Patrick Tambay

Patrick Daniel Tambay (25 June 1949 – 4 December 2022) was a French racing driver, commentator, and politician, who competed in 123 Formula One races between 1977 and 1986, securing five pole positions and winning twice.[1] Between 1977 and 1981, he raced for an assortment of teams including Surtees, Theodore, Ligier, and McLaren with mixed results; he additionally won two Can Am championships under Carl Haas in 1977 and 1980. Tambay was hired by Scuderia Ferrari after his close friend Gilles Villeneuve died during the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix; he took his maiden victory four races later in Germany. His second and final victory came the following year in emotional circumstances at Imola. In 1984, Tambay moved to Renault and ended his F1 career at Haas Lola.

Patrick Tambay
Pensive Patrick (Tambay).jpg
Tambay in 1985
Born
Patrick Daniel Tambay

(1949-06-25)25 June 1949
Paris, France
Died4 December 2022(2022-12-04) (aged 73)
Paris, France
NationalityFrance French
RelativesAdrien Tambay (son)
Formula One World Championship career
Active years19771979, 19811986
TeamsSurtees, Theodore, McLaren, Ligier, Ferrari, Renault, Haas Lola
Entries123 (114 starts)
Championships0
Wins2
Podiums11
Career points103
Pole positions5
Fastest laps2
First entry1977 French Grand Prix
First win1982 German Grand Prix
Last win1983 San Marino Grand Prix
Last entry1986 Australian Grand Prix

Tambay competed in various forms of motorsport following his departure from Formula One, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the World Sportscar Championship, and the Dakar Rally.

Racing careerEdit

 
Tambay at the 1984 Dallas Grand Prix where, like many others, he retired after hitting a wall.
 
Tambay during practice for the 1985 European Grand Prix

Early in his career, Tambay was a part of Formula 5000 with the team run by Carl Haas.[2]

In 1977, winning the Can Am championship with Haas,[3] Tambay debuted in Formula One on a one-off basis with Surtees, driving in only one session at the 1977 French Grand Prix before spending the rest of the season with Theodore. This partnership proved fruitful, and Tambay moved to McLaren to race Formula One full-time for the 1978 and 1979 seasons.[4] In 1980, he returned to Can Am with the Lola team run by Carl Haas, immediately winning early in the season and then winning his second Can-Am championship.[3]

In 1981 he returned to F1, first driving for the Theodore team then finishing the season with Ligier.

In 1982, he was offered a drive with Arrows by team boss Jackie Oliver to replace the injured Marc Surer in the season-opening South African Grand Prix. He arrived at the track and, when faced with the ongoing turmoil and the possibility of a drivers' strike, he soon left and did not take part in the race.[5] Later in 1982 he was offered a place with the Scuderia Ferrari after the death of his close friend Gilles Villeneuve.[4] He won his first Grand Prix at the German Grand Prix that year after Didier Pironi was injured in qualifying, in his fourth race for Ferrari. He took his second and last Grand Prix win in 1983 at Imola; driving with Villeneuve's #27, he won an emotional victory in front of the Tifosi after Riccardo Patrese crashed near the end of the race.[4] He was dropped by the team in 1984 in favor of Italian Michele Alboreto. Tambay moved to Renault, and then spent a year reunited with his old boss Carl Haas racing in the Haas Lola F1 team.[4]

In 1987, Tambay formed his own sports promotion company in Switzerland, but gave this up in 1989 to return to racing. In 1989, he drove a Jaguar in the World Sportscar Championship and went on to finish fourth in the Le Mans 24 Hours. He then took up desert rally raiding, finishing twice in the top three on the Paris-Dakar.[4] Additionally, he was involved in ice races and the Tour de Corse jet ski race.

Later life and deathEdit

After retiring from full-time racing, Tambay worked as a commentator for French television. He also served as the deputy mayor of Le Cannet, a suburb of Cannes.[6] He was the godfather to 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, while his son Adrien raced in the DTM championship between 2012 and 2016. After suffering from Parkinson's disease for several years,[7] Tambay died on 4 December 2022, at age 73. His son Adrien announced his death.[4][8]

