The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari
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The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

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Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

Rudi Caracciola was the Alain Prost to Tazio Nuvolari’s Ayrton Senna – except when it rained and roles were reversed. Their 1932 season spent as rival Alfa Corse males was muddied by prearrangements permitted by the superiority of their machinery. It was perhaps the German, however, who burnished his reputation the more.

For it was he who paused at Monaco rather than seize victory by taking advantage of his team-mate’s fuelling problem. It was he who should have won, by order admittedly, the Grand Prix de l’ACF at Reims, only to be gazumped by a disobedient, faster on the day and frustrated Nuvolari. And it was he who obeyed orders at Pescara’s Coppa Acerbo and the non-championship Monza GP, though he would win the latter when Nuvolari suffered another fuelling hiccup.

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Tazio Nuvolari , Rudolf Caracciola
Author Paul Fearnley