Farewell to the Swedish Reine Wisell – F1 Piloti – Formula 1

The world of Formula 1 is in mourning for the disappearance of Reine Wisell, former Swedish driver who died at the age of 80. In the first half of the 70s, he reached the highest point of his career by making his debut in the top flight and winning his first and only podium on the occasion of his debut GP, thus returning to the restricted club of riders capable of obtaining a prestigious result on their first approach to the Circus.

Born in Motala on September 30, 1941, in a small town south of Sweden, Wisell began racing in some Swedish minor categories in the 1960s, winning the title of National Formula 3 in 1967. In that same period, moreover, he had as his pupil a young compatriot like the late Ronnie Peterson, also destined for a promising career sadly interrupted in Formula 1 following an accident in the 1978 Italian GP. Wisell to instruct the Swedish drivers was also recognized after his retirement, when he dedicated himself to supporting the talented compatriots during the winter tests. With the exception of these personal qualities, Peterson surpassed his master in the late 1960s, when he won twice over Wisell in the Formula 3 championships. In 1970, however, the latter’s career took off after two podiums. in Formula 5000, which convinced the Lotus to bet on him at the end of the same season in Formula 1. Promoted as teammate of Emerson Fittipaldi on the occasion of the US GPWisell surprisingly got the 3rd place on the circuit of Watkins Glen, recovering from ninth position and taking the podium in his first official participation in the top flight. A result that prompted the British team to focus on him also for 1971.

That season, Wisell touched the top 3 several times, finishing 4th twice – in South Africa and Austria – and finishing in the points in two other GPs, the last of his career in points. From 1972 to 1974, participating in sporadic events, in fact, he obtained numerous retirements at the wheel of BRM and March, never going beyond 10th place always at Watkins Glen, in 1972. Even before the end of his F1 adventure, Wisell was able to to also participate in the Formula 2 championship – winning a race in Germany – and then take part in an edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which ended with a retreat. After participating in the SuperSport categories in the 1980s, he dedicated himself exclusively to young Swedish drivers, including the current McLaren standard bearer in IndyCar Felix Rosenqvistwho wanted to pay homage to his teacher after the test in Texas.

FP | Alessandro Prada


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