Didier Pironi

Didier Pironi Louis Joseph ( born March 26, 1952 in Villecresnes; † August 23, 1987 in Southampton, United Kingdom) was a French racing driver.


Didier Pironi was the son of a factory and took the classic path of many French racing driver. From racing virus infected by his half-brother José Louis Dolhem, he won 1973, the Volant Elf the French Racing School Winfield and then proven in the French and European Formula Renault, which he won in 1974 and 1976, respectively, before 1977, the Formula 2 in third behind his teammate René Arnoux and the American Eddie Cheever graduated.

1978 Pironi won with the Renault team in the 24- hour race at Le Mans. He was at the long distance classic in 1976 (Porsche ) and 1977 (Renault) started, but with less success. In 1980 he started again on a BMW M1 and was ranked 14th

From 1978 to 1982 Pironi drove in Formula 1 for 1978 Ken Tyrrell hired him for his Formula 1 team in addition to the experienced Patrick Depailler. Tyrrell had followed Pironi's career from the beginning and was already in 1973 the jury of the Ecole Winfield.

1978 was even more of a learning year for Pironi, even if his talent was always visible, so he put it back in his much more experienced teammate Jean -Pierre Jarier mostly in the shade. In 1980 he moved to Ligier and celebrated in Zolder his first GP win. The season he finished fifth. Numerous failures in the second half of the season prevented better placement.

In 1981, Pironi at Ferrari, where he did not come up to speed in his first season. 1982 was the Ferrari much more stable and Pironi won at Imola. This race has gone down in Formula 1 history because Pironi team-mate Gilles Villeneuve passed on the last lap in the Tosa curve and so snatched him the victory. Then spoke the two drivers no longer speak to each other. Just two weeks later Villeneuve came in Zolder in a training accident.

Contrary to the general assumption, it is by no means proven that a team order actually existed, the statements of various team members are extremely contradictory. In addition, the race at Imola on April 25, 1982 was only the fourth race of the year to issue a stable order at a such an early point in the season would have been as unusual as incomprehensible, especially since Villeneuve zero at this time points and Pironi just a point on the account had.

Certainly, Villeneuve, possibly assumed due to a "private" agreement between him and Pironi, but the fact that the race " belongs to him ." However, it is not so, as the legend describes it like that both the whole race would chase each other around and drove Pironi has overtaken suddenly in the last corner. Rather, there were numerous, some hair-raising overtaking the two against each other, so that looked prompted the team management to keep the sign " SLOW" out so as not to jeopardize the specific circumstances of the race actually easy victory. Incidentally, as Pironi was the first time at a time in the lead.

The special circumstances were that the race due to a dispute between FISA and the manufacturers' association FOCA had been boycotted by the majority of British teams so that besides the two Ferrari really just the two Renault René Arnoux and Alain Prost for a win in question came.

In the Netherlands, Pironi celebrated his second victory of the season and took over two weeks later with a second place in the UK the lead in the World Cup

In Canada, the engine of Pironi's Ferrari went out. He stood at the starting line on the pole position and Riccardo palletizing could not dodge and raced at high speed into the rear of the Ferraris. This accident cost palletizing life.

At Hockenheim, his Formula 1 career ended due to a serious accident. In training for the Grand Prix of Germany he collided in the pouring rain with the Renaults of Alain Prost. The Ferrari flipped over several times and crashed into the guard rails. Pironi suffered multiple leg fractures and had to endure countless surgeries. Pironi led up to the time of his accident in the Formula 1 standings with a big lead on the competition. The Finn Keke Rosberg was the sporting beneficiaries and was at the end of the season champion.

Although Pironi was healed and able to walk free of pain again from November 1983 he did not return to Formula 1. Although he drove for AGS and Ligier tests in 1986; AGS but soon withdrew from Formula 1 back, and at the Ligier comeback plans were not pursued. In addition, he would probably have the high insurance sum which he had received after his accident repay.

Overall, Didier Pironi participated in 72 Formula 1 races, of which he won three. He was four times on pole, fetched five times the fastest lap and scored a total of 101 championship points.

Pironi moved in 1986 to power boating, where he was able to celebrate some success soon. In 1987, he died in a boat race off the Isle of Wight was killed when his boat hit a wave and flipped over.

Didier Pironi was buried in Grimaud, a small town not far from Saint- Tropez in the South of France. Shortly after Pironi's death brought his partner twins named Didier and Gilles to the world.

1988 be in a plane crash killed Come half-brother José Louis Dolhem buried next to him.

The offshore racing boat " Colibri", with whom he had an accident, was restored and is now in the Manoir de l'Automobile, a museum in Lohéac in Brittany. There is also a driven Pironi Ligier JS11/15 from the season 1980.

Success statistics

Statistics in Formula 1

Grand Prix victories

Individual results

Le Mans results