Former F1 driver De Cesaris dies in motorbike crash

Former Formula 1 driver Andrea de Cesaris has passed away following a motorbike accident in Italy on Sunday.

The Italian is believed to have died when riding his motorbike in the Bufalotta region of Rome when he collided with a guard rail at high speed.

The 55-year-old competed in 208 grands prix between 1980 to 1994 and drove for no less than ten teams - Alfa Romeo, McLaren, Ligier, Minardi, Brabham, Rial, Scuderia Italia, Jordan, Tyrrell and Sauber.

His best race result was second place at both the 1983 German and South African GP's, the same year he finished a career best eighth in the championship for Alfa Romeo.

He returned to racing F1 cars in the Grand Prix Masters series.

The news has shaken the F1 paddock as it comes on the same day as Jules Bianchi's frightening crash at the Japanese GP.