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Thread: The story behind Ferrari's first win

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    The story behind Ferrari's first win

    I found this article http://www.f1aldia.com/12494/silvers...-hiciste-pepe/ which I very much liked, and decided to post it here for those of you who are hooked into the Ferrari history - I am sure that RedArmySoja can tell us how accurate the description of the events is!

    Since it is in Spanish and Google translator is a mess, i have given a go at translating it myself. As usual, any contributions towards making the translation more intelligible in English are more than welcome!

    It is rather long, so apologies if I split it in several posts.

    F1 HISTORY AND LEGENDS
    Silverstone 1951: What did you do, Pepe!




    My name is José Froilán González, but everybody calls me Pepe. I was born in Argentina, in a place called La Colonia, nearby Arrecifes; in this city, my father had bought the Chevrolet dealer, so I spent my childhood among cars, helping the mechanics at the workshop. I was a very poor student, I never managed to learn any mechanics; but I was crazy about cars, so when the dealer closed at night I would stay back and take one of the clients’s cars to drive around the city. I was very young and everything was going very fast; I started to race at clandestine night races in Arrecifes, we called them "picadas" (note: could be translated as “challenges”), then I moved onto competitions on dirt tracks, then to Buenos Aires to race on tarmac, and there I was when I was called by the Automóvil Club de Argentina. They told me that President Perón was going to sponsor the trip of a group of drivers to Europe so that they could compete in the newly-created F1 World Championship, and I had been chosen for the group. So I got into the plane together with Fangio himself, being a young guy of 28 – Fangio was 39 already!

    That first F1 season, 1950, was a disaster for me. I raced for the Achille Varzi private team driving a Maserati, and I only managed to qualify for two races, Monaco and France, but I could not finish either of them. Fangio, of course, did much better, he had signed for Alfa Romeo; he was close to win the Championship, but in the last race Nino Farina run away with it. Back in Buenos Aires once the season was over, I signed with Ferrari to drive in some races there; I managed to win ahead of the Mercedes and that cought Enzo Ferrari’s attention, who sent me a personal telegram, congratulating me. The next year, 1951, I went back to Europe to race with a private Talbot; the truth is that I did not expect much out of that season, but it ended up being the most important one in my life. Specially, I will never forget that year’s British GP, run at Silverstone… but let me tell you the story of that race.

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    .- A test with Ferrari



    I am at the Reims track, about to start the French GP practice session; it was the fourth race of the World Championship, and out of the other three races I had only managed to qualify for the very first one, Switzerland, but I did not finish the race; in the other two ones I did not get the minimum time to participate. So now, looking at myself in the mirror as I shave, I am wondering if the French track would suit my Talbot, and if the engine would hold for the whole race in case I manage to qualify. One of the mechanics knocks at my door:
    .- Pepe, someone is asking for you. It is Nello Ugolini, Ferrari’s Sports Director.

    Caramba! I wipe the soap from my face, I put on my shirt and get out immediately.

    .- Signore González, I have an offer for you.
    .- I accept!
    .- Before knowing what I am going to offer?
    .- Yes.

    I already knew what Ugolini was going to offer to me. His fourth driver, Serafini, had just had an accident at the Mille Miglia and was to be wearing a plaster for months; and his third driver, Taruffi, had arrived to Reims in a rather poor condition, with a high fever, so it was clear that Ugolini wanted me to drive for them on that GP, so that they could have as many cars as possible available on track in case their official drivers, Ascari and Villoresi, had a breakdown. For them I wasn’t much more than a spare tyre or radiator, but for me they were the chance to prove that with a good car I could drive like the best.

    .- It will be just for this race
    .- Very well.
    .- You will have to give your car to any of our other drivers, in case of breakdown.
    .- Agreed.

    Qualy wasn’t bad for me, taking into account that it was the first time I was driving the Ferrari. I was to start 6th, with Fangio starting 7th because of a problem with his Alfetta. The two first positions were for the Alfa Romeo of Fagioli and Farina, followed by the two Ferraris of Ascari and Villoresi. I was on seventh heaven on the starting grid; off we went, wheel to wheel in the first turns… I drove calmly. With each turn I was feeling more comfortable in the Ferrari; the long straights of Reims and its open turns allowed me to extract full value out of its powerful engine. Without even realising, I was lapping at the same times tan the best; when I got to Villoresi, I mercilessly overtook him; then I saw that Ascari had a problem and went into boxes, Farina had gone off track and was trying to get back in, and in Alfa Romeo the stopped Fagioli so that he could give his car to Fangio, who had had a breakdown. Almost effortlessly… I was leading!

