Bruno Giacomelli

Born:
10th September 1952 (Age 67)
Borgo Poncarale, Lombardy
Nationality:
Italian
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

Raised in a humble Brescia family, Bruno Giacomelli started racing in 1972 and he won the national Formula Italia title three years later. He joined March Engineering for the 1976 British Formula 3 season and arrived in England not speaking a word of the language but he soon impressed. Shellsport British F3 Champion that year, he won at Monaco and only lost the BP title when rival Rupert Keegan crashed into him at the final round.

Formula 2 champion and Grand Prix debut

Three victories in his first Formula 2 season with March alerted the McLaren hierarchy and Giacomelli drove its third car in the 1977 Italian Grand Prix and in five F1 races during 1978. His M26 finished seventh at Brands Hatch in 1978 after he inadvertently helped Carlos Reutemann to pass Niki Lauda for the lead while being lapped. His utterly dominant 1978 F2 season broke all the records during which eight wins delivered the European Championship for March and BMW.

Formula 1 with Alfa Romeo

Without further opportunity at McLaren, he joined the new and somewhat shambolic Alfa Romeo team to develop its car during 1979. Team and driver entered a full season in 1980 when joined by Patrick Depailler who was recovering from injuries sustained in a hang gliding accident.

The season started well for Giacomelli with fifth in Argentina but he was forced to retire all too often. When Depailler was killed testing at Hockenheim, Giacomelli raised morale with another points score at the following race. He finished the season with his best performance in F1 by qualifying on pole position and leading impressively at Watkins Glen but he retired.

He remained with Alfa Romeo for the next two seasons and third place at Las Vegas in 1981 and third on the grid at Monaco 1982 showed pace but there were too many off days. He moved to the improving Toleman-Hart team for 1983 and finished sixth in the European GP at Brands Hatch although that appeared to be his F1 swansong.

Subsequent career

Instead, Giacomelli made his Champ Car debut at the 1984 Long Beach GP with a Theodore-Cosworth before driving Pat Patrick’s STP March 85C-Cosworth during 1985. Fifth at the Meadowlands and third on the grid for the final race of the season in Miami were his best performances and Giacomelli did not return to the series.

He then raced in sports cars – often in a Kremer Brothers’ Porsche – before making a surprising reappearance in the F1 paddock for the 1990 San Marino GP. That was as driver of the hopeless Life F190 but he never made it through pre-qualifying in 12 attempts, often unable to even coax the unreliable machine out of the pitlane.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
1990 F1 World Championship
Life Racing Engines
0 (12) 0 0 0 0
1990 World Sports-Prototype Championship
Team Lee-Davey
Spice Engineering
4 0 1 0 17th 6
1989 World Sports-Prototype Championship
Porsche Kremer Racing
Mussato Action Car
7 0 0 0 0
1988 World Sports-Prototype Championship
Porsche Kremer Racing
4 0 0 0 37th 20
1987 World Sports-Prototype Championship 2 0 0 0 0
1987 World Touring Car Championship
Pro Team Italia
4 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
31st 42
1986 World Sports-Prototype Championship
Porsche Kremer Racing
4 0 0 0 42nd 10
1985 World Endurance Championship 1 0 0 0 0
1985 CART/PPG Indycar World Series
Patrick Racing
9 0 0 0
0% win rate
19th 32
1984 CART/PPG Indycar World Series
Patrick Racing
Theodore Racing Team
2 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
32nd 5
1983 F1 World Championship
Candy Toleman Motorsport
14 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
19th 1
1982 F1 World Championship
Marlboro Team Alfa Romeo
16 0 0 0
0% win rate
22nd 2
1981 F1 World Championship
Marlboro Team Alfa Romeo
15 0 1 0
0% win rate
15th 7
1980 F1 World Championship
Marlboro Team Alfa Romeo
14 1 0 0
0% win rate
17th 4
1979 F1 World Championship
Autodelta
4 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1979 BMW M1 Procar
Osella Squadra Corse
7 0 0 0
0% win rate
19th 6
1978 F1 World Championship
Marlboro Team McLaren
5 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1978 European F2 Championship
Polifac BMW Junior Team
12 8 10 8
67% win rate
1st 78 (82)
1977 F1 World Championship
Marlboro Team McLaren
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1977 European F2 Championship
March Engineering
AFMP Euroracing
13 3 3 3
24% win rate
4th 32
1976 European F3 Championship
March Racing
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1976 ShellSport British F3 Championship 1st -