Clay Regazzoni
Gian-Claudio Giuseppe Regazzoni

Swiss

 
Born September 5th 1939 in Lugano, Switzerland
Died December 15th 2006 in Palma, Italy
Website Official Site

Biography

Born in the Italian speaking region of Switzerland, Regazzoni began droving in the mid-60's and came to prominence in lower formulae with De Tomaso. This led to a Formula Two drive with Tecno in 1967, finally winning the championship in 1970. After starting the 1970 season running a single car (for Jackie Ickx) Ferrari decided to enter a second car shared by young drivers Regazzoni and Ignazio Giunti. In just his fourth race, Regazzoni made it onto the podium with a second place in Austria then followed it with his first win at the Italian GP. He finished the season third despite only competing in 8 of the 13 races and secured a full-time seat at Ferrari for 1971.

This period, however, marked a decline in fortunes for the Italian team and after two unsuccessful seasons Regazzoni left for the huge three car Marlboro backed BRM team. It proved to be an even less competitive car than the '72 Ferrari and the Swiss finished with just two points. Meanwhile Enzo Ferrari ordered a huge management shake-up of his team, bringing in Luca di Montezemolo as team manager and reinstating Mauro Forghieri as designer. Regazzoni rejoined the transformed team along with fellow BRM refugee, Niki Lauda and finished the season as championship runner-up. The following year Lauda won the championship and while Clay only finished 5th, Ferrari took the Constructor's crown. By 1976 it was clear that Lauda was the #1 driver at the team and although Regazzoni took a win and three fastest laps he was replaced for 1977 by Carlos Reutemann.

A year at the little Ensign team was followed by an equally unsuccessful season at Shadow. Just when it seemed that his F1 career was over, he received an offer from Frank Williams to partner Alan Jones in the Saudi Arabian sponsored team for the 1979 season. At the British GP Regazzoni had the honor of taking Williams very first race win, but at the end of the year he was replaced - ironically by Reutemann once again and returned to the Ensign team for 1980.

At the Long Beach race he suffered a brake failure at the end of the long Shoreline Drive straightaway and collided with the parked Brabham of Ricardo Zunino at very high speed. The impact launched the Ensign in to the air before hitting a concrete barrier. It left Regazzoni with major injuries and paralyzed from the waist down.   

Formula One Record

Year Team / # Starts Wins Poles F Lap Pts Pos
1970 Ferrari 8 1 1 4 33 3rd
1971 Ferrari 11 0 1 0 13 7th
1972 Ferrari 10 0 0 0 15 7th
1973 BRM 14 0 0 0 2 18th
1974 Ferrari #11 15 1 1 3 52 2nd
1975 Ferrari #11 14 1 0 4 25 5th
1976 Ferrari #2 15 1 1 3 31 5th
1977 Ensign - Ford #22 15 0 0 0 5 17th
1978 Shadow - Ford #17 11 0 0 0 4 16th
1979 Williams - Ford #28 15 1 0 2 29 5th
1980 Ensign - Ford #14 4 0 0 0 0 -
  TOTALS: 0 0 0 0 0  

1974 World Drivers Championship runner-up
1970 European F2 Champion


Clay Regazzoni


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