    At that very moment, mid-race, they called me to boxes so that I could give my car to Ascari; when Alberto went back on track he still held first position, such was the advantage I had over my rivals. He was later overtaken by Fangio, but I was delighted to get onto the second step of that podium together with Ascari – and I was yet to finish my first F1 race! When we step down of the podium, Nello Ugolini came looking for me:

    .- Don Enzo wants to see you on Wednesday at Maranello. We are leaving in a couple of hours, you will come with us.

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    .- The first time I went to Maranello



    I remember how surprised I was as I watched the land surrounding the town of Maranello from a Ferrari truck. Fields and fields of wineyards, perfectly aligned, gave the impression of it being a rural town, of agricultural economy. Nothing to do with the industry-oriented Milan, which I had known when I went to visit the Alfa Romeo Factory, invited by Fangio, and which was a conglomerate of factories of all sectors, the mechanical one among them. I asked the truck driver:

    .- Ah, the wineyards! Maranello is in Modena, doesn’t it ring a bell?
    .- No, I don’t know about the Modena wines.
    .- No wonder! Because the Modena wine is so poor that it is only worth it to make vinegar – but the best vinegar in the world indeed!
    .- And that’s all? Maranello’s worth is in the vinegar?
    .- Ah, no! It is in Ferrari too. You’ll see.

    And I did see. As I said, I had been at Alfa Romeo in Milan; and there I saw a big factory, in the new American line-work style that Ford had implemented, with workers doing repetitive tasks in immense workfloors which produced hundreds of cars each day. But what I did not see in Milan were the town people, which I saw in Maranello, coming out as the Ferrari trucks went by to cheer on us, forming a human line all the way to the factory. The factory… let’s say an enhanced workshop, nothing to do with the Alfa Romeo premises in Mila. At the Ferrari factory I still could see bits and pieces kept in old oil cans cut in half to be used as containers, and the workers amble from here to there, without a fixed position in an assembly line. I understood then that Alfa Romeo was the “urban Italy”, that of the industrial and financial power site in Mila, that could pay for the best Italian driver of that moment, Farina, and the greatest international figure, Fangio; while Ferrari would be the “rural Italy”, the one that was fighting to come back after the disaster that the Second World War had been hanging to the land, the agriculture… and used to make money last as long as possible; the Italy that had to do with hiring an Argentinean driver who had yet to finish an F1 race.
    In truth, Ferrari did not look like a very rich Factory, not one to be the economic center of a region, not even of a town. Had I been fooled by the truck driver? Or maybe I had not understood him, because Ferrari was obviously not the industrial engine of Maranello… but it was its heart; the whole town beat to the sound of the roaring of its engines. We trained every day, and since there was no nearby track where we could do it, we raced on the town’s streets; I remember that when the Factory doors opened and the single-seaters went out, the Ferrari hooter would sound five times; it was the warning for all citizens of Maranello to clear the streets and take away the few motor vehicles and many horse wagons. The Ferrari were out training! We crossed the town at high speed, among the joy of its people, who looked at us from their doorways and windows and applauded us, screamed at us, cheered on us. We tested the engines in the town, and the brakes and suspensions on a nearby mountain pass, on the first foothills of the Apeninos, coming down like crazy… yes, that wasn’t Alfa Romeo, it wasn’t Milan, it wasn’t the Monza track… but what the hell, I wasn’t Fangio either!

    .- González, this is your contract. Sign it on the last page.
    .- Thank you very much, mister Ferrari.
    .- Aren’t you going to read it?
    .- It is not necessary, I trust you.
    .- OK, I’ll summarise it for you. You will earn 150.000 liras, half than Ascari, since the season is already half way through. I don’t know if I will be able to pay you, it is on writing because the Unions demand so. If I couldn’t pay you, you will be given a car at the end of the season. Any prizes you win we will go 50/50. You will be the fourth driver, and will race with the material we give you, including tyres… by the way, Ascari and Villoresi prefer Pirelli to Englebert and are always fighting about it, do you have any preferences?
    .- I never worried about the tyres of the cars I drove, I couldn’t tell one from the other.
    .- It’s better that way... and finally, you will give your place on the race to whichever of the two first drivers of the team who have a breakdown that forces them out of the race. Any questions?
    .- Will I race with an insurance policy?
    .- All our drivers race with an insurance policy. (note: this could be poorly worded in the original Spanish article, and talk about having a guaranteed race seat, rather than an insurance policy!)
    .- Fine then.

