Roberto Mieres

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Roberto Mieres
Born (1924-12-03)3 December 1924
Mar del Plata, Argentina
Died 26 January 2012(2012-01-26) (aged 87)
Uruguay
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Argentina Argentinian
Active years 19531955
Teams Gordini, Maserati
Races 17
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 13
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 1
First race 1953 Dutch Grand Prix
Last race 1955 Italian Grand Prix

Roberto Casimiro Mieres (3 December 1924[1] – 26 January 2012) was a racing driver from Mar del Plata, Argentina.[1] He participated in 17 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 7 June 1953. He scored a total of 13 championship points.

Formula One & sports car racer[edit]

Mieres competed in a number of different sports, including rowing, sailing, rugby and tennis. He first took up motorsport in Argentina with an MG, which he later replaced with a Mercedes-Benz SSK and then a Bugatti formerly driven by Achille Varzi, using the latter to win the Argentine sports car championship. As a reward, he was invited to join his compatriots Juan Manuel Fangio and José Froilán González on a trip to Europe, during which he finished fourth in the 1950 Circuit des Nations in Geneva driving a Ferrari 125 Formula One car. After returning to Argentina, he was recruited by the Gordini team to replace the injured Jean Behra, allowing him to make his début in the World Championship at the 1953 Dutch Grand Prix. He also competed in the French and Italian Grands Prix, taking a best finish of sixth at Monza.[2]

Mieres scored his best result of 1953, however, in the non-championship Grand Prix de l'Albigeois held in Albi, France, finishing in fourth place.[3] He also finished third in a sports car handicap race at Caen in July 1953, which was won by Jean Chancel.[4] In January 1954 Mieres came in second at the Buenos Aires Grand Prix. Maurice Trintignant was victorious after Mike Hawthorn skidded close to the finish.[5] The tail of Mieres' Maserati caught fire during the 1954 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps. After belatedly realising this, he slammed on the brakes and jumped to safety.[6] Mieres then finished fifth in a Maserati at the 1954 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.[7] In the 1957 City of Buenos Aires sports car race Mieres drove a 3.5 litre Jaguar to a fourth place finish. His driving partner was Ninian Sanderson of Scotland.[8] Mieres later teamed with Anton Van Dorey for a fourth place finish at the 1960 12 Hours of Sebring.[9]

It is likely that an oil slick dropped by Mieres' Porsche caused a tragic accident at the 1958 Cuban Grand Prix, in which at least four people were killed and fifty more injured. Ferrari driver Armando Garcia Cifuentes skidded on a large oil slick which had been deposited on the track and crashed into a grandstand; one lap earlier, Mieres had pitted to replenish oil he had lost with a broken oil line.[10]

Retirement[edit]

After his racing career wound down in the late 1950s, Mieres returned to his other interest of sailing, and represented Argentina in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. He competed against fellow former racing driver, Prince Bira in the Star class, finishing 17th and beating his old rival in the process.[11] Only five others have competed in both the Formula One World Championships and the Olympics.[11] He died at the age of 87 in Uruguay.[12]

Complete Formula One World Championship results[edit]

(key) (results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 WDC Points
1953 Équipe Gordini Gordini Type 16 Gordini
Straight-6
ARG
500
NED
Ret
BEL
FRA
Ret
GBR
GER
SUI
ITA
6
NC 0
1954 Roberto Mieres Maserati A6GCM Maserati
Straight-6
ARG
Ret
500
BEL
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
6
11th 6
Maserati 250F GER
Ret
Officine Alfieri Maserati SUI
4
ITA
Ret
ESP
4
1955 Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati 250F Maserati
Straight-6
ARG
5
MON
Ret
500
BEL
5 *
NED
4
GBR
Ret
ITA
7
8th 7
* Indicates shared drive with Jean Behra.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jenkins, Richard. "The World Championship drivers - Where are they now?". OldRacingCars.com. Retrieved 2007-07-29. 
  2. ^ Small, Steve (1994). The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. Enfield: Guinness Publishing. pp. 254–255. ISBN 0-85112-702-9. 
  3. ^ Frenchman Wins Automobile Race, Los Angeles Times, June 1, 1953, Page C2.
  4. ^ Bayol Takes Auto Race, New York Times, July 27, 1953, Page 23.
  5. ^ Sports In Brief, Los Angeles Times, February 1, 1954, Page C2.
  6. ^ Hot Race, New York Times, June 24, 1954, Page 37.
  7. ^ Argentine Driver Triumphs In Rain, New York Times, July 18, 1954, Page S4.
  8. ^ Ferrari Is First At Buenos Aires, New York Times, January 21, 1957, Page 41.
  9. ^ Gendebien's Porsche Takes Sebring Race Fatal to Two, New York Times, March 27, 1960, Page S1.
  10. ^ Crash Kills 4 In Cuba Auto Race; Rebel Kidnappers Free Fangio, New York Times, February 25, 1958, Page 1.
  11. ^ a b Viva F1. "Formula One at the Olympics". Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  12. ^ "Former Maserati grand prix driver Roberto Mieres dies aged 87". autosport.com. Haymarket Publications. 2012-01-27. Retrieved 2012-01-27.