Carlos Reutemann exits Casino Square in his Ferrari T2 in hot pursuit of Scheckter and Watson

exits Casino Square in hot pursuit of Scheckter and Watson
during the early stages of the 1977 Monaco GP

watercolour 54 x 43 cm

Argentinian flag

Carlos Reutemann portrait photo Carlos Reutemann was born on 12 april 1942 at Santa Fe, Argentina, and was the first successful driver to emerge from that country since the retirement of the legendary Fangio. Reutemann learned to drive at the age of seven, driving his father's 1928 Model A Ford around the family's farm. He soon laid out a circuit on the farm anf sharpened his skills there. After success in Argentinean races, where he was a triple touring car champion, Reutemann came to Europe in 1970 to drive in F2. He made headlines in his first race by taking out Jochen Rindt at the end of the first lap, yet recovered during the season finishing runner-up to Ronnie Peterson in the 1971 championship. In 1972, he drove for Bernie Ecclestone's Brabham team, and started his first ever Grand Prix in pole position in front of his own crowd. However, that season was ruined by a practice accident in a F2 race at Thruxton, resulting in a broken ankle and his Formula 1 boss banning him from racing at that level. Reutemann drove for Brabham for five years, winning four races with them before joining Ferrari and finishing third in the 1978 world championship. Reutemann's career was dogged by wrong decisions at vital times and he moved from Ferrari to join the previous year's champions at Lotus, only to see a Ferrari driver win the world title. After a disappointing year with Lotus, he joined the Williams team for 1980 as number two driver to Alan Jones, who went on to become champion. For that year, Reutemann was a good team-mate to Jones but the relationship soured when the thoughtful, yet moody, Argentinean decided to disobey team orders and stay ahead of Jones to win the 1981 Brazilian Grand Prix. His justification for his actions was that he was a racer and wouldn't give away a victory he had earned. That season should have seen Reutemann win the world title, but he let a big points lead disappear and although he started the final race in pole position and with a one-point lead, he let the race slip away from him and the title went to Piquet. Reutemann retired after that race but when he heard that Jones had also retired he re-joined Williams only to finally give up after the second race of the 1982 season which saw team-mate Keke Rosberg become world champion. His popularity was still huge back in the Argentine, so much so that in 1991 he was elected Governor of Santa Fe province. (Champion press: The 50 greatest Grand Prix Winners)

(Source: Champion press-the 50 greatest Grand Prix Winners)