F1: Carlos Reutemann dead at 79 (2nd Update)

Carlos Reutemann has now officially died. His daughter posted on Twitter:

Dad left in peace with dignity after fighting like a champion with a strong and noble heart. I am proud and blessed for the father I had. I know that he will accompany me every day of my life until we meet again in the house of the Lord.

Carlos Reutemann and daughter Cora back in late 1970s

Ferrari Tribute

Carlos Reutemann has passed away shortly at 79, in Santa Fe, Argentina. From when he was a very young boy, he’d already acquired his nickname of “Lole”, which had to do with his love of animals, in particular pigs or “los lechones” in Spanish, which he mangled into “lolechones”, hence “Lole”. He and Enzo Ferrari’s paths crossed for the first time in 1973, when he partnered the Australian driver Tim Schenken in some endurance races in a 312 P, while also racing for Brabham in Formula 1. Reutemann was well aware of Ferrari, because his mother was Italian and his parents made sure he knew all about the greatest Argentinian driver, Juan Manuel Fangio, who won the World Championship with the Prancing Horse in 1956.

Formula 1. In 1976, after Niki Lauda’s terrible accident at the Nürburgring, the Scuderia called in Reutemann to replace the Austrian for the Italian Grand Prix, but Lauda’s recovery was so rapid that the Scuderia ended up running three cars for the first time since 1972, putting the number 35 for the first time on Carlos’ car. He returned to the team for 1977 and, at the wheel of a 312 T2, won in Brazil, his third race for the team, helping the Scuderia to take its fifth Constructors’ title and proving that he had what it takes to be a number one driver. The team indeed handed him that role in 1978, alongside the young Gilles Villeneuve and the Argentinian duly won four times, (Jacarepagua, Brazil, Long Beach, United States West, Brands Hatch, Great Britain and at Watkins Glen, United States East). He finished third in the championship behind the Lotus pair of Mario Andretti and Ronnie Peterson. In fact, at the end of 1979, Reutemann opted to leave Ferrari for Lotus.

The most successful. Carlos competed in 34 race for Scuderia Ferrari, winning five, which makes him the most successful Argentine driver for the Maranello marque. Juan Manuel Fangio only managed three wins, while Jose Froilan Gonzalez won twice, memorably securing the Scuderia’s first ever Formula 1 victory on 14 July 1951 in the British Grand Prix.

Welcome visitor. Over the years, Reutemann often returned to Maranello, in 1991 and four years later when he tried out the cockpit of Jean Alesi’s 412 T1. In December 2004, he drove a Ferrari Formula 1 car again, when he completed around 20 laps of Fiorano in Rubens Barrichello’s F2004.

Memories. Enzo Ferrari held Reutemann, who went on to a brilliant political career in his native Argentina, in high regard. But in his book “Piloti, che gente…”, Ferrari did not hold back: “An athletic highly skilled driver, with a tormented and torturous temperament. Able to resolve difficult situations and to make up for mechanical shortcomings, but sometimes his emotions got the better of him and lost him the result that seemed possible at the start.” Carlos Reutemann raced in Formula 1 from 1972 to 1982, with four major players, Brabham, Ferrari, Williams and Lotus, competing in 146 Grands Prix. He won 12 and finished second in the World Championship in 1981, and third three times in 1975, 1978 and 1980.

July 7, 2021 

Reports coming out of Argentina that Carlos Reutemann is dead are not true, apparently put out by his political opposition in Argentina.

However, his daughter reports that her father is very very sick in the hospital and is fighting for his life. She requests prayers.

July 6, 2021 

Former Argentine F1 driver Carlos Alberto Reutemann has died at the age of 79

Reutemann raced in Formula One from 1972 to 1982, and later became a politician in his native province of Santa Fe, for the Justicialist Party, and governor of Santa Fe in Argentina.

Carlos Reutemann Ferrari 1978 at Watkins Glen

He scored 12 Grand Prix wins and six pole positions. In 1981 while driving for Williams he finished second in the World Drivers’ Championship by one point, having been overtaken in the last race of the season. Reutemann also finished in third overall three times for three separate teams, 1975 for Brabham, 1978 for Ferrari and 1980 for Williams. To date, he is the last Argentine driver to win a Grand Prix.

Driving the Lotus 79 at Monaco in 1979

His final Ferrari season in 1978 was his most successful, with four wins, but he finished third behind Lotus drivers Mario Andretti and the late Ronnie Peterson.


Career Summary

Season Series Team Races Wins Poles F/Laps Podiums Points Position
1970 European Formula Two Automovil Club Argentino 7 0 0 0 0 3 13th
1971 European Formula Two Automovil Club Argentino 11 0 1 1 6 38 2nd
1972 Formula One Motor Racing Developments 10 0 1 0 0 3 16th
European Formula Two Motul Rondel Racing 10 0 0 0 4 26 4th
1973 Formula One Motor Racing Developments 15 0 0 0 2 16 7th
24 Hours of Le Mans Scuderia Ferrari 1 0 0 0 0 N/A DNF
1974 Formula One Motor Racing Developments 15 3 1 1 4 32 6th
1975 Formula One Martini Racing 14 1 0 0 6 37 3rd
1976 Formula One Martini Racing 12 0 0 0 0 3 16th
Scuderia Ferrari 1 0 0 0 0
1977 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari 17 1 0 0 6 42 4th
1978 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari 16 4 2 2 7 48 3rd
1979 Formula One Martini Racing Team Lotus 15 0 0 0 4 20 7th
BMW M1 Procar Championship BMW Motorsport 1 0 0 0 0 3 25th
1980 Formula One Albilad-Williams Racing Team 14 1 0 1 8 42 3rd
BMW M1 Procar Championship BMW Motorsport 8 1 0 0 2 64 5th
World Rally Championship Fiat Italia 1 0 0 0 1 12 21st
1981 Formula One Albilad-Williams Racing Team 6 2 1 1 5 49 2nd
TAG Williams Team 9 0 1 1 2
1982 Formula One TAG Williams Team 2 0 0 0 1 6 15th
1985 World Rally Championship Peugeot Sport 1 0 0 0 1 12 18th