Patrick Neve, 1977 French GP

Former Grand Prix driver Patrick Nève will be celebrating his 62nd birthday today!

Born into a wealthy Belgian family in Liege, Patrick – whose full name is (wait for it!) Patrick Marie Ghislain Pierre Simon Stanislas Nève de Mévergnies – contested in 14 Formula 1 Grands Prix between 1976 and 1978 without scoring a championship point.

A one-time pupil at Jim Russell’s racing school, Nève later worked there as an instructor to finance his own racing career. Plenty of practice in the school’s Merlyn was enough to see him win the STP Formula Ford title in 1974.

He graduated to Formula 3 in 1975, doing well enough to earn a test with Brabham and a Grand Prix debut at the 1976 Belgian Grand Prix with RAM.

He followed this up with a few more non-championship outings before Emilio de Villota replaced him, but Nève later had a one-off outing with Ensign before the year was out.

Third place in the 1977 International Trophy Formula 2 race at Silverstone behind the wheel of a works March helped him secure funding from Belgium’s Belle-Vue brewery and a drive with the post-Wolf Williams team.

With the team running a March 761, Nève performed reasonably well, peaking with seventh at Monza.

But the relationship fell apart after the Canadian Grand Prix, and Nève was unable to secure a permanent berth with another team.

Nève later raced in sports cars and touring cars, competing at Le Mans as well as being a regular competitor in the Belgian touring Car Championship and the Spa 24 Hours enduro.

[Image via F1 Nostalgia]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.