Bandini in the Ferrari T1512/63 during the non-championship International Trophy race at Silverstone in the Spring of 1965, where he finished 7th.
Milan was in mourning the first time I visited the cathedral city, in the late spring of 1967. In fact, all of Italy hung its collective head in sadness at the loss of one of its favorite sons. “Bandini è Morto” declared the northern industrial town’s daily newspaper the Corriere della Sera, and many ordinary people went about their business wearing black armbands or lapel pins. They were in mourning for Lorenzo Bandini, whose suffering had mercifully come to an end at last. It had been three days since he had been terribly burned before being pulled from the acrid wreckage of his Ferrari, which had crashed as he attempted to reclaim the lead in the 1967 Grand Prix of Monaco from eventual winner Denny Hulme.
Bandini may never have had the stuff of champions, but he was still the best Italian Formula One driver of his decade. He was also a modest, easygoing man, full of good will and enthusiasm for his sport, a man of generous disposition that led Ferrari’s tyrannical motor sport director Eugenio Dragoni to push him around as if he were a domestic servant. Lorenzo was also an eternal number two, who was pitchforked into the team leader role for 1967 after John Surtees suddenly left Ferrari. The Italian paid for his promotion with his life, trying too hard to be worthy of the number one spot.
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