Next month it will be two years since Clay Regazzoni died. The popular Swiss driver spent six years with Ferrari and later gave Williams their first ever Grand prix win.
But a horrific crash at Long Beach in 1980 left Regazzoni paralysed from the waist down. At one of the fastest parts of the track his brakes failed, and Regazzoni clipped a stationary car before ramming a tyre wall at almost undiminished speed.
In this book that moment divides Reggazoni’s “extraordinary two lives” – the cavalier, charming, slightly wild F1 racer, and the cavalier, charming, slightly wild racer of seemingly anything he could attach hand controls to…
It was only when I read this book that I realised how much Regazzoni’s story reminds be of Alesandro Zanardi’s. Both lost the use of their legs (Zanardi has lost them entirely but has prosthetic limbs) but kept racing. Both have been popular paddock characters.
In the past I’ve had reservations about some of Christopher Hilton’s books, but I found this one genuinely enjoyable and full of warmth for the subject. It is richly illustrated throughout and, at 250 pages, a decent read. Steep price though.
F1 Fanatic rating
“Regga: The extraordinary two lives of Clay Regazzoni”
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