Cesare Perdisa (21 October 1932 – 10 May 1998)[1] was an Italian racing driver from Bologna.[1] He participated in eight Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 22 May 1955. He achieved two podiums and scored a total of five championship points.

Cesare Perdisa
Born(1932-10-21)21 October 1932
Bologna, Italy
Died10 May 1998(1998-05-10) (aged 65)
Bologna, Italy
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityItaly Italian
Active years19551957
TeamsMaserati, Ferrari
Entries8 (7 starts)
Career points5
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry1955 Monaco Grand Prix
Last entry1957 Argentine Grand Prix

Racing Career edit

Cesare Perdisa was born in Bologna. His father, Luigi Perdisa, was an agronomist from Ravenna and the editor of one of Italy's most popular magazines on agriculture, Terra e Vita (Soil and Life). Perdisa's older brother, Sergio, was to follow his father footsteps and join a publishing house specialized in books on farming but Cesare was more interested in a racing career. His Formula One debut was at the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix where he finished third on a Maserati behind Maurice Trintignant in a Ferrari and Eugenio Castellotti in a Lancia. Castellotti and Perdisa were significantly younger than the majority of the drivers around at the time, and forged a friendship that would last until Castellotti's death in 1957.[2]

During the course of his brief racing career, possibly due to his young age, Perdisa was often asked to give his car to his more experienced teammates when they encountered troubles. This happened, for example, on the 11th lap of the 1956 Belgian Grand Prix, when Stirling Moss lost the right rear wheel of his Maserati. Moss brought his car to a stop and ran a quarter of a mile back to the pits where he took over Perdisa's Maserati, which he drove to the finish.[3]

In January 1957 at the Argentine Grand Prix Perdisa gave his Ferrari to Wolfgang von Trips first and then to Peter Collins in an attempt to stop Juan-Manuel Fangio's dominance on his Maserati. Despite their best efforts, the trio couldn't keep up with Fangio and finished sixth. In March 1957 Perdisa was set to participate to the 12 Hours of Sebring but he withdrew his entry after he learned of the death of his teammate Eugenio Castellotti at the Modena Autodrome. Castellotti succumbed to his injuries after crashing a Ferrari he was testing for the event. Although Perdisa initially declared his decision to be of a temporary nature, his inability to overcome the shock for the loss of Castellotti eventually brought him to permanently retire from racing.[4]

Life After Racing edit

A few months after his retirement, Perdisa hit the news again in September 1957 when he rushed Juan Manuel Fangio and his wife, Andrea, to a hospital in Bologna. The couple had been thrown from their 2.5 litre Lancia Aurelia while trying to avoid a truck entering the highway. Travelling at close to 100 mph, Fangio's car had smashed into a utility pole, although he and his wife only sustained minor injuries.[5]

Following their father's retirement in the mid-1960s, Perdisa and his brother Sergio continued to edit Terra e Vita. The magazine, initially published by Rizzoli, was eventually purchased by Calderini Agricole, the largest agricultural company in Italy, and switch its focus on farming regulations and technological development.[6]

Complete Formula One World Championship results edit


Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 WDC Points
1955 Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati 250F Maserati Straight-6 ARG MON
3 *
500 BEL
NED GBR ITA 18th 2
1956 Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati 250F Maserati Straight-6 ARG MON
500 BEL
3 †
5 †
ITA 16th 3
1957 Scuderia Ferrari Lancia D50 Ferrari V8 ARG
6 ‡
* Indicates shared drive with Jean Behra
† Indicates shared drive with Stirling Moss
‡ Indicates shared drive with Peter Collins and Wolfgang von Trips

References edit

  1. ^ a b Jenkins, Richard. "The World Championship drivers - Where are they now?". OldRacingCars.com. Retrieved 29 July 2007.
  2. ^ Motor Car Sports, New York Times, 20 March 1957, Page 44.
  3. ^ Collins Auto First In Belgian Contest, New York Times, 4 June 1956, Page 34.
  4. ^ Italian Out Of Race, New York Times, 17 March 1957, Page S4.
  5. ^ Fangio In Smash-Up, New York Times, 22 September 1957, Page 215.
  6. ^ "Muore a 23 anni Gioia Perdisa 'Era buona, generosa e sensibile'". 26 June 2012.