Patrick Tambay


  • Paris, France Place of Birth
  • 25 June 1949 Date of Birth
  • 1977 French Grand Prix F1 Debut
  • Lola Current/Last Team

Patrick Tambay and Gilles Villeneuve began their Formula 1 careers together at Silverstone in 1977. Five years later, Tambay claimed his first race victory, filling the seat at Ferrari left vacant by Villeneuve after his tragic accident at Zolder.

BornPatrick Daniel Tambay
25 June 1949
Paris, France
Died4 December 2022 (aged 73)
Paris, France

Tambay had initially tried to qualify a Surtees at Dijon but was unsuccessful, subsequently joining Ensign for the remainder of 1977. Teddy Mayer later recruited him to drive for McLaren, where he spent two challenging years in less competitive cars. Following a tough 1981 season with Theodore and Ligier, it seemed Tambay’s time in Formula 1 was nearing an end until Ferrari offered him a spot.

He brought some positivity back to the team by winning at the Hockenheimring following another severe accident involving his teammate Didier Pironi. Despite joining the championship late, Tambay had the potential to be a title contender in the fast Ferrari but had to step back due to a back injury caused by the intense ground effect cars of that era.

In the following season, with ground effects banned, Tambay showed competitive form again. He secured a poignant victory at Imola, the very place that had witnessed the intense feud between Villeneuve and Pironi a year prior.

Despite his successes, Tambay was unexpectedly replaced by Michele Alboreto at the end of the season.

He moved to Renault in 1984, but the team struggled with development and exited the sport in 1985. Tambay then raced for Team Haas before it, too, withdrew from Formula 1 at the end of 1986.

After retiring from full-time racing, Patrick Tambay transitioned to a role as a commentator for French television and served as the deputy mayor of Le Cannet, a suburb of Cannes. He was also the godfather to Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 Formula 1 World Champion, and played a significant role in guiding Villeneuve’s early racing career, which included victories at the 1995 IndyCar title and Indianapolis 500, and subsequently the F1 World Championship with Williams in 1997.

Tambay was married twice and became a father in 1991 when his son Adrien was born. Following in his father’s footsteps, Adrien became a professional racing driver, competing for Audi in the DTM championship from 2012 to 2016 and later winning the 2021 ETCR Championship.

Patrick Tambay’s family announced his passing on December 4th, 2022, following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Patrick Tambay Formula One World Championship career

F1 Career1977–1979, 1981–1986
TeamsSurtees, Theodore, McLaren, Ligier, Ferrari, Renault, Haas Lola
Entries123 (114 starts)
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

Sources: Wikipedia.com


Driver Nationality Current/Last Team F1 Debut Status
British Wolf 1973 Monaco Grand Prix Died, F1 Legend
British McLaren 1973 British Grand Prix Retired
French Williams 1974 German Grand Prix Retired
French Ferrari 1978 Argentine Grand Prix Died
American Ferrari 1968 United States Grand Prix F1 Legend
French Ligier 1978 South African Grand Prix Retired
British Footwork Arrows 1981 San Marino Grand Prix Retired
Australian Arrows 1975 Spanish Grand Prix Died, F1 Legend


Team Nationality Debut Season Status
Surtees British 1970 Historic
Theodore Hong Kong 1977 Historic
McLaren British 1966 Current
Ligier French 1976 Historic
Ferrari Italian 1950 Current
Renault French 1977 Historic
Lola British 1962 Historic