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Italy OSCA Automobili   |  Stats  |  1951 F1 Articles

OSCA Automobili: 1951 Formula One Season   By Jeremy McMullen
Ever since the death of Alfieri, almost everything the Maserati brothers put their hands to turned to gold, but for the sake of another. On their own, their genius would be overshadowed by external events that would cause the brothers great hardships.

After completing their contract with Adolfo Orsi, who had come in to bail out Maserati, the brothers left their name behind to start anew. The result was Officine Specializatte Costruzione Automobili (OSCA). The brothers focused mainly on building sports cars. However, they did produce a few grand prix cars during their existence. Their main focus for grand prix racing was building and supplying engines to race teams and private entrants. The customers were few. This was quite surprising given the fact their engine won its first time out with Prince Bira at the 3rd Richmond Trophy race held at the Goodwood circuit in Chichester, England.

In order to continue to exist and make cars, OSCA had to create its own team and go racing. Besides deciding to design and develop a car to take part in Formula One and non-championship grand prix events, the brothers had also been busy selling their MT4 sports car to quite a few customers. The MT4 had achieved some good results. It had been able to win some races. But also, it was able to score many wonderful top-three and top-ten finishes. However, the company could only sell so many cars. They would have to go racing to give them a chance at earning some more prize money. As a result, OSCA Automobili was born.

OSCA Automobili was founded merely for the purpose of participating in grand prix races. In fact, the team's first race of 1951 was the Mille Miglia, which took place at the end of April. There were numerous MT4s taking part in the 1,000 mile race. OSCA entered one MT4 in the race and it was driven by the pairing of Bordoni and Serbelloni. The pairing would end up coming in second in their class behind the pairing of Fagioli and Borghi, also driving an OSCA MT4. Bordoni and Serbelloni finished the 1,000 miles second in class and tenth overall.

While the car company was still preparing its grand prix car for competition, OSCA Automobili took part in another sports car race in August. The race was the sports car grand prix race at Senigallia, Italy and was held on a 5.77 mile road course made up of roads that made their way through the streets of Senigallia and the surrounding countryside. The route included three notable straights, none as long as the main straight that ran along the coast.

To race in the event, the team turned the wheel over to one of its drivers that had taken part in the Mille Miglia. Franco Bordoni took his place behind the wheel and would start the race third on the grid. Giulio Cabianca took the victory in an OSCA MT4 completing the fifteen lap race in just under one hour. Second place was OSCA's driver Bordoni. He trailed Giulio by twenty-one seconds. Four of the top-five finishers were driving OSCA MT4s.

OSCA Automobili had been able to achieve some great success in sports car events during the 1951 season. As the Formula One season turned toward Monza and the Italian Grand Prix, OSCA's 4500G was ready to take part in what was the seventh round of the championship that year. Having not taken part in any race to that point of the season, OSCA was going out to give their business a good name and to help themselves continue to do business.

The team arrived at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix, which took place toward the middle part of September. Truly untested in qualifying or race conditions, Franco Rol piloted the 4500G to an eighteenth starting spot. While he qualified down in the order, Franco would be helped before the race even began when both Reg Parnell and Ken Richardson were prohibited from starting the race. Both of BRM's drivers had qualified in front of Rol.

As the 80 lap event got underway, so too did the notorious attrition. Seven cars were out of the race before ten laps had been completed. Before the race was over, four more cars would drop out of the high-speed event, including Juan Manuel Fangio and Giuseppe Farina. With competitors dropping like flies all-around, Franco pulled back on the reigns of his V12 machine and nursed it to a ninth place finish. Franco was the last car running on the track and finished over 12 laps down to Alberto Ascari who beat Jose Froilan Gonzalez by almost twenty-five seconds. Farina, driving Bonetto's Alfa Romeo, ended up rounding out the podium finishing third.

Although the car was untested, the ninth place result was a good achievement by the team. How unfortunate the 4500G wasn't ready to take part in the entire season. Given the entire grand prix season, it is not too much to think the Maserati brothers could have had an even greater showing. The ninth place finish at the Italian Grand Prix would be the last event OSCA Automobili would take part, in either sports cars or grand prix in 1951.

