Andrea de Cesaris


  • Rome, Italy Place of Birth
  • 31 May 1959 Date of Birth
  • 1980 Canadian Grand Prix F1 Debut
  • Sauber Current/Last Team

For over a decade, Andrea de Cesaris laboured to shed his image as an unpredictable and tempestuous driver, a perception largely fueled by his strong sponsorship backing. However, by the early 1990s, he had evolved into a seasoned and reliable competitor.

BornAndrea de Cesaris
31 May 1959
Rome, Italy
Died5 October 2014 (aged 55)
Rome, Italy

At just 18, de Cesaris, a former world karting champion, raced in the 1978 British BP F3 championship, managing a Ralt car under Tim Schenken of Tiga. He continued the next year with Team Tiga’s March, securing six wins in the Vandervell series. However, early signs of the blunders that would mark his Formula 1 career prevented him from clinching the championship, finishing second to Chico Serra.

In 1980, de Cesaris joined Ron Dennis’s Project Four. He impressed in the New Zealand Pacific series with wins at both Pukekohe races before moving up to Formula 2 with a March 802. Despite starting alongside Serra, de Cesaris quickly outperformed him, culminating in a win at Misano that earned him a spot on the McLaren team for the 1981 season.

That season, he started disastrously with a crash at Long Beach and a troubling series of accidents. Yet, after his Formula 1 debut with Alfa Romeo at the end of 1980, that team welcomed him back. Over two seasons, de Cesaris delivered some remarkable performances, including leading the first half of the Spa race in 1983 before encountering issues. After Alfa Romeo transitioned to Pavanello’s Euroracing in 1984, de Cesaris moved to the Ligier team, where his previous year’s discipline briefly lapsed. A dramatic crash in Austria in 1985 nearly ended his career, but he survived and continued racing.

Never one to give up, de Cesaris led Minardi in 1986 but was often outshone by his teammate Nannini. He then moved to Brabham in 1987, displaying flashes of brilliance despite inconsistent performances. His tenure at Rial in 1988 included a commendable fourth-place finish in Detroit. His subsequent years at Dallara were marked by erratic displays, with his aggressive driving style often prevailing.

De Cesaris’ career seemed to be winding down until Jordan picked him for their 1991 lineup. He excelled, nearly finishing second at Spa, and though not kept by Jordan, moved to Tyrrell in 1992 where he helped secure valuable points. However, by 1993, with Tyrrell struggling, the impressive de Cesaris of previous years was less visible.

After 14 seasons, he started 1994 without a team but returned briefly when Jordan’s Eddie Irvine was suspended. A commendable fourth place in Monaco briefly revived his prospects, yet after finishing sixth in France, his Formula 1 journey concluded without further comebacks.

Beyond F1, in 2005 and 2006, de Cesaris participated in the Grand Prix Masters series, a racing competition for retired Formula One drivers. Tragically, he passed away on October 5, 2014, after a motorcycle accident on the Grande Raccordo Anulare motorway in Rome.

Andrea de Cesaris Formula One World Championship career

F1 Career1980–1994
TeamsAlfa Romeo, McLaren, Ligier, Minardi, Brabham, Rial, Dallara, Jordan, Tyrrell, Sauber
Entries214 (208 starts)
Career points59
Pole positions1
Fastest laps1
First entry1980 Canadian Grand Prix
Last entry1994 European Grand Prix

Sources: Wikipedia.com and historicracing.com


Driver Nationality Current/Last Team F1 Debut Status
British McLaren 1973 British Grand Prix Retired
French Williams 1974 German Grand Prix Retired
Italian Benetton 1977 Monaco Grand Prix Retired
German Mercedes 1991 Belgian Grand Prix F1 Legend
Brazilian Williams 1993 South African Grand Prix Retired
German Arrows 1994 Brazilian Grand Prix Retired


Team Nationality Debut Season Status
Alfa Romeo Italian 1950 Historic
McLaren British 1966 Current
Ligier French 1976 Historic
Minardi Italian 1985 Historic
Brabham British 1962 Historic
Jordan Grand Prix Irish 1991 Historic
Tyrrell British 1970 Historic
Sauber Swiss 1993 Current