Patrick Tambay was born in Paris on 25th June, 1949. He graduated from the Paul Ricard circuit racing drivers’ school in 1971. In 1978, he made his debut in Formula One for Theodore Racing after winning the Can Am championship the year before. He impressed everyone that season after grabbing a couple of fifths, a sixth and a seventh.
Tambay got his first big break when he replaced Gilles Villenueve at McLaren in the following year. After spending two uneventful seasons with McLaren, he returned to Can Am and won the championship twice in two attempts. He returned to Formula One in 1981 and raced for the French Ligier team but could not finish any race. In 1982, after the tragic death of Gilles Villeneuve, he was offered a place with Scuderia Ferrari. He won his first Grand Prix in Germany that year. He achieved his second and last victory in Imola the following year which was an emotional win in front of the tifosi.
The next season, he was dropped and then moved on to Renault. He spent an ordinary season with the French unit before competing in his last F1 season for the new Beatrice team in 1986. After that he formed his own sport promotion company, drove for Jaguar in the Sports-Prototype World Championship and also had several outings in the Dakar Rally. He had some business commitments with the Larrousse team in 1994 with a friend but that lasted only till the end of the season.Tambay accumulated a total of two wins, five podiums and 103 championship points from 123 races. He had a charming personality, was extremely talented and loved by all but some felt he lacked the killer instinct required to be successful in the racing fraternity.