Sir Frank Williams and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo both paid tribute to Clay Regazzoni, after the former Grand Prix driver was killed in a road car accident today in Italy.
Regazzoni clinched Williams's first Grand Prix win, in the 1979 British Grand Prix, and Frank Williams today said the Swiss driver will always be remembered in the grove-based team.
"Clay won the very first Grand Prix for the Williams Team in 1979 at Silverstone," Williams said in a statement. "This was probably the most important event ever to occur in the history of our time in Formula One.
"He was a gentleman and always a pleasure to have with us in the team. Patrick [Head] and I and other team members will always remember him."
Di Montezemolo was Ferrari's F1 team chief when Regazzoni drove for the team alongside Niki Lauda, and following the news of Regazzoni's death, the Italian said: "The death of Clay Regazzoni has robbed us of a man of courage and generosity who lived his life demonstrating those values.
"I remember him not only as one of my drivers during unforgettable times, but also as a true supporter of Ferrari. For him, races had to be tackled with boldness and on the limit, from the first to the final lap.
"I celebrated a first world championship win with him and Niki in 1975, and I will never forget his great victories at the wheel of our cars, both in Formula One and sportscars.
"This is a very sad moment for me, especially as his 'Swiss-Neapolitan' character meant he was also a unique person away from the race tracks, and so many memories of him now come to mind."
Also joining the mourners was Italian Olympic Committee president Gianni Petrucci, who said of Regazzoni: "I got to know him after his accident [in 1980]; he was an extraordinary character who always worked hard in welfare activities.
"When a great and such an intelligent and sharp champion leaves us, the pain is bigger."