|Occupation:||Race Car Driver|
|Birth Day:||December 23, 1956|
|Death Date:||Apr 25, 2001 (age 44)|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Michele Alboreto died on Apr 25, 2001 (age 44).
Alboreto's helmet was blue with a yellow stripe with white edges covering the centre of the helmet. The colours were a tribute to Swedish driver Ronnie Peterson, whose helmet design also used them to reflect the Swedish flag. Alboreto and Peterson first met in 1972 and were friends until the Swedish driver's death in 1978.
Michele Alboreto started his career in 1976 racing in Formula Monza with a car he and his friends built, known as the "CMR". The car itself proved to be uncompetitive and in 1978 Alboreto, now in a more competitive March, moved over to Formula Italia where he began to take race wins. Two years later Alboreto moved up to Formula Three, racing in a Euroracing-entered March-Toyota in both the European and Italian series. In his début Formula Three season, Alboreto finished 6th and 2nd respectively in the two championships, scoring three wins in the Italian series.
1980 would prove to be the Italian's final, and most successful, year in Formula Three where he took the European crown and finished third in the Italian championship, taking five wins between the two series. An appearance in the British Championship was also made that year.
Alboreto again ran a partial schedule in 1981 even though he was also running Formula Two and Formula One. This season included his first participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He earned an eighth-place finish overall, second in class, and was the highest finishing Lancia. He followed this with his first win in the championship, at the Six Hours of Watkins Glen with co-driver Riccardo Patrese. Alboreto finished the year 52nd in the Drivers' Championship, the highest ranked Lancia driver.
When Lancia chose to move to a new class of competition with the Lancia LC1 as the championship concentrated solely on endurance races in 1982, further success came for Alboreto. A small schedule for the championship, as well as an emphasis on European circuits allowed him to compete in every race that year. Although the LC1 suffered from mechanical problems on its debut, Alboreto and teammate Patrese were able to rebound to earn a victory at the 1000 km of Silverstone. Teo Fabi joined the duo for the 1000 km of the Nürburgring, where they once again earned a victory. He was not able to repeat his previous success at Le Mans when the LC1's engine failed, and was unable to complete an event at Spa when the car broke in the closing laps. A third victory was earned by Alboreto and new teammate Piercarlo Ghinzani at their home circuit, Mugello. The final two races of the World Championship season had Alboreto's car eliminated from contention due to accidents. At the end of the season, he had secured fifth in the Drivers' Championship.
Lancia changed classes and cars once again in 1983 World Sportscar Championship season, but Alboreto remained as one of the team's primary drivers. He brought the new Lancia LC2 to a ninth-place finish in its debut at the 1000 km of Monza, but the new car struggled to finish the next few races of the season. His entries would not finish another race until round five, where he earned eleventh. While Lancia chose to skip later rounds of the championship, he would not return to the team in order to concentrate fully on his commitments to Formula One. His troubles with the LC2 and early departure from the team earned him only two points in the championship.
1985 would prove to be Alboreto's most successful year in Formula One. He took two wins: the first at the Canadian Grand Prix, and the second at the German Grand Prix. Alboreto led the points table until Round 11 at Zandvoort, but finished the season in second place with 53 points, 20 points behind World Champion Alain Prost. Formula One journalist Nigel Roebuck commented that "Alboreto was Prost's only real challenger for the World Championship". Ultimately it was Ferrari's unreliability which cost Alboreto his chance at the World Championship as he failed to finish the final five races of the season all due to mechanical failure, though he was classified 13th in Italy despite his engine blowing on lap 45 of 51. At the 1985 European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch, after stopping to replace a flat-spotted tyre on lap 11, his Ferrari blew its turbo halfway through lap 13. Alboreto, frustrated that Ferrari's late season reliability had cost him the World Championship, drove the car back to the pits with the rear of the car on fire. He drove the on-fire car into the pits and straight to his Ferrari pit. Many observers saw this as Alboreto's way of showing that the Ferrari's unreliability had cost him the World Championship, which Prost won by finishing 4th in the race.
In 1986 Ferrari's new car, the F1/86 designed by Harvey Postlethwaite, proved to be slower and less reliable than its predecessor as Alboreto retired from nine races, of which seven were mechanical failures. Alboreto only scored one podium, at the Austrian Grand Prix – even then both Williams cars of Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet had retired and Alboreto finished a full lap behind race winner Alain Prost. The Italian finished the season ninth in the Drivers' Championship with fourteen points. While the Ferrari V6 turbo was rated as one of the more powerful engines on the grid, both Alboreto and his teammate Stefan Johansson were hampered by the F1/86 which refused to handle on tracks which had a bumpy surface. Johansson finished 5th in the championship with 23 points despite being the #2 driver in the team, causing many to question why the team chose to re-sign Alboreto and let Johansson go.
