The 50's: FANGIO, THE BEST EVER? Italian party, Br...
Formula One article

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 was unique:

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 car?"

The engineer: "the schock absorbers. Why? Because they pay us to use..."

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.


Wroten by : Alexander Vasconcellos, Brasil