Ex-F1 driver killed in bike crash

Andrea de Cesaris dies at 55

FORMER F1 driver Andrea de Cesaris died yesterday when he appears to have lost control of his bike and hit a guardrail in his home town, Rome.

The 55-year-old drove in Formula 1 from 1980 to 1994, totting up 208 races in total to become the most experienced F1 driver never to win a race, although he did manage to get two second positions in his best season, 1983, when he ended up 8th in the championship while driving for Alfa Romeo.

Despite a reputation for throwing cars off the track – when commentating for the BBC James Hunt used to refer to him as ‘de Crasharis’ – and rarely troubling the front-runners, the Italian managed to sustain an amazingly long F1 career, attracting drives at McLaren, Ligier, Jordan, Minardi, Brabham, Tyrell, Sauber and Dalara as well as Alfa Romeo.

Reports in Italy say he was riding a 600cc Suzuki and was dead at the scene of the accident.