Riccardo Patrese remained with the Trivellato team after success in F3 as team and driver moved into the European F2 Championship for 1977. In this pre-season photo the team truck shows an allegiance to Ferrari, and the intention had been to run their 2 litre Dino engine mated to a Chevron B40 chassis with Riccardo having tested the combination at Fiorano. However, problems with the engine saw Trivellato switching to BMW power, and a Chevron B35, when the season started in March.
After three rounds of the championship Motor Sport magazine reflected that:
…a number of very promising young newcomers to the FIA championship have emerged. Cheever, Patrese and Giacomelli all look set to win races in 1977, indeed both Cheever and Patrese have already led events, while several other names also stand out as exciting prospects.
Riccardo did not win a F2 championship event, although he did win the F2 JAF GP in Japan at the end of the year. Two pole positions, including one at the Nürburgring, and five podium finishes saw Riccardo end the season sharing 4th position on the title race with Bruno Giacomelli.
Autosport described Riccardo’s season in F2 as “a disappointment“, suggesting that “with a steady F1 drive under his belt, he put more effort into that than he did his F2 programme“. Of course, that F1 career had begun at Monaco in May with Shadow, but a week later the Trivellato driver secured the first of four successive F2 podiums at Pau, Mugello, Rouen and Nogaro!
Autodromo del Mugello – Campionato F2 19/06/1977
Here’s some rare footage of the 1977 European F2 Championship from Mugello which was won by Bruno Giacomelli. Riccardo Patrese qualified in pole position in his Trivellato Chevron B40 BMW, and finished second in the race.