Former Formula 1 driver Andrea de Cesaris has died in a motorbike accident at the age of 55, a report in Italy has revealed.
As per the Roma Repubblica, de Ceseris died when riding his motorbike in Bufalotta, Rome on Sunday afternoon, colliding with the guard rail at high speed.
The Italian racer was one of the sport’s most experienced drivers, starting 208 grands prix across fourteen years for ten different teams.
De Cesaris held the obscure record of being the driver with the most race starts not to have claimed a grand prix victory, recording a best finish of second place in the 1983 German and South African Grands Prix. Having made his debut in 1980, the Italian eventually retired in 1994 following a journeyman’s career.
On the same day that the F1 paddock was rocked by Jules Bianchi’s accident during the final stages of the Japanese Grand Prix, this will come as a bitter blow to those within the sport’s community.
Following the news, many took to Twitter to pay tribute to de Cesaris, with McLaren and Ferrari confirming the news.
All at McLaren send condolences to ex-McLaren #F1 driver Andrea de Cesaris, who sadly passed away today. pic.twitter.com/iS4M4N6Hrt
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) October 5, 2014
RIP De Cesaris. Our thoughts are with the family of Andrea.
— Scuderia Ferrari (@InsideFerrari) October 5, 2014
More sad news with the passing of Andrea De Cesaris in a motorbike accident. — Craig Scarborough (@ScarbsF1) October 5, 2014
Sad to hear about Andrea de Cesaris, an underrated driver and real character who found a new life after F1 playing financial markets
— Adam Cooper (@adamcooperF1) October 5, 2014