This website was the first to be dedicated to the memory of Elio de Angelis, the late Shadow, Lotus and Brabham F1 driver, and is now celebrating it's 13th year of existence having first appeared in 1999 and originally being hosted at Geocities.
It was during the 1984 Monaco GP that I was first introduced to Elio and F1.
I had only accidentally clicked on BBC2 in the hope that maybe I could find some excitement that could entertain a bored 13 year old. I had certainly found it that Sunday afternoon - in the form of a Black and Gold John Player Special Lotus that the camera zoomed in on whilst it waited on the grid. "And there's the Italian driver, Elio de Angelis" some chap called Murray Walker exclaimed.
I was transfixed. Not only was this the coolest looking car on the grid, the driver had a really trendy sounding name too. I had found a new hero to follow and he was popular, a nice bloke with an attractive looking girlfriend called Ute. Yes - this was definitely the guy I wished I was.
I liked Elio because he possessed traditional values and manners. He was quick too - I always felt that he could be the quickest if he only felt like it, and I still believe that he had the makings of a champion moreso that his other Italian rival of the day, the late Michele Alboreto. When Senna joined him as a team mate in 1985, de Angelis proved that when he had the fight in him and was in the mood he certainly gave Senna something to think about. He remained competitive until mid-season in 1985, but handled himself with dignity and grace even when the Team clearly favoured Ayrton.
However, I guess that most of all it was the way in which he handled being brought into a rich family and the manner in which he proved to his doubters that it was his talent - not his Fathers money - that got him his deserved recognition.
Elio de Angelis has always been something of a hero to me; a unsung popular Gentleman with old fashioned manners and charm and like my late Father, always someone I have continued to look up to.
My sincere thanks must go to the following people for their valued contributions:
Antonio Mizzanu, Anthony Fosh, Kurt Sikora, Rob Maigret, Alain Sam-Lai, Dale Parry, Mario & Tony Pizzi, Michael Day, Jose Miguel Barros, David Hopkins, Goran Manov, Marcela Alejandra Ponce Trujillo, Fabiana De Angelis, the mob atAtlasF1