BUENOS AIRES — Former Formula Just one driver and Argentine politician Carlos Reutemann, who competed for a lot more than a ten years at the prime of planet motorsports, died on Wednesday aged 79.

Reutemann had undergone surgery in New York for a hepatic tumor in 2017 and struggled to get back whole overall health.

“Father left in peace and dignity following fighting like a winner with a powerful and noble coronary heart that accompanied him to the finish,” his daughter Cora tweeted.

In a occupation marked by brilliance at the rear of the wheel and stubborn solitary-mindedness but also a deficiency of consistency, Reutemann was considered the finest Argentine driver following five-time planet winner Juan Manuel Fangio whose heyday was in the nineteen fifties.

The son of a cattle rancher from Santa Fe province, Reutemann finished runner-up in the Formula Just one championship to Brazilian Nelson Piquet in 1981 following coming third in 1975, 1978 and 1980.

“He was a massive component of our sport for several several years and was a fighter to the finish. He will be tremendously missed,” Formula Just one claimed in a assertion.

The Argentine broke into Formula Just one in 1972 and joined Bernie Ecclestone’s Brabham group together with then two times planet winner Graham Hill. He produced a sensational debut, placing his car or truck in pole place for his dwelling grand prix in Buenos Aires prior to ending seventh.

He also raced for Ferrari, foremost the Italian team’s problem in 1978 following getting overshadowed by Niki Lauda in 1977, and then joined Lotus in 1979. That proved a lousy decision, with Ferrari ending very first and second in that year’s championship and Reutemann a distant sixth.

He then moved to Williams in 1980.

“We are saddened to learn of the passing of our former driver Carlos Reutemann, winner of 3 Grands Prix for Williams throughout his occupation. Our thoughts go out to his relatives and close friends at this tough time,” Williams Racing tweeted.

In 1981, he famously dismissed group guidance in Brazil, refusing to enable Alan Jones pass for the acquire, but led the championship forward of the finale in Las Vegas where by he capable on pole.

Reutemann then light in the race, won by Jones, and Piquet became winner by a solitary position.

Nicknamed “Lole” in a mangled reference to his adore for pigs — “los lechones” in Spanish — he left the sport abruptly following the Brazilian Grand Prix in 1982 having raced in 146 grands prix, with twelve wins and 46 podium finishes.

Just after seeking his hand in the Environment Rally Championship in 1985, Reutemann turned to politics and was elected governor for Santa Fe province, serving 1991-1995 and 1999-2003.

In 2003, he was elected senator for Santa Fe and re-elected in 2009 and 2015. He declined to run for president in 2002, even although polls showed he would have been a foremost applicant.

Regarded for his indifference to fame, he failed to present at his individual e-book launch in 1998, following working for several years with a ghost writer. “That is Reutemann,” the writer Alfredo Parga claimed at the time.