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Argentina José Froilán González

Races: 26
Podiums: 15
Career Points: 72

YearTeamConstructorPointsPositionEngineChassis
1950Italy Scuderia Achille Varzi Maserati    Maserati 4CLT/48 
1951Argentina José Froilán González Talbot-Lago   Talbot 23CV 4.5 L6 T26C 
1951Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari   Ferrari 375 4.5 V12 375 
1952Italy Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati   Maserati A6 2.0 L6 Maserati A6GCM 
1953Italy Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati   Maserati A6 2.0 L6 Maserati A6GCM Intérim 
1954Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari   Ferrari 625 2.5 L4, Ferrari 554 2.5 L4, Ferrari 500 2.0 L4 Ferrari 625
Ferrari 553
Ferrari 500 F2 
1955Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari   Ferrari 555 2.5 L4, Lancia DS50 2.5 V8 Ferrari 625
555
Lancia D50 
1956Italy Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati   Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 Maserati 250F 
1956United Kingdom Vandervell Products    Vanwall 254 2.5 L4 VW 2 
1957Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari   Ferrari DS50 2.5 V8 Ferrari 801 
1960Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari   Ferrari 155 2.4 V6 Ferrari 246 P F1 

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Jose Froilan Gonzalez: The Forgotten Figurehead

By Jeremy McMullen
Page: 1
While not a name recalled with much immediacy amongst the casual Formula One fan, the name Jose Froilan Gonzalez must command a special place of importance in the heart and mind of every Ferrari fanatic. And, sadly, as of the 15th of June all that is left is the name of that other famous Argentinean.

Not including the Indianapolis 500, which counted toward the World Championship during the 1950s, Gonzalez would be just the fourth different driver to win a round of the new Formula One World Championship. But, it would be who he was driving for that would forever cement him in the lore of Formula One.

Born in Arrecifes, Argentina in October of 1922, Gonzalez would grow up not far removed from the world of automobiles. The son of a Chevrolet dealer, Gonzalez would grow up in and around the automotive industry but would certainly be a talented individual in many other sporting endeavors. In spite of his stout size, Jose would be quite adept as a swimmer and very good as a shooter. What perhaps is most intriguing, given his size, is that he was also an avid cyclist.

Prior to the 1950s, Gonzalez's father would help him set up a business of his own and he would use this business to fund his dream of motor racing. It was a successful endeavor and it would have been enough for most people.

But it would be automobile racing that Gonzalez longed for and that would really attract his attention. Enthusiastic about cars and racing, Gonzalez would finally earn enough money to focus just on motor racing and would actually join his fellow compatriot, one Juan Manuel Fangio, to Europe in 1950. Fangio had already made his first trip to Europe and had immediately begun to make his mark. It wouldn't be too long before Gonzalez would do the same.Arriving in Europe, Gonzalez's style of driving would quickly earn him the nickname 'The Pampas bull'. Pushing hard no matter what he drove, Gonzalez would be fast. Unfortunately, the cars of the period didn't necessarily stand for being pushed as Gonzalez liked and there would be more than a few early retirements. But, when Gonzalez managed to earn a 2nd place result in a grand prix in Albi, France in 1950 Europeans finally would get to see the talent that many of his peers, especially Fangio, believed him to possess.

When Gonzalez had made his Formula One debut in 1950 he would do so with Scuderia Achille Varzi driving a Maserati 4CLT/48. As usual, he had proven to be fast starting the Monaco Grand Prix from the front row alongside Giuseppe Farina and Fangio. Unfortunately, an accident on the first lap would reduce the field by a significant number. Gonzalez would be one of the few to make it through, but, an accident on the very next lap would end his Formula One debut.

Then, at the French Grand Prix held in Reims in July, Gonzalez would find himself starting the race from the third row of the grid. Unfortunately, after making a good start to the race engine problems would result in yet another early retirement.
YearChassisEngine
1960Ferrari 246 P F1Ferrari 155 2.4 V6
1957Ferrari 801Ferrari DS50 2.5 V8
1956VW 2Vanwall 254 2.5 L4
1956Maserati 250FMaserati 250F1 2.5 L6
1955Lancia D50Ferrari 555 2.5 L4, Lancia DS50 2.5 V8
1955555Ferrari 555 2.5 L4, Lancia DS50 2.5 V8
1955Ferrari 625Ferrari 555 2.5 L4, Lancia DS50 2.5 V8
1954Ferrari 500 F2Ferrari 625 2.5 L4, Ferrari 554 2.5 L4, Ferrari 500 2.0 L4
1954Ferrari 553Ferrari 625 2.5 L4, Ferrari 554 2.5 L4, Ferrari 500 2.0 L4
1954Ferrari 625Ferrari 625 2.5 L4, Ferrari 554 2.5 L4, Ferrari 500 2.0 L4
1953Maserati A6GCM IntérimMaserati A6 2.0 L6
1952Maserati A6GCMMaserati A6 2.0 L6
1951T26CTalbot 23CV 4.5 L6
1951375Ferrari 375 4.5 V12
1950Maserati 4CLT/48

After taking part in sporadic events throughout the 1950 season, Gonzalez would be back in Europe for the following season and would prepare for a much busier season of driving, a season of destiny.

