30 Years Without Elio de Angelis – Profondo Rosso

Elio and Ayrton, 1985Translated from de Leo Turrini blog http://blog.quotidiano.net/turrini/

May 15 is now thirty years without Elio de Angelis. I talk about it in advance because 15 we will have the GP of Spain and the anniversary will be overwhelmed by current events.

Also on Sunday 18th, at St. Catherine’s church in Modena, the legendary Don Sergio Mantovani, old chaplain of the pilots, will say a Mass in memory of Elio and all fallen on the track.

With the passage of time and with the spread of rudeness forced from the Internet, I realize that memories are a safe haven. A shelter. I cannot say I knew him well, De Angelis. I was too young when he won the incredible GP photo finish in 1982. However, his figure binds an indelible memory for me. It was the spring of 1985. For the first time I was sent, as an invitation to a Formula One Grand Prix. San Marino. Imola.

Now, I wish I could write. I wish I could write to return the emotion. Can you imagine? A guy who debuted in the pits. Lauda was still on the track – Niki! I saw him up close in 1976, when the first Franco Gozzi had allowed me to enter in Fiorano, the day of return of the Austrian after the burning of the Ring. And now I was going to interview him, a lifetime later, my dreams realized. There was Prost, his teammate. There was Piquet’s father, still very strong. There was Mansell. There was Michele Alboreto in the Ferrari, with a new companion who at that weekend made its debut on the Red. His name was Stefan Johansson. I interviewed him, too. Well, it is not known to history. And there were incredible people. A huge crowd. Sunday evening I finished work at nine. At midnight I had not yet reached the toll. Imola, not north of Modena. The people then was very free-range. Genuine. Even ungenerous. In 1983 there were just in Imola, cruel roars of joy when Patrese was off the track, giving the victory to the Red Tambay. It was not nice, for heaven’s sake.

Ah, nostalgia!

And there was Elio. In Lotus.

He had a strange teammate, strange. One that spoke more willingly of God.


The year before, in 1984, Ayrton had not qualified with Toleman. He was so pissed that from then on, for a long time, the pole at Imola was always his.

I remember that De Angelis could not see Senna, and Senna could not see De Angelis. They were wonderful, in their mutual annoyance.

They seemed, wrote two little boys love with the same blonde.

But it does not matter. It was the Sunday, the day of the race. More than one pilot became out of fuel in the final laps. I was like enchanted, in the press room. I was thinking if this is going to be my professional life, I will like it a lot.

The final was amazing, De Angelis with the Lotus finished second. But Prost was disqualified for a history of weight. They gave the victory to Elio!

It was evening and he laughed happily, and obviously did not speak well of Ayrton who had left. Just over a year later, I cried. I was in the wake of a tour of Italy, on business. They phoned to inform me that Elio had lost his life in a test in France with Brabham, the team he had chosen to get away from Ayrton.

The newspaper wanted an article. I put something together…

It’s been a lifetime.

And I still have not learned to write it.

18 November: Site News – Multimedia Section Updated!

Elio de Angelis and Ezio ZermianiA very short site update to announce an update of the entire multimedia section with new links and videos now uploaded!

11th November: Site Update, News Interviews & Tributes

Some very interesting articles uploaded to the Elio De Angelis Tribute site in this month’s update, including a very informative interview from a 1985 edition of Autosprint entitled ‘Anni di Rabbia’, during which Elio talks about his relationship within Team Lotus during a difficult final season.  There is also an interview with Riccardo Patrese during the first half of the 1986 season, in which he talks about the difficulties the Brabham team faced in the wake of Elio’s fatal accident.

In addition, there are 5 tribute articles including a wonderful piece entitled ‘De Angelis – Unfinished Symphony’, Rombo editions 21 and 22 of May 1986 and the 1982 Austrian GP in detail.

All these uploads can be found in the Media section of the Website.

14 May: Site Update!

Some time has passed since the last site update, and I offer sincere apologies to all Elio fans all over the world.  Spare time in my personal life has been in short supply recently, however here at eliodeangelis.info I never tire of collecting information relating to all things Elio and on the eve of the 26th anniversary of his passing am pleased to announce a site update!

You’ll find updates in the Interviews and New Images section of the photogallery, so happy browsing!

And that’s not all.  For those of you who have not already discovered Dale Kistemakers superb photoblogsite ‘Poetics Of Speed’  at http://poeticsofspeed.com which shares his own personal photographic collection from the 1980’s I urge you to visit without delay!  The Elio de Angelis photographic collection on Dale’s site can be found here

04 September: French F1 Legend Jacques Laffite Remembers Elio de Angelis

A short but informative interview with French Formula 1 legend ‘Happy’ Jacques Laffite, taken from www.motorsport-aktuell.com is posted below:

<originally transcribed from German>

On Sunday the death of Elio de Angelis for the 25th anniversary MOTORSPORT times reminiscent of the current Italian with a sympathetic story and anecdotes from eyewitnesses in the print edition released tomorrow Tuesday. Advance a few memories of Jacques Laffite, who had learned to appreciate the “Black Prince” in the ’80s as an opponent to the track and off the slopes as a buddy.

Jacques Laffite on Elio de Angelis, “Elio was a very nice guy, a real gentleman. He was very wise and always correct. I liked him very much. He came from a very good family. His father was wealthy. It made you feel but never let Elio. His family was always very reserved and modest up, “said Lafitte.

