Alberto Colombo born
On February 23, 1946,
Italian racing driver Alberto Colombo was born. Starting his career in the late 1960s, in 1972 he settled in Italian F3, where he consecutively won the runner-up and championship titles in 1973 and 1974, respectively, before stepping up to Formula 2 in 1975. However, things did not go well for Colombo there — he only managed to finish six twice over two years, one time per year. But in 1977, the situation improved somewhat: he finished in the top-6 eight times, including one podium finish (third in Mugello), and finished eighth overall in European Championship.
After founding his own Sanremo Racing team in early 1978, his fortunes in Formula 2 declined somewhat, but the opportunity arose for him to compete in Formula 1 — he was invited to replace Jean-Pierre Jarier, who had been suspended for unsatisfactory results, at ATS. However, Colombo failed to qualify in Belgium and Spain and was replaced by Keke Rosberg, and he returned to F2.
At the end of the season, Alberto Colombo was given another chance in Grand Prix racing — Arturo Merzario invited him to be the second driver for his team at the Italian Grand Prix, but Alberto was unable to qualify there as well. In 1979, Colombo continued to race in the European Formula 2, earning another podium (in Thruxton) and finishing the year 13th overall. He was also scheduled to drive the Dywa 08 Cosworth at the Belgian Grand Prix — the car was presented at Motor Sud Salerno, but the project did not survive the spring.
But, inspired by Merzario’s example, the Italian decided to create his own F1 team, called Riviera. For this purpose, three Cosworth engines (one new, two used), a gearbox, some assets of the Kauhsen team (including one chassis), and Giorgio Valentini, who created a monocoque for a new chassis produced byt Thompson, were purchased. However, the financial support of the prject from a businessman from Brianza ended in the winter of 1979/1980, and the team was forced to sell the engines and gearbox to Osella, de facto ceasing to exist.
Alberto Colombo’s last year in motorsport as a driver was once again spent in the European F2, where he earned another podium (in Hockenheim) and finished the season in 10th place. In addition, he finally made it to the start of an F1 race — at the British championship round in Monza, where he retired after 17 laps due to fuel pump problems. After finishing second in the Monza Grand Prix, at the end of the season-80 Alberto Colombo retired from racing, focusing definitively on his work as a team manager, returning to the wheel only once, at the Porsche 944 Turbo Cup stage in Monza.