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#1 Isetta

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 13:22

When people discuss who was/is the greatest F1 driver of all time the answers usually range from Fangio to M Schumacher. Thing is I can just about envisage Michael in a 250F or W196 but have difficuty imagining Fangio in a current grand prix car.

My question is did Fangio ever try out any rear engined grand prix cars after retirement and if so how did he fare?



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#2 Tim Murray

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 14:15

He tried out the rear-engined F2 Behra-Porsche at Córdoba, in Argentina, in 1960, but apparently not at any real speed. More details in this thread:

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#3 ZOOOM

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 18:23

Fangio wouldn't FIT in any contemporary GP car!

ZOOOM

#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 23:00

About 1963 or 1964 was involved with some kind of a driver training or scholarship setup for drivers from his country...

They bought a few Brabhams, either Juniors or F3, small Brabhams anyway. He travelled to England to have them ceremonially handed over, and for some reason it was determined that it was okay for him to jump into one of the cars and have a few laps.

Tie blowing in the breeze, apparently, and I think he had no helmet on either, he was lapping at good speeds and he didn't come in when they called him either.

So he was capable of driving a pretty small rear engined car. That he was still driving as quick as he was when I saw him in 1978 leads me to believe he could have done the job nicely.

#5 Pablo Vignone

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 02:22

About 1963 or 1964 was involved with some kind of a driver training or scholarship setup for drivers from his country...

They bought a few Brabhams, either Juniors or F3, small Brabhams anyway. He travelled to England to have them ceremonially handed over, and for some reason it was determined that it was okay for him to jump into one of the cars and have a few laps.

Tie blowing in the breeze, apparently, and I think he had no helmet on either, he was lapping at good speeds and he didn't come in when they called him either.

So he was capable of driving a pretty small rear engined car. That he was still driving as quick as he was when I saw him in 1978 leads me to believe he could have done the job nicely.



It was in 1965. A friend of him, Enrico Vannini, was involved in the 1966 Temporada Organisation and wanted to buy some F3 Brabhams for argentine drivers. Fangio did the contact and ease the operation. I remember the photo of Fangio with the car at Silverstone, and Dennis Hulme beside.

When he drove me in 1993, in his Mercedes-Benz, he put his chauffeur at his side and me in the back seat...







#6 Isetta

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 11:52

Thanks for the replies everybody. I hope I did not impugne the great mans abilities as I'm sure he would have handled the first generation rear engined gp as well as anyone, I just think that his great skills would have been neutralised by the later aero cars.

I would love to see pics of him in the Brabhams.

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 22:12

Originally posted by Isetta
Thanks for the replies everybody. I hope I did not impugne the great mans abilities as I'm sure he would have handled the first generation rear engined GP as well as anyone.....


Everyone else seemed to make the switch okay... or almost everyone...

Look at some who did: Maurice Trintignant, a pre-war driver who went on into the sixties and won a GP in a Cooper... Moss, who found them capable of giving him greater outlet for his finer skills... Brabham, who you might regard as an all-time rear engine driver, but who was first found in front engined cars and very quick in them too... Gurney and Phil Hill, descending from the front engined monsters of Ferrari into rear engined cars that gave them both GP wins. All of these drivers would undoubtedly reckon Fangio to be better than themselves, therefore just as capable of making the switch.

.....I just think that his great skills would have been neutralised by the later aero cars.....


Now you do tend to impugn...

Granted, coming through the era he had, then going to the aero era, there's more than a fair chance he would have hated them. But can you really say that a truly great driver such as Fangio was would be daunted by these cars. Especially had he been younger.

I saw him up close in 1978. He was still capable of driving right to the edge on an unfamiliar circuit and in a car of great potential. I was privileged to see and hear him just chirping the tyres as he brinked on the edge of losing adhesion under brakes at the end of the fastest straight... going into a fast corner too... just chirping them as he peeled off some speed at the last possible moment.

But had I not been really close, the vision was of someone relaxed and slowing gracefully as they lined up to enter the corner.

A man with that skill in his seventies would undoubtedly have coped with any device thrown at him in an effort to make a car quicker.

I would love to see pics of him in the Brabhams.


Agreed...

#8 JtP1

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 00:24

It was in 1965. A friend of him, Enrico Vannini, was involved in the 1966 Temporada Organisation and wanted to buy some F3 Brabhams for argentine drivers. Fangio did the contact and ease the operation. I remember the photo of Fangio with the car at Silverstone, and Dennis Hulme beside.

When he drove me in 1993, in his Mercedes-Benz, he put his chauffeur at his side and me in the back seat...


Not wanting to tell grand mother to suck eggs, but was it not Goodwood?

There are photos of Fangio in the car wearing goggles in ordinary suit and tie, but without helmet. Was he not within 1 second of the lap record or fastest practice lap on the day.

#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 00:51

I'm also sure it was Goodwood...

I don't think he did enough laps to get up to record speeds, did he? Though he didn't come in when they called him to, he still didn't do many laps.

I recalled all of this when, at that '78 meeting when Fangio and Brabham appeared at Sandown, Brabham said to me, "It gives you a lot of heart to see him drive like that at his age!"

Some years later, when Jack was 'his age', there was a gathering of Brabham cars and owners at a circuit in England... not Goodwood, I'm sure... and Jack got into one of the cars and went quicker than the owner. And he kept going when he was called in too...

