Vittorio Brambilla (11 November 1937 – 26 May 2001) was a Formula One driver from Italy who raced for the March, Surtees and Alfa Romeo teams. Particularly adept at driving in wet conditions, his nickname was "The Monza Gorilla", due to his often overly aggressive driving style and sense of machismo. He was particularly known for his 'Punch and Crunch' routine, in which, he would greet the unfortunate victim with an extremely strong handshake. He enjoyed watching the recipient wince whilst they were shaking hands only to follow this up with a rabbit punch to the back of one's neck.
In his first year of Formula One, Brambilla was as quick as his teammate Stuck, although more accident-prone. In the Swedish GP he ran in fifth until an engine problem. Brambilla finished tied for 18th, last, in the 1974 Formula One World Championship standings. In 1975 he amazed many at the Belgian GP, where he led until encountering brakes problems after 54 laps, and at the 1975 Swedish Grand Prix, where he secured pole position until a transmission failure forced him to retire after 36 laps. His great day came at the Österreichring in 1975, when he won a wet Austrian Grand Prix. He spun off and wrecked the nose of his car as he took the chequered flag, and completed his slowing down lap with the front of the car destroyed while waving to the crowd. As the race was shortened, with 60% of it completed, he only received 4.5 points instead of 9 for the win.
In 1977, Brambilla moved to the Surtees team, where he scored six points. In a multiple pileup at Monza in the 1978 Italian Grand Prix, in which Ronnie Peterson died, Brambilla suffered serious head injuries when he was hit by a flying wheel during the multiple collision on the opening lap. Brambilla drove briefly for the Alfa Romeo Formula One team in 1979 and 1980.
Brambilla retired at the end of the 1980 season. He died at Lesmo, near Milan, of a heart attack at the age of 63 while gardening at his home.
Activity: 1974 - 1980 Grand Prix: 79 Drivers Championships: - Victories: 1 Podiums: 1 Pole Positions: 1 Fastest Laps: 1 Career Points: 15,5