Andrea de Adamich
- October 03, 1941
- Not Active
- Ferrari McLaren,Surtees,March,Brabham
The Italian former racing driver Andrea de Adamich recorded 30 Formula One Championship Grand Prix starts between 1968 and 1973, driving for five different teams (Ferrari, McLaren, March, Surtees, and Brabham), but he is most known as the Alfa Romeo driver in other racing disciplines. He clinched two European Touring Car Championship titles with Alfa Romeo (in 1966 and 1967) and finished fourth overall at the 1972 24 hours of Le Mans with Alfa Romeo.
Italian Formula 3 champion in 1965
Andrea Lodovico De Adamich was born on October 3, 1941, in Trieste, Italy, in a family which emigrated from Croatian town of Rijeka. He started racing in 1962, driving Alfa Romeo 1900 at circuits and Triumph TR3 in the uphill time trials.
In the following years, he progressed through Formula Junior to the Italian Formula 3, in which he debuted in 1964. A year later, Andrea became the 1965 Italian Formula 3 champion, driving for Jolly Club.
Outstanding race results with Alfa Romeo Giulia
While competing in Formula 3, De Adamich was also driving the Alfa Romeo Giulia TI Super in various touring car competitions. One of the notable results was the 5th place at the 1964 24h Spa, together with Gino Munaron. In March 1965, De Adamich won the ETCC race at Monza, sharing the car with Alessandro Arcioni.
After that, he traveled to the United States to compete at Sebring 12h, sharing Autodelta's #56 Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ with Roberto Bussinello. They finished 24th overall and second in GT1.6 class. In May 1965, Andrea competed for the first time at Targa Florio, driving Jolly Club's Ferrari 250 LM, but he didn't finish the race because of battery problems. He was much more successful at 1000 km of Nurburgring, the round of the World Sportscar Championship, where he took class victory in the Autodelta's Giulia TZ, sharing the car with Geki.
European Touring Car champion for two years in a row
In 1966, the European Touring Car Challenge was De Adamich's main competition and he became the champion in his first full season, driving the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA. He won four times (Monza, Nurburgring, Snetterton, Zandvoort) and added one podium at Aspern, to win the title ahead of Abarth's Giancarlo Baghetti.
He was champion again in 1967, continuing to drive Autodelta's Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA. He won four times (Zolder, Oulton Park, Budapest, and Zandvoort). He was testing Alfa Romeo T33 Le Mans prototype during the year but didn't compete at Circuit de la Sarthe. He participated in some other races of the world's championship (Targa Florio, Nurburgring), but without notable results. He won the non-championship race at Vallelunga in October.
Formula One Championship debut
In November 1976, Andrea De Adamich had a racing debut with Formula One car. He participated in the non-championship Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama Circuit, driving Ferrari 312 for Scuderia Ferrari and finishing ninth.
Debut in the Formula One championship followed at South African Grand Prix at Kyalami Circuit on January 1, 1968. De Adamich was the seventh fastest qualifier, one place ahead of his teammate Chris Amon. Unfortunately, he didn't finish the race after an accident on Lap 14.
Formula 2 winner in Argentina
It was his only Formula One race in 1968. Later in the season, he competed with Ferrari Dino 166 V6 in the Formula 2 tournament in Argentina, winning three of five races and becoming the overall winner ahead of Jochen Rindt.
De Adamich left Ferrari and returned to Alfa Romeo in 1969 to drive their T33/3 prototype and Giulia Sprint GTA in touring car races. He was also driving for Surtees in the American and British Formula 5000. In August, he entered the International Gold Cup at Oulton Park with F5000 car, against F1 and F2 rivals, and finished third overall.
De Adamich joined McLaren in 1970
In 1970, De Adamich started the season with Alfa Romeo, participating in few races with T33/3 prototype. Then, in April, he returned to Formula One, joining Bruce McLaren Motor Racing at Spanish Grand Prix.
He failed to qualify with Alfa Romeo-powered #20 McLaren M7D. He recorded four more DNQs later in the season and started in four races. His best result was the 8th place at Monza.
Unsuccessful Le Mans debut
In June 1970, De Adamich finally debuted at 24 hours of Le Mans, sharing the #36 Alfa Romeo T33/3 with Piers Courage. They retired after 222 laps due to mechanical issues.
In July, Andrea scored his only win of the season, at Nurburgring's round of the European Touring Car Championship. He was driving the Alfa Romeo 2000 GTAm.
Formula One season with March team
In 1971, De Adamich again had a double program – sports car races with Alfa Romeo and Formula One with STP March team. In Formula One, he was again driving the car with Alfa Romeo engine, participating in seven races.
His best result was 11th place at the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. He finished only one more race, the South African Grand Prix, in 14th place.
Numerous podiums during the career with Alfa Romeo T33/3
He was much more successful in the cockpit of Alfa Romeo T33/3, scoring 3rd-place finishes at Monza and Spa (with Henri Pescarolo), 3rd place at Sebring 12h (with Pescarolo and Nino Vaccarella), second place at Targa Florio (with Gijs van Lennep) and victories at Brands Hatch (with Pescarolo) and Watkins Glen (with Ronnie Peterson).
First Formula 1 points with Surtees
In 1972, De Adamich changed the team again, joining Surtees to drive the Cosworth-powered Surtees TS9B. In the third championship round, at Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama, De Adamich finally scored his first points, finishing fourth.
He performed good in the next race, finishing seventh at Monaco Grand Prix. At the end of the season, with three points on his account, De Adamich was classified 17th.
Fourth place at 1972 Le Mans
The highlight of the season was his second participation at 24 hours of Le Mans in June. His partner in the Autodelta's Alfa Romeo T33/3 was Nino Vaccarella. The Italian duo finished fourth overall.
It wasn't Andrea's best result that season, as he finished third at 1000 km of Buenos Aires, Targa Florio, and 1000 km of Nurburgring, with three different co-drivers (Carlo Facetti, Giovanni Alberti, Toine Hezemans, and Helmut Marko). He was also good at Daytona 6hrs, finishing fifth along with Nanni Galli.
Moving from Surtees to Brabham in 1973
The season of 1973 started with Formula One South African Grand Prix, where De Adamich finished 8th. For him, it was the last race with Ceramica Pagnossin Team Surtees. From the next championship round, Ceramica Pagnossin transferred De Adamich to Brabham's team. Driving the Brabham BT37, he retired at Montjuic Circuit and then finished fourth at Zolder, scoring F1 points for the second time in his career. After participating in six races, De Adamich was classified 16th.
His last F1 race was the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, on July 14, 1973. He was injured in the massive nine-car pile-up at the end of the opening lap. Because of injuries, he missed the rest of the season and didn't return to Formula One.
Four world's podiums with Alfa in the last season
In 1974, De Adamich scored a few World Championship podiums with Alfa Romeo T33/TT/12, sharing the car with Carlo Facetti. They finished third in three races (Monza, Nurburgring, and Imola) and second at Zeltweg. At the end of the season, De Adamich decided to retire from racing.
Involved in motorsport for a whole life
Although he retired from racing, he didn't leave the motorsport. In fact, he is still involved in the world of racing cars, with managing duties in the N.Technology team, specialized for Alfa Romeo cars.
Since 1978, he was a recognizable TV person, working as a motorsport journalist and TV pundit. In 1991, he founded the Centro Internazionale Guida Sicura, continuing his partnership with Alfa Romeo. The CIGS became one of the most respected racing and driving schools in Europe.