Autocar - - MOTORSPORT -

This dash­ing French star of the 1970s and early ’80s co­drove the win­ning Re­naultalpin­e A442B at Le Mans in 1978 but is best known for his speed and con­tro­versy in F1. Di­dier Pironi made his de­but for Tyrrell, switched to Ligier in 1980, won in Bel­gium and then joined Fer­rari as team-mate to Gilles Vil­leneuve. The pair be­came close friends, but Pironi had panache to ri­val the great Cana­dian. At Imola in 1982, he in­fa­mously broke a pact be­tween the pair and won, en­rag­ing Vil­leneuve, who crashed fa­tally at the next event. Pironi’s F1 ca­reer ended in a leg-smash­ing ac­ci­dent at Hock­en­heim later that sea­son, be­fore he died while rac­ing a power­boat in 1987.

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