12-time Grand Prix winner Carlos Reutemann has passed away at the age of 79. The former Argentine star had been battling serious health issues for quite some time. His daughter confirmed the news via a post on social media earlier today.
Reutemann was also a politician after his time in Formula 1 came to an end. He was Governor of Santa Fe on two occasions and had been a National Senator in his home country since 2003.
However, most of the memories for people around the world will be the ones of him in Formula One throughout the 1970s and early 1980s.
Reutemann came closest to winning the World Championship in 1981, losing out to Nelson Piquet by a single point as the Brazilian stole the title at the final round thanks to a P5 finish.
The South African Grand Prix, which was won by Reutemann, was due to be the first race of the 1981 season but didn’t count towards the championship due to a dispute about the date; it became a non-championship race. Otherwise, he would have been Argentina’s second F1 Drivers’ World Champion.
Aside from his near-miss 40 years ago, Reutemann also finished third in the championship on three separate occasions with three different teams: 1975 (Brabham), 1978 (Ferrari), 1980 (Williams).
45 podiums during his career in Formula One sees Reutemann currently sitting 19th on the all-time list of most rostrum finishes in the history of the sport. He also collected 12 wins during a very successful 10-year period in F1. At the present time, he’s the last Argentine to win a Grand Prix.
Reutemann also tried his hand at the World Rally Championship as he took part in Argentina in 1980 and 1985; he was extremely successful as he finished 3rd both times.
An extremely talented driver has passed away today. RIP Carlos Reutemann.
Papá se fue en paz y dignidad después de luchar como un campeón con un corazón noble y fuerte que lo acompañó hasta el final. Siento orgullo y bendición por el padre que tuve. Sé que me acompañará todos los días de mi vida hasta que nos volvamos a encontrar en la casa del Señor🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/84wo3WgfTg— Cora Reutemann (@CoraReutemann) July 7, 2021
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Carlos Reutemann.— Formula 1 (@F1) July 7, 2021
A revered fighter and 12-time Grand Prix winner, he will be deeply missed. pic.twitter.com/DYbvTOyemQ
We are all deeply saddened to hear that Carlos Reutemann has passed away. He was a big part of our sport for many years and was a fighter to the end. He will be greatly missed.— F1 Media (@F1Media) July 7, 2021