Luigi Villoresi

Last updated
Luigi Villoresi
Luis Villoresi - El Grafico 1442.jpg
Born(1909-05-16)16 May 1909
Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Died 24 August 1997(1997-08-24) (aged 88)
Modena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Flag of Italy.svg Italian
Active years 19501956
Teams Ferrari, Maserati, Lancia, Scuderia Centro Sud
Entries 34 (31 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 8
Career points 46 (49) [1]
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 1
First entry 1950 Monaco Grand Prix
Last entry 1956 Italian Grand Prix

Luigi Villoresi (16 May 1909 – 24 August 1997) was an Italian Grand Prix motor racing driver who continued racing on the Formula One circuit at the time of its inception.

Grand Prix motor racing, a form of motorsport competition, has its roots in organised automobile racing that began in France as early as 1894. It quickly evolved from simple road races from one town to the next, to endurance tests for car and driver. Innovation and the drive of competition soon saw speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), but because early races took place on open roads, accidents occurred frequently, resulting in deaths both of drivers and of spectators.

Formula One is the highest class of single-seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and owned by the Formula One Group. The FIA Formula One World Championship has been one of the premier forms of racing around the world since its inaugural season in 1950. The word "formula" in the name refers to the set of rules to which all participants' cars must conform. A Formula One season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, which take place worldwide on purpose-built circuits and on public roads.

Contents

Biography

Born in Milan, Lombardy, and nicknamed "Gigi", he was the older brother of race car driver Emilio Villoresi who co-piloted with him in several races at the beginning of their careers. From a prosperous family, Villoresi could afford to buy a car and began competing in local rallies at the age of twenty-two with a Lancia Lambda and a few years later acquired a Fiat Balilla with which he and his brother Emilio competed in the Mille Miglia. In 1935, he raced in the Coppa Ciano, finishing third and went on to capture the Italian driving championship in the 1100 cc sports car class. The following year he and his brother purchased a Maserati which they drove individually in different races. Emilio was so successful that he was signed to drive an Alfa Romeo for Scuderia Ferrari in the 1937 season.

Milan Italian city

Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,372,810 while its metropolitan city has a population of 3,245,308. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age.

Lombardy Region of Italy

Lombardy is one of the twenty administrative regions of Italy, in the northwest of the country, with an area of 23,844 square kilometres (9,206 sq mi). About 10 million people, forming one-sixth of Italy's population, live in Lombardy and about a fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in the region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest regions in Europe. Milan, Lombardy's capital, is the second-largest city and the largest metropolitan area in Italy.

Emilio Villoresi was an Italian Grand Prix motor racing driver.

In 1938, Luigi Villoresi became part of the Maserati team, driving the 8CTF model that Maserati had designed to compete with the dominant German Silver Arrows. In 1939, Maserati introduced the Maserati 4CL which Villoresi drove to victory at the 1939 South African Grand Prix. [2] Unfortunately, his brother Emilio died later that year while testing an Alfa Romeo 158/159 Alfetta factory racer at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. A little over two weeks after his brother's death, he drove his Maserati to victory at the 1939 Adriatic Grand Prix. [3] [4] His racing career was interrupted by the onset of World War II. At war's end, he returned to race for Maserati until 1949 when he signed again with Ferrari debuting in Formula One on 21 May 1950.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Silver Arrows

Silver Arrows was the name given by the press to Germany's dominant Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union Grand Prix motor racing cars between 1934 and 1939. The name was later applied to the Mercedes-Benz Formula One and sports cars in 1954 and 1955, and currently applied to the Mercedes GP/AMG Petronas F1 cars from 2010 to present.

Maserati 4CL and 4CLT

The Maserati 4CL and its derived sister model the Maserati 4CLT are single-seat racing cars that were designed and built by Maserati. The 4CL was introduced at the beginning of the 1939 season, as a rival to the Alfa Romeo 158 and various ERA models in the voiturette class of international Grand Prix motor racing. Although racing ceased during World War II, the 4CL was one of the front running models at the resumption of racing in the late 1940s. Experiments with two-stage supercharging and tubular chassis construction eventually led to the introduction of the revised 4CLT model in 1948. The 4CLT was steadily upgraded and updated over the following two years, resulting in the ultimate 4CLT/50 model, introduced for the inaugural year of the Formula One World Championship in 1950. In the immediate post-war period, and the first two years of the Formula One category, the 4CLT was the car of choice for many privateer entrants, leading to numerous examples being involved in most races during this period.

