Recordman of GP's number: 256 races (1993-2008) & 6 wins and Vice World Champion (1993)
Riccardo Patrese approached the world of racing thanks to the passion of his father and his elder brother; with a kart handcrafted by his own brother, he began racing at the age of eleven, even though engines were only a form of entertainment that he alternated with skiing and swimming, practiced at a good competitive level, until 1970 when he began to seriously engage in competitions. His greatest successes in this category were the Italian 100 class championship, two European team titles and the world championship, results that earned him the Pilota d'Oro award and two medals for athletic valour. After the victories obtained with karts, he became Italian and European Formula 3 champion in 1976. For the 1977 season he was confirmed by Trivellato to race in Formula 2, immediately obtaining encouraging results. On 1 May, on the historic and dangerous Nürburgring circuit, he took pole position with a 3-second lead over Mass and Regazzoni, already established drivers in the top series. Even though he was forced to retire from the race when he was in the lead, he was noticed by the Shadow technicians who offered him the chance to make his debut in Formula 1 where he remained until 1993, racing 256 Grands Prix, a record that had remained unbeaten for fifteen years, and winning six of them. After an initial long period at the wheel of Shadow, Arrows, Brabham and Alfa Romeo, he joined Williams, where he drove his best seasons, in particular 1989, 1990 and 1991, before ending his career with Benetton after 17 seasons. He was also a valuable driver in the World Sport-Prototype Championship at the wheel of Lancia cars, winning eight races and coming close to winning the world title in 1982. For six times, in 1980 and from 1989 to 1993, he was overall Italian speed champion.