#10 Pablo Vignone

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 03:11

Not wanting to tell grand mother to suck eggs, but was it not Goodwood?

There are photos of Fangio in the car wearing goggles in ordinary suit and tie, but without helmet. Was he not within 1 second of the lap record or fastest practice lap on the day.


Right, Goodwood.

#11 Risil

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 12:08

I'm also sure it was Goodwood...

I don't think he did enough laps to get up to record speeds, did he? Though he didn't come in when they called him to, he still didn't do many laps.

I recalled all of this when, at that '78 meeting when Fangio and Brabham appeared at Sandown, Brabham said to me, "It gives you a lot of heart to see him drive like that at his age!"

Some years later, when Jack was 'his age', there was a gathering of Brabham cars and owners at a circuit in England... not Goodwood, I'm sure... and Jack got into one of the cars and went quicker than the owner. And he kept going when he was called in too...


As you get old, you don't lose your ability, just your ability to adapt...

#12 nmansellfan

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 12:11

I'm also sure it was Goodwood...

I don't think he did enough laps to get up to record speeds, did he? Though he didn't come in when they called him to, he still didn't do many laps.

I recalled all of this when, at that '78 meeting when Fangio and Brabham appeared at Sandown, Brabham said to me, "It gives you a lot of heart to see him drive like that at his age!"

Some years later, when Jack was 'his age', there was a gathering of Brabham cars and owners at a circuit in England... not Goodwood, I'm sure... and Jack got into one of the cars and went quicker than the owner. And he kept going when he was called in too...


I was stunned to find out on Wikipedia (yes, i know...) the Jack Brabham compteted in a 6 hour race at the old Nurburgring in 1998, in a new shape VW Beetle 1.8 Turbo. He scored the fastest lap of the three drivers in the car at over an 83mph average. Jack was 72 at the time!! Once a racing driver, always a racing driver....

#13 Isetta

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 09:46

Now you do tend to impugn...

Granted, coming through the era he had, then going to the aero era, there's more than a fair chance he would have hated them. But can you really say that a truly great driver such as Fangio was would be daunted by these cars. Especially had he been younger.

I saw him up close in 1978. He was still capable of driving right to the edge on an unfamiliar circuit and in a car of great potential. I was privileged to see and hear him just chirping the tyres as he brinked on the edge of losing adhesion under brakes at the end of the fastest straight... going into a fast corner too... just chirping them as he peeled off some speed at the last possible moment.

But had I not been really close, the vision was of someone relaxed and slowing gracefully as they lined up to enter the corner.

A man with that skill in his seventies would undoubtedly have coped with any device thrown at him in an effort to make a car quicker.



Agreed...



Thanks again Ray, I certainly did not mean any disrespect, it was just my clumsy attempt to highlight the shift in ratio between driver and car inputs from then to now. I wish I had your gift for descriptive prose.







#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 10:38

I think I'm just fortunate to have been in some very good places at the right time...

Mind you, being there took some effort at times. But once I'd seen the events the inspiration was there to properly describe them.

#15 Chezrome

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 11:11

I think I'm just fortunate to have been in some very good places at the right time...

Mind you, being there took some effort at times. But once I'd seen the events the inspiration was there to properly describe them.


Somewhere in the Unearthed You tube thread (very long) there can be footage found (I hope, still) of Jack Brabham and Fangio having a race. Brabham in his Brabham, Fangio in a Mercedes (at least a car of his time). Brabham gave the win away, but still Fangio drove mighty hard...

EDIT:

Here it is...Fangio VS Brabham 1978!

Edited by Chezrome, 09 April 2010 - 11:13.


#16 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 12:52

Mighty hard...

It's ludicrous to think this might have been a competitive race. Lap times of these cars were light years apart. At Zandvoort, for instance, Fangio's 1955 pole position time was ten seconds slower than Brabham's best race lap in '66.

But it was great to see both of them out there enjoying it all and showing the cars off. Fangio's, by the way, supposedly had a 3-litre engine in it that day.

#17 GD66

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 13:45

It's never over...I went to the Adelaide GP of 1986, and found to my delight that The Great Fangio, for he will never be known to me under any other title, was having a gallop in a Legends demo, as was Wayne Gardner, who would be world 500 champion the next year on the fearsome 500 Honda. In front of my astonished eyes, Gardner, easily working his way through the field of veterans, pulled alongside Fangio, and popped the Honda up on its' back wheel down the back straight. He looked at Fangio, Fangio looked at him, and then to my amazement, Fangio dropped it down a gear and floored it ! Fangio at full whack, Gardner alongside him on the 500 in a power wheelie, both looking at each other: it's an over-used phrase, but to me, THAT was surreal ! As a kid, my brother had LOTS of Fangio book coverage, and to be honest, as a kid, I saw a fat, bald man in a car. But the more I grew, and read, the more the reverence grew. Growing up, I loved Jimmy Clark, and later, I understood the phenomenon of Senna, but looking back all those years later, for me The Great Fangio will always have something that none will ever replicate. :love:
Regards, GD

#18 cpbell

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 16:52

To me, the Old Man is still the greatest, because of the way he adapted from open-road racing in South America to the very different discipline of Grands Epreuve and because of the way he raced and won. Always a gentleman, almost always immaculate and stylistically elegant 9n his driving style and ready to help young talent.