F1 legend Carlos Reutemann has died at 79 has announced the great Argentine driver’s family.

The twelve-time Grand Prix winner and former Governor of Santa Fe passed away “in peace and dignity” according to his daughter Cora who announced her father’s passing on Twitter.

“Dad left in peace and dignity after fighting like a champion with a strong and noble heart that accompanied him to the end,” wrote Cora Reutemann.

“I am proud and blessed for the father I had. I know that he will accompany me every day of my life until we meet again in the house of the Lord.”

In May, Reutemann was admitted to a hospital in Sante Fe after suffering from anemia and internal bleeding. He was later transferred to a clinic in Rosario where his condition improved and allowed for a discharge on May 21.

But complications due to dehydration forced a new hospitalization on the former driver and his transfer once again into intensive care on June 21.

Unfortunately, Reutemann suffered another case of gastrointestinal bleeding this week, and his condition worsened over the last 24 hours until his passing on Wednesday.

In 2017, the former governor of Santa Fe underwent surgery in New York due to liver cancer, and it is believed that Reutemann’s health affliction may have had its origins in that past illness.

Reutemann’s distinguished career in F1 saw the popular Argentinian take part in 146 Grands Prix from 1972 to 1982, winning races with Brabham, Ferrari and Williams and scoring a total of 12 wins and 46 podiums.

He burst onto the scene with a sensational pole-taking F1 debut with Brabham at his home race in Buenos Aires in 1972, and never looked back thereafter.

A tremendously gifted and superb stylist, ‘Lole’ – as he was affectionately named by his countrymen – often exuded sheer brilliance on one day only to appear uninspired or daunted by pressure on another as mood swings set in.

But Reutemann’s efforts at the highest level also suffered from poor career decisions or unfortunate timing.

In 1981, Reutemann head into the final round of the F1 world championship at Las Vegas with a one-point lead over Brabham’s Nelson Piquet.

But the chips fell the wrong way for the Williams driver undermined by the pressure around the Caesar’s Palace parking lot makeshift street circuit where he failed to score, handing the laurels to Piquet and allowing the Brazilian to secure the first of his three world crowns in F1.

After retiring from motorsport, Reutemann embarked on a political career in his home country, becoming the governor of his native province of Santa Fe, and later a federal senator.

As a popular politician, Reutemann was considered by many to be a worthy candidate for President of Argentina, and although he considered running in his country’s 2011 general election, he ultimately declined to do so.

Racetrackmasters extends to the Reutemann family, to Carlos’ wife Veronica and to daughters Cora and Mariana our heartfelt condolences.

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