DIDIER PIRONI d1987. French F1 racing driver for Tyrrell / Ligier and Ferrari. 72 GP's / 13 podiums / 4 pole positions and three wins (1980 Belgium / 1982 San Marino and 1982 Dutch GP's). The runner-up in the 1982 Championship to Keke Rosberg following a serious accident at the German Grand Prix in which he suffered multiple fractures to both his legs. He was leading the championship at the time. His injuries meant that he was never able to race in Formula One again. In 1986, after he was able to walk with both legs unaided, it looked as if Pironi would make a comeback when he tested for the French AGS team at Paul Ricard. He proved that he was still fast enough to be competitive, but coming back to F1 was not truly practical due to the extent of his injuries. A return to F1 was further complicated by his insurance payout based on the premise of sustaining career-ending injuries ; he would have been required to pay the money back to his insurer had he returned to the sport. He decided to turn to offshore powerboat racing instead. On 23rd August 1987, Didier Pironi was killed in an accident in the Needles Trophy Race near the Isle of Wight when his boat "Colibri 4" rode over a rough wave caused by an oil tanker causing the boat to flip over. Following his death, his then girlfriend Catherine Goux gave birth to twins. In honour of both him and Gilles Villeneuve, she named them Didier and Gilles ...........
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