Carlos Alberto Reutemann (12/04 / 1942-07 / 07/2021)

He was the last great Argentine reference in Formula 1. He won 12 Grand Prix and was runner-up in 1981. He was also governor of the province of Santa Fe and a national senator.

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At age 79 he died Carlos Alberto Reutemann, the last great Argentine reference in the F1. Lole, as she was affectionately called since her childhood, passed away today after complications derived from a digestive hemorrhage.

During his time in the top flight, which lasted eleven seasons, he played 146 Grand Prizes, of which he won 12. He was runner-up in 1981 and, in addition, the third most successful compatriot in the specialty together with Juan Manuel Fangio, five times champion; Y José Froilán González, who gave the first success to Ferrari in the category.

Carlos ReutemannReutemann was born on April 12, 1942 in Santa Fe. He made his motorsport debut on May 30 1965 in a race of Improved Tourism in the city of La Cumbre (Córdoba) aboard a Fiat 1500. Although the premiere was with abandon, he was not discouraged. On July 11 of that same year he won in Villa Carlos Paz (Córdoba).

After being crowned champion of Tourism, he reached the Road Tourism. He was hired by Ford and debuted with one of the famous Narrow Falcon on July 28, 1968 at the Buenos Aires racetrack. He won the second series and in the final count he was fourth.

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His reduced teceísta campaign included 14 races, with many retirements and a second place as the best result (on May 25, 1969 at the Buenos Aires racetrack). The Vuelta de Salta on August 24, 1969 was his last competition in the category and then he went on to Sport Prototypes, where he ran four times.

Carlos Reutemann
Reutemann was the protagonist of Formula 2 in 1971 and that opened the doors to Formula 1.

In just five years he proved to be a first-rate pilot and a professional called to be in the foreground. So much so that in 1970 el Automobile Club Argentino recruited him to be part of his team for the European Formula 2. Nor did he disappoint: he was runner-up in 1971 behind Ronnie peterson. With this result, the Santa Fe won a place in Formula 1 in 1972 with the team Brabham.

Although in the summer of 1971 he had already made his debut on an F.1 in a race without points in Buenos Aires (he was third with a McLaren), his official debut in the Máxima took place at the start of the 1972 season, again at Autódromo Municipal . The final seventh place was also a good result for a rookie who had already shown great talent.

With Brabham he had his greatest joys. He achieved his first podiums in 1973 (third in the French and United States Grand Prix), his first victories in 1974 (he won in South Africa, Austria and the United States) and even his best performance in the tournament when he was third in 1975, with a win in Germany included.

The idyll with the team that ran Bernie Ecclestone ended at the end of 1976, when he decided to get off due to the lack of reliability of the engines Alfa Romeo. He decided to leave the team at the German GP, ​​in which Niki Lauda suffered a serious accident.

Faced with the uncertain future of the Austrian, who had suffered serious burn injuries, and seeing that Reutemann was "unemployed", Ferrari hired him to replace Lauda. However, Niki recovered quickly and the Argentine continued to race for the Scuderia, albeit with an unofficial car.

In 1977 that changed: Ferrari renewed Lauda's contract and recruited Reutemann as an officer, who replaced the Swiss. Clay regazzoni. Lole returned the confidence very quickly: he was third in the Argentine GP and achieved his first success for the Scuderia in the following race, the Brazilian GP. Finally, he took fourth place in the tournament.

In 1978, this time with the Canadian Gilles Villeneuve as a coequipier, he also stood out again. He won in Brazil with the old T2 chassis and, with the T3 model, he won again at the Western United States GP, the British GP and the United States GP.

He finished third in the championship, won by the American Mario Andretti with the invincible Lotus 78. Some problems with the technical leadership of the Italian team and a proposal from Lotus, who wanted him to replace Peterson, who died at the 1978 Monza GP, convince Reutemann to leave Maranello and join the team of Colin chapman.

Unfortunately, the Lotus 79 was far inferior to the previous year's model. Although he was able to make several podiums, Reutemann never managed to win and had to settle for sixth place in the contest far from the South African Jody scheckter, champion that year with Ferrari ...

Carlos Reutemann LotusDeeply disappointed in the experience, Lole put the change back in. This time he went to a team that was on the rise thanks to the contribution of Arab capital: Williams. The first year he fulfilled the role of second pilot and worked according to the consecration of his Australian partner Alan Jones. However, he made great careers, like the Monaco Grand Prix in which he won in the rain. That year he was also on the podium six more times and eventually ranked third in the tournament.

After the great work carried out in function of the team, many thought that Reutemann would have the chance to fight for the title in 1981. But this did not happen. Already in the first race, in Long Beach (United States), he had received the order to favor Jones. And the situation was repeated in the following race, the Brazilian GP played under torrential rain. However, Reutemann ignored the “JONES-REUT” poster and won.

