Former F1 driver De Cesaris dies in motorbike crash

Mon Oct 6, 2014 4:22am EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - Former Formula One driver Andrea De Cesaris has died following a motorbike accident on Rome's ringroad, Italian media reported on Sunday.

The 55-year-old, whose record for the most races without a win still stands, made 208 starts for 10 different teams including McLaren between 1980 and 1994.

"All at McLaren send condolences to ex-McLaren #F1 driver Andrea de Cesaris, who sadly passed away today," the British team said on Twitter.

His death came on the day when French F1 driver Jules Bianchi suffered a severe head injury and was fighting for his life after hitting a recovery tractor at the Japanese Grand Prix.

De Cesaris took only one pole position in his career, as a 22-year-old with Alfa Romeo at the USA West Grand Prix in Long Beach in 1982 -- at the time a record for the youngest driver to qualify at the front of the grid.

He finished second twice and made five Formula One podium finishes in total. The Italian also scored the first points for the Jordan team in 1991.

(Editing by Mark Meadows/Alan Baldwin)