It's hard to believe that the veteran of 256 grand prix starts; the trusted pair of hands; the ideal number two, who retired in 1993, was once regarded as the wildest driver in the field.

Widely blamed for the crash that caused Ronnie Peterson's death at Monza in '78, but later exonerated, the young Italian soon matured into an accomplished performer after leaving Arrows for Brabham, but was outshone all too often by his team-mate Nelson Piquet.

Few will forget the incredible last-lap scenes at Monaco in '82 as he spun his way to a first GP win. But days like that, and his sensational drive at Mexico in 1991 for Williams - where he utterly trounced Nigel Mansell - were few and far between for a man who three times saw his team-mate take the world title.