For 1982, Alfa Romeo produced its best car yet. The V-12-powered 182 began to hit its stride in midseason, allowing Giacomelli to post a string of good finishes, but at season’s end the company inexplicably stopped its Grand Prix program and farmed the operation out to Walter Brun’s Euroracing outfit.
I spent the greater part of my Formula One career with Alfa Romeo, joining them in 1979 and leaving at the end of 1982. In 1978 I did five Grands Prix for McLaren in a third car. I don’t remember exactly how Alfa Romeo contacted me, but they wanted to come back into Formula One and I was available. I was Italian and Carlo Chiti called me and I went to his office in Milan. We made the deal to run the first race at the Belgian GP at Zolder and we also did four other races in 1979—France, Italy, Canada, and the United States.
I had come up through the single-seater route in Europe—Formula Italia champion in 1975, British Shellsport Formula 3 champion and Monaco F3 winner in 1976, then European Formula 2 champion with a March-BMW in 1978. I felt I was ready for the challenge of a front-line Formula One team, and Alfa Romeo had such a wonderful history.
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