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Tino Brambilla

Full Name:
Ernesto "Tino" Brambilla
31st January 1934
Monza, Lombardy
3rd August 2020 (Aged 86)
Monza, Lombardy
Most recent race (in database):

The elder of the Brambilla brothers was just as aggressive and wild as the better known Vittorio. "Tino" Brambilla was a no-holds-barred racer whose two Grand Prix opportunities both ended before they could start.

Racing career

He began racing motorcycles and finished 10th in the 350cc world championship in 1959 and 1961. A switch to cars soon followed and Brambilla entered in the 1963 Italian GP but failed to qualify his Scuderia Centro Sud Cooper T53-Maserati.

Brambilla continued in the junior categories and won the 1966 Italian Formula 3 Championship with a Scuderia Madunina Brabham BT16-Ford. He graduated to Formula 2 in 1968 with a works Ferrari 166. Third at Enna-Pergusa, he won the penultimate round at Hockenheim but his performance drew criticism from drivers and media alike after Brambilla barged rivals aside on the way to victory. He then dominated the Vallelunga finale from pole position to clinch third in the 1968 European Championship.

He won the opening Temporada race in Argentina and remained with the team for more F2 in 1969. Sixth at Thruxton and Járama, he broke his wrist in a motorcycle accident and was barely fit when another Formula 1 chance beckoned. Ferrari was in chaos at the time and wanted to withdraw from the Italian GP. But it entered Brambilla, with his wrist still in plaster, to please the locals. Described in the specialist press as "popular but slow", he was replaced for the race by Pedro Rodríguez.

Disappointed, Brambilla continued to race in F2 as a private entrant while also running younger brother Vittorio. The tactics remained the same, but his pace was no longer evident. Sixth at Hockenheim in 1972 was his last significant F2 finish and Tino Brambilla retired a year later.