Formula One drivers from Argentina

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Juan Manuel Fangio

There have been 25 Formula One drivers from Argentina including one five-time World Drivers' Champion. Juan Manuel Fangio, regarded as one of the greatest drivers of all time, won the title five times in the first eight seasons of the championship and was twice a runner-up.

World champions and race winners[edit]

Juan Manuel Fangio is the only Drivers' Champion from Argentina but his five successes equals all but three other countries' cumulative driver title success.[1] Only two other Argentine drivers have won a championship race: José Froilán González and Carlos Reutemann. 22 other Argentine drivers have driven F1 cars at race weekends, with many of them only racing once and failing to finish a single race.[2]

Current/recent drivers[edit]

There are currently no drivers from Argentina racing in Formula One. Gastón Mazzacane was the most recent driver,[3] having competed in the 2000 season with Minardi and the first four races of 2001 with Prost. After three retirements he was dropped by the Prost team and replaced by fellow South American Luciano Burti.

Former drivers[edit]

Notable former drivers[edit]

Juan Manuel Fangio won nearly half of the races he started. His victory in the 1957 German Grand Prix at Nürburgring is sometimes cited as one of the greatest drives in the history of the sport. In a poll of drivers undertaken by Autosport Fangio was voted as the third best racer in the history of Formula One, behind Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna.[4] Fangio's record of winning the drivers' title five times stood for 46 years, finally being surpassed by Schumacher, and he holds several other records including the highest percentage of race wins (46% – 24 out of 52).[3][5] He remains the oldest ever champion, winning his final title at the age of 46.[5] Fangio drove for Alfa Romeo in the first Formula One World Championship season in 1950. He finished second in the title behind team mate Giuseppe Farina, winning three of six races in which he competed. He achieved five podiums out of seven on his way to his first world title in 1951 but had to sit out of the 1952 season after breaking his neck in Monza. He returned to F1 in 1953 driving for Maserati and won just one of the eight grands prix, finishing second in the Drivers' Championship to Alberto Ascari. The next four seasons saw Fangio achieve success that would not be matched for many years. Across the four seasons he won 17 of the 28 races and all four titles. He retired from the sport after two races in 1958.[6] While some of his records have been broken, Ayrton Senna said of Fangio "Even if I or someone else can equal or beat Fangio's record, it still will not compare with his achievements."[6][7]

José Froilán González is the oldest living race winner.[8] Known as El Cabezon (Fat Head) and The Pampus Bull, González was built more like a wrestler than a modern racing driver.[4][9] He was runner-up to compatriot Fangio in the 1954 season and is celebrated by Ferrari as their first Formula One championship race winner.[3][10] He might have achieved other successes but González never contested a full season in any of the nine years he competed and his victory for Ferrari was his second and last win.[4][9] The Autosport vote placed González as the 27th best driver of all time, stating that he would have been likely to have won more races if he had accepted the offer of a race seat at Vanwall.[4]

Carlos Reutemann driving a Ferrari in 1978

Carlos Reutemann is the most recent Argentine race winner to ascend the top of the podium at the 1981 Belgian Grand Prix. That victory in Belgium was the last in a career that included 12 race wins. He achieved four first place finishes for Ferrari in 1978 and ultimately finished third in the championship. 1981 was his last complete season and Reutemann, driving for Williams, finished as runner-up in the Drivers' Championship.[11][12] The following year started with a second place at the South African Grand Prix but he would only last one more race before leaving Williams and quitting the sport amidst speculation of dissension between him and the team.[11][13] Team mate Keke Rosberg went on to win the championship.[14] In the Autosport vote Reutemann was placed 34th in the list of greatest ever F1 drivers. He is remembered for being one of only a small number of racers who qualified in pole position at their debut race,[3][13] and for having the most third place finishes of any driver.[5] Reutemann went on to have a successful career in politics, governing Argentina's largest province, Santa Fe.[11]

Other former drivers[edit]

Additional to those detailed above the following drivers started at least ten races:[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Formula One World Drivers' Champions". ESPN F1. ESPN EMEA Ltd. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "La historia Argentina" (in Spanish). November 1999. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Collantine, Keith (27 January 2009). "Formula 1's lost nations: Argentina". F1 Fanatic. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Carlos Reutemann". Autosport. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Manishin, Glenn. "All-Time F1 Records". Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Juan Manuel Fangio". ESPN F1. ESPN EMEA Ltd. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Baldwin, Alan (8 October 2003). "Feature: History to Overtake Fangio at Last". Autosport. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "How F1's heroes voted for the greatest". Autosport. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "José Froilán González". ESPN F1. ESPN EMEA Ltd. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "The driver: Froilan Gonzalez". Ferrari S.p.A. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c "Carlos Reutemann". ESPN F1. ESPN EMEA Ltd. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  12. ^ Collantine, Keith (17 May 2011). "On this day in 1981: F1's fiasco at Zolder". F1 Fanatic. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Carlos Reutemann". Autosport. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  14. ^ "Keke Rosberg". ESPN F1. ESPN EMEA Ltd. Retrieved 8 September 2012.