This shy German had started just 20 grands prix when he died in the summer of 1985, aged 28, and his best result in F1 was a mere fourth place at Monaco. But the fact that more than 25 years on his peers consider him the 35th greatest talent further establishes the legend of a shocking level of unfulfilled potential.
Bellof's dumbfounding speed was attributed by many of his rivals to a complete absence of fear, but there are those who believe he played on this reputation and was more calculating than the reckless spirit he projected.
Either way, the results Bellof achieved in Formula 2 and sportscars were spectacular both in form and the manner he produced them. That he died fighting for the lead of a world championship sportscar race at Spa in circumstances that could only be blamed on him, just as his career seemed destined to bloom, is a tragic yet appropriate epitaph for the ultimate 'what-might-have-been' driver.
Should Stefan Bellof be higher or lower in F1's greatest drivers?View Results
|Born||20 Nov 1957|
|Died||1 Sep 1985|
|Active years||1984 - 1985|