Emerson Fittipaldi achieved Formula One success at a young age – he was just 25 when he won his first title in 1972, the youngest ever champion until Fernando Alonso in 2005. He had already won his first Grand Prix for Lotus at only his fifth attempt, in 1980, and stayed with the team for his first title.
He finished as runner-up to Jackie Stewart in 1973 but with the Scot having retired by 1974 and with Fittipaldi at the wheel of the rapid McLaren M23 the championship fell to him a second time. The following year he was runner-up again and took the decision late in the season to join brother Wilson’s Copersucar-backed team for 1976.
The tiny team struggled, and were occasionally frustrated to discover Fittipaldi not giving his best all of the time. He scored a couple of podiums for the team before quitting in 1980. He scored 37 points in five years with Fittipaldi – fewer than he had in the whole of 1975 with McLaren, while his replacement James Hunt was champion in 1976.
He moved to IndyCar racing in America where he enjoyed great success, winning the title in 1989 and the Indianapolis 500 in 1989 and 1993.