1949

Villoresi finished second in the 1949 Buenos Aires Grand Prix-President Juan Peron Grand Prix. Alberto Ascari was the winner with a time of 1 hour, 30 minutes, 23.9 seconds, for an average speed of 70.6 miles per hour (113.6 km/h). [5] Villoresi won the first Grand Prix de Bruxelles, beating Alexander Orley of the United States. The winning time was 85 mph (137 km/h) over 188-mile (303 km) distance. Orley was six seconds behind. [6] Louis Rosier was victorious in a blue Talbot, in a 500-kilometre (311 mi) Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, in June 1949. He took the lead following 23 laps and came across the finish line in front of Villoresi. [7] Villoresi was third in a 60-mile (97 km) international race at Silverstone in September 1949. Italian drivers made a clean sweep of the first three positions with Ascari first and Giuseppe Farina second as 100,000 fans looked on. English driver St. John Horsfall died when his car crashed at a turn. [8]

Buenos Aires Grand Prix (motor racing)

The Buenos Aires Grand Prix was a motor race held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The event was first held at the Costanera circuit from the early 1930s until 1936 and then continued in 1941 at the Retiro circuit. After a six-year break and General Juan Peron in office, racing resumed at Retiro in 1947 with the start of the South American "Temporada" Grand Prix series to be contested twice a year under Formula Libre regulations. Italian Luigi Villoresi won all 1947 Temporada events. The race regularly attracted Brazilian and European drivers and also Argentine drivers such as Juan Manuel Fangio and José Froilán González were now competing in Europe on a regular basis. For the 1948 Grand Prix season, the race was moved to the Palermo circuit where it would remain to host six of twelve "Peron Cup" races until the end of 1950. In 1951, the Costanera Norte circuit would host its last three Grand Prix events before the 1951 completion of the Autodromo 17 de Octubre, a purpose-built circuit for major Grand Prix series which would host various editions of the Buenos Aires Grand Prix from 1952 until 2009 with the exception of the 1956 event held at the General San Martin circuit in Mendoza.

Alberto Ascari Italian racing driver

Alberto Ascari was an Italian racing driver and twice Formula One World Champion. He was a multitalented racer who competed in motorcycle racing before switching to cars. Ascari won consecutive world titles in 1952 and 1953 for Scuderia Ferrari. He was the team's first World Champion and the last Italian to date to win the title. This was sandwiched an appearance in the Indianapolis 500 in 1952. Ascari also won the Mille Miglia in 1954. Ascari was noted for the careful precision and finely-judged accuracy that made him one of the safest drivers in a most dangerous era. Ascari remains along with Michael Schumacher Ferrari's only back-to-back World Champions, and he is also Ferrari's sole Italian champion.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

1950–1951

Villoresi skidded on oil, penetrated a barrier, and killed three spectators at the Grand Prix des Nations race in Geneva (Switzerland). Nino Farina impacted Villoresi's car at high speed but was uninjured. Villoresi broke his left leg and suffered head injuries which were treated at a hospital. The Grand Prix of 272 kilometres was won by Juan Manuel Fangio. [9] The 1951 British Grand Prix was taken by José Froilán González of Argentina. Villoresi finished third, two laps behind the winner, with an average speed of 95.39 miles per hour (153.52 km/h). Villoresi completed 88 laps, 2 behind Gonzalez. [10]

The Circuit des Nations is a long street circuit of 4110 meters between Lake Geneva and the Place des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. It hosted the Grand Prix de Nations, similar to a Formula One race; the Grand Prix de Genève, similar to a Formula Two race; and various championship events. The first Grand Prix de Genève was held in Meyrin in 1931 and won by Marcel Lehoux, racing for Bugatti.

Juan Manuel Fangio Argentinian racing driver

Juan Manuel Fangio Déramo, nicknamed El Chueco or El Maestro, was an Argentine racing car driver. He dominated the first decade of Formula One racing, winning the World Drivers' Championship five times.

1951 British Grand Prix Formula One motor race held in 1951

The 1951 British Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 14 July 1951 at the Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire, England. It was race 5 of 8 in the 1951 World Championship of Drivers and was contested over 90 laps. The race was the first victory for José Froilán González, and was also the first of many for the Scuderia Ferrari team. Both the team and driver also achieved their first ever pole position during the weekend.

