Formula One - Full Throttle: A chat with Patrese
Even today, some sixteen years since he retired from Formula 1, Riccardo Patrese is a man at ease. The Italian was the most experienced F1 driver in the history of the sport; having competed in 256 races during a 16 year career, until Rubens Barrichello surpassed that landmark at the 2010 Belgian Grand Prix. Though he was never spoken of in the same breath as his rivals of the day, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet or Niki Lauda, neither was he a journeyman. On occasion, he could deliver performances from the top drawer but above all, like Derrick Warwick, he is remembered as being simply, one of the nicest men to have graced the grand prix paddock.
His most successful seasons, in terms of results anyway, were those in 1991 and 1992 when the Williams Renault package ultimately proved to be the class of the field. Having encountered a difficult season in 1990, when such results for the following year initially seemed highly unlikely, Nigel Mansell arrived, fresh out of a self-inflicted ...
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