He would begin his Formula One World Championship season with a privately-entered Talbot-Lago T26C-GS. Unfortunately, oil problems would cause him to fail to finish his third-straight World Championship event. More unfortunate results were to come until he managed a 2nd place finish in the non-championship Grand Prix de Paris held at Bois de Boulogne at the end of May. It seemed clear that if Gonzalez had a car capable of lasting a whole race he had the talent to make the most of it.

Back in South America in between the 1950 and 1951 seasons Gonzalez would get a chance to drive prewar Mercedes-Benz W163 in a couple of Formula Libre events. In these races he would shine and would impress many showing he truly did have the talent as long as he had the car.Those with Scuderia Ferrari realized this, and, after his failed attempt in the Talbot-Lago and a failed attempt at the Belgian Grand Prix with Enrico Plate, Gonzalez would earn a drive with Scuderia Ferrari. Gonzalez would waste no time proving the fact that with the right car he could contend for, in the French Grand Prix, he would start from the third row of the grid and would run as high as 2nd before he would turn his car over to Alberto Ascari for the remainder of the race. Dueling with Fangio, Ascari would have the lead at points but would end up 2nd when it was all said and done. This shared drive would earn Gonzalez his first podium, but it would also set up a very interesting dynamic heading into the very next round of the World Championship.

Gonzalez had shown his talent at the French Grand Prix coming up from 6th place on the grid to enjoy a shared 2nd place result with Alberto Ascari. Unfortunately for Gonzalez, he had also had his first experience of handing over his car to another driver and having to take a back seat. Alberto Ascari was certainly Ferrari's leading driver and this would play on Gonzalez's subconscious during the momentous British Grand Prix.

Heading into the British Grand Prix in 1951 Gonzalez would be casually told by his good friend and countryman Fangio that 'I think this time you'll win'. And, as practice got underway it soon seemed clear that Fangio certainly could have been on to something as Gonzalez would take the pole by a whole second over Fangio. This was the first pole position for Ferrari, let alone Gonzalez. But it would only get better during the race.

There was a reason as to why Fangio believed Gonzalez had an opportunity for victory at Silverstone. The thirsty supercharged Alfa Romeos would need to stop more often to cover the race distance while Gonzalez would need to stop just once.

246 P F1  246 P F1  801  250F  250F  625  625  
500 F2  553  553  625  625  A6GCM Intérim  A6GCM  
4CLT/48  4CLT/48  
Gonzalez would lead early on but would soon battle with his fellow Argentinean for the lead. Gonzalez would look strong throughout and would have a rather comfortable margin in hand before he made his one stop.

But there would be a problem plaguing Gonzalez. Ascari had retired from the race. He was leading it. Would he be tapped on the shoulder and told to give up his car to Ascari so that he could take the win? He would make his way into the pits for his stop, and then, sure enough, there would be a tap on his shoulder. There stood Ascari. But instead of asking him to remove himself from the car, something he was about to do, Ascari would tell him to go on. Certainly a little surprised, but no doubt happy, Gonzalez would roar back into the race and would go on to win that truly historic race for Ferrari, their first of many.

It would be a truly remarkable season for Gonzalez. After the momentous victory at Silverstone, Jose would end the season with three 2nd place results and a 3rd to finish the second World Championship 3rd in the standings. When it came to non-championship events he would score victory in the Circuito di Pescara and a 2nd place in the Gran Premio di Bari. He was certainly showing his talent.

Argentina Drivers  F1 Drivers From Argentina 
Pablo Birger
Roberto Wenceslao Bonomi
Juan Manuel Bordeu
Clemar Bucci
Alberto Augusto Crespo
Jorge Daponte
Alejandro de Tomaso
Nasif Moisés Estéfano
Juan Manuel 'El Chueco' Fangio
Norberto Edgardo Fontana
Oscar Alfredo Gálvez
José Froilán González
Miguel Ángel Guerra
Jesús Ricardo Iglesias
Oscar Rubén Larrauri
Alberto Rodriguez Larreta
Onofre Marimón
Gastón Hugo Mazzacane
Carlos Alberto Menditeguy
Roberto Mieres
Enrico Plate
Carlos Alberto Reutemann
Adolfo Schwelm Cruz
Esteban Tuero
Ricardo Héctor Zunino
The 1952 season held a lot of promise but would be a very difficult one for Gonzalez. In spite of a victory in the Easter Monday races in a Ferrari 375, the majority of the 1952 season would be absent of Gonzalez's presence. The Argentinean would earn support from his friend and compatriot and would end up joining him at BRM. Again, he would show his speed having the 16-cylinder BRM 15 at his command, however, the troublesome car would routinely let him down and he would be left without any kind of result for the length of the season.

