Alex Ribeiro

Full Name:
Alex Dias Ribeiro
Born:
7th November 1948 (Age 71)
Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais
Nationality:
Brazilian
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

The pint-sized Alex Ribeiro arrived in Europe as reigning Brazilian Formula Ford Champion and showed well in the 1974 British Formula 3 Championship by winning three times with a works GRD 374-Ford. He joined March for a second season in the category and made his Formula 2 debut for the team by the end of the year.

A regular member of its F2 line-up in 1976, the impressive Brazilian qualified on pole position at Rouen-les-Essarts and he finished second at Thruxton and Enna-Pergusa on the way to fifth in the final standings.

Formula 1 with Hesketh and March

He made his Formula 1 debut in the 1976 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen – steering the uncompetitive Hesketh 308D-Ford to 12th at the finish. Backing from long-term sponsors Hollywood cigarettes ensured that he was a fulltime F1 driver during 1977 with a works March 761B-Ford. However, he struggled at that level and failed to qualify eight times although he did finish a career-best eighth in the German and Canadian GPs.

Ribeiro also made sporadic F2 appearances in 1977 and he converted pole position at Thruxton into a third place finish. He remained in the series throughout 1978 with a privately-entered “Jesus Saves” March 782-Hart. That campaign included his finest hour by winning on the 14-mile Nürburgring but he faded thereafter.

Final Formula 1 attempts and subsequent career

His final tilt at F1 was with a second Fittipaldi F6A-Ford at the end of 1979. He retired from the non-championship race at Imola before failing to qualify for either the Canadian or United States GP.

Ribeiro continued to race in touring cars in Brazil before becoming the driver of the medical car at GPs in 1999. Unfortunately his stint in that role is best remembered for two accidents. He crashed at Monaco’s Tabac corner during the 2000 meeting and Professor Sid Watkins broke three ribs in the incident. Then Nick Heidfeld’s Sauber crashed into the stationary Mercedes-Benz’s door during the 2002 Brazilian GP warm-up just as Ribeiro was getting out to attend to a crashed car.

The faith that had been so evident in the sponsorship during part of his career still burns bright. For many years Ribeiro was F1’s official chaplain and he remains involved in the Christians In Sport organisation.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
1979 F1 World Championship
Fittipaldi Automotive
0 (2) 0 0 0 0
1978 European F2 Championship
Alex Ribeiro
11 0 1 1
10% win rate
8th 11
1977 F1 World Championship
March Engineering
9 (8) 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1977 European F2 Championship
March Engineering
AFMP Euroracing
Fred Opert Racing
4 (1) 1 1 0
0% win rate
14th 4
1976 F1 World Championship
Hesketh Racing
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1976 European F2 Championship
March Engineering
12 1 4 0
0% win rate
5th 31
1975 European F2 Championship
March Engineering
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1975 European F3 Cup
March Engineering
3 1 0 0
0% win rate
0