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    .- The first time I went to Maranello



    I remember how surprised I was as I watched the land surrounding the town of Maranello from a Ferrari truck. Fields and fields of wineyards, perfectly aligned, gave the impression of it being a rural town, of agricultural economy. Nothing to do with the industry-oriented Milan, which I had known when I went to visit the Alfa Romeo Factory, invited by Fangio, and which was a conglomerate of factories of all sectors, the mechanical one among them. I asked the truck driver:

    .- Ah, the wineyards! Maranello is in Modena, doesn’t it ring a bell?
    .- No, I don’t know about the Modena wines.
    .- No wonder! Because the Modena wine is so poor that it is only worth it to make vinegar – but the best vinegar in the world indeed!
    .- And that’s all? Maranello’s worth is in the vinegar?
    .- Ah, no! It is in Ferrari too. You’ll see.

    And I did see. As I said, I had been at Alfa Romeo in Milan; and there I saw a big factory, in the new American line-work style that Ford had implemented, with workers doing repetitive tasks in immense workfloors which produced hundreds of cars each day. But what I did not see in Milan were the town people, which I saw in Maranello, coming out as the Ferrari trucks went by to cheer on us, forming a human line all the way to the factory. The factory… let’s say an enhanced workshop, nothing to do with the Alfa Romeo premises in Mila. At the Ferrari factory I still could see bits and pieces kept in old oil cans cut in half to be used as containers, and the workers amble from here to there, without a fixed position in an assembly line. I understood then that Alfa Romeo was the “urban Italy”, that of the industrial and financial power site in Mila, that could pay for the best Italian driver of that moment, Farina, and the greatest international figure, Fangio; while Ferrari would be the “rural Italy”, the one that was fighting to come back after the disaster that the Second World War had been hanging to the land, the agriculture… and used to make money last as long as possible; the Italy that had to do with hiring an Argentinean driver who had yet to finish an F1 race.
    In truth, Ferrari did not look like a very rich Factory, not one to be the economic center of a region, not even of a town. Had I been fooled by the truck driver? Or maybe I had not understood him, because Ferrari was obviously not the industrial engine of Maranello… but it was its heart; the whole town beat to the sound of the roaring of its engines. We trained every day, and since there was no nearby track where we could do it, we raced on the town’s streets; I remember that when the Factory doors opened and the single-seaters went out, the Ferrari hooter would sound five times; it was the warning for all citizens of Maranello to clear the streets and take away the few motor vehicles and many horse wagons. The Ferrari were out training! We crossed the town at high speed, among the joy of its people, who looked at us from their doorways and windows and applauded us, screamed at us, cheered on us. We tested the engines in the town, and the brakes and suspensions on a nearby mountain pass, on the first foothills of the Apeninos, coming down like crazy… yes, that wasn’t Alfa Romeo, it wasn’t Milan, it wasn’t the Monza track… but what the hell, I wasn’t Fangio either!

    .- González, this is your contract. Sign it on the last page.
    .- Thank you very much, mister Ferrari.
    .- Aren’t you going to read it?
    .- It is not necessary, I trust you.
    .- OK, I’ll summarise it for you. You will earn 150.000 liras, half than Ascari, since the season is already half way through. I don’t know if I will be able to pay you, it is on writing because the Unions demand so. If I couldn’t pay you, you will be given a car at the end of the season. Any prizes you win we will go 50/50. You will be the fourth driver, and will race with the material we give you, including tyres… by the way, Ascari and Villoresi prefer Pirelli to Englebert and are always fighting about it, do you have any preferences?
    .- I never worried about the tyres of the cars I drove, I couldn’t tell one from the other.
    .- It’s better that way... and finally, you will give your place on the race to whichever of the two first drivers of the team who have a breakdown that forces them out of the race. Any questions?
    .- Will I race with an insurance policy?
    .- All our drivers race with an insurance policy. (note: this could be poorly worded in the original Spanish article, and talk about having a guaranteed race seat, rather than an insurance policy!)
    .- Fine then.

