Welcome to 365 Days of Motoring

An Everyday Journey Through Motoring History, Facts & Trivia

Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.

On This Day

Thursday 15th May 1986

33 years ago

Elio de Angelis (28) died, during Brabham testing in at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France. He is sometimes referred to as Formula One's "last gentleman player," and although he was probably not the most talented driver ever, he was certainly among the most popular. De Angelis' death also saw the end of Formula One using the full 5.81 km (3.61 mi) Paul Ricard Circuit. In what many saw as a knee-jerk reaction from FISA,[citation needed] F1 was forced to use the 3.812 km (2.369 mi) "Club" version of the circuit, bypassing the Verriere curves where the Brabham had crashed, and cutting the length of the Mistral Straight from 1.8 to 1 km in length. The move was unpopular with many of the drivers, although most did like the reduced straight length as it was easier on the engines. De Angelis was the last driver to die in a Formula One car until Roland Ratzenberger died during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola eight years later. The day after Ratzenberger's death, de Angelis' former Lotus team mate (and by then a triple World Champion) Ayrton Senna was killed on the seventh lap when his Williams-Renault crashed into the Tamburello Curve wall at over 180 mph (290 km/h).

Elio de Angelis

Elio de Angelis