Philippe Streiff

Born:
26th June 1955 (Age 64)
La Tronche, Rhone-Alpes
Nationality:
French
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

Already 22 years old when he won the 1977 Volant Motul scholarship at Nogaro and started racing, Philippe Streiff won his Formula Renault debut a year later in front of the French Grand Prix crowd. He graduated to European Formula 3 in 1979 and twice finished fourth having switched from Renault-power to the more conventional Toyota engine.

Success in Formula 3 and at Le Mans

A winner in Zolder’s 1980 European F3 race, he returned to the national series to clinch the 1981 French F3 Championship with an Ecurie Motul Nogaro Martini MK34-Alfa Romeo. He was second in the 1981 Le Mans 24 Hours with a Rondeau M379C-Ford, Jean-Louis Schlesser and Jacky Haran.

Streiff graduated to the European Formula 2 Championship in 1982 with AGS and proved a perennial thorn to the better funded works teams. On the podium nine times in the final three years of the category, he finally won the very last F2 race at a wet Brands Hatch in 1984. That year also included a third place finish at Le Mans in John Fitzpatrick’s Skoal Bandit Porsche 956 and his GP debut in Portugal with a third works Renault RE50.

Formula 1 regular with Ligier and Tyrrell

He remained with AGS for the first year of F3000 in 1985. Third at Zandvoort was the best of five points’ scores and he joined Ligier at that year’s Italian GP after Andrea de Cesaris was fired following one accident too many. His Ligier JS25-Renault started from an impressive fifth position at Brands Hatch and Streiff ended the season by finishing third in Australia despite crashing into second placed team-mate Jacques Laffite during the closing laps.

Streiff signed for Tyrrell in 1986 and his Renault-powered car was classified sixth in Britain and fifth in Australia after an error-prone season. Joined by Jonathan Palmer for 1987, Streiff lacked the consistency of the Englishman and was generally outperformed by his team-mate.

Return to AGS and accident

He returned to AGS for 1988 (Henri Julien’s privateers now an F1 concern) and had his moments. He ran fifth in Canada but the team was hampered by dwindling and inadequate funding. No matter, Streiff remained as part of an expanded two-car line-up for 1989 but he crashed during testing at Rio de Janeiro in March 1989. He sustained back injuries that left him paralysed.

He has since established the annual Bercy karting event and developed driving aids for handicapped drivers.