The 1981 Las Vegas Grand Prix is ​​not fondly remembered by the Argentine fans for a simple reason: Carlos Reutemann could not get the Formula 1 title, which was left to the Brazilian Nelson Piquet. Although he started from pole position with his Williams, Lole could do little to get ahead of his rival from Brabham, which was what he needed to win. Although everyone knows very well what happened that Saturday, October 17 in the Caesar's Palace parking lot, the debacle of the Santa Fe began with a touch, precisely with Piquet, in training on Friday after the classification that had given Reutemann the possibility to go forward. In that incident, Williams' chassis 12 was damaged, with which the Argentine was comfortable. He had shown it by dominating the timed run and that is why he felt confident of obtaining the crown. “It had a remarkable acceleration, it climbed immediately to 10.600 laps. I had everything under control because the car gave me confidence, "said Lole in chapter 15 of the book Los Días de Reutemann by Alfredo Parga. “I had premiered it in Long Beach and with it I had raced to France; then they put it on again and it was my muletto from Montreal. I decidedly preferred it to 17, which I premiered in Zolder, which was more rigid and which I didn't like ”. Reutemann was determined to commission the definition of the tournament with that chassis 12. In fact, he had already discussed it with Patrick Head, the team manager, who wanted to convince him otherwise by telling him that this car was very old (he had played eight races) and That he ran the risk of breaking the hub carriers because they had so many kilometers. "I realized that my project did not approve of him, but intimately I was determined to run with the 12. But the stupid clash with Piquet came ..." Until today that incident was only in everyone's memory because of the words of its protagonist, but the Argentine journalist Víctor Pérez Seara, who has lived in Spain for a long time, recalled it in a tweet sharing an unpublished video and the episode is clearly seen there. “I was coming out of a very strong corner, I suddenly ran into Brabham and without time to deviate. I touched it and the front grill bent. The car was repaired immediately, but when I go back out I notice that it was no more, it had disappeared. That car was not the compliant machine I had on Thursday. It wasn't the car that made driving enjoyable for me. It cost me a triumph to wear it, it had completely changed. Against my original ideal, I had no choice but to take charge of 17, which I didn't like at all ”... With this new testimony, these words from Reutemann take on a new dimension and the question arises of how much responsibility Piquet had in that maneuver, that ultimately deprived the Argentine from running with that car he trusted so much.Although Lole won again at the Belgian GP, ​​the relationship with the team was the same after their “disobedience”. The same came to fight for the title, which was finally won by the Brazilian Nelson Piquet with a Brabham of doubtful legality for his active suspensions. That year Reutemann was also harmed by the FIA's decision not to count the South African GP for the tournament, which had the Santa Fe as the winner, as a result of a conflict with some teams. With those points, the story would have been different ...

Close to turning 40, in 1982 he decided to retire after playing the first two races of the tournament. After leaving the activity, he was twice governor of Santa Fe and became a national senator.

Goodbye Lole… You will always be in our hearts.


1970 F2 Automobile Club Argentino 7 0 0 0 0 3 13 °
1971 F2 Automobile Club Argentino 11 0 1 1 6 38 2 °
1972 F1 Motor Racing Developments 10 0 1 0 0 3 16 °
F2 Motul Rondel Racing 10 0 0 0 4 26 4 °
1973 F1 Motor Racing Developments 15 0 0 0 2 16 7 °
24 Hours of Le Mans Scuderia Ferrari 1 0 0 0 0 N/A DNF
1974 F1 Motor Racing Developments 15 3 1 1 4 32 6 °
1975 F1 Martini Racing 14 1 0 0 6 37 3 °
1976 F1 Martini Racing 12 0 0 0 0 3 16 °
Scuderia Ferrari 1 0 0 0 0
1977 F1 Scuderia Ferrari 17 1 0 0 6 42 4 °
1978 F1 Scuderia Ferrari 16 4 2 2 7 48 3 °
1979 F1 Martini Racing Team Lotus 15 0 0 0 4 20 7 °
BMW M1 Procar Championship Bmw motorsport 1 0 0 0 0 3 25 °
1980 F1 Albilad-Williams Racing Team 14 1 0 1 8 42 3 °
BMW M1 Procar Championship Bmw motorsport 8 1 0 0 2 64 5 °
WRC Fiat Italy 1 0 0 0 1 12 21 °
1981 F1 Albilad-Williams Racing Team 6 2 1 1 5 49 2 °
TAG Williams Team 9 0 1 1 2
1982 F1 TAG Williams Team 2 0 0 0 1 6 15 °
1985 WRC Peugeot Sport 1 0 0 0 1 12 18 °

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Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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