Remembering Mexico's greatest F1 driver Pedro Rodriguez
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Remembering Mexico's greatest F1 driver Pedro Rodriguez

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Pedro Rodriguez was killed 50 years ago this week, robbing Mexico of its brightest motor racing talent. A master of the Porsche 917, he had become one of the world’s top drivers, widely respected for his wet-weather ability and versatility across Formula 1 and sportscars.

“Racing is my life, and a weekend without a race is a lost weekend.” That line, said to North American Racing Team boss Luigi Chinetti, and which appears in the comprehensive work Brothers Rodriguez by Carlos Eduardo Jalife-Villalon, sums up Pedro Rodriguez’s approach to motorsport. It also helps to explain why the BRM and Porsche star was driving a privateer Ferrari 512M in a relatively minor Interserie race at the Norisring on 11 July 1971.

Despite the presence of much bigger machinery, Rodriguez was leading at the time he lost control, possibly due to a backmarker, and hit the wall. The Ferrari burst into flames and, despite quick medical attention, Rodriguez had little chance of survival.

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