Racing recordEdit

Career summaryEdit

Season Series Team Races Wins Poles F/Laps Podiums Points Position
1974 European Formula Two Écurie Elf 10 0 0 0 0 11 7th
1975 European Formula Two March Engineering 14 1 3 0 5 36 2nd
1976 European Formula Two Automobiles Martini 12 1 2 1 7 39 3rd
SCCA Continental Championship Theodore Racing Hong Kong 1 0 0 0 0 2 21st
1977 Formula One Theodore Racing Hong Kong 7 0 0 0 0 5 18th
Can-Am Carl A. Haas Racing 6 6 0 0 6 0 1st
European Formula Two Ardmore Racing 2 0 1 0 0 0 NC
1978 Formula One Marlboro Team McLaren 15 0 0 0 0 8 14th
European Formula Two Chevron Cars 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
1979 Formula One Marlboro Team McLaren 13 0 0 0 0 0 NC
1980 Can-Am Carl A. Haas Racing 6 6 0 0 6 0 1st
1981 Formula One Equipe Talbot Gitanes 8 0 0 0 0 1 19th
Theodore Racing 6 0 0 0 0
24 Hours of Le Mans Oceanic Jean Rondeau 1 0 0 0 0 N/A DNF
1982 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari 6 1 0 0 3 25 7th
1983 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari 15 1 4 1 5 40 4th
1984 Formula One Equipe Renault Elf 15 0 1 1 1 11 11th
1985 Formula One Equipe Renault Elf 15 0 0 0 2 11 12th
1986 Formula One Team Haas (USA) Ltd. 14 0 0 0 0 2 15th
1989 World Sportscar Championship Silk Cut Jaguar 8 0 1 0 1 30 8th
2005 Grand Prix Masters Team Lixxus 1 0 0 0 0 N/A
2006 Grand Prix Masters Team Lixxus 2 0 0 0 0 N/A
Source:[9]

Graded drivers not eligible for European Formula Two Championship points.

Complete European Formula Two Championship resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Pos. Pts
1974 Ecurie Elf Alpine A367 BMW BAR
10
HOC
5
PAU
Ret
SAL
4
HOC
Ret
MUG
NC
KAR
Ret
PER
Ret
HOC
4
VAL
4
7th 11
1975 March Engineering March 752 BMW EST
Ret
THR
2
HOC
Ret
NÜR
2
PAU
Ret
HOC
Ret
SAL
15
ROU
2
MUG
Ret
PER
Ret
SIL
4
ZOL
2
NOG
1
VAL
Ret
2nd 36
1976 Automobiles Martini Martini Mk 19 Renault HOC
3
THR
3
VAL
2
SAL
3
PAU
Ret
HOC
3
ROU
Ret
MUG
3
PER
Ret
EST
16
NOG
1
HOC
DSQ
3rd 39
1977 Ardmore Racing Chevron B40 Hart SIL THR HOC NÜR VAL PAU
Ret
MUG ROU
Ret
NOG PER MIS EST DON NC 0
1978 Chevron Cars Chevron B42 Hart THR HOC NÜR PAU
6
MUG VAL ROU DON NOG PER MIS HOC NC 0
Source:[9]

Graded drivers not eligible for European Formula Two Championship points

Complete Formula One World Championship resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Pts
1977 Team Surtees Surtees TS19 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG BRA RSA USW ESP MON BEL SWE FRA
DNQ
18th 5
Theodore Racing Hong Kong Ensign N177 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 GBR
Ret
GER
6
AUT
Ret
NED
5
ITA
Ret
USA
DNQ
CAN
5
JPN
Ret
1978 Marlboro Team McLaren McLaren M26 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG
6
BRA
Ret
RSA
Ret
USW
12
MON
7
BEL ESP
Ret
SWE
4
FRA
9
GBR
6
GER
Ret
AUT
Ret
NED
9
ITA
5
USA
6
CAN
8
14th 8
1979 Marlboro Team McLaren[a] McLaren M28 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG
Ret
RSA
10
USW
Ret
ESP
13
NC 0
McLaren M26 BRA
Ret
BEL
DNQ
McLaren M28B MON
DNQ
McLaren M28C FRA
10
GBR
7
McLaren M29 GER
Ret
AUT
10
NED
Ret
ITA
Ret
CAN
Ret
USA
Ret
1981 Theodore Racing Team Theodore TY01 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 USW
6
BRA
10
ARG
Ret
SMR
11
BEL
DNQ
MON
7
ESP
13
19th 1
Equipe Talbot Gitanes Ligier JS17 Matra MS81 3.0 V12 FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
AUT
Ret
NED
Ret
ITA
Ret
CAN
Ret
CPL
Ret
1982 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 126C2 Ferrari 021 1.5 V6 t RSA BRA USW SMR BEL MON DET CAN NED
8
GBR
3
FRA
4
GER
1
AUT
4
SUI
DNS
ITA
2
CPL
DNS
7th 25
1983 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 126C2/B Ferrari 021 1.5 V6 t BRA
5
USW
Ret
FRA
4
SMR
1
MON
4
BEL
2
DET
Ret
CAN
3
4th 40
Ferrari 126C3 GBR
3
GER
Ret
AUT
Ret
NED
2
ITA
4
EUR
Ret
RSA
Ret
1984 Equipe Renault Elf Renault RE50 Renault EF4 1.5 V6 t BRA
5
RSA
Ret
BEL
7
SMR
Ret
FRA
2
MON
Ret
CAN
WD
DET
Ret
DAL
Ret
GBR
8
GER
5
AUT
Ret
NED
6
ITA
Ret
EUR
Ret
POR
7
11th 11
1985 Equipe Renault Elf Renault RE60 Renault EF4B 1.5 V6 t BRA
5
POR
3
SMR
3
MON
Ret
CAN
7
DET
Ret
12th 11
Renault RE60B Renault EF15 1.5 V6 t FRA
6
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
AUT
10
NED
Ret
ITA
7
BEL
Ret
EUR
12
RSA AUS
Ret
1986 Team Haas (USA) Ltd. Lola THL1 Hart 415T 1.5 L4 t BRA
Ret
ESP
8
SMR
Ret
15th 2
Lola THL2 Ford Cosworth GBA 1.5 V6 t MON
Ret
BEL
Ret
CAN
DNS
DET FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
8
HUN
7
AUT
5
ITA
Ret
POR
NC
MEX
Ret
AUS
NC
Source:[9]

