Giuseppe "Nino" Farina (30/10/06 - 30/06/66)Written by Ζήσης Βουργάνας
Translated by Giannis Binas
He was born on October 30, 1906, in Turin of Italy and was known under the nickname “Nino”...
Date of 1st publication: 04/08/11
Emilio Giuseppe “Nino” Farina (as was his full name), remained in history at the first Formula 1 world champion.
He was born on October 30, 1906 at the Turin of Italy and was known under the nickname “Nino”.
At the end of the 30s, Farina won many races in Viturette category, winning the Italian Driver’s Championship for 3 consecutive years (1937-1939).
He achieved his first grand victory in 1940, at the Grand Prix of Tripoli in Libya.
The outbreak of World War II made him wait 8 years, before he won an important race again.
Entering the post war period, he won, with a private Maserati, the 1948 Grand Prix of Monaco.
When the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile announced the start of the World Championship in 1950, Farina secured a place together with Juan Manuel Fangio and his compatriot Luigi Fagioli, at the dominant team of Alfa Romeo, to drive the invincible 158.
The famous “3F” (Farina, Fangio, Fagioli) left no margin to anyone, winning 6 out of the 7 races of the championship.
The race they didn’t win was Indianapolis 500, where only American drivers competed.
He won the first race on the history of Formula 1 World Championship at Silverstone, starting from pole position and he made the fastest lap, while, behind him, Fangio and Fagioli had their own fight for second, until the moment that Fangio retired from an oil leak.
The first retirement came in Monaco, when, on the first lap, he stepped on sea water that had entered in the Tabac corner resulting in parking on the wall, being second behind Fangio.
Besides the Italian though, another 8 drivers crashed, including Fagioli.
The race was won by Fangio, tying in first place of the points with Farina.
In Switzerland, Farina was starting second, behind Fangio and in front of Fagioli.
There was no doubt that the “3F” would fight for the win as well as for the championship to the end.
After a great fight between Farina and Fangio, the Argentinean retired from second with a mechanical problem, leaving the place to the third of the company, Fagioli, who, that way, passed second in the championship.
In Belgium, Farina had the pole, made the fastest lap, but the win was claimed by Fangio with Farina facing transmission problems during the final laps, dropping from second to fourth.
For another time, Fagioli finished in second place.
And if things turned bad in Belgium, it went… really bad in France, as he retired 9 laps to the end from fuel pump, at the time when Fangio and Fagioli were doing another 1-2 for Alfa Romeo.
The result was to now tie with Fagioli in second and on the last race, the championship was still open for the “3F”.
The last race was held in Italy, at the circuit of Monza.
There, Fangio got the pole position with Farina third and Fagioli fifth.
This time, luck smiled at him as he won the race with Fagioli finishing third.
Fangio managed to retire twice; one with his own single-seater from gearbox and one with Piero Taruffi’s one from engine.
It was allowed to switch cars during that era, but the points were shared between the two drivers, if they finished in them, of course.
The Italian won the 3 out of 7 (actually 6) races, securing simultaneously the world title, which was the first in the history of Formula 1.
That was meant to be the climax of his career as he didn’t manage to win the Championship again.
In 1951, he had to play supporting role, as he wasn’t able to follow the pace of Juan Manuel Fangio.
He only managed to win the Grand Prix of Belgium, alongside some out of Championship races, finishing the season 4th overall.
In 1952 he moved to Ferrari, where he found himself having the excellent Alberto Ascari as a team-mate.
Ascari, in the 1952-1953 period, managed to win 9 consecutive races.
Farina didn’t claim any win, finishing the season in 2nd position.
In 1953, he took his first win with Ferrari and last one of his career, at the German circuit of Nurburgring and finished the season in the 3rd place of the Championship.
The same year, he won the 24 hours of Spa, together with Mike Hawthorn.
In the beginning of 1954, Farina won a Sports Car World Championship race, but had a major accident in Monza that almost burned him alive and let him off the rest of the season.
He attempted to return in 1955, taking painkillers to help him endure, scoring some points.
Nevertheless, in the end of the season he took the decision to retire from F1.
In 1956, he raced in Indy 500 without much success, while he had another major accident, once again in Monza, during a local race.
It’s 1957 and “Nino” decided to retry in Indy 500, but his team-mate was killed during a test he was conducting with Farina’s single-seater.
Then, the Italian decided to quit from racing forever!
Farina was known for his driving style and his ingenuity, as well as his indifference towards his co-athletes in the circuits.
He was involved in the lethal accidents of Marcel Lehoux (Deauville 1936) and Laszlo Hartmann (Tripoli 1938).
In spite of the very serious injuries he had during the last seasons of his career, Farina was killed outside the circuit, in a car accident he had as he was heading to watch the 1966 French Grnad Prix.
October 30, 1906 – June 30, 1966
Active years in Formula 1: 1950 – 1955
Teams: Alfa Romeo, Ferrari.
Races: 34 (33 starts).
Championships: 1 (1950)
Points: 115,33 (127,33)
Pole Positions: 5
Fastest laps: 5