“I still remember the funeral in Rome” continues, said the Frenchman. “I was at this weekend’s Formula 3000 race at Pau, and flew from there by plane to Italy and back again. Than I did two months later at Brands Hatch and I crashed multiple leg fractures have been drawn, so that my Formula 1 career was over, Elios brother was the first who stood by my bedside. The gesture I will never forget. That was just typical of the de Angelis family. “

De Angelis: Straightforward contemporary

“Because Elio already since 1979 in Formula 1 was, we are around the globe time and again off course, met on the trails. And every now and again we have “sat together at a table, recalls Laffite. “I’ve always enjoyed his presence. He was straightforward and the evenings with him were always very pleasant. “

“I doubt if Elio, he would have grown up in this day and age, also Formula 1 pilot would have been. He was perfect in the days of yesteryear. And not in the “today, telling Laffite. “Whether he had the makings of a champion? This is very difficult to answer. Our speed, yes. But that alone is not a rule. You have to sit in the right car. And this is with a few exceptions do not apply to Elio. Look at Schumacher: He’s been world champion seven times. Now he sits in a car that is not capable of winning the World Cup and has no chance. One thing is for sure: Elio was not in Formula 1 because he had money, but because he was very talented. “

11th June: Elio de Angelis Classic Team Lotus Celebration @ 59 Coppa Intereuropa Monza

Classic Team Lotus remembers Elio de Angelis with 81T and 91T cars

Back in March of this year, I received an email from Andrea Gallignani who was a good friend of Elio’s and whom I have been in contact with since I started the Tribute to Elio de Angelis website in 1999.  Andrea explained that he was putting together a tribute to Elio for the de Angelis family at the 59 Coppa Intereuropa at Monza with the help of Classic Team Lotus and Elio’s former friends, and he wanted to know if I would be interested in attending.

– It didn’t take me long to accept!

And on the 4th of June accompanied by my wife, I made the panoramic trip from Zurich to Monza via the 6.20 Cisalpino Train full of anticipation and excitement.

We arrived in Monza to cloudy overcast skies, and with the threat of rain looming made our way into the Paddock.  This was my first time at Monza, and I was struck by the sheer size of the place (for those of you who don’t know, it is located in the middle of a very large park).  I couldn’t help but feel a strong sense of nostalgia as I considered the footsteps of all those famous drivers who had graced this arena of Motor Racing.

Arriving in the bustling Lotus pit I was warmly greeted by Fabiana, Elio’s sister, who along with Andrea had played a significant part in organising the event.  I was then introduced to some illustrious guests, the gracious Don Sergio Mantovani, and drivers Emanuelle Pirro and Beppe Gabbiani who would drive the Lotus cars later that day.  The sight of the two Lotus cars, the 81 and 91T was a sight to behold – gleaming and sleek just as they were back in the early 1980’s.

Then followed a poignant moment; the pit garage had been visited by John Gentry, who was Elio’s race Engineer at Brabham.  As John recalled his time working with Elio, he was clearly still visibly upset by the tragic circumstances of  Elio’s loss, but was quickly comforted by family and friends in a show of unified support during a time of remembrance.

At 14:00 hours the tribute parade was scheduled to start; Beppe Gabbiani was scheduled to drive the type Lotus 81T and Emanuele Pirro the 91T.  I made my way to the Monza podium, where a short presentation to the de Angelis family followed along with a few words of thanks from Elio’s mother Pina.

Shortly afterwards the Cosworth engines burst into life as firstly Beppe, then Emanuele left the Monza pitlane….

Elio de Angelis – Monza Lotus Tribute Clip 1

Elio de Angelis – Monza Lotus Tribute Clip 2

Elio de Angelis – Monza Lotus Tribute Clip 2

It truly was a fantastic day.  One that I’d been waiting for pretty much all my life,  to get the chance to see 2 of Elio’s cars in action and actually meet Elio’s family and friends was more than I’d ever dreamt possible.  My sincere thanks to Andrea Gallignani and Fabiana de Angelis for making this an unforgettable day.

15th May: Elio de Angelis 25th Anniversary

Amazingly, it has now been 25 years since the passing of Elio de Angelis.

In order to commemorate and reflect upon this sad milestone, a very large site update has been completed.

Picture Galleries, Tributes and Quotes sections have been updated, including articles from AutoSprint and Lotus World Magazines.

06th March: Omicidio Colposo – Muore Elio de Angelis

A very rare and unique article regarding from an Italian Formula 1 magazine from 1986.  The magazine reviews the entire 1986 season, and featured a 4 page spread on Elio, reflecting on his career and the tragic events of May 15th at Paul Ricard.

The imaged article has been published to the tributes section and can be found here.

17th January: Updates In The Pipeline @ eliodeangelis.info

A long time has passed since the last update here at the Elio de Angelis tribute site….but don’t be fooled into thinking all is quiet.  Infact, i’ve been busy getting my hands on lots of stuff. 

So watch out for some Lotus World Magazine interviews and updates, 1984/5 features with lots of juicy colour photos.

Stay tuned….

18th August: Elio de Angelis on Safari video uploaded

A fantastic video has found it’s way to the webmaster, courtesy of a close friend which shows footage from the 1980 South African Grand Prix. During the video we see Elio and Riccardo Patrese pay a short visit to the flight deck of the 747 Jumbo Jet, and afterwards go on a safari.

With further clips of the qualifying and race itself featuring all of the top drivers of the day, this is one of the rarest videoclips to have graced this website.

The clip is now online under the Multimedia\Television documentaries section.