24 Hours of Le Mans resultsEdit

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1976   Renault Sport   Jean-Pierre Jabouille
  José Dolhem
Renault Alpine A442 S
3.0
135 DNF DNF
1977   Équipe Renault Elf   Jean-Pierre Jaussaud Renault Alpine A442 S 3.0 158 DNF DNF
1981   Oceanic Jean Rondeau   Henri Pescarolo Rondeau M379-Ford Cosworth 2
+2.0
41 DNF DNF
1989   Silk Cut Jaguar
  Tom Walkinshaw Racing
  Jan Lammers
  Andrew Gilbert-Scott
Jaguar XJR-9LM C1 380 4th 4th
Source:[9]

Complete Grand Prix Masters resultsEdit

(key) Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest lap.

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5
2005 Team Lixxus Delta Motorsport GPM Nicholson McLaren 3.5 V8 RSA
11
2006 Team Lixxus Delta Motorsport GPM Nicholson McLaren 3.5 V8 QAT
11
ITA
C
GBR
11
MAL
C
RSA
C
Source:[9]

Complete Canadian-American Challenge Cup resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pos Pts
1977 Carl A. Haas Racing Lola T333CS Chevrolet V8 MTR
LAG
WGL
1
ROA
4
MDO
1
MOS
1
CTR
1
SON
1
RIV
1
1st 159
1980 Carl A. Haas Racing Lola T530 Chevrolet V8 SON
1
MDO
1
MOS
1
WGL
1
ROA
BRA
1
CTR
1
ATL
4
LAG
18
RIV
3
1st 61
Sources:[9][10]

Explanatory notesEdit

  1. ^ McLaren entered round 4 as "Löwenbräu Team McLaren".

CitationsEdit

  1. ^ FIA Year Book of Automobile Sport 1979. Patrick Stephens Ltd. white p. 44. ISBN 0-85059-320-4.
  2. ^ Glick, Shav (14 April 1985). "For Carl Haas, It's a Working Weekend : The Only Fun in Racing Is Winning, Says the Man Who Runs Andretti's Team". Los Angeles Times. p. 2. ProQuest 292117161.
  3. ^ a b Potter, Steve (29 June 1980). "Can Am Struggling in Revival". The New York Times. p. A.9. ProQuest 423943182.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Benson, Andrew (4 December 2022). "Former Formula 1 Ferrari driver Patrick Tambay dies aged 73". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  5. ^ Arron, Simon (August 2016). "Patrick Tambay: 'You could've been world champion'". Motor Sport Magazine. Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  6. ^ "Two-time Grand Prix winner Patrick Tambay passes away". formula1.com. 4 December 2022. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  7. ^ Arron, Simon (August 2016). "Patrick Tambay interview". Motor Sport Magazine. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Patrick Tambay, ancien pilote de F1, est mort". lequipe.fr (in French). 4 December 2022. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Patrick Tambay Statistics Database". motorsportmagazine.com. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  10. ^ "Can-Am – final positions and tables". World Sports Racing Prototypes. 2 October 2005. Archived from the original on 26 October 2020. Retrieved 20 May 2022.

General and cited referencesEdit

  • Burbi, Massimo; Tambay, Patrick (2016). 27: Patrick Tambay – The Ferrari Years. Evro Publishing. ISBN 978-1910505120.
Sporting positions
Preceded by Can-Am
Champion

1977
Succeeded by
Preceded by Can-Am
Champion

1980
Succeeded by