Carlos Reutemann passes away, aged 79

12-time Formula 1 grand prix winner Carlos Reutemann has passed away after being hospitalised just a month ago, aged 79-years-old.

He had been admitted to hospital on 30 May, where his condition worsened and forced him to be moved into the ICU on 21 June.

His deterioration had been linked with a liver cancer diagnosis in 2017.

After the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio and Jose Froilan Gonzalez in the 1950s, Reutemann was one of South America’s most successful drivers in F1, winning 12 grands prix and taking 45 podiums.

The Argentine driver never won a World Championship in F1, but finished one-point away from the achievement in 1981 as Nelson Piquet took the honours.

Reutemann also tried his hand in the World Rally Championship, making two starts in the Argentine Rally in 1980 and 1985 and finishing on the podium both times.

Throughout his Formula One career, he drove for the likes of Brabham, Ferrari and Williams, finishing third in the championship in 1975, 1978 and 1980 with the respective teams.

In a statement, Formula One paid tribute to the highly successful driver.

“We are all deeply saddened to hear that Carlos Reutemann has passed away,” it said.

“He was a big part of our sport for many years and was a fighter to the end.

“He will be greatly missed.”

Other key figures such as Jean Todt, the FIA President, sent his condolences to Reutemann’s family.

After his incredible racing career, the Argentine switched from cars to politics, serving two terms as governor in Santa Fe, his home province, and was also offered the chance to run for the Argentinian presidency in 2003 but turned down the opportunity.

Reutemann instead remained a member of the Senate up until his death.

Last Lap sends it condolences to the family and friends of Carlos Reutemann.