JULY 29, 1996

Franco Lini

IT is with great sadness that we must report the death last Monday of one of Formula 1's most celebrated journalists - FrancoƊLini, shortly before his 73rd birthday. Franco had been suffering from lung cancer for some time.

Born in Mantua, Italy, Lini developed an interest in motor racing because he lived in Tazio Nuvolari's home town and went to school with Nuvolari's son. From a wealthy family, Lini was more interested in fast cars and women than in running the family machine tool business. He raced motorcycles and ran a small weekly motorcycle magazine which helped to fund his racing. He did his first reports on car races by accident when a Milan newspaper asked him to report on the San Remo GP on the Ospedaletti circuit. Two years later Lini broke his neck in a motorcycle crash and retired from racing to concentrate on writing. He became one of the first journalists to go to all the F1 races around the world and was very popular in Italy. He became so knowledgeable that in 1966 Enzo Ferrari asked him to run the Ferrari F1 team and give Ferrari a new image.

Lini battled with Ferrari for two years before returning to journalism, but among his decisions at Ferrari were the hiring of Chris Amon and Jacky Ickx.