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Italy Officine Alfieri Maserati

YearConstructorEngineChassisDrivers
1957Maserati Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6, Maserati 250F1 2.5 V12Maserati 250F Formula 1 image Jean Marie Behra
Formula 1 image Juan Manuel 'El Chueco' Fangio
Formula 1 image Paco Godia
Formula 1 image Hans Herrmann
Formula 1 image Carlos Alberto Menditeguy
Formula 1 image Sir Stirling Moss
Formula 1 image Giorgio Scarlatti
Formula 1 image Harry Schell 
1956Maserati Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6Maserati 250F Formula 1 image Jean Marie Behra
Formula 1 image Joakim 'Jo' Bonnier
Formula 1 image Gerino Gerini
Formula 1 image Paco Godia
Formula 1 image José Froilán González
Formula 1 image Francisco Sacco 'Chico' Landi
Formula 1 image Umberto Maglioli
Formula 1 image Carlos Alberto Menditeguy
Formula 1 image Sir Stirling Moss
Formula 1 image Cesare Perdisa
Formula 1 image Piero Taruffi
Formula 1 image Luigi Villoresi 
1955Maserati Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6250F Formula 1 image Jean Marie Behra
Formula 1 image Clemar Bucci
Formula 1 image Peter John Collins
Formula 1 image Horace Gould
Formula 1 image Sergio Mantovani
Formula 1 image Carlos Alberto Menditeguy
Formula 1 image Roberto Mieres
Formula 1 image Luigi Musso
Formula 1 image Cesare Perdisa
Formula 1 image Harry Schell
Formula 1 image André Simon 
1954Maserati Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6, Maserati A6 2.0 L6Maserati 250F
Maserati A6GCM 
Formula 1 image Alberto Ascari
Formula 1 image Birabongse 'B. Bira' Bhanudej
Formula 1 image Juan Manuel 'El Chueco' Fangio
Formula 1 image Paco Godia
Formula 1 image Sergio Mantovani
Formula 1 image Onofre Marimón
Formula 1 image Roberto Mieres
Formula 1 image Sir Stirling Moss
Formula 1 image Luigi Musso
Formula 1 image Louis Rosier
Formula 1 image Harry Schell
Formula 1 image Luigi Villoresi 
1953Maserati Maserati A6 2.0 L6Maserati A6GCM Intérim Formula 1 image Felice Bonetto
Formula 1 image Johnny Claes
Formula 1 image Juan Manuel 'El Chueco' Fangio
Formula 1 image Oscar Alfredo Gálvez
Formula 1 image José Froilán González
Formula 1 image Hermann Lang
Formula 1 image Sergio Mantovani
Formula 1 image Onofre Marimón
Formula 1 image Luigi Musso 
1952Maserati Maserati A6 2.0 L6Maserati A6GCM Formula 1 image Felice Bonetto
Formula 1 image José Froilán González
Formula 1 image Franco Rol 
1950Maserati Maserati 4CLT/48 Formula 1 image Louis Chiron
Formula 1 image Franco Rol 

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By Jeremy McMullen
Page: 1
It is noted that out of motor racing comes refinement and the evoking of passions and desires. It would seem almost a crime, for those without millions of dollars, to see a speck of dust on a Ferrari or Bentley. And yet, most of the exotic, high-performance machines so highly desired and sought after, at one time or another, could be found at the race track covered in the grime of hot rubber, smoke and oil. This became the seal of horsepower royalty. Among the royalty and racing pedigree is Maserati. Neptune's trident evokes images of luxury, but that luxury is based upon its heritage as a nasty, bloodied fighter on the race track.

Each of the five Maserati brothers had a fascination with automobiles. Carlo worked for Fiat and became a driver for the car manufacturer Isotta Fraschini and Bianchi until his death. Carlo was able to get Alfieri a job with Isotta Fraschini and Bindo soon followed. Ettore and Ernesto, the younger brothers, too worked for various car manufacturers. Ettore even started a small shop working with Carlo.

When World War I rolled around, Bindo and Alfieri started making a number of engine components for the war effort. Isotta Fraschini declined during this time and it enabled the bothers to make a whole line of components under their own family name. The younger brothers soon joined Bindo and Alfieri and they began designing and building their own racing machines for the Italian car manufacturer Diatto. Diatto became very successful in the motor racing scene as a result.

Diatto dropped out of racing and this allowed the brothers to acquire any remaining racing cars and to redesign them to improve upon the models. As a result, the brothers formed their own company, Officine Alfieri Maserati S.p.A. They started their company in a tiny garage in Bologna.

In 1929, the Maserati brothers designed a car with a pair of 8-cylinder engines that reached speeds of over 150mph. News of this achievement earned the brothers high praise in Italy, even from soon-to-be competitor Enzo Ferrari.

Soon, the Maserati works team began to be highly competitive and successful. In 1931, its works Maserati 26M came home in 3rd and 4th at the French Grand Prix. At the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, the Maseratis of Fagioli and Dreyfus qualified in the third row. However, both suffered DNFs.

Fagioli finished 1st in the final race of the Reale Premio Roma at the Littorio circuit in 1932. At the Targa Florio Ruggeri brought his Maserati 8C home in 5th. In July of that year Ernesto Maserati co-drove with Ruggeri in the heat II race at the Nurburgring in a 4CL. The duo was able to finish the 23 lap race in 2nd. The team also had an 8C chassis take part in the 25 lap heat I race but it failed to finish the race. Later in the year, Fagioli, driving an 8C, was able to finish 2nd at the Masarykuv Okruh in Brno. At the Italian Grand Prix, the next year, a Maserati works car finished 2nd with Fagioli at the wheel. The other Maserati works car of Ruggeri finished in 8th. Castelbarco, in a privately entered Maserati grabbed the pole for the race.

