Juan Manuel Fangio

Article

July 6, 2022

Juan Manuel Fangio (June 24, 1911 in Balcarce, Argentina – July 17, 1995 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) was a successful Argentine Formula One driver. He won five world championships in the 1950s, the last four of which were consecutive. Fangio was the greatest F1 driver of the 1950s. The Argentinian dominated the 50s from 1950 to 1957. His nickname was "Maestro" or Master.

Biography

Fangio was born into an Italian immigrant family in Balcarce, Argentina. Fangio's career as a racing driver began in 1934. He won the Argentine championship in 1940 and 1941. In his home country, Fangio became famous in the 1940s for the rallies driven through the South American states, which he drove in Chevrolet and Ford cars, until his co-driver Daniel Urrutia died in one In a 10,000 kilometer race. After World War II, Fangio moved to racing in Europe in 1947. Fangio won his five championships in no less than four different teams with Alfa Romeo, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari and Maserati. Fangio is the only competitor in the entire history of Formula 1 who has been able to win at least two consecutive world championships with different car brands. He drove 51 GP races, of which he won 24. So Fangio won almost half of the races he drove, with a winning percentage of 47. Two of the wins were split wins; According to the rules of the 1950s, the same car could be driven by more than one driver during the race. Fangio's pole position percentage is the highest in F1 history at 57 percent. Fangio achieved the fastest lap in 45% of the races he drove, which is one of the greatest in F1 history. Juan Manuel Fangio is often considered the best F1 driver of all time. However, it is downright impossible to rank pilots from different eras. Fangio's tough racing partner Stirling Moss has said of Fangio that "no one else has made as few mistakes in a racing car as he has." Countless legends of Fangio live in formula circles. One of them is located on the old track of the Nürburgring, more than 20 kilometers long, which Fangio conquered three times, the last time in 1957, already as a 46-year-old conker. Fangio was chasing his last world championship in his Maserati. His worst rivals were Ferrari's Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins. The Ferraris drove through the race without a single pit stop, while Fangio was prepared for one pit stop. For that, he beat his competitors by 30 seconds. However, the wheel nut got stuck, and the stop stretched to almost a minute. Fangio started the chase, during which he improved the lap record he already had from the previous season by a second on every lap. Last on the previous lap, he caught up with the Ferraris and passed them, first Collins, then Hawthorn. However, Fangio passed both Ferraris by driving straight through the corners, literally. Today that would be against the rules, but at the time it was considered an "excellent idea". Fangio was kidnapped by Fidel Castro's guerillas on February 23, 1958 in Havana, but he was soon released. Fangio died in Buenos Aires in 1995 at the age of 84. He had been hospitalized a couple of days earlier due to pneumonia and kidney problems. Fangio visited Finland a few times, for example at the memorial service for the Zoo rides. On August 7, 2015, Fangio's body was raised from its grave for two paternity tests. Both Oscar Espinoza, 77, and Ruben Vazquez, 73, claimed that Fangio, who has died aged 84, is their father. DNA samples were taken from Fangio's body at the cemetery's morgue. The tests were expected to be completed in mid-September 2015. The Argentinian champion was never married during his life and had at least no recognized children. In December, the test result revealed that Fangio is indeed Osca