1952

In July 1952 Villoresi won the French Grand Prix at Les Sables d'Olonne, driving a Ferrari. He captured the three-hour, 208-mile (335 km) race, with an average speed of 69.3 miles per hour (111.5 km/h). [11] Ferrari achieved a 1,2,3 sweep at the Grand Prix d'France in La Baule, in August 1952. Alberto Ascari was first, followed by Villoresi and Rosier. Ascari had already clinched the Formula One World Championship before this event. [12] Villoresi drove a Ferrari to win the 1952 Grand Prix of Modena in 1:5:21 over a distance of 100 laps, 230.6-kilometre (143 mi). His average speed was 124.236 km/h (77.197 mph). [13]

1952 French Grand Prix Formula One motor race held in 1952

The 1952 French Grand Prix was a Formula Two race held on 6 July 1952 at Rouen-Les-Essarts. It was race 4 of 8 in the 1952 World Championship of Drivers, in which each Grand Prix was run to Formula Two rules rather than the Formula One regulations normally used. Unusually this race was run over a duration of 3 hours, rather than a fixed distance.

1953–1954

Villoresi displayed his agility as a driver in the 1953 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Giuseppe Farina made contact with the Maserati driven by Onofre Marimón as he was approaching the finish line. Villoresi made a brilliant manoeuvre while racing at 100 mph (160 km/h) The crowd came to its feet to witness his quick thinking in pulling his car off the track at great speed. Villoresi then finished third after winner Fangio and Farina, who was two seconds behind at the end. The race marked the first time a Ferrari did not win an event in races counting toward the Formula One World Championship. Fangio drove a Maserati to an average speed of 110 mph (180 km/h) over the 313-mile (504 km) grand prix. [14]

Already 41 years old, Villoresi served as an elder statesman for the Formula One team, notably as Alberto Ascari's mentor who became his closest friend. In 1954, he and Ascari joined the new Lancia racing team but Ascari's death in the spring of the following year profoundly affected Villoresi and his career went into steep decline.

Villoresi was critically injured while testing a Lancia Aurelia near Rimini, Italy in April 1954. He was riding with his mechanic when he skidded while attempting to avoid a Fiat driving in the opposite direction. Both Villoresi and his mechanic were pinned beneath the Lancia. A group of farmers came to their aid, using oxen to lift the car. Both men remained conscious. Villoresi sustained a number of deep head wounds, facial lacerations, and bruises all over his body. He was listed in serious, but not critical condition. [15]

1955–1958

Villoresi was third after Ascari and Luigi Musso in the May 1955 Naples Grand Prix, a 153.5 miles (247.0 km) event. Villoresi was in a Lancia. [16]

He wrecked his car in the 1956 Grand Prix of Rome, a 2-Litre sports car event. The race was won by Jean Behra in a Maserati. [17]

Villoresi was one of nine drivers, from a starting field of 303, in a January 1958 Monte Carlo auto rally, who completed the first leg of the rigorous touring car event, without incurring a penalty. The 1,900-mile (3,060 km) endurance event featured cars from eight different European starting locales. Of the starters, 72 entrants crossed the finish line but 13 were disqualified because of lateness. The 59 who remained from the opening round faced a 655-mile (1,054 km), 22-hour portion, extending from Monte Carlo through the maritime Alps. Villoresi drove a Lancia. [18]

Villoresi retired from Grand Prix racing in 1957 after 31 Formula One championship starts without a victory but made it to the podium eight times while scoring a total of 49 championship points. Villoresi continued rally racing and won the Acropolis Rally in Greece in 1958 before retiring to a home in Modena.

Villoresi died in 1997 at the age of eighty-eight.

