Elio De Angelis (Rome, 26 March 1958 – Marseilles, 15 May 1986) was an Italian racing driver.
National Champion of Formula 3 in 1977, he debuted in Argentina Grand Prix in Formula 1 with Shadow two years later. In 1980 he moved to Lotus, with which he obtain his only two victories: in Austrian Grand Prix in 1982 and in San Marino Grand Prix in 1985.
After six season with Lotus, with which he reached 10 times the podiom and obtained 3 pole positions, he moved to Brabham. During tests at Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, the rear spoiler of BT55 detached at high speed resulting in the car losing downforce on the rear wheels, which instigated a cartwheel over a sidetrack barrier, causing the car to catch fire. Several racing drivers as Alan Jones and Nigel Mansell stopped to rescue De Angelis, and Alain Prost tried to pull out the Roman racing driver despite the flames, but he failed. De Angelis died in Marseilles hospital the following day because of the asphyxiation. If first aid had been faster, the racing driver would have been saved.
- This MOMO steering wheel in our collection was once held by a twenty-four year old Elio de Angelis in 1982, when, at the wheel of a Lotus 91, he obtained his first F1 victory at Zeltweg during the Austrian Grand Prix. This victory was even more remarkable as he finished a mere 0.050 seconds ahead of Finnish driver Keke Rosberg: this result represents the fourth closest time between first and second in a Grand Prix in Formula 1 history.
(Source: Wikipedia; Formula1.com)