70 years after the first triumph of Juan Manuel Fangio in Formula 1

El Chueco achieved the first of his 24 successes in the specialty on the streets of Monte Carlo.


El Monaco Grand Prix It is one of the most traditional races of the F1. In fact, it was the second test that the category disputed in that championship of 1950, the first in its history. That race, held on May 21 of that year, it was won by someone who was destined to achieve great things in the specialty: Juan Manuel Fangio.

In the difficult streets of the Principality El Chueco showed his talent and cunning as it prevailed after dodging a group of cars that were crowded into the Tabac curve after a multiple accident.

Fangio, who ran for the official team Alfa Romeo, had reached Montecarlo with the aim of taking revenge on his abandonment on the English circuit Silverstone, where the division had started the season on May 13.

Juan Manuel Fangio Monaco 1950
El Chueco took a lap from Alberto Ascari, who made Ferrari debut with a podium.

The great time he achieved in qualifying showed that he was the candidate for victory. Completed the lap of the 3.180 meter track in 1m50s2 / 10 and took 2.6 seconds to the Italian Nino Farina, Your partner. That difference still remains the widest between the poleman and his escort on this unique track.

The Balcarceño had no problems in maintaining first place at the start and was placed in front of the peloton. After going through Tobacco, before completing the initial turn, behind him there was a spectacular accident that had as protagonists nine of the 20 pilots who started.

The wind had thrown a wave on the asphalt and only Fangio managed to pass. Farina lost control of her car, hit the wall and was stopped in the middle of the track. The Italian Luigi villoresi (Ferrari) surpassed his compatriot, but the same did not happen with José Froilán González. The Argentine struck Farina's vehicle and on the impact the tank of his Maserati was damaged and fuel spilled, something that caused chaos.

Juan Manuel Fangio Monaco 1950
The Tabac disaster. Fangio (on the right of the image) passes slowly.

Fangio was oblivious to those facts. However, his insight allowed him to slow down in time and go slowly through the place avoiding the crowded cars. How did you find out? He noticed that the public was looking towards the curve of Tabac and I wasn't paying attention to him. Immediately he remembered a photo he had seen of an accident in that same place from a previous career and knew something had happened there.

“A banderillero showed the yellow flag, of caution; but I braked as if they had shown me the red flag, which means stop of the activity on the track. I lowered the gears and did my best to stop the car on time. A second later and I would not have made it… I arrived at the scene of the accident, I passed very slowly, I dodged the cars and I managed to continue ”, Fangio told later.

After more than three hours of racing, the Argentine crossed the finish line first with a lap ahead of the Italian Alberto Ascari (Ferrari) and two on the premises Louis Chiron (Maserati).

That triumph allowed him to jump to first place in the tournament and share the honor with Farina, who finally became champion. The Argentine had his revenge in 1951 and then repeated in 1954, 1955, 1956 and 1957.

The Quintuple achieved 24 successes in the category and the first was on this picturesque and difficult circuit and in a special way. Living up to its legend.

MONACO GRAND PRIZE OF 1950

POS. PILOT TEAM VTAS. TIME / DIF.
1 Juan Manuel Fangio Alfa Romeo 100  3h13m18s7
2 Alberto Ascari Ferrari 99  on 1 round.
3 Louis Chiron Maserati 98  on 2 rounds.
4 Raymond Sommer Ferrari 97  on 3 rounds.
5 Prince bira Maserati 95  on 5 rounds.
6 Bob gerard ERA 94  on 6 rounds.
7 Johnny claes Talbot Lago 94  on 6 rounds.

AVERAGE: 98,701 km / h. LAP RECORD: Fangio, 1m51s0 at 103,135 km / h.

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Diego durruty

Journalist with 30 years of experience. Worked in magazines STROKE, The graphic, Coequipier y Only TC, on the Internet sites SportsYa!, e-driver.com y kmcero.com and on the radios Rock pop y Vorterix.com. He covered the Dakar rally for the German agency dpa. He currently drives Two Daring Guys, a car magazine that is broadcast on Tuesdays from 18 to 19 by RadioArroba.com; is editor of motorsport in Red Bull Argentina, columnist on the show WorldSport (AM Splendid) and in Surf & Rock FM.  He is also a teacher in SPORTS. Now you can read it on his blog: automundo.com.ar.

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