First-Ever Williams F1 Driver Patrick Neve Passes Away

Considered part of a golden wave of European talent in the mid-1970s, Patrick Neve, who died on Monday aged 67, was even honoured by some observers as Belgium’s true successor to Jacky Ickx.

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Williams Formula 1 team's very first driver, Belgian Patrick Nève, has passed away in his hometown at the age of 67.

Considered part of a golden wave of European talent in the mid-1970s, Patrick Neve, who died on March 14, 2017, was even honoured by some observers as Belgium's true successor to Jacky Ickx.

He first came to be known by winning the BRDC Formula Ford 1600 series in 1974. Neve made his first start in Formula One at the 1976 Belgian Grand Prix with RAM Racing in a privately-entered Brabham BT44B.

Neve later went on to make history in 1977 by being the first man to drive for Williams, then known as Williams Grand Prix Engineering, at the Spanish Grand Prix. Nève acquired the budget to race for Williams in the first year of its successful alliance between Frank Williams and engineer Patrick Head.

The stint with Williams was a struggle, with Neve's best result a seventh in the Italian GP. Patrick Neve will be known for his first stint as the first Grand Prix driver for Williams Formula One team.

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Story first published: Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 18:32 [IST]
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