Former F1 driver Giovanni ‘Nanni’ Galli is turning 71 years old today!
Galli managed a total of 17 Grands Prix starts between 1970 and 1973, scoring no championship points.
The son of a well-heeled textile merchant, Galli started racing at the rather late age of 24 – he used the pseudonym ‘Nanni’ in a bid to ward off the disapproval he felt he would receive should his family ever find out.
Starting out in a Mini Cooper in the 1965 Italian Touring Car Championship, Galli won his class in each of his first ten starts before he graduated to an Alfa Romeo GTA.
It was with Alfa Romeo that Galli then began to earn a reputation in spots car circles, winning the 1968 Circuit of Mugello, and finishing runner-up at the Targa Florio and Imola 500km events. He remained part of the car marker’s sports car programme until 1972.
While competing in sports cars, Galli also dovetailed in single-seater racing, initially with Tecno’s Formula 2 operation.
His connections with Alfa Romeo saw him graduate to Formula 1, first with a one-off driver in an Alfa-powered McLaren at Monza in 1970, before he had several outings with March in 1971.
He then joined the rather hopeless Martini-backed Tecno F1 concern in 1972, and had a one-off appearance with Ferrari as the injured Clay Regazzoni’s replacement – he finished a distant 13th.
In 1973, he joined Williams’ Iso-Marlboro outfit, but quit after a handful of disappointing outings, announcing his retirement from the sport.