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5 of Formula 1's greatest lost talents

George Howson
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
1.19K   //    Timeless

#2 - Stefan Bellof (1957-85)

Stefan Bellof only had one full season of F1 racing, but left a very good impression
Stefan Bellof only had one full season of F1 racing, but left a very good impression

A glance at Stefan Bellof's official Formula 1 record won't reveal anything too spectacular. After all, the German never had a podium finish, but that's far from the whole story. Bellof made his F1 debut in 1984 for Tyrrell, the team that was once an impressive force in the days of Sir Jackie Stewart, but was then mid-table mediocrity.

Ayrton Senna stole the headlines after the Monaco GP in '84, but Bellof was arguably even more impressive, finishing third on the road. He started that race in 20th place and was the fastest man on the track by the time the red flags were brought out in soaking conditions. Tyrrell's results were later wiped during that season, so that's why the record books don't state that Bellof stood on the podium.

1985 wasn't as good of a season as the previous one on the road for Tyrrell, but Bellof still managed to pull off points finishes, most notably a fourth place in Detroit. Bellof also shone outside of Formula 1, winning the World Sportscar Championship in 1984 but this series would be the scene of his death in 1985. During the 1000km of Spa-Francorchamps, the 27-year-old clashed with Jacky Ickx at Eau Rouge, an impact so heavy that it cost him his life. Had Bellof lived, Michael Schumacher may not have become the first German world champion, as Stefan could well have achieved that before his compatriot.

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