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    .- The secrets of the Silverstone track



    The first race I was going to drive for Ferrari under a proper contract would be the Great Britain GP, at the Silverstone track – an old Second World War aerodrome turned into a racing track. I was to travel with the Ferrari team, and before I left Maranello I got a phone call; it was Juan, as in Juan Manuel Fangio:

    .- Pepe, when do you arrive to England?
    .- Wednesday morning.
    .- Good, I’ll wait for you at the track at around five. Come on your own. At the hangar entrance.
    .- I’ll be there.

    And of course there I was. Juan was awaiting for me by an Alfa Romeo truck; when I arrived they were unloading one of their sports car, a two-seater like the one they used for the endurance races, in which Fangio was taking part too.

    .- Get in, we are going for a few laps.

    It is well known that Juan always prepared for the races in that way, getting there one day prior to the teams arriving at the track to get to know it and practice at it; what I could not imagine was that this time he would take me as co-driver. And we started doing laps and laps and more laps… Fangio took notice of all details: the bumps, the areas with sand, where the wind was blowing… and he tried different racing lines, different braking and acceleration points, in which turns you could slide and in which ones you couldn’t.. I had never done anything like that, I just got in the car and tried to drive to the finish line as fast as possible. And when he reached a conclusion, he would tell me:
    .- Maggotts, full throttle, no problem. But stick to the apex. You’ll be able to do so with the Ferrari.
    .- Did you see the bump in the middle of the hangar straight? Don’t take it.
    .- Careful at Copse, brake hard when you are at the level of that bush, did you see it? Then accelerate without fear and let it backslide.
    .- Here you can overtake; in Abbey you can attack the turn from the middle of the track, there is no need to go to the extreme. You place yourself parallel to the other car and pass it.

    That was a full lesson, and Juan was a great teacher. I listened to him and tried to remember everything he was saying, as if I were learning the multiplication tables – I think I never made an effort at school like the one I made at Silverstone on that day! When Fangio finished the lesson, we went back to the Alfa Romeo truck. I didn’t know what to say, Alfa Romeo’s number one driver and WDC leader had just explained all the secrets of the Silverstone track to Ferrari’s fourth driver; I remember I clumsily tried to thank him and wish him good luck for the race… Juan replied with his usual laconism:

    .- Here you guys will win.

    I took it as a compliment, not as a forecast; Alfa Romeo had won all the F1 races that had taken place to that date, both the previous year and the current one, except for the Indianapolis 500 Miles, the US GP, in which they did not participate. But Fangio knew what he was talking about, after having studied the track in-depth he was able to detect which car would do better there, because he knew the Ferrari almost as well as he knew the Alfetta. During the Friday practice sessions I tried to remember everything Juan had told me, I tried to take the racing line he took, I remembered the braking and acceleration points and practised the sliding when exiting the turns… everything went as Fangio had told me it would go. On Saturday I got pole, Fangio would start second, Farina third and Ascari fourth; Juan was one of the first ones to congratulate me; he gave me a big hug, and whispered in my ear:

    .- I told you, Pepe. Here you guys will win.

    For years it was discussed whether Fangio helped me on that Wednesday selflessly or because he wanted me to finish ahead of my teammate Ascari, his main rival for the WDC. Whoever defends the second theory does not know Juan; he was incapable of thinking that another driver could help him beat a rival and also he was perfectly aware of the fact that in case of a breakdown Ascari would take my place. Juan helped me for more simple reasons: because I was a rookie who had to earn his seat at Ferrari, because I was Argentinean… and because I was his friend.

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    .- From Fangio’s nobility to Ascari’s



    On race day I was far more nervous than on qualy; starting from pole had made me feel a huge responsibility, and although the Ferrari team had tried to calm me down and told me to do what I could, I knew I could have a good race, even more, I knew that I could win. I walked up and down the grid trying to look calm, but deep inside I was shaking like a leaf. When the time to get into the car came, something got loose inside me and I had to rush to the restroom; I jumped the low wall between the track and the pits and run towards the first door with a WC sign. I rushed in loosening my belt and trousers, and when I raised my eyes looking for a free cubicle… I saw a group of women looking at me with puzzlement and fear. I had rushed into the ladies’s restroom! But there was no time, so I went through the first open door and closed it behind me. When I was done I left with as much dignity as possible; there was nobody in the restroom, but plenty of curious people at the door; lowering my head and redder than my Ferrari I went to the starting grid.

