The news of Tambay’s death was communicated by his family to the French agency AFP on Sunday. He was known to suffer from Parkinson’s disease, a progressive disease that affects the nervous system, as well as diabetes.
Born on June 25, 1949, Tambay spent a decade in F1 racing for some of the biggest Grand Prix teams including McLaren, Ferrari and Renault.
He made his French Grand Prix debut in 1977 with Surtees, but failed to qualify, before moving to Theodore Racing for the second half of the season.
His first campaign with McLaren the following year yielded a better result of fourth, which would remain his best result in F1 until he was called up by Ferrari to replace Gilles Villeneuve midway through the 1982 season following the Canadian’s death. in Zolder.
After securing a podium finish in only his second race with the Scuderia at Brands Hatch, Tambay picked up his first German GP victory a few weeks later. He then scored a memorable second place at Ferrari’s home ground at Monza in the final European race of the season.
Tambay’s first F1 win came at the 1982 German GP
Picture by: Motorsport Images
Tambay’s second and final victory followed in 1983 at the San Marino GP, and he went on to achieve a career-best fourth in the championship the same year behind title winner Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost and his Ferrari teammate René Arnoux.
The Frenchman spent the next two seasons in F1 with Renault, adding three more podiums to his career tally, before completing a final Grand Prix year in 1986 with the Haas team, his final points finishing with a fifth-place finish in the Grand Prix. Austria prices.
Tambay also made four appearances at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the first two of which with Renault in 1976-77 ended in retirement. A return to the French endurance classic in 1981 with Rondeau also ended in a DNF, but he finally reached the finish in 1989 with Jaguar, finishing fourth overall in the iconic XJR.
Tambay’s other forays outside of F1 culminated in two titles in the Can-Am series in 1977 and 1980 with Carl A. Haas Racing.
He was behind the wheel of a racing car as recently as 2006, when he took part in two events of the Grand Prix Masters series.