Former Ferrari and McLaren driver Andrea de Adamich is turning 70 years old today!
The Italian competed in Formula 1 for five seasons, with a career blighted by the injuries sustained in several lurid accidents.
A winner in Italian Formula 3 and the European Touring Car championships, de Adamich was given a plum role with Ferrari at the non-championship Spanish Grand Prix in 1967.
But hopes of a full-time role with the Scuderia took a dent when he crashed twice: one on his World Championship debut at Kyalami in 1968, and then again in practice for the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch. The latter caused neck injuries that kept him out of the cockpit for much of the year.
With his chance at the big time seemingly gone, de Adamich bounced back with wins in the South American Formula 2 championship, before joining the Surtees team’s Formula 5000 campaign, later returning to Formula 1 with the backing of Alfa Romeo.
When he switched to Cosworth power in 1972, the results started to come through, and de Adamich claimed fourth place at the Spanish Grand Prix, repeating the feat at the following year’s Belgian Grand Prix, now driving for Brabham.
He remained part of Alfa Romeo’s sports car programme in the early-to-mid 1970s, winning the Brands Hatch 1000km and Watkins Glen 6 Hours in 1971, as well as claiming wins in Can-Am, touring cars and hill climb events.
But his career came to a sudden end in 1973 when he was the innocent victim in the multi-car pile-up triggered by a sideways Jody Scheckter at Silverstone. De Adamich suffered badly broken legs and retired from competition shortly thereafter.
Andrea is now a respected motorsport journalist and commentator on Italian television.
[Image via F1-Facts]