Former F1 driver Andrea de Cesaris killed in motorbike crash in Rome
Italian was 55 years old and started 208 grands prix
By Sky Sports Online
Last Updated: 06/10/14 9:07am
Former Formula 1 driver Andrea de Cesaris has been killed in a motorbike accident in Rome at the age of 55.
The Italian raced for a host of teams including McLaren and Alfa Romeo, making over 200 grand prix starts between 1980 and 1994.
De Cesaris reportedly lost control of his motorbike on the city’s ring-road and died when it crashed into a concrete barrier.
His death came on a black day for the sport which saw Jules Bianchi left fighting for his life after crashing at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka.
"All at McLaren send condolences to ex-McLaren #F1 driver Andrea de Cesaris, who sadly passed away today," tweeted McLaren.
Although De Cesaris started 208 races in all, he never won a race and held the record for having the longest career without a victory.
After racing in the British F3 championship, De Cesaris graduated to F1 with Alfa Romeo at the end of the 1980 season before joining McLaren.
He returned to Alfa Romeo in 1982 and, aged 22, became the then-youngest driver to start from pole position in the United States Grand Prix (West) at Long Beach.
His best results were second-place finishes at the 1983 German and South African GPs, again with Alfa Romeo.
De Cesaris then moved to the Ligier team and went on to drive for a host of outfits through the late 1980s and into the 1990s including Jordan, where he was Michael Schumacher's first team-mate.
After his retirement, De Cesaris became a successful currency trader.