|Occupation:||Race Car Driver|
|Birth Day:||March 26, 1952|
|Death Date:||Aug 23, 1987 (age 35)|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Didier Pironi died on Aug 23, 1987 (age 35).
He studied engineering as a youth, and became serious about racing after attending the Paul Ricard driving school.
He was awarded Pilot Elf sponsorship in 1972, a program designed to promote young French motorsport talent, that also led Alain Prost, René Arnoux and Patrick Tambay into Formula One. After becoming Formula Renault champion in France in 1974, taking the Super Renault championship title in 1976 and winning the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix Formula Three support race in 1977, Pironi made his F1 debut at the Argentine GP on 15 January 1978. This was with Ken Tyrrell's team which, despite being British, had a strong working relationship with Elf, dating back to the late 1960s. In the same year, Pironi was part of the massive Renault squad tasked with winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Partnering Jean-Pierre Jaussaud in the team's second car, the unusual "bubble roof" A442B, he won the race by four laps from the rival Porsche 936s.
Two seasons with the underfinanced Tyrrell team demonstrated enough promise for Guy Ligier to sign Pironi to his eponymous French team in 1980, a season in which Pironi recorded his first victory, in the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder, as well as several podium finishes. The Ligier JS11/15 was an excellent car but could not reach its maximum potential. A combination of the team's incompetence and Laffite being in firm political control meant that Pironi was not going to win the championship with Ligier. Pironi's performance piqued Enzo Ferrari's interest in the Frenchman's services, which he secured for 1981. Ferrari later recalled, "As soon as Pironi arrived at Maranello, he won everyone's admiration and affection, not only for his gifts as an athlete, but also for his way of doing things - he was reserved while at the same time outgoing."
With a fast, reliable car, Pironi appeared to be on course for being 1982 World Champion, but the Frenchman's own state of mind underwent severe stress due to several factors. Widespread antipathy by many in the F1 fraternity was directed toward him in the wake of the Zolder tragedy. There was also the rapid breakdown of his marriage to longtime girlfriend Catherine Beynie within weeks of the ceremony taking place. He observed first hand the death of Riccardo Paletti in the 1982 Canadian Grand Prix, the young Italian rookie ploughing into Pironi's stalled Ferrari on the starting grid.
In 1986, after he was able to walk with both legs unaided, it looked as if Pironi would make a comeback when he tested for the French AGS team at Circuit Paul Ricard and subsequently, the Ligier JS27 at Dijon-Prenois. He proved that he was still fast enough to be competitive, but coming back to F1 was not truly practical due to the extent of his injuries. A return to F1 was further complicated by his insurance payout based on the premise of sustaining career-ending injuries; Pironi would be required to pay the money back to his insurer had he returned to the sport.
Pironi decided to turn to offshore powerboat racing instead. On 23 August 1987, Pironi was killed in an accident in the Needles Trophy Race near the Isle of Wight, that also took the life of his two crew members: journalist Bernard Giroux and his old friend Jean-Claude Guénard. Their boat, Colibri 4, rode over a rough wave caused by an oil tanker, causing the boat to flip over.
In a 2002 interview with Motor Sport, Marco Piccinini supported Pironi's view, "It was a genuine misunderstanding triggered by Gilles making a mistake. He went off the circuit slightly and Didier passed. The sign was hung out because we were 1-2, not because we favored one driver over the other. We didn't favor either because it was at an early stage of the championship. We just wanted to maintain 1-2."
In 2007, former Marlboro marketing executive John Hogan (whose company sponsored Pironi in his time as a Ferrari driver) disputed the claim that Pironi had gone back on a prior arrangement with Villeneuve. He said: "I think Gilles was stunned somebody had out-driven him and that it just caught him so much by surprise."
After Pironi's death, his girlfriend Catherine Goux gave birth to twins. In honour of Pironi and Gilles Villeneuve, she named them Didier and Gilles. In 2014, one of the twins, Gilles Pironi, joined Mercedes AMG Petronas as an engineer. Gilles stood on the podium at the 2020 British Grand Prix.
Just weeks after his death in a boating accident, his girlfriend, Catherine Goux, gave birth to his twin sons.
Currently, Didier Pironi is 70 years, 10 months and 11 days old. Didier Pironi will celebrate 71st birthday on a Sunday 26th of March 2023. Below we countdown to Didier Pironi upcoming birthday.
Happy Birthday Elio de Angelis and Didier Joseph Louis Pironi | Formula 1 Amino
Today are the birthdays of Italian driver Elio de Angelis and French driver and 1982 F1 runners up D