Vittorio Brambilla, affectionately know as the “Monza Gorilla” died from a sudden heart attack at his home in Italy on May 26, he was 63-years old.
Brambilla began his career in 1957 racing motorcycles and karts before moving up to Formula Three with his brother Tino. By 1970, Brambilla moved up to Formula Two, where he developed a reputation as a fast, but oftentimes destructive driver. By 1974, Brambilla’s F2 sponsor, Beta Tools, helped him move up to Formula One with the March team. Brambilla showed early flashes of brilliance, but it wasn’t until 1975 that he would score his one-and-only victory in a rain-soaked Austrian Grand Prix at Zeltweg. Ironically, after taking the checkered flag, Brambilla thrust his arms into the air to celebrate his win, lost control of his March and crashed on the cooling-down lap. He would continue to race with teams like Surtees and Alfa Romeo, but never won another Grand Prix.