1950 Formula 1 Constructors Teams Clemente Biondetti
Born in Budduso, Sardinia in 1898, Biondetti's beginnings were nothing but humble. Clemente's family moved from Sardinia in the 1920s. A few years later, Clemente started racing motorcycles but switched to cars toward the end of the decade. By the time the 1930s came Biondetti had been driving Talbots. He had achieved considerable success in lower levels of racing such as being the 1927 Italian national champion. This enabled this man from humble beginnings to afford going racing, and racing he did. Despite not faring particularly well between 1931 to 33, Biondetti's past success and talents led to Maserati approaching him to drive one of their factory cars at different events. Clemente appeared at the Reale Premio Roma in 1932, racing in the category 3 class, which was cars well over 2,000cc. Biondetti didn't finish his heat race though as his MG Speciale suffered clutch problems. In May of 1932, Biondetti was again driving his 2.5 liter MG Speciale in the Targa Florio that took place in Palermo. However, once again, Clemente failed to finish the race; a race in which Tazio Nuvolari won in an Alfa Romeo Monza for Scuderia Ferrari. At the Coppa Ciano in July of 1932, Clemente was behind the wheel of an MG-Maserati. However, Biondetti suffered yet another DNF.Two weeks later, Biondetti was again driving a Maserati, but this time at the Coppa Acerbo at Pescara, Italy. Biondetti went on to finish the race 8th behind other famous names like Nuvolari, Carraciolla and Fagioli.In September of 1932, Clemente was at the Grand Priz of Monza in his MG-Maserati. The entire event was broken up into heat races and a final race. Biondetti competed in the 3rd heat. Biondetti came in 4th place in his heat race behind the heat winner Campari. In the 20 lap final Clemente's race never really got going. Clemente's race was over after completing just one lap. 1933 seemed to be a repeat for Biondetti. Starting at the Tripoli Grand Prix, Clemente started from the middle of the 5th row. Just as was the case with most of the races in 1932, Clemente's Tripoli Grand Prix came to an end just two laps into the race. Clemente then started 7th at the Grand Prix de la Marne in July, at the Reims-Gueux circuit. Though it is unknown for sure, according to records, Biondetti's race once again could not go past two laps. These poor performances did have an upside to them. The fact was it could only get better because it really wasn't possible to get a whole lot worse. A little lift came at the end of July in Montenero and the Coppa Ciano. Clemente started the 12 lap race on the 20 kilometer circuit from the 15th spot on the grid. He ended up actually finishing the race in 10th place, finishing over 26 minutes behind winner Nuvolari. Things went back downhill though as he suffered two-straight DNFs at the Grand Prix of Nice and the Italian Grand Prix. The Monza Grand Prix, however, was a turning point. Clemente was in the 3rd heat. Prior to Clemente's heat, the famous and popular Campari and Borzacchini died due to a crash resulting from oil being on the track. However, this wasn't to be the end of the tragedies at the Monza Grand Prix that day. Biondetti started his heat 2nd with his Maserati powered Bugatti chassis. He ended up 3rd in his heat race behind Lehoux and Ghersi. In the final race Clemente started 9th, on the inside of the three-abreast second row. The fans at the race became horror-stricken when Count Czaykowski, who had been leading and pulling away at the time, left the banking and crashed into the woods. Czaykowski's head struck a lonely stone and instantly killed him. On top of it all, his crashed Bugatti trapped his body underneath it. The car erupted into flames and burned out. Only after the fire ceased were the emergency crews able to pull his body out. Overshadowed by the death of three drivers in one day, Clemente was able to bring his speciale home in 6th place. This race, the last one Clemente competed in 1933, set the stage for what was to be a turnaround from the toilsome DNFs he had been suffering. Biondetti's first race of 1934, the Bordino Grand Prix, had Clemente as one of 34 entrants. The race was broken up into two heats with a 15 lap final race. Clemente arrived at the race driving for the Gruppo Genovese San Giorgio team, which used the popular Maserati 8CM. Biondetti started 5th in heat one and ended up finishing the 8 lap heat race 6th. Despite the rather good result, only the first five finishers moved on to the final race, so Biondetti's Bordino Grand Prix was over.In May of 1934, Clemente took on 29 other drivers in the Grand Prix of Tripoli. Now driving a Maserati T26M for Gruppo Genovese San Giorgio, Clemente started the race from the inside of the 5th row. Despite the poor starting spot Biondetti kept his head about him and climbed steadily up through the field. In the end, Biondetti finished 5th behind the Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeos of Varzi, Moll and Chiron and another 8CM Maserati of Philippe Etancelin. Biondetti followed this result with an 8th place finish at the Casablanca Grand Prix, driving the Maserati T26M again. After a couple of DNFs and a 5th in a heat race at the Dieppe Grand Prix, Clemente competed at the Swiss Grand Prix held at Bremgarten. This time, Biondetti drove a Maserati 4C for Officine Alfieri Maserati. Clemente finished 8th, some four laps down to the Auto Union A Type of Hans Stuck. Clemente took part in a couple of other races throughout the remainder of 1934, but without any noted success. Biondetti did not take part in any grand prix or sports car races during 1935. In 1935, the costs of grand prix racing were increasing and many organizers were quickly becoming unwilling to give money to those who were considered to merely 'also ran'. Therefore, many privateer entrants were abandoning grand prix racing and turning to sports car and voiturette racing. These costs, in conjunction with the increasing threat of war, could have been good reason for Biondetti sitting 1935 out.Page: 1 2 3 next >>
|1950||Ferrari||Jaguar XK 3.4 L6||Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa||Clemente Biondetti|
|By Jeremy McMullen|
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Formula One was built upon the legends and achievements of its earliest drivers. Many of its first drivers already had careers that were the stuff of legend, none more so than Clemente Biondetti. In some ways Biondetti's career served as a foundation for not only Formula One history, but grand prix and endurance racing history on a whole. Clemente's career spanned two eras. The first part of Biondetti's career was the golden era filled with such drivers as Nuvolari and Campari. The second part of Clemente's career continued into the re-emergence of sports car and grand prix racing, where such drivers as Farina and Fangio battled it out in the beginnings of Formula One's history.