OSCA Automobili would continue to take part in sports car and grand prix races for the next few years until the company was sold in 1957. Despite the fact it was their ability that put Maserati on the map as a car manufacturer, the interest and success didn't go with the brothers when they tried to go it on their own again. OSCA Automobili ran a limited race schedule due to rising costs associated with racing. Without the funding to mount a serious effort, OSCA Automobili is perhaps one of the more interesting stories in Formula One lore. Despite the Maserati name, of course in disguise, OSCA Automobili would never become what the brothers had left behind.
Italy Drivers  F1 Drivers From Italy 
Michele Alboreto
Giovanna Amati
Marco Apicella
Alberto Ascari
Luca Badoer
Giancarlo Baghetti
Mauro Baldi
Lorenzo Bandini
Fabrizio Barbazza
Paolo Barilla
Giorgio Bassi
Enrico Bertaggia
Guerino Bertocchi
Clemente Biondetti
Felice Bonetto
Ernesto 'Tino' Brambilla
Vittorio Brambilla
Gianfranco Brancatelli
Gianmaria 'Gimmi' Bruni
Roberto Bussinello
Giulio Cabianca
Alessandro 'Alex' Caffi
Ivan Franco Capelli
Piero Carini
Eugenio Castellotti
Alberto Colombo
Gianfranco 'Franco' Comotti
Andrea Lodovico de Adamich
Elio de Angelis
Andrea de Cesaris
Maria Teresa de Filippis
Giovanni de Riu
Piero Drogo
Piero Dusio
Corrado Fabi
Carlo Giovanni Facetti
Luigi Fagioli
Giuseppe 'Nino' Farina
Giancarlo Fisichella
Carlo 'Gimax' Franchi
Giorgio Francia
Giuseppe 'Beppe' Gabbiani
Giovanni Giuseppe Gilberto 'Nanni' Galli
Gerino Gerini
Piercarlo Ghinzani
Piercarlo Ghinzani
Bruno Giacomelli
Antonio Giovinazzi
Ignazio Giunti
Claudio Langes
Nicola Larini
Giovanni Lavaggi
Lamberto Leoni
Roberto Lippi
Vitantonio 'Tonio' Liuzzi
Maria Grazia 'Lella' Lombardi
Umberto Maglioli
Sergio Mantovani
Pierluigi Martini
Arturo Francesco 'Little Art' Merzario
Stefano Modena
Andrea Montermini
Gianni Morbidelli
Gino Munaron
Luigi Musso
Alessandro 'Sandro' Nannini
Emanuele Naspetti
Massimo Natili
Nello Pagani
Riccardo Paletti
Giorgio Pantano
Massimiliano 'Max' Papis
Riccardo Gabriele Patrese
Cesare Perdisa
Alessandro Pesenti-Rossi
Luigi Piotti
Renato Pirocchi
Emanuele Pirro
Ernesto Prinoth
Franco Rol
Giacomo 'Geki' Russo
Consalvo Sanesi
Ludovico Scarfiotti
Giorgio Scarlatti
Domenico Schiattarella
Piero Scotti
Teodoro 'Dorino' Serafini
Vincenzo Sospiri
Prince Gaetano Starrabba di Giardinelli
Siegfried Stohr
Luigi Taramazzo
Gabriele Tarquini
Piero Taruffi
Alfonso Thiele
Jarno Trulli
Nino Vaccarella
Luigi Villoresi
Alessandro 'Alex' Zanardi
Renzo Zorzi
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
2019 L. Hamilton

Italy OSCA Automobili

1959Cooper OSCA 2.0 L4T43 Formula 1 image Alejandro de Tomaso 
1958Osca OSCA 372 1.5 L4F2 Formula 1 image Giulio Cabianca
Formula 1 image Luigi Piotti 
1953Osca OSCA 2000 2.0 L6Osca 20 Formula 1 image Élie Marcel Bayol 
1951Osca 4500 4.5 V124500G Formula 1 image Franco Rol 

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