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F1 History 22

Fangio at Monaco

It’s approaching deadline day here in the Motor Sport office, and as Ed Foster put it on Twitter, “chat has dropped and tea rounds have multiplied”.

So while a thought for the magazine’s editorial team is always appreciated, sometimes it’s nice to see other people working hard. As if we needed an excuse to post this video…

Here we have ‘The Maestro’, Juan Manual Fangio, drifting around Monaco in a Lancia D50, the car in which he won his fourth of five World Championships. 1956 was never going to be Fangio’s happiest year, even if he did take the title. The legendarily laid-back veteran was always suspicious of Enzo Ferrari’s machinations, but knew that his team presented him with best chance of retaining his crown. This film was shot in 1970 – some 12 years after his retirement – but as you’ll see, Fangio doesn’t exactly take it easy. The slow motion footage at the end is especially impressive, showing just how smooth his style was.

history  Fangio at Monaco

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22 comments on Fangio at Monaco

  1. Rich Ambroson, 12 November 2012 17:57

    A great video, glad to see it again. As you noted, the slow-motion sequences are something as well.

    Truly, The Maestro.

  2. Joe Freeman, 12 November 2012 18:46

    Fantastic! It’s so nice to see how well he used the balance of the car to slide through the corners: a real art. It’s a tragedy we never got to see him try an American dirt mile, as his car control was fantastic – jut as some of our own former heros: Bryan, Bettenhausen, Foyt, Jones, Sutton, and Ward.

  3. Henry, 12 November 2012 19:40

    Great video, but that is a Ferrari, you need more tea.

  4. Ray T, 12 November 2012 20:51

    Low grip, skinny tyres, enough power, it was enough and it was great. But, it meant the driver was far more important than the machinery. This will never happen again in F1.

  5. chris b, 12 November 2012 21:30

    I’m a huge Jimmy fan but there is something about Fangio, a majesty that commands your attention, to me Jimmy will always be no 1 and I always think of Ascari before Fangio and then you see a clip like this and you forget to breath as you watch this genius of a man-

    i was so privileged to see Fangio in 1978 at Gunnar Nillson’s tragic day of respect at Donnington saw so many great things that day bit the two that stuck in memory was Fangio driving a F1 Merc – opposite locking and wheel spinning in just a triumph of mastery and the other was James last drive in an F1 car, oh and George driving a cooper wasn’t bad either.

    great memories to a great man

  6. Jim St. George, 12 November 2012 23:36

    Thanks for the video. It makes me think that what we call progress is, in actuality, not.

    Henry, you need to research the genesis of the D50. It is a Lancia; those are Ferrari badges. Look it up. Joe Freeman, Fangio had plenty of experience on dirt in Argentina. Your observation is astute. It would have been quite a treat to see him race at Langhorne against our best.

  7. Bill, 13 November 2012 09:50

    That’s a PROPER chicane! Not like the one we have now!

    I agree with Chris B re Clark, Ascari and Fangio. Only ever saw the last two on film/video, but they all seem to have the knack of looking slow as they drive at their fastest – see Fangio/Ring/57 or Clark/Monza/67. It must have been dispiriting to the opposition

  8. MB, 13 November 2012 13:18

    Fabulous film – best I have seen since Fernando Alonso drove Mr Ecclestones historic Ferrari in a demonstration run at Silverstone GP meeting. Alonso vs Fangio would would have been magic!

  9. dave cubbedge, 13 November 2012 15:42


    Yes it is a Ferrari, but in name only. Enzo had nothing to do with its’ design, that was up to Vittorio Jano and Lancia. Money meant it was called a Ferrari in 1956. And remember, the D50 was much better than the 553 and 555 Supersqualo, the Ferraris the Lancia was meant to vanquish.

  10. dave cubbedge, 13 November 2012 15:43

    …and I absolutely agree with those who would’ve liked to see Fangio in a dirt champ car.

  11. john miller, 13 November 2012 16:33

    Great stuff, but I think those tail out slides were for show and weren’t typical of the way he would have driven in 1956.

    Just shows how times have changed in more ways than one…

    “To demonstrate the degree of lock required to negotiate the hairpin, Jenson Button picked the ashtray up off the table…”

    Memories, eh, Mr Roebuck?

  12. dave cubbedge, 13 November 2012 17:03

    Cornering in a 4-wheel drift is the way it used to be done as perfectd by Tazio Nuvolari, so I disagree with you John…

  13. Matt Wills, 13 November 2012 19:22

    Great film
    I thought Enzo Ferrari had all the Lancia/Ferrari D50 broken up so is the car in the film still in existence ?

  14. Nick Planas, 13 November 2012 22:00

    if this is 1970, he’s nearly 69 years young in this sequence. Beautiful shots, great to hear the sound of the engine, watch those powerslides, and witness the Maestro at work. Yes, I’m a Jimmy fan too but there’s something about this…

  15. bryan caven, 15 November 2012 02:25

    Notice the passenger cars parked on the street!

  16. Martin Tomlinson, 15 November 2012 12:56

    Bloody marvellous!! And to think that he was 59 or 60 years old at this time …

  17. Michael Green, 15 November 2012 17:40

    Bloody Lovely! The old man was enjoying himself!

  18. Ivan Carlos Ruchesi, 19 November 2012 12:16

    Nice to see that lovely footage featured on MS web page.
    There are some plans in Argentina to produce a movie featuring Fangio’s youth and early years at car racing in the 1930′s, especially those tough dirty road races of about 5000 miles all around South America in US coupe cars prepared like rally ones .
    There already is a movie titled “Operación Fangio” about his kidnapping at La Habana, Cuba, in 1958 before a sport car race by the political revolutionary group that rules the country since 1959.

  19. Jack Hoey, 26 November 2012 18:29

    Charging up Beau Rivage past the line of parked cars en route to Casino Square.. …wonderful. I think it’s early morning and not the Grand Prix weekend. Great to see The Maestro enjoying himself. May he rest in peace.

  20. N. Weingart, 6 December 2012 21:47

    I enjoyed the understeer to snap-oversteer sequence at the Station hairpin, very nice! Forza Fangio!

  21. Bob Johnston, 29 December 2012 11:49

    Yes those were the days. I would love to have seen a video of Ascari the year before at the same venue before he went into the water. As I recall Alberto was not nearly as subtle a driver as Fangio, with lots of arm movement. An exciting guy to watch.

  22. Mariano, 8 February 2013 23:17

    Seems that gave to my fourth son Juan Manuel as his given name is not enough . The maestro went beyond the sport we need more examples like him . Time by time i enjoy to visit the museum at balcarce his birth place ” here is where fagio stars and here is where fagio disires to end” he quoted

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