Patrick Neve, the first driver at Williams Grand Prix Engineering and deemed by some as Belgium’s natural successor to Jacky Ickx, sadly passed away on Monday aged 67. He died at his home in Belgium.
Following his BRDC Formula Ford 1600 series win in 1974, he made his Formula One debut at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1976; he competed for RAM Racing in a privately-entered Brabham BT44B.
In 1977, Neve left Team Ensign to become the first driver for Williams, with his first start coming at the Spanish Grand Prix. However his Formula One career would be short-lived; Neve would make only ten starts in F1. Following this he made the occasional F2 start and signed up for the Kauhsen Formula 1 Team in 1979, but deemed the car undrivable during an early test and his career ended without him reaching his F1 potential.
Neve achieved moderate success in other motorsport disciplines. He finished third in the 1978 Spa 24 Hours driving a BMW 530i and won the Zolder round of the ’77 European Touring Car Championship with Dieter Quester at the wheel of an Alpina BMW CSL.
Following a short stint of periodic driving in the ETCC in 1984 racing a Volvo 240 Turbo, Neve stepped away from the garage to run a sports-marketing company in Brussels.