Schumi’s Hero

09 March 2023

The 1984 Monaco Grand Prix will be remembered for the shocking inclement weather and the competitive tussle between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

But what is often forgotten is the superb performance of Stefan Bellof driving a Tyrell.

Had rain not ‘stopped play’, it is widely felt that had the race continued, he would have won.

A further disappointment for Stefan came as an exclusion from the entire 1984 race season due to a technical infringement in Dallas.

The accusation was that the Tyrrell cars’ had a 13-litre reservoir containing water to be sprayed over the Cosworth DFY V8 engine, cooling it during a race.

However, at the water stops, evidently, someone had instead seen performance-boosting fuel added.

A furious Ken Tyrrell obtained a court injunction to allow the cars to run at Brands Hatch.

Back to Stefan, he was considered to be fearless, and that is what made him so fast on the track, but some believe he played on this reputation and was more calculating than the reckless spirit he projected.

At the 1985 Spa 1000km sports car race, Stefan tried a perilous manoeuvre to overtake Jacky Ickx on the inside, his car touched Jacky’s, sending Jacky into a wall and spiralled Stefan through a barrier into a secondary wall.

Jacky and the medical crew tried to save Stefan, but regretfully, Stefan was pronounced dead at the track hospital.

Stefan is regarded by many as one of the mightiest drivers the sport has ever seen.

He was Michael Schumacher’s idol when Michael was growing up.