1952 and 1953.

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