When F1 lost a quiet man on the verge of greatness

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On this day in 1977, Carlos Pace was killed in a light aircraft accident near Sao Paulo when the Brabham driver and fellow racer Marivaldo Fernandes crashed on their way back to the city from the latter's farm.

Pace had won just a single Grand Prix at the time of his tragic death, his home race at Interlagos in 1975.

But the poor statistics belie the talent of a man who was a big favourite at the time of Brabham boss Bernie Ecclestone

"He was a beautiful guy," once remembered the former F1 supremo and team owner. "A really, really wonderful guy, and really underrated.

"He was serious as a racing driver, but I don't know whether he was quite serious enough, he wasn't Senna serious.

"He tried hard and he had a lot of talent, but he was a natural playboy as well. He was a Brazilian, and he loved life..."