• Paul Pietsch 1911-2012

Paul Pietsch dies aged 100

ESPNF1 Staff
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Paul Pietsch during a testing session at Silverstone in 1952 © Getty Images
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Pre-war Silver Arrows racer Paul Pietsch has died at the age of 100.

Pietsch's career began in 1932 when he raced a private Bugatti Type 35 in hillclimbs and at the German Grand Prix, before switching to an Alfa Romeo which he took ice racing in 1934. After successes in Sweden and Finland he was signed up by Auto Union for 1935 alongside fellow youngster Bernd Rosemeyer and the more experienced duo of Achille Varzi and Hans Stuck Snr.

His best result for Auto Union came with a third place at the Italian Grand Prix while sharing a car with Rosemeyer, but on the whole he was outshone on the track by his team-mates. He left the team when he discovered his wife was having an affair with Varzi and didn't return to grand prix racing until 1939 when he raced with Maserati at his home grand prix at the Nurburgring.

Early in the race he led from the Mercedes and Auto Unions, which everyone, including the Nazi party, had expected to dominate, but problems with his car meant he eventually finished the race third behind the Silver Arrows. After the war he took part in three races in the newly-formed Formula One world championship between 1950 and 1952, but failed to finish at all of them.

He is also remembered in motorsport circles for founding the authoritative magazine Auto Motor und Sport, which was a part of his wider publishing company.

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