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07 Gran Prix Labatt du Canada
…Andrea de Cesaris completed the top ten with a Ligier-Renault showing few changes except for mino details to the aerodynamics and wings. Apart from the engine blow-up on Friday and a radiator failure the following day, there were few problems for the Loto-sponsored team…
08 United States Gran Prix Detroit
…Andrea de Cesaris managed to bounce a Ligier into one wall or another during the Friday morning, Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon sessions, this overtly energetic approach earning him 12th place on 1m 43.889s…
Posted 09 May 2011 - 16:56
Posted 09 May 2011 - 17:06
Posted 09 May 2011 - 18:54
there was an interview / article with Andrea in one of the 1985 Grand Prix International magazines, have you got that one already?
Posted 10 May 2011 - 03:07
Can you put it here?
Posted 10 May 2011 - 03:09
Edited by Louis Mr. F1, 10 May 2011 - 03:16.
Posted 10 May 2011 - 15:10
This is an article about Andrea from "Autosport" 1985:
by Duncan Solloway
Zeltweg, the Texaco Schikane. A blue racing car flips over one last time, and comes to rest on its remaining wheels as a fearless feline would land on three feet. Out climbs the driver, muddied but unharmed. ”Good old Andrea, he’s done it again…”
When you first meet him, you get the impression of a young man recovering from some great trauma. He nervously looks about him, though there is a calm in his voice. He incessantly plays with pencils, circuit maps, PR photos, the bric-a-brac that clutters the Ligier motorhome table. As he picks at the badges on his blue overalls, you notice the famous facial twitch that leaves many wondering just what it does to his ability to control a racing car at 180 mph…
Once tipped to drive for Ferrari, 26-year-old Andrea de Cesaris is in fifth “full” season of Grand Prix racing and has yet to mount the top step of the podium. Always on the pace, his driving is as spectacular as you will see. Andrea, though, is still painfully inconsistent.
At Monaco this year, his drive to fourth place was perfect; racing hard when he had to, nursing the car at the end. In Canada, a race later, he had a nightmare. Following more accidents in Germany and Austria, he and Ligier parted company after Zandvoort, neither one reflecting appreciation for the previous 21 months.
His career, like daredevil cat, must be counting its remaining lives.
Andrea’s debut in Formula 1 was in the 1980 Canadian Grand Prix with Alfa Romeo following a rapid and by no means unique climb to prominence. World (freestyle!) karting championship in 1976, young Andrea switched to F3 for a couple of years (six race wins in 1979 and runner-up in the championship) before embarking on two rather erratic seasons of F2, highlighted by a win at Misano in 1980 at the age of 21…
Qualifying eight and 10th for those two North American races was superb effort, but engine trouble in Canada and a collision with Derek Daly at the Glen spoilt the outing, and Mario Andretti was given the drive for 1981. Andrea went to McLaren, and there took the unfortunate name of “de Crasheris”.
“Some of the accidents I had with McLaren were because of mechanical problems, like at Zandvoort where I had brake failure and at Jarama, too,” says Andrea. “But others, it is true, were because of my inexperience. The team was not so well organised then and I never really did any testing.”
“I was 22, there was too much pressure, and at that stage you have a psychological problem which means that, when you are in the car, you are not relaxed and it is easier to have accidents.”
The McLaren split was necessary as much as it was predictable. Many believed that any other driver would have been finished after a year such as de Cesaris’; full of destruction, few results, little respect by the end. It is the belief of most that the only reason Andrea is still in F1 is because of his lucrative Philip Morris Italy contacts…
In the days when he wore the red and white suits, Andrea would strenuously deny that he was any closer to Marlboro that a member of the “World Championship Team” like dozens of others. “I trust Marlboro very much and I think they are the greatest sponsor in F1. They were there from the beginning and they helped me from F3. But at the moment I am not a Marlboro driver, I have no connection.”
