Clay Regazzoni


  • Mendrisio, Switzerland Place of Birth
  • 5 September 1939 Date of Birth
  • 1970 Dutch Grand Prix F1 Debut
  • Ensign Current/Last Team

Born Gianclaudio Regazzoni, he was raised in Ticino, the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland near the Italian border. Although Italians often regarded him as one of their own—a sentiment that brought him pride during his years with Ferrari—he was officially Swiss, holding a Swiss passport, and recognised as such in Formula One records.

BornGianclaudio Giuseppe “Clay” Regazzoni
5 September 1939
Mendrisio, Switzerland
Died15 December 2006 (aged 67)
Fontevivo, Italy

Regazzoni’s racing career began in the late 1960s, competing in Formula 3 and Formula 2. Known for his assertive style, he was involved in several accidents, including a notable incident in 1968 during the European F2 Trophy at Zandvoort, which resulted in the fatal crash of English driver Chris Lambert. Though initially implicated, Regazzoni was cleared of responsibility, and the episode did not hinder his progression to Formula One, where he joined Ferrari sporadically in 1970.

His debut season in Formula One was marked by victory at the 1970 Italian Grand Prix in Monza, helping him to finish third in the championship despite participating in only eight of the thirteen races. His success at Monza solidified his role as a regular teammate to Jacky Ickx for the subsequent seasons. Regazzoni’s uncompromising racing approach was evident in incidents like the 1972 German Grand Prix at Nurburgring, where he clashed with Jackie Stewart.

After a less successful stint with BRM in 1973, Regazzoni returned to Ferrari in 1974, recommending that Niki Lauda join the team as well. Together, they achieved significant success, including two constructors’ titles and a drivers’ championship for Lauda in 1975. Regazzoni nearly won the drivers’ title himself in 1974, narrowly losing to Emerson Fittipaldi by just three points.

Following his departure from Ferrari in 1976, Regazzoni drove for smaller teams like Ensign and Shadow, and enjoyed a stint with Williams in 1979, where he achieved the team’s first win at Silverstone for the 1979 British Grand Prix. However, his Formula One career ended tragically in 1980 during the Long Beach Grand Prix, where a brake failure led to a crash that paralyzed him from the waist down.

Despite his disability, Regazzoni continued to be involved in motorsports, participating in the Paris-Dakar Rally and sports car events with specially adapted vehicles. He was also active in promoting equal opportunities for disabled individuals, though his application for an FIA international license was declined in 1996.

Regazzoni spent his later years between Monaco and Lugano, occasionally providing TV commentary for Swiss and Italian television. His life tragically ended in a high-speed collision on the A1 Milan-Bologna motorway, where an autopsy revealed he likely died of natural causes immediately before or after the crash.

Clay Regazzoni Formula One World Championship career

F1 Career1970–1980
TeamsFerrari, BRM, Ensign, Shadow, Williams
Entries139 (132 starts)
Career points209 (212)[1]
Pole positions5
Fastest laps15
First entry1970 Dutch Grand Prix
First win1970 Italian Grand Prix
Last win1979 British Grand Prix
Last entry1980 United States Grand Prix West
1Up until 1990, not all points scored by a driver contributed to their final World Championship tally.

Sources: Wikipedia.com and historicracing.com


Driver Nationality Current/Last Team F1 Debut Status
Belgian Ligier 1966 German Grand Prix Retired
American Ferrari 1968 United States Grand Prix F1 Legend
Austrian McLaren 1971 Austrian Grand Prix Died, F1 Legend
Argentine Williams 1972 Argentine Grand Prix Died
Australian Arrows 1975 Spanish Grand Prix Died, F1 Legend


Team Nationality Debut Season Status
Ferrari Italian 1950 Current
BRM British 1951 Historic
Ensign British 1973 Historic
Shadow British 1973 Historic
Williams British 1978 Current