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Brazilian Formula One driver Wilson Fittipaldi dies aged 80

The former Brazilian Formula 1 driver and team owner Wilson Fittipaldi, older brother of Emerson Fittipaldi, has died in Sao Paulo aged 80, the Brazilian Automobile Confederation (CBA) announced on Friday.

“At the age of 80, Wilsinho passed away serenely and surrounded by all the love he deserved throughout his life,” CBA wrote on its Instagram account.

Fittipaldi, who had been in poor health since being taking to hospital after choking on some meat during Christmas dinner, “combined talent, vision of the future and daring to take the Brazilian flag to an unhoped-for level”, the CBA said.

Wilson Fittipaldi raced in Formula One in the 1970s, notching just three championship points in 38 races while his brother twice won the world championship.

He took third place in his debut race, the non-championship 1972 Brazilian Grand Prix.

But after the early promise, he faded finishing 16th, his best performace in the title race, as his younger brother pushed on to become the youngest ever world champion at 25, a record he held until Fernando Alonso won the crown at 24 in 2005.

On the two occasions that Wilson scored points so did Emerson, making them the first brothers to achieve that in the same race.

While Emerson went on to win the title again in 1974, however, Wilson stepped away to help create the Brazilian team Copersucar-Fittipaldi.

He raced in it unsuccessfully in 1975 before taking over management and leaving the seat clear for Emerson. 

Sadly, the car did not live up to expectations and never made the podium before disappearing in the early 1980s. 

Wilson remained in racing and was the father of Christian Fittipaldi who made his debut in Formula One in 1992.

When he scored his first point at the 1992 Japanese Grand Prix, it made Wilson and Christian Fittipaldi the first parent and child to both score points in Formula One.

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