    On the start Farina was close to winning the lead from Fangio and myself, but when entering the first turn I was still ahead; on lap 10 Fangio overtook me, precisely in Abbey – as if I didn’t know that he would do it exactly on that point! But I stuck to him, with Farina and Ascari behind me. I was following Juan’s racing line, knowing exactly where he would brake and where he would accelerate, and in all fairness the guy in the Alfa Romeo didn’t do anything unexpected, each lap had the precision of a Swiss watch. When Fangio pitted for new tyres and fuel he was barely 5 secs ahead of me; I knew that was my opportunity, because Ferrari had abandoned the turbo engines to go back to the atmospheric ones, which translated into a lower peak speed, negligible in Silverstone’s short straights, and also into a lower fuel consumption. The Alfa Romeo needed to take some 300 litres, which would take in between 40 and 50 secs, while the Ferrari would reach the finish line with just 220 litres, and we could take that in about 25 secs, or at least so we had been practicing. Fangio’s stop lasted 48 secs, so I thought that I could overtake him when I pitted.



    But something went wrong: on lap 53 Ascari had to abandon because of a broken gearbox. I was called into boxes a couple of laps later, and I pitted immediately, I wanted to give the car to the Italian on P1 and ready to win the race. I was not upset about giving him my seat, he was Ferrari’s number 1 driver, the one who could challenge Fangio for the WDC, plus I had already done so in France and he kindly invited me to join him on the podium. So I was not surprised to see Alberto waiting for me in the garage; as I braked I stood up when I felt a hand on my shoulder that didn’t let me get out of the car; it was Ascari

    .- This is your race, bambino. You win it.

    I don’t know if Alberto took the decision on his own or if he had previously checked with Enzo Ferrari, but at that time I didn’t even think about it; I sat down again and accelerated to return to the track – we had done a 23-secs stop and I was first! The race was 90 laps long, so there was still a long time to go, and I focused on remembering everything I had seen Fangio do; in those first laps my Ferrari was much lighter than his Alfetta, so the time difference went up, but when the fuel weight started to get equal the Alfettas started to fly; Farina hit the fast lap for the race, but fortunately for me he had a breakdown on lap 75 and had to retire.

    I had been racing for over two hours and I was already enjoying the track; my Ferrari danced on the tarmac, taking advantage of our lower peak speed I could brake less on entering the turns and exit them faster, so I managed to stabilise the time difference with Fangio, whom I could not even see in my mirrors. In fact, winning that race, the first F1 race I managed to finish, was much easier than I could have imagined. I crossed the finish line 51 secs ahead of Fangio’s Alfa Romeo, after 2 hours and 42 minutes of racing. When I got off the car the first person to congratulate me was Ascari, the man who could by right have taken my place and who let me win; the second one was the master, my friend Juan Manuel Fangio:


    .- See Pepe, I told you, that you would wipe the floor with us here.

    I saw myself surrounded by fans who asked for my autograph and barely let me walk. They were asking me, Pepe Gonzalez, for autographs in the presence of Fangio, Ascari or Farina! When I arrived to the garage I saw Enzo Ferrari crying; I thought that it was because of the emotion, the happiness of the first win for one of his cars. We all knew that Ferrari had learnt everything he knew in the Alfa Romeo racing team, which he left to create his own Scuderia, leaving there his friends, his colleagues, his teachers. But Don Enzo’s tears were of true sadness; when he finally overcome his feelings, he told those around him:

    .- I feel a great pain inside. I feel as if I had killed my mother.

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    .- Back to Maranello



    We went all together back to Maranello after the race. When the big red Ferrari trucks were in sight of the town, we were greeted by the chime of the bells from the bell tower of the Marano castle, which could be heard in the whole countryside. People left their work and came by the road, forcing the convoy to reduce its speed to finally adjust to the pace of the townfolks. That was a triumphal entrance indeed, men and women hug me, kissed me, I could see tears in their eyes… On that day I understood that I had entered the history of Ferrari. Ever since that first race, every time a Ferrari wins a GP the bells of the castle ring again so that the whole town of Maranello knows.
    Almost 21 years later, at the Argentinean GP that opened the 1972 season and which took place in Buenos Aires, I remember that they took me to the starting grid to greet the drivers. Most of them were youngsters who barely knew who I was, until I saw one of them come running to me; he was the later 3-WDC, Jackie Stewart. When he got up to where I was he gave me a big hug. I was a bit surprised, because I didn’t know the Scottish driver personally.
    .- Señor González, I have waited for a long time to finally meet you in person!