The Roman returned to Autodelta for the 1982 season and led his first 13 laps of a Grand Prix at Long Beach, losing the lead to Lauda as he lapped Boesel, missing a shift by shaking his fist at the Brazilian.
At black Zolder that year, he had what he considers to be his best race, climbing to second place before the engine blew apart: ”I was catching Rosberg. Without the engine problem and Watson, I think I could have won!”
Winter testing for the 1983 season was stunning, and the Paul Ricard lap record fell many times to de Cesaris’ Alfa. He led brilliantly at Spa until retirement, just scraped into second place at Hockenheim as the tank ran dry, and took another six points from the final round at Kyalami. These are his best results to date – some compensation for an otherwise disastrous season. At Rio, he was excluded from the start for failing a weight check in qualifying, and at Le Castelet the onboard fire extinguisher was found to be empty and his practice time disallowed. Shortly afterwards, Gerard Ducarouge was dismissed, much to Andrea’s consternation.
“I like Gerard very much. He is a good engineer and quickly understand the problems with the car. He has his own ideas and can successfully adapt the ideas of others. In his mind, everything works so well that he can build competitive cars every time.”
“I was very unhappy when they got rid of him. I told them that but, unfortunately, it was not enough and they realised their mistake only one year after…”
“I have always been very close to Andrea,” says Ducarouge. “We had two years together at Alfa and he is a very quick, intelligent driver with only one aim in life – to win.”
“He made some mistakes at the start of his career, for sure, but it is the same with all drivers. He is now very mature after four years in F1 and ready to win. What happened in 1981 happened to many great drivers, like Jody Scheckter, a past World Champion, and look at Prost now, he sometimes made mistakes.”
“Well, I think he is a great driver. If he was in right team – and he was with Ligier, I suppose – then he could be World Champion…”
The Ligier contract came in November at the eleventh hour. These days, if you are not placed by Monza, you are usually not placed at all. De Cesaris: ”It was a very late decision to join Ligier because I wanted to stay with Alfa Romeo. I had not planned to leave, but then there was a problem between me and Pavanello and the sponsors of the team (Benetton). I was no longer in a good position with the team and, after what happened to Ducarouge and Marlboro I did not like the atmosphere, so I left.”
A couple points from South Africa and another one at Imola was Andrea’s total for 1984. The highlight was qualifying seventh at Monaco, the low point possibly Detroit, where he declared war on the concrete. There was also Dijon, where Andrea’s fire extinguisher was again found to be empty, his times disallowed from the first, dry, practice and thus a non-qualification. Hesnault, of course, ‘stepped down’ for his team mate to start. The season ended with the JS23B. Performance unchanged.
It took a shake-up within the team and the addition of some very useful management and engineers staff from Renault to convince de Cesaris to stay for another year with Guy’s team. With Gerard Larrousse managing and Michel Tetu designing, it was a bit like having Henry Ford round to service your XR3…
Michel Tetu: “Well, he was always pushing and wanting to do the best he could with any car! He had a good feeling for the engine but he did not look carefully at all the figures-temperatures, and so on. We had to ask him several times!”
“In testing, his work with the handling was always consistent and he did the same times with the same tyres with the same chassis configuration. This is very important for the engineers.”
Monaco was most impressive, Andrea driving a very neat race to finish fourth. The other races, though, were disappointing, until Silverstone. “In Brazil I was running fourth. The accident with Arnoux was because he went into the pits without signalling and I could not avoid him. In Portugal, the rain tyres were so bad that we had to stop, and in Imola I had a wing problem. When I came out of the pits, the brake pedal went all the way down and that finished the race for me there. From Monaco I took three points! The crash in practice was due to brakes. This is the first year Ligier are running with carbon and we had not sorted them out completely. Even in the race there, I had a lot of trouble with them. The engineers gave them to me, Laffite started with normal brakes. In Montreal I spun, yes, but Winkelhock did not see me or the flags and the marshals signalled to me that it was OK to rejoin…”
At Silverstone, there was little to chose between the Ligiers and the Brabhams until final practice. Starting seventh he made up places quickly and ran third for a while, mixing it with the Williams pair behind Senna. Clutch failure stopped Andrea after 41 laps but Laffite went on to collect third place. “I was pleased to have Jacques back in the team, I learned from him. Not so much technically but about preparing for a race, how to relax and so on.”
