DE CRASHERIS IN ACTION: One of Formula 1's more colourful characters, Andrea de Cesaris, was killed on Oct 5 in a motorcycle crash in Rome. He'd perhaps have liked like this tribute to his racingreputation... Image: YouTube
MILAN, Italy - Ex-Formula 1 driver Andrea de Cesaris was killed on Sunday (Oct 5) in Rome when the motorcycle he was riding crashed into a concrete road barrier.
De Cesaris, who competed in the 1980's and 1990's for among other teams Alfa Romeo, McLaren and Jordan, lost control of his machine on the city's ring road, according to a website report by sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The report added that the 55-year-old was travelling in the slow lane yet died on impact.
KING OF CRASHES
De Cesaris's death was on a black day for motorsport; French Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi is 'critical' in a Japanese hospital after crashing into a vehicle recovery tractor during the Japanese GP at Suzuka.
VIDEO: De Cesaris in crash action
A tweet from McLaren read: "All at McLaren send condolences to ex-McLaren #F1 driver Andrea de Cesaris, who passed away today."
De Cesaris started 208 F1 GP races between 1980 and 1994 but never won. In fact he held the unwelcome record for having the longest career without a victory and, apparently, a high rate of crashes - he drove for 10 teams while earning the nickname "Andrea de Crasheris".
The official F1 website said that in 1982, aged 22, De Cesaris became the then-youngest driver to start a GP from the front of the grid after he earned his only career pole, for Alfa Romeo, at the US West race.
His best results were second places from the 1983 German and South African races, again for Alfa Romeo.
De Cesaris became a successful currency trader after his retirement.