23/12/1956 - 25/4/2001
Michele Alboreto was born in Milan, Italy on December 23, 1956. At the age of 44, Alboreto had lead a long and storied racing career. Michele began his professional racing career in 1977 racing European Formula 3. Two years later he won the European F3. In 1981 Michele got his big break into Formula 1 when Tyrrell brought him aboard. It did not take him long to win his first Grand Prix the following year at Las Vegas, and a second the next year at Detroit, he was well on his way to making a name for himself.
In 1984 he moved to Ferrari and showed the world he had what it takes to win races. Michele logged 3 wins while racing with Ferrari. Belgium ('84), Canada ('85) and Germany ('85). He finished second in the World Drivers Championship to Alain Prost in '85.
Upon learning of Alboreto's death, Ferrari president Luca Montezemolo said, "Michele Alboreto played an important role as a driver in the history of Ferrari. He was intelligent, and paid a great deal of attention to the technical problems involved in the development of the car. His death has been a hard blow to take, and has filled me with a deep sadness. Michele continued to race, driven on by an irrepressible passion, proving that in our sport, which is totally involving, risk is always around the corner."
After racing with such teams as Tyrrell, Larousse, Lola, Arrows, Footwork and Minardi Michele decided it was time to hang up his Formua 1 shoes.
In 1995 he decided to try his hand at touring cars with Alfa Romeo and the Indy Racing League before finding a very comfortable and successful career in sports car racing. In 1997 he won Le Mans with Stefan Johansson and current Audi teammate Tom Kristensen driving the Joest Racing Porsche WSC95.
Michele became a staple driver for Audi Sport's factory works team, piloting the R8 to victories throughout its development. Just one month before his death, Alboreto won the 12 Hours of Sebring and had been one of the favorits to win Le Mans again this year.
He was killed testing an Audi R8 sportscar when he suffered a high-speed tire failure at the Lausitzring in eastern Germany.