Renzo Zorzi

Former Grand Prix driver Renzo Zorzi is celebrating his 65th birthday today!

Born in the Italian province of Trento, Zorzi was a Formula 3 regular before making his debut with Williams at the 1975 Italian Grand Prix, where he finished 14th. He made a further appearance with the team at the following year’s Brazilian Grand Prix, and finished ninth.

He joined the Shadow outfit full-time in 1977, and finished sixth at the second round in Brazil (his only championship point), but was indirectly involved in the tragic accident at the South African Grand Prix that killed his team-mate Tom Pryce.

Having retired his car with an engine fire, he successfully put it out with his onboard extinguisher. But two fire marshals ran across the main straight beyond the crest of the hill, with one being struck at full speed by Pryce and killed, while Pryce was also fatally injured by the fire extinguisher the marshal was carrying.

Sadly for Zorzi, financial problems put paid to his involvement with the team a few rounds later, and he competed in the Aurora AFX F1 series with an Arrows before retiring and setting up a Pirelli driving school in Southern Italy.

[Image via Laberezina]

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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.