Austrian Gerhard Berger joined Ferrari in 1987 which signalled the end of Alboreto's time as leader of the Ferrari team. Berger soon established himself as the team's number one driver thanks to his wins in Japan and Australia at the end of the season, while Alboreto could only manage a handful of podiums at Imola, Monaco and a second place at the final round in Australia to make it a Ferrari one-two. The Italian finished the year in seventh overall with 17 points, 13 points behind his teammate.
The 1988 season would be Alboreto's final year with Ferrari. With the McLarens of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost dominating the season, the Ferrari team only managed a single win during the year at the Italian Grand Prix which Berger won from Alboreto in second place. Ferrari refused to offer the Italian a new contract and so Alboreto looked elsewhere for a drive. This announcement came at the French Grand Prix in July and pit lane rumours had Michele re-joining Tyrrell for 1989 (in France, where Alboreto finished 3rd and Berger a distant 4th, was the only time in 1988 the Italian would finish in front of the Austrian in a race where both finished). After France he received an offer from Frank Williams, head of the Williams team who would have exclusive use of the new V10 Renault engine in 1989. Later that year before the Italian GP at Monza, Alboreto had not received any word from Williams and requested confirmation of his seat at the team. Williams replied by saying that "he wanted him" and "not to move". At Monza, however, Williams announced he had signed Belgian Thierry Boutsen instead while also confirming that the teams number 2 driver, Alboreto's former Lancia sportscar teammate Riccardo Patrese, would be staying with the team. As it was late in the season, Alboreto was left with few options for the coming season.
Despite a win in Detroit, registered as the last victory for a naturally aspirated car until the end of the turbo-era in 1989, after Nelson Piquet's leading Brabham suffered a rear tyre deflation in the closing stages, Alboreto failed to finish in the points consistently and, with only one further points finish at Zandvoort, the Italian finished the season with ten points and down in twelfth position. However, it was announced that the Italian would partner René Arnoux at Ferrari. Replacing Patrick Tambay, he became the first Italian driver to race for the marque in over a decade.
1990 saw Alboreto move to the Arrows team, which was in the process of being sold to sponsor Footwork. It was seen mainly as a "transition year" for him, as the chassis was in its second year and severe uncompetitiveness would be expected. Despite this, the 33-year-old finished in the top ten a number of times and only retired three times. Alboreto finished the season, however, as one of 21 drivers who failed to score a point.
Following his departure from Formula One in 1995, Alboreto embarked on a career in the German Touring Car Championship, known as the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft. Racing for Alfa Romeo's factory team, Alfa Corse, the Italian finished 22nd in the championship, scoring four points. Further entries in the International Touring Car Championship and World Sportscar Championship, the latter being with Ferrari, also proved to be fruitless ventures.
Alboreto returned to open-wheel racing in 1996, entering the newly formed Indy Racing League (IRL) with Scandia/Simon Racing. The then 39-year-old competed in all three rounds where he finished fourth on his debut at Walt Disney World Speedway; eighth at the Phoenix International Raceway; and retired, due to gearbox problems, at the 1996 Indianapolis 500, his sole entry into the race. Alboreto also ran sports prototypes for Scandia/Simon while in the United States, entering the IMSA World Sports Car Championship with a Ferrari 333 SP. He also entered the Le Mans 24 Hours in a Joest Racing-entered Porsche WSC-95 alongside fellow Italian and former F1 teammate Pierluigi Martini and Belgian Didier Theys, but retired due to an engine failure after completing 300 laps. The following year, Alboreto earned his first and only podium in the IRL at the "True Value 200" held in New Hampshire, where he finished third. A further fifth place at Las Vegas earned Alboreto 62 points during his 1997 campaign which resulted in a 32nd place overall in the drivers' championship.
Alboreto won the 1997 24 Hours of Le Mans with the same car as the previous year, but this time alongside Swede Stefan Johansson, another former F1 teammate, and Dane Tom Kristensen, who would later go onto beat Jacky Ickx's record for winning the most Le Mans 24 Hour races. The trio completed 361 laps, one more than second placed Gulf Team Davidoff's BMW-powered McLaren F1 GTR. This would prove to be the peak of Alboreto's sportscar success as he failed to finish at Le Mans in 1998 with Porsche once again. However, a fourth place at the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans with the newcomer Audi, a third at the 2000 Le Mans 24 Hours, a victory at the 2000 Petit Le Mans and a win at the 2001 Sebring 12 Hours gave the Italian some final success prior to his death a month after his win at Sebring.
In April 2001, Alboreto was performing straight-line speed tests in an Audi R8 at the Lausitzring, near Dresden, Germany. A tyre blow-out caused his car to veer off track and crash into a wall, killing him. At the time, Audi gave no reason for the crash, citing that the R8 had "already completed thousands of test kilometres on numerous circuits without any problems". Alboreto's death brought much anguish among his family and friends. Michele's cousin Marisa told Italian news agency ANSA "You can't imagine what we're going through as a family. We're really distraught."
Currently, Michele Alboreto is 66 years, 3 months and 4 days old. Michele Alboreto will celebrate 67th birthday on a Saturday 23rd of December 2023. Below we countdown to Michele Alboreto upcoming birthday.