Энциклопедия Формулы 1:

Rambler's Top100

Гонщики, P

Курсивом отмечены гонщики,
выступавшие только
в Indy 500 (1950-1960)


Дидье Пирони

Pironi, Didier

Дидье Пирони / Pironi, Didier

(c) 'Who is Who' by Steve Small, 2000



Вилькрез, Париж



о. Уайт, Англия

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*не стартовал:




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Ф1: 1978-1982

Дидье Пирони / Pironi, Didier - 1978-1982




1978Elf Team TyrrellTyrrell 008
Tyrrell 008
1979Candy Team TyrrellTyrrell 009
Tyrrell 009
Team TyrrellTyrrell 009
Tyrrell 009
1980Equipe Ligier GitanesLigier JS11/15
Ligier JS11/15
1981Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFACFerrari 126CK
Ferrari 126CK
1982Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFACFerrari 126C2
Ferrari 126C2

Pironi's ambition to become France's first-ever World Champion driver was never realised. The crash at Hockenheim in 1982 which destroyed his career and almost cost him his legs would see to that, leaving the cool and unemotional Frenchman to fight the greater battle of learning to walk again, while Alain Prost was enjoying his nation's plaudits in 1985.

Didier's interest in motor racing was awakened by a visit to a meeting with his cousin Jose Dolhem, and as soon as he was old enough he attended the Winfield racing school, winning the prize of an Elf-sponsored Martini for 1973. It was a hard learning year for the young Pironi, who, rather than whingeing, clinically analysed all the ingredients that were lacking in his first season and set about putting them into place for his return in 1974. His attention to detail obviously paid dividends for Pironi became French Formule Renault champion at the wheel of a Martini MK14.

Moving into Formule Super Renault in 1975 as number two to Rene Arnoux, Didier dutifully supported his team-mate before taking over the number one seat a year later. His dominance was almost total and he ran away with the championship, gaining promotion to the Elf Martini Formula 2 squad in 1977, again as number two to Arnoux. While he was finding his feet in this category, Pironi gambled on dropping into Formula 3 for just one event, the Monaco Formula 3 race. His reasoning was sound, for a win here would be a valuable calling card in his future dealings. Naturally mission was accomplished and he resumed his Formula 2 racing with the air of a man who knew his destiny. Raising his game, by the end of the year he had taken his first win at Estoril, and earned a Grand Prix contract with Tyrrell for the 1978 season.

As one now expected of this coolest of customers, his first tilt at the big time was accomplished with all the aplomb of a seasoned veteran. Finishing four of his first six races in the points maybe raised expectations a little too high, as he ended the year with a few shunts. However, there was also the considerable kudos of a win at Le Mans in the Elf-backed Alpine-Renault to reinforce his burgeoning reputation. In fact Didier was top of the turbo team's shopping list for 1979, but Tyrrell kept him to his contract, and thus he spent the year looking for an escape route, which he found in the shape of a move to Ligier for 1980.

Overshadowing the incumbent, Jacques Laffite, with some stunning drives, Pironi took his first Grand Prix win at Zolder, and was unlucky not to win the British GP at Brands Hatch after a brilliant drive through the field. With Jody Scheckter heading for retirement another door opened for Didier, who joined Villeneuve at Maranello for 1981. The new turbo cars were unrefined, but Gilles was at his brilliant best, leaving Pironi groping somewhat for the first time. Clearly a single fourth place was unacceptable to Ferrari, but it was doubly so to Pironi, who resolved not to be found wanting in 1982.

Four races into what was to prove a bitter and tragic season came a flashpoint at Imola when Pironi stole the win from Villeneuve on the last lap against team orders. All lines of communication between the two drivers were cut. Two weeks later at Zolder came Villeneuve's horrendous fatal accident, and previous feudings were now irrelevant. Didier, now centre stage at Ferrari, unleashed a superb run of impressive performances which came to an end when, unsighted in pouring rain, he ran into Prost's Renault in practice for the German GP. Pironi's season was over and his total of 39 points left him tantalisingly within touching distance of the title before Keke Rosberg edged him out by a mere five points.

Although, almost miraculously, Pironi's feet and ankles were saved, he would never regain the feel and movement necessary to allow him to return to the cockpit. For thrills he turned to the dangerous sport of powerboat racing, which became a lethal pastime when he crashed off the Isle of Wight in August 1987.

(c) 'Who is Who' by Steve Small, 2000

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