top of page

Jaun Manuel Fangio

5 Time World Champion

Jaun Manuel Fangio

Juan Manuel Fangio, an iconic Formula One driver, stood out as the oldest participant in many of his races, commencing his Grand Prix career in his late 30s. During his era in the 1950s, Formula One racing was marked by extreme danger due to the absence of protective gear and safety features on the circuits. The cars of that time were not only fast but also physically and mentally demanding to drive, with longer races that required remarkable stamina. The vehicles featured narrow cross-ply tires that were unforgiving, often losing their treads during races, along with spark plugs fouling. Initially, drivers wore cloth helmets and goggles, with helmet mandates coming into effect in 1952, leading to the use of paper-mache crash hats.

Safety measures were minimal, with no seatbelts, roll-over protection, or driver containment until 1954. The front-engined cars exposed drivers to scorching engine and gearbox heat, and electronic aids or computer interventions were nonexistent. Fangio's career was relatively short, but he earned a place among the greatest Grand Prix drivers, rivaling legends like Tazio Nuvolari.

Fangio was known for changing teams without hesitation, even during a successful season if he believed he could achieve better results with a superior car. He often shared race results with teammates when his own car experienced technical issues, a common practice at the time. His rivals included notable names like Alberto Ascari, Giuseppe Farina, and Stirling Moss. Throughout his career, Fangio enjoyed support from the Argentine government under Juan Perón's leadership.