Major victories

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

YearEntrantChassisEngine123456789WDC Points [1]
1950 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 125 Ferrari V12 GBR
MON
Ret
500
SUI
Ret
BEL
6
FRA
DNS
ITA
NC0
1951 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 375 Ferrari V12 SUI
Ret
500
BEL
3
FRA
3
GBR
3
GER
4
ITA
4
ESP
Ret
5th15 (18)
1952 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 500 Ferrari Straight-4 SUI
500
BEL
FRA
GBR
GER
NED
3
ITA
3
8th8
1953 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 500 Ferrari Straight-4 ARG
2
500
NED
Ret
BEL
2
FRA
6
GBR
Ret
GER
8 *
SUI
6
ITA
3
5th17
1954 Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati 250F Maserati
Straight-6
ARG
500
BEL
FRA
5
GBR
Ret *
GER
DNS
SUI
ITA
Ret
20th2
Scuderia Lancia Lancia D50 Lancia V8 ESP
Ret
1955 Scuderia Lancia Lancia D50 Lancia V8 ARG
Ret
MON
5
500
BEL
DNA
NED
GBR
ITA
DNS
20th2
1956 Scuderia Centro Sud Maserati
250F
Maserati
Straight-6
ARG
MON
500
BEL
5
22nd2
Luigi Piotti FRA
Ret
GBR
6
GER
Ret
Officini Alfieri Maserati ITA
Ret †
* Indicates shared drive with Alberto Ascari
Indicates shared drive with Joakim Bonnier

Non-Championship Formula One results

(key)

YearEntrantChassisEngine1234567891011121314151617
1950 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 125 Ferrari V12 PAU
2
RIC SRM
2
PAR EMP BAR
Ret
JER ALB
Ret
NED
2
NAT
Ret
NOT ULS STT INT GOO PEN
DNA
Ferrari 375 PES
DNA
1951 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 375 Ferrari V12 SYR
1
PAU
1
RIC SRM
Ret
BOR INT
DNA
PAR ULS SCO NED
DNA
ALB PES
Ret
BAR
Ret
GOO
1952 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 500 Ferrari Straight-4 RIO SYR
Ret
PAU
Ret
IBS MAR
Ret
AST INT
DNA
ELÄ NAP EIF PAR
DSQ†
ALB FRO ULS MNZ
Ret
LAC ESS MAR
3*
SAB
1
CAE COM
ALT
NAT BAU
2
MOD
1
CAD SKA MAD AVU JOE NEW RIO
Ferrari 375 Ferrari V12 VAL
1
RIC LAV DAI
1
1953 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 500 Ferrari Straight-4 SYR
Ret
PAU LAV AST BOR
2
INT ELÄ NAP
4
ULS WIN FRO COR EIF ALB PRI GRE ESS MID ROU STR CRY AVU USF LAC DRE BRI CHE SAB NEW CAD SAC RED SKA LON MOD MAD BER JOE CUR
1955 Scuderia Lancia Lancia D50 Lancia V8 NZL BUE VAL
3
PAU
4
GLO BOR INT NAP
3
ALB CUR COR LON DAR RED DAT OUT AVO SYR
3
1956Luigi Villoresi Maserati
250F
Maserati
Straight-6
NZL BUE GLO SYR
4
BAR INT NAP
Ret
AIN VAN CAE SUS BRS AUS
* Indicates shared drive with Alberto Ascari
Indicates shared drive with Giuseppe Farina

Indy 500 results

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References

  1. 1 2 Up until 1990, not all points scored by a driver contributed to their final World Championship tally (see list of points scoring systems for more information). Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
  2. https://www.academia.edu/7961209/Villoresi_old_charm
  3. "Preluk - Opatija". racingcircuits.info. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  4. "Racing in Rijeka area". formula1-dictionary.net. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  5. Peron Race To Italian Driver, New York Times, January 31, 1949, p. 25.
  6. Villoresi Beats Orley In Brussels Auto Race, New York Times, May 22, 1949, p. S10.
  7. Rosier Captures Auto Race, New York Times, June 20, 1949, p. 24.
  8. Italians Win Auto Race; British Pilot Is Killed, New York Times, August 21, 1949, p. S3.
  9. 3 Auto Race Fans Killed, New York Times, July 31, 1950, p. 23.
  10. Gonzales Home First, New York Times, July 15, 1951, p. S3.
  11. Italian Cops Grand Prix, Los Angeles Times, July 14, 1952, p. C14.
  12. Ascari Triumphs in Final Grand Prix, Los Angeles Times, August 25, 1952, p. C2.
  13. Villoresi Captures Grand Prix of Modena, Los Angeles Times, September 15, 1952, p. C4.
  14. Fangio Captures Italian Auto Race, New York Times, September 14, 1953, p. 33.
  15. Racing Driver Injured, New York Times, April 21, 1954, p. 37.
  16. Naples Race To Ascari, May 9, 1955, p. 30.
  17. Frenchman Wins Rome Grand Prix, Los Angeles Times, October 22, 1956, p. C5.
  18. Nine Drivers Avoid Penalties In Rally, New York Times, January 25, 1958, p. 23.