    I was half confused, half embarrassed. Stewart probably noticed, because he gave me a naughty smile, reached into his pocket and took out an old pic of me, with my signature.
    .- Do you remember this pic? I was 12 when I saw you win at Silverstone. I fought with many other fans to get to you after the race and get your autograph. If I am an F1 driver today is in a great part thanks to you. What a great victory that one was!

    The day after we arrived to Maranello, Enzo Ferrari called me to his office. I saw he had a big pic of me crossing the finish line at Silverstone on the wall behind his desk. He showed to me a pile of papers.
    .- González, this is your new contract. Sign it on the last page.
    .- Thank you very much, mister Ferrari.
    .- Aren’t you going to read it?
    .- It is not necessary, I trust you.
    .- OK; I’ll summarise it for you. You will earn 6 million liras per year, you will be able to choose the tyres you want on each race,… and you will not have to give your place on the race to any other driver in case of breakdown.
    .- Thank you very much, mister Ferrari.
    .- Thanks to you, González. Trust me if I say that I will not forget you for as long as I live.
    .- Not at all, mister Ferrari, it is me who has to thank you. Trust me if I tell you that Ferrari will become a great team and whole books will be written telling your history, counting wins and more wins. I will just be Pepe Gonzalez, the Argentinean driver who will take the first row of that list of wins.

  8. #8
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    I found some other details about the race:
    - apparently there is a mistake in the article: at the French GP 1951 Fangio was on pole, it was Fagioli's Alfa Romeo that was starting 7th
    -as Steelstallion said, on the start of the British GP 1951, the front row drivers were momentarily overtaken by those on the second row - but by the second lap they were back up front. Some comments indicate that the front row guys were concerned of potential penalties on the start, which made them be over-cautious.
    - also, I have read elsewhere that the bells that toll for Ferrari's wins are the ones at the church of San Biagio - no idea if that is the same as the Marano castle the article talks about, maybe somebody could confirm this point. Edit: OK, this description may shed some light "Within the fortified enclosure (Maranello castle) lies the church of San Biagio, long deconsecrated, built in the 18th century on the ruins of a former religious building and flanked by a slender bell tower, probably adapted from one of the original towers of the castle."
    - ENzo Ferrari gave Pepe Gonzalez a gold watch as a present for his win; it seems Ferrai had been promising for a long time that he would do so for his cars's first win.

    To complete the story, I found a few pics pics of the 1951 British GP:












    The podium: Gonzalez (Ferrari), Fangio (Alfa Romeo), Villoresi (Ferrari)








    And a signed one by Pepe Gonzalez:


    Other:


    And a more recent one:



    Other pics here http://perezloizeau.wordpress.com/20...-de-la-hazana/ and here http://www.jmfangio.org/gp195105inglaterra.htm

  9. #9
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    Videos of the 1951 Silverstone GP (please add any other video you find ):
    http://axisofoversteer.blogspot.com/...rive-1951.html (this page refers to Alonso driving the 375 F1, but the second video is one of the original race - pit stop included!).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fox16...eature=related (Spanish)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZsRYedCzNs
    Last edited by Meiga; 12th March 2013 at 01:35.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meiga View Post
    Videos of the 1951 Silverstone GP (please add any other video you find ):
    http://axisofoversteer.blogspot.com/...rive-1951.html (this page refers to Alonso driving the 375 F1, but the second video is one of the original race - pit stop included!).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fox16...eature=related (Spanish)

    Awesome! I will watch at work tomorrow. Grazie

    -Lou(is)
    Forza
    Ferrari
    16/15
    Totus Tuus
    Pace e bene

  11. #11
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    Is he still alive? I would be truly grateful to get a signed card (or whatever) from him.

