Jose Froilan Gonzalez, Ferrari's first F1 winner, dies aged 90

Jose Froilan Gonzalez, the first man to win a world championship Formula 1 race for Ferrari, has died at the age of 90

Jose Froilan Gonzalez, Ferrari's first F1 winner, dies aged 90

After racing in his native Argentina for several years, Gonzalez followed countryman Juan Manuel Fangio to European racing in 1950.

He retired from his first two F1 starts with a private Maserati, but was recruited as works Ferrari driver for 1951.

The Pampas Bull, as Gonzalez was nicknamed, duly became Ferrari's first F1 winner as he defeated Fangio's Alfa Romeo to win the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Gonzalez tribute gallery

Ever-present on the podium in his remaining starts that year, Gonzalez finished the year third in the standings.

He switched to Maserati for the next two seasons, although his 1953 campaign was truncated by back injuries from a crash in a sportscar race in Lisbon.

Back at Ferrari for 1954, Gonzalez won the British GP for a second time, as well as a host of non-championship wins. He also triumphed alongside Maurice Trintignant in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

By the end of the year, Gonzalez had edged out Mike Hawthorn by a mere half a point to take second in the F1 championship behind Fangio.

That proved to be his final season at international level, as the then 32-year-old chose to return home to Argentina to focus on domestic racing.

Gonzalez continued to make sporadic F1 appearances until 1960, and added another podium finish with second behind Fangio in his home GP in 1955.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said the company had lost "a true friend".

"The news of the death of Gonzalez saddened me greatly," said di Montezemolo. "We had spoken not that long ago, talking about cars and racing, the topics he was most enthusiastic about.

"Over all these years, he was always very attached to Ferrari and, as a driver and a man, he played an integral part in our history. His death means we have lost a true friend."

Gonzalez's death means Jack Brabham is now the oldest surviving F1 race-winner.

shares
comments
Red Bull Formula 1 team boss Christian Horner awarded OBE

Previous article

Red Bull Formula 1 team boss Christian Horner awarded OBE

Next article

Nico Rosberg answers your questions

Nico Rosberg answers your questions
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Ferrari
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again Plus

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021