Riccardo Paletti, 42 years ago track tragedy

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Forty-two years ago the tragedy of Riccardo Paletti

Just over a month earlier, on May 8, Ferrarista Gilles Villeneuve had lost his life, the victim of an accident in practice for the Belgian Grand Prix in Zolder. On June 13, the same terrible fate struck; Riccardo Paletti: 1982 was a tragic year for Formula 1.

The Osella driver, who two days later would have turned 24, started from the penultimate row of the grid at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal and crashed into the Ferrari of Didier Pironi: the Rossa had been stuck in pole position due to a clutch problem and had been miraculously avoided by the other competitors. At the moment of the impact the Osella was already traveling at 150 kilometers per hour.

It takes almost half an hour to extract Paletti from the’cockpit. He is transported by helicopter to the hospital in desperate condition. And unfortunately, he does not survive the desperate surgery. Also in the stand was his mother, who had not announced herself and would have liked to surprise him.

In his honor, the circuit at Varano de' Melegari, in the province of Parma, è been renamed Autodromo Riccardo Paletti.

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