Team Lotus published the following message in their Lotus World Magazine (December 1985 issue) when the italian driver announced he was leaving the team at the end of the 1985 season:
The sad news received too late for inclusion on our latest issue was that Elio had decided to leave us at the end of the season. Long-lasting contracts between race drivers and teams have always been rare within the sport and Elio completed his sixth season with Team Lotus this year. Undoubtedly a very gifted person in a number of ways (his performances on water skis, the football field, the tennis courts and the piano have already been well documented) he has seen a great number of major changes with the Team during his spell with us. When he first joined us in 1980 it was at the invitation of Colin Chapman in the role of number two driver to our World Champion Mario Andretti. In only his second Grand Prix with us he produced a highly impressive drive finishing second in the Brazilian Grand Prix. He continued to shine throughout that season gaining fourth place in Italy and the US Grand Prix East and a sixth in Austria. It is as well to remember he was only 22 when he joined us but he had already been marked down as a highly skilled driver due to his 1979 season of drives with the Shadow Team. His first season with us was under the Essex banner but John Player were to return the following season and from then on Elio was to be a familiar figure in his black and gold overalls. His first Grand Prix win came in 1982 (that classic finish in Austria is still a fond memory of the Team’s) and he has long been known for his very fast and consistent drives into the points so valuable to any team.
He has served the Team extremely well through the years and both he and his lovely girlfriend, Ute, will be sorely missed.
Our sincere thanks to Elio for his splendid performances on our behalf and we wish him every success for the future.
© 1985 Lotus World Magazine • Published for entertainment and educational purposes, no copyright infringement is intended