Grand Prix Gold: 1982 German GP

Grand Prix Gold: 1982 German GP

As if there hadn't already been enough horror in 1982, points leader Didier Pironi found himself fighting for his career after an awful practice accident. Ferrari's only solace, as Nigel Roebuck reported, was that team-mate Patrick Tambay took his maiden win

There was more than the usual degree of Italian emotion as Patrick Tambay accelerated the Ferrari towards the chequered flag on Sunday. It was the Frenchman's first grand prix victory, and such a thing is always momentous, of course. He had driven a splendid race, passed both Renaults, took up the lead when Nelson Piquet's Brabham-BMW was punted out of it.

More than that, he did it under pressure. Not from any other driver, but from the weight of his own responsibilities. Ferrari could look only to him, for Didier Pironi, after completely dominating practice, had crashed disastrously on Saturday morning. In an accident eerily reminiscent of that which killed Gilles Villeneuve, Pironi's car hit the rear of another, Alain Prost's Renault, took off at 160mph, cartwheeled three times down the track and hit the guardrail.

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