Andrea de Adamich was born in Trieste, Italy, and started racing while still a law student. He did well in Italian F3 in 1965 before really coming to prominence the following year, winning the European Touring Car Championship driving the works-backed Autodelta Alfa Romeo GTA Coupe.
He then raced the Alfa Romeo T33 sports car and attracted the attention of Ferrari who offered him a drive in the non-Championship 1967 Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama in which he finished 9th after a puncture.
In 1968 he was scheduled to drive full-time as the third works driver alongside Amon and Ickx at Ferrari. Third works entries were a common practice in those days. Unfortunately his Ferrari spun off on oil at Kyalami and then a crash in practice for the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch inflicted neck injuries which sidelined him for much of the season, though he made a winning return in 1969 with the works Ferrari Dino T166 which saw him take the South American Formula 2 Temporada series.
He was dropped by Ferrari and drove in the newly inaugurated F5000/FA series for Team Surtees on both sides of the Atlantic before returning to F1 in 1970 in the Alfa Romeo-engined McLaren, only finishing once, and then in 1971 with the March 711 also with Alfa power, always in the 'third' works car.
In 1972 de Adamich joined Team Surtees, once again running a third works car, this time a TS9B, alongside Tim Schenken and Mike Hailwood. He scored the best Formula 1 result of his career with a fourth in Spain.
He switched to Brabham in 1973 and posted another forth at the Belgian Grand Prix. He was then involved in the multiple accident caused by Jody Scheckter at the British Grand Prix. The leg injuries he sustained brought his Formula 1 career to a premature end.
When not involved with GP commitments, de Adamich continued as a works driver for Alfa Romeo in their successful T33 sports cars between 1970 to 1974, winning the Brands Hatch 1000 Km and the Watkins Glen 6 Hours in 1971. When his hectic racing schedule allowed, he also competed in Can-Am, touring cars and hill-climbs.
After his retirement in 1974 Andrea returned to the Grand Prix scene as a respected motor sport journalist and TV commentator and in recent seasons has overseen the racing exploits of his son Gordon.
Tall and friendly, the bespectacled de Adamich is currently the vice-president of N. Technology which prepares race cars for Alfa Romeo.