    -Lou(is)
    Forza
    Ferrari
    16/15
    Totus Tuus
    Pace e bene

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tifoso View Post
    Is he still alive? I would be truly grateful to get a signed card (or whatever) from him.
    Yes, he is. I have read that he was supposed to be at Silverstone, but at 88 the doctors recommended him not to travel all the way from Buenos Aires. Still, I have read that he was the main guest of Fox Sports Argentina during their broadcast of the race, and that he was very emotional when the F150 crossed the finish line in P1. I have been trying to find a clip of that in youtube, but no success till now - if I do I will post it here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meiga View Post
    Yes, he is. I have read that he was supposed to be at Silverstone, but at 88 the doctors recommended him not to travel all the way from Buenos Aires. Still, I have read that he was the main guest of Fox Sports Argentina during their broadcast of the race, and that he was very emotional when the F150 crossed the finish line in P1. I have been trying to find a clip of that in youtube, but no success till now - if I do I will post it here.
    wow. would love to see that.

    thank you very much for all the work you have put in.


    In Stefano Domenicali, we have a team boss who has proved to be a leader. - Luca diMontezemelo

  14. #14
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    What an incerdible video! What a gorgeous car!

    -Lou(is)
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  15. #15
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    Great video and a good read.

  16. #16
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    Saw Alonso do his couple of laps in the Gonzalez car at the Silverstone GP this year. Highlight of the day*, especially when he gave it some stick!

    The GP win was OK too!
    We're doomed, Cap'n Mainwaring, doomed I tell ye!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Singer View Post
    Saw Alonso do his couple of laps in the Gonzalez car at the Silverstone GP this year. Highlight of the day*, especially when he gave it some stick!

    The GP win was OK too!
    Yeah i loved that. Why didn't i go this year?


    Power, Passion, Heritage, Beauty, Success = Scuderia Ferrari
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  18. #18
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    José Froilan González, 22-Oct-2011 (mind you, he is 88!). Buenos Aires Ferrari Track Day, commemoration of Ferrari's first win
    http://www.youtube.com/v/9O_s9u2dbu8...uds&autoplay=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh7Hr...eature=related

    And some of the Ferraris there (somebody needs to explain the Red Bull heresy ):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1qzi...eature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V--N0...eature=related

    Interview at Ferrari.com http://www.ferrari.com/English/Formu..._my_heart.aspx


    froilan-homenaje1.jpg

    (click on pic to see larger size)
    Last edited by Meiga; 27th January 2012 at 21:51.

  19. #19
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    I would so love to have his autograph. *sigh*

    Thanks Meiga

    -Lou(is)
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tifoso View Post
    I would so love to have his autograph. *sigh*

    Thanks Meiga
    I cannot believe that Ferrari can't sort this out for you. Or the Ferrari Club at Argentina. Hey, I'll give it a try at getting in touch with them if you want! But I will need your first name in case I get lucky and they say yes to getting the autograph

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meiga View Post
    I cannot believe that Ferrari can't sort this out for you. Or the Ferrari Club at Argentina. Hey, I'll give it a try at getting in touch with them if you want! But I will need your first name in case I get lucky and they say yes to getting the autograph

    This is so very kind! First name is Louis

    Only if it is not too much trouble, OK?

    -Lou(is)
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tifoso View Post
    This is so very kind! First name is Louis

    Only if it is not too much trouble, OK?
    Not at all, it will be a long shot though, so keep your fingers crossed!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meiga View Post
    Not at all, it will be a long shot though, so keep your fingers crossed!
    I will. Thanks very much!

    -Lou(is)
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  24. #24
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    It's been a long time! But I found this video of Froilán González during the 2011 Sirverstone GP pre-race broadcast and I remembered this thread - so here is the link, in Spanish only (sorry about that), but still emotional to see Gonzalez's reaction seeing Alonso driving his old car ("his girlfriend", as he calls it):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ziwcr9zLHgc

    He does talk about him having "a red passport", which I thought was a nice touch

    Also, this was Fox's pre-race video before Silverstone 2012 - a short summary of the race history starting with Froilán González 1951 and ending with Alonso 2011. Hope you like it!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ov5RB-WFqW4

  25. #25
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    Quite inspiring. And to think all of this happened back in the day when they had to build cars using what little technological advancements they had back then.

  26. #26
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    I'm guessing that it didn't work out.

    -Lou(is)
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    Totus Tuus
    Pace e bene

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