Sportscar racing held very little in the way of positive results for Gonzalez as well. Therefore, the 1952 season would be winding down with just the forth winner in Formula One World Championship history without a ride. This would change just in time for the Italian Grand Prix at the end of the year, but it would not be a truly happy affair.

Page: 1

Sources:
'Formula 1: Ferrari Legend Jose Froilan Gonzalez Dies Aged 90', (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/22925726). BBC Sport. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/22925726. Retrieved 25 June 2013.

'The Driver: Froilan Gonzalez', (http://www.ferrari.com/English/Formula1/History/Pages/the_driver_Froilan_Gonzalez.aspx). Scuderia Ferrari. http://www.ferrari.com/English/Formula1/History/Pages/the_driver_Froilan_Gonzalez.aspx. Retrieved 25 June 2013.

Henry, Alan. 'Jose Froilan Gonzalez Obituary', (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/jun/16/jose-froilan-gonzalez). The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/jun/16/jose-froilan-gonzalez. Retrieved 25 June 2013.

Tremayne, David. 'Jose Froilan Gonzalez: Racing Driver Who Gave Ferrari Their First Grand Prix Victory', (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/jose-froilan-gonzalez-racing-driver-who-gave-ferrari-their-first-grand-prix-victory-8662499.html). The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/jose-froilan-gonzalez-racing-driver-who-gave-ferrari-their-first-grand-prix-victory-8662499.html. Retrieved 25 June 2013.

'Seasons: 1951', (http://statsf1.com/en/1951.aspx). StatsF1. http://statsf1.com/en/1951.aspx. Retrieved 25 June 2013.

'Seasons: 1954', (http://statsf1.com/en/1954.aspx). StatsF1. http://statsf1.com/en/1954.aspx. Retrieved 25 June 2013.

'1950 Non-World Championship Grands Prix', (http://www.silhouet.com/motorsport/archive/f1/nc/1950/1950.html). 1950 Non-World Championship Grands Prix. http://www.silhouet.com/motorsport/archive/f1/nc/1950/1950.html. Retrieved 25 June 2013.

'Drivers: Foilan Gonzalez', (http://www.racingsportscars.com/driver/Froilan-Gonzalez-RA.html). Racing Sports Cars. http://www.racingsportscars.com/driver/Froilan-Gonzalez-RA.html. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
Formula One World Drivers' Champions
1950 G. Farina
1951 J. Fangio
1952 A. Ascari
1953 A. Ascari
1954 J. Fangio
1955 J. Fangio
1956 J. Fangio
1957 J. Fangio
1958 M. Hawthorn
1959 S. Brabham
1960 S. Brabham
1961 P. Hill, Jr
1962 N. Hill
1963 J. Clark, Jr.
1964 J. Surtees
1965 J. Clark, Jr.
1966 S. Brabham
1967 D. Hulme
1968 N. Hill
1969 S. Stewart
1970 K. Rindt
1971 S. Stewart
1972 E. Fittipaldi
1973 S. Stewart
1974 E. Fittipaldi
1975 A. Lauda
1976 J. Hunt
1977 A. Lauda
1978 M. Andretti
1979 J. Scheckter
1980 A. Jones
1981 N. Piquet
1982 K. Rosberg
1983 N. Piquet
1984 A. Lauda
1985 A. Prost
1986 A. Prost
1987 N. Piquet
1988 A. Senna
1989 A. Prost
1990 A. Senna
1991 A. Senna
1992 N. Mansell
1993 A. Prost
1994 M. Schumacher
1995 M. Schumacher
1996 D. Hill
1997 J. Villeneuve
1998 M. Hakkinen
1999 M. Hakkinen
2000 M. Schumacher
2001 M. Schumacher
2002 M. Schumacher
2003 M. Schumacher
2004 M. Schumacher
2005 F. Alonso
2006 F. Alonso
2007 K. Raikkonen
2008 L. Hamilton
2009 J. Button
2010 S. Vettel
2011 S. Vettel
2012 S. Vettel
2013 S. Vettel
2014 L. Hamilton
2015 L. Hamilton
2016 N. Rosberg
2017 L. Hamilton
2018 L. Hamilton

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