Jacques Laffite: “Oh! For sure he is very good and I was happy to have him as a team mate. He is a nice man and a quick driver. Andrea has been in front of me many times and his reactions are fantastic. But it is important to do that for 60 or 80 laps and maintain concentration.”
These days, a qualifying session rarely goes by without at least one driver castigating another for spoiling his quick lap, even for downright blocking. Riccardo Patrese’s is the name you hear most frequently from simmering drivers who have just given their all for nothing but a fright. Occasionally, though, you will hear the name of de Cesaris spoken with venom.
In the solitary qualifying session run on the Francorchamps soufflé, Eddie Cheever could be seen waving his arm and fist vigorously as he passed de Cesaris’s Alfa out of Eau Rouge…
“Me, me? Who says so?” Andrea gives a look as though they have just found his extinguisher bottle empty again. “No drivers have come to say anything. I never intentionally block anyone. That problem with Cheever could not be avoided. When he came upon me, I was commited to Raidillion and I had nowhere to go.”
And then one recalls Zandvoort qualifying 1983, where Barry McGuigan could have learned a thing or two from de Cesaris…”Yes, I punched Patrese, he blocked me twice in two laps, quite deliberately. He knew I was there, he saw me. For that, I did get a little upset. It is quite dangerous when you are on a quick lap, which is the climax of all the work you do during the testing and preparation over the weekend. Fifty per cent of the race is qualifying; if your best lap is spoiled, then you get upset.”
For Andrea, the future is no longer clear. He had what is clearly his biggest accident ever at Zeltweg last month, destroying yet another chassis. “I have seen it on TV many times,” he recalls. “I put my four wheels on the grass which was very wet. The problem was that the ground is not flat there and my rear wheel was blocked by a ridge and the car rolled. I escaped well…”
Guy Ligier, short of money, monocoques and patience, wasted no time in letting everyone know that the Italian would not be completing the season in either of his remaining cars. Andrea: “After Austria, I spoke with Ligier and he said he was not happy with ny performance and wanted to change the financial arrangement for the rest of the year. I did not agree, so we split. I could not race at Monza because of the existing contract and my lawyer is now dealing with that…”
Like de Angelis, he is young veteran: only Senna and Martini are younger. Andrea de Cesaris’ speed is recognised by all, many just can not afford to run him. The vision of a sponsor’s name barrel-rolling on TV is, to most, unacceptable…
“To win a Grand Prix you need to have the right tyres, the right engine, the right car and a good team. If I have all the right stuff I can win. I know that.”
“One of the fastest of the moment,” says Gerard Larrousse. “But, of course, he must prove that he is able to win a Grand Prix. He is capable of winning: if he is OK in his head he is perfect, it is just that sometimes he is a little too hot, like any Italian. If he is to succeed, though, he must do it soon.”
Posted 10 May 2011 - 17:20
At the risk of stating the obvious, have you never heard of copyright? If not, I would suggest you read this http://forums.autosp...=...p;f=10&id=8
I've recently bought a F1 photo book from the 80s, there're a few pictures of Andrea in it, I'll try to scan and post these sometime this week.
Posted 11 May 2011 - 21:38
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Posted 05 October 2012 - 07:42
Andrea, I hope you spotted that the last issue of Motorsport (October 2012) had an interview with Andrea de Cesaris, and most entertaining it was.
Posted 09 October 2012 - 13:03
Posted 13 October 2012 - 18:31
Edited by jcbc3, 13 October 2012 - 18:34.