The 50`s: FANGIO, THE BEST EVER?
Italian party, British effort
It was May 13th when The Formula 1 World Championship
started at Silverstone in England. And started in red style: Alfa
Romeo 158 domination was terrific, nothing more than four
drivers were in the front: Farina, Fagioli, Fangio and Parnell
were absolut in the practices. Farina won the race and Alfa were
in the top three, only Fangio stopped with oil pressure
problems. Ferrari debut in Monaco with a strong 2nd for Ascari.
Two victories for Farina, three for Fangio when they came to
Monza in September 3rd to decide the championship. Fangio
was in a 4 points lead, but in the race he had gearbox problems,
took Taruffi┤s cars, but had a engine failure and let the way free
for local hero Farina.
Otherwise in the next year Fangio, again with Alfa Romeo (now
159), took the title to Argentina, beating Ferrari team. At this
year, another argentinian driver wrote his name in the history:
J.F.Gonzalez, called "Cabezon" by Enzo Ferrari, won the first
Grand Prix for the team at Silverstone. Ascari, also driving for
Ferrari, appeared as a great driver and really pushed Fangio
until the end, losing the battle in a six points difference.
Next two years Ferrari will became the most important name of
cars races. Their titles brought an amazing passion to the sport.
All places that Ferrari were, always had a lot of people to came
close, get pictures and looked for souvenirs. As Fangio suffered
an injury in an sport car accident and didn┤t race all the year
and Alfa Romeo retired, there were no obstacles for Maranello
Team. Ferrari took the control and put 4 drivers in the top of
the 52┤s championship table, in a record of six consecutives
victories for Ascari. In 53, Fangio drove for Maserati, fighting
with Ascari untill Swiss GP, when Ascari won the race and
championship. Mike Hawthorn became the first ever british
driver to won F1 races: Rheims GP, beating Fangio and
Gonzalez for one second time.
From 54 to 57 there were Fangio┤s reigning. Nobody could beat
him and he reached 16 victories at this period. In 54 he beat his
close friend Gonzalez (Ferrari), driving Maserati and Mercedes.
In 55 with Mercedes, 56 with Ferrari and 57 with Maserati he
overshadowed his best oponent: Stirling Moss. Moss became the
most famous vice-champion of the history, reaching that
position nothing more than four consecutive times, from 55 to
58. This year, 58, Moss lost the championship for his
compatriot Hawthorn with Ferrari, but Vanwall became the first
oficial Constructor Champion with Moss and Brooks .
Also this year Fangio decided to retire. His explanation for that
Fangio: "I came to test my car and after a few laps struggling
with my `coche` I asked to my engineer: What did you change in
The engineer: "the schock absorbers. Why? Because they pay us
Fangio: "...so I realize that my time was come. I was the one that
were in dangerous at the track, how could them change anything
without asking me before? That was not the sport I like...besides
that I┤m too old...". He was 47 and very quick yet...
In the last year of this decade, Jack Brabham took his first of
three crownes and gave to Cooper-Climax the first rear-engine
championship of the history beating Brooks and Ferrari.