Amadeo was from Caslino al Piano in the Italian province of Como and had started his career at the age of 18, working for Team Arturo Merzario. He was hired by Osella just in the second half of 1980, and in 1981 he joined the Formula 1 team, as a member of Piercarlo Ghinzani's crew.
During Friday practice for the 1981 Belgian Grand Prix, Amadeo fell from the pit wall into Reutemann's path. The incident was a major shock to the Formula One community, with Amadeo having suffered a double skull fracture and, though attempts to resuscitate him in the ambulance were successful, he was not expected to survive. He was rushed to University Hospital in Leuven in a very grave state and placed into a coma, but died the Monday after the race.
Furthermore, Arrows mechanic Dave Luckett was injured during the race on Sunday whilst trying to restart Riccardo Patrese's car on the startline when he was run into by the second Arrows of Siegfried Stohr, breaking both of his legs. Fortunately enough, Luckett survived on this occasion, but Amadeo was not so lucky. These incidents led the mechanics for the other teams to protest over the safety measures protecting them, which was soon joined by several drivers who left their cars.
Despite the initial shock of having run the mechanic over during practice, an emotional Reutemann won his second race of the season, and the final Grand Prix win of his career.
- "Giovanni Amadeo". Motorsport Memorial. http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=1313.