In 1932 tragedy struck, and did so in a way that many believe caused Maserati to never be the same or achieve the success that seemed immediately on the horizon. Alfieri, at age 42, died due to internal injuries he suffered from a crash during a race at Messina back in 1928. Alfieri was the undisputed leader of the brothers since Carlo had died and was an engineering master-mind in his own right. But most importantly, Alfieri understood business. Alfieri seemed to be a blend of engineering marvel and necessary businessman capable of taking Maserati to a spot amongst the top automobile manufacturers.

As a result of the loss production by the remaining Maserati brothers dropped off. This showed in the apparent lack of success by the works racing team during the early 30s, and then, there total absence by the middle of the decade. Lacking business savvy and vision as a car manufacturer the remaining brothers sold controlling interests of the company to the Orsi family in 1937. The brothers stayed on, using their engineering prowess to design high-end racing cars.

The Maserati brothers were given freedom to design and produce racing cars but without the success being attributed to them. The brothers had no say in company policy or company decision making. However, the wealth of the Orsi name helped the brothers immensely. They were able to create the supercharged Maserati 8CFT and were back in grand prix racing by the 1938 Italian Grand Prix. The team emerged in force, brining three cars to the race. But neither of the three helped Alfieri Maserati return in style as two failed to finish the race and one was disqualified.

Of course Alfieri Maserati re-emerged during the time of the dominant Auto Union D and Mercedez-Benz. Victories were hard to come by. However, Alfieri Maserati soon proved it was one of the best teams out there. At the third event of the championship for 1939, the German Grand Prix, an Alfieri Maserati came home in 3rd place with its new 4CL, driven by Paul Pietsch. Luigi Villoresi, in the other Maserati retired with an oil leak.

Given the advances of the German military during this time it was an obvious point that war was imminent. Mussolini's aligning with Hitler led the Orsi management to concentrate upon production of war material. This meant the auto racing feature, though not necessarily discouraged from competing, was, in effect, hindered by this switch of focus and the Alfieri Maserati team was not able to achieve any real level of success. The team did continue to compete into the early 1940s however.

The team took part in the 1.5 liter voiturette races during 1940 as there were no official 'great trials' that year. Alfieri Maserati used the 4CL chassis and made some minor improvements to it for that year.

Two days after the Germans swept into Rotterdam, the Alfieri Maserati team took part in the Tripoli Grand Prix. Villoresi and Cortese brought their 4CLs home in 4th and 5th place after battling with the Alfa Romeo 158s of Farina, Biondetti and Trossi.

The 4CLs of Alfieri Maserati came home 1-2 in the final grand prix race to take place on European soil in the Targa Florio at Palermo. Villoresi started from the pole with his teammate Cortese starting alongside. That was the way they started and the way they ended. What was really interesting about this race is that it was totally comprised of 16 either works or privately entered Maserati chassis. This would be the last event the team would compete in until the end of the war.

The decline of the Maserati brothers after the death of Alfieri, which led to the sale of the works to the Orsi family meant that when Maserati emerged after World War II, Afieri Maserati was no longer considered the sole works Maserati team. Scuderia Ambrosiana, started by a couple of former Alfieri drivers Villoresi and Cortese, became another Maserati works team.

Soon after purchasing Maserati, the Orsi family moved the works from Bologna to Modena. Yet, despite the involvement of the company in manufacturing parts for the Italian war effort, the factory was not badly damaged from the war. Soon Maserati was back to producing cars and the Alfieri Maserati team back to racing.

In 1948 there were five 'great trials' or grand prix, but there were many other smaller grand prix races. By the time the series showed up at the Bremgarten circuit for the Grand Prix of Europe the new 4CLT/48 San Remo chassis had arrived. In fact, the name San Remo was given to the new car when it debuted at a smaller grand prix in San Remo earlier in the year. At the final 'great trial' event of '48, the British Grand Prix, the Alfieri Maserati team was entered with a single 4CLT/48 driven by British driver Leslie Brooke. However, the team did not take part in the race.

The Alfieri Maserati team took part in a few races leading up to the inaugural Formula One season in 1950, but with little to no success. At the first event of the new World Championship series, the Alfieri team arrived with a single 4CLT/48 driven by Louis Chiron. Chiron qualified his Maserati in the 11th spot on the grid behind the dominant Alfa Romeo 158s. Chiron's race ended after 11 laps due to clutch problems.

At the next event, the Monaco Grand Prix, the team arrived with two cars driven by Chiron and Franco Rol. Despite the existence of the model 50 4CLT, the Alfieri team arrived with a their two-year model, the 4CLT/48. In qualifying Chiron performed well setting the 8th fastest time. Rol set the 17th fastest time. While Rol got caught up in the first lap accident that took out a good majority of the field, Chiron made it through and drove a splendid race to finish 3rd, some 2 laps behind race winner Fangio. At this point in the 1950 season Chiron was sitting 5th in the standings with 4 points.

Page: 1

Sources:
International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 13. St. James Press, 1996.

Maserati contributors. 'The Passion: Maserati Company History.' Maserati: Excellence Through Passion, Maserati Spa a socio unico. Web. 14 May 2010.

Brown, Allen. 'Formula 1 1950.' Old Racing Cars, Old Racing Cars. Web. 14 May 2010.

Wikipedia contributors. '1950 Formula One season.' Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 24 Apr. 2010. Web. 11 May. 2010.

Wikipedia contributors. 'Alfieri Maserati.' Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 3 Mar. 2010. Web. 11 May. 2010.

Wikipedia contributors. 'Maserati.' Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 28 Apr. 2010. Web. 11 May. 2010.

Wikipedia contributors. '1950 Formula One season.' Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 24 Apr. 2010. Web. 11 May. 2010.

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