Antonio Brivio

Full Name:
Marquis Antonio Brivio-Sforza
Born:
27th December 1905
Biella, Piedmont
Died:
30th January 1995 (Aged 89)
Nationality:
Italian
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

The Marquis Antonio Brivio-Sforza – known as “Tonino” to friends and Antonio Brivio to race goers – had only been racing for a season when he made his Grand Prix debut at the tender age of 23. That was in the 1928 Italian GP when driving a Talbot T70 but the car was withdrawn as a mark of respect after team leader Emilio Materassi crashed into the crowd, killing himself and 22 spectators.

Success with Scuderia Ferrari

The young nobleman was not to be deterred and he drove an Alfa Romeo 6C-1500 in sports cars and minor GPs before joining Enzo Ferrari’s rising team in 1932. Although never among the star performers in Ferrari’s works-assisted Alfa Romeos, Brivio was a trusted second tier driver who also had his days in the limelight.

Second in the 1932 Mille Miglia, he comfortably won that year’s Spa 24 Hours when sharing an Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 “Monza” with Eugenio Siena. He then inherited victory in the 1933 Targa Florio when team-mate Baconin Borzacchini crashed at half distance. Second again to Tazio Nuvolari’s Maserati 8CM in the Coppa Ciano, he defeated a local field to win the Swedish Summer GP at Vram.

Grand Prix driver for Bugatti

Brivio spent a single disappointing season with a works Bugatti T59 in 1934 – finishing second in the Belgian GP and third in the Coppa Acerbo. That former result was after the dominant German teams had boycotted the race when officious Belgian customs officials attempted to charge import tax for their specialist racing fuel!

Return to Ferrari and Olympic appearance

Brivio returned to Ferrari by the end of the season. He finished third in the Monaco GP and won the Targa Florio for a second time (after Louis Chiron had been delayed) during 1935. The following year began with a switch of sports – Brivio representing Italy in the bobsled at the 1936 Germish-Partenkirchen Winter Olympics.

Although victory in the Mille Miglia was the highlight of his motor racing season, third-place finishes in the German GP and Vanderbilt Cup were also notable achievements. He led an Alfa Romeo sweep of the top four positions in Turin’s Valentino Park in 1937 before retiring from the sport to get married.

Administrator after World War II

He raced again after World War II but it was as an administrator that he had a special place. He was head of Italy’s governing body – the CSAI – and represented the country at the CSI (the FIA’s competition committee) when Formula 1 rules were first decided in 1948. Many credit Brivio as the original inspiration behind the introduction of the World Championship in 1950.

He raced for the last time in the 1952 Mille Miglia (when his Ferrari 166MM finished ninth) and remained in touch with the sport for the rest of his life.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
1937 European Championship
Scuderia Ferrari
1 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1936 European Championship
Scuderia Ferrari
2 0 1 0
0% win rate
0
1936 AAA National Championship
Scuderia Ferrari
1 1 1 0
0% win rate
10th 240
1935 European Championship
Scuderia Ferrari
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0