Former F1 driver Philippe Streiff dies at 67

© XPB 

Just three weeks after the passing of Patrick Tambay, France mourns the loss of another former Grand Prix driver, Philippe Streiff who passed away on Friday at  67.

Streiff started 53 Grands Prix between 1984 and 1988, achieving his best result at the 1985 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide where he finished third with Ligier.

Unfortunately, Streiff's motorsport career was cut short by a horrendous crash in winter testing in 1989 at Jacarepagua in Brazil, when he lost control of his AGS that barrel-rolled through the track's run-off area, its roll bar ripped off the chassis, leaving its unfortunate driver critically exposed.

A cervical vertebrae fracture and extensive damage to the spinal cord left Streiff a paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of his life.

A late starter in motor racing, Streiff nevertheless enjoyed a successful career in the junior formula, and eventually became a front-runner in Formula 2 with Henri Julien's AGS outfit, although he took only one victory in the series, at Brands Hatch in 1984.

That year, he also made his F1 debut, running in a third works Renault in the Portuguese Grand Prix in Estoril, a race from which he retired due to a transmission failure.

Streiff ran his first full season in F1 with Tyrrell in 1986, but good results were hard to come by for both team and driver during the two years he spent with the British outfit.

During his 53-race tenure in F1, Streiff scored eleven championship points. The lanky Frenchman had also scored a podium finish in the Le Mans 24 Hours with Rondeau in 1981.

Streiff endured a lengthy and difficult rehabilitation process after his accident at Jacarapegua, but eventually succeeded in reinserting himself into a quasi-normal life.

In 1993, he established an event organization business and created the annual Bercy karting event, known especially for its first edition in which raced Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.

He later opened Streiff Kart, a karting center on the outskirts of Paris, and ran a company that converted vehicles for disabled users.

F1i sends its sincere and heart-felt condolences to Philippe's wife Renée and his family at this sad time.

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