|1953||Maserati||Maserati A6 2.0 L6||Maserati A6GCM||Birabongse 'B. Bira' Bhanudej Francisco Sacco 'Chico' Landi|
|1951||Maserati||4CLT 1.5 L4s||4CLT/50 Milano4CLT/48||Paco Godia Juan Jover Onofre Marimón|
|1950||Maserati||Maserati 4CLT 1.5 L4s||4CLT/50 Milano||Felice Bonetto Gianfranco 'Franco' Comotti|
|By Jeremy McMullenSynonymous with grand prix racing are names like Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault, but it is the inclusion of names like Williams, Lotus, McLaren, Tyrell and others that makes grand prix racing so special. Each team and each engine is different, but all separately vying for the same thing—to be world champion. In Formula One, there isn't a common car and engine package, performance is widely varied, and yet, still in pursuit of the same goal. Many drivers, cars and teams disappear into the dusty pages of grand prix history, but all help to form the strong and indelible foundation of Formula One. Part of the mystique of Formula One is the many instances where fact and fiction are almost the same. Scuderia Milano is one of those known 'mysteries' of Formula One history. Their technical contributions are known, and yet, the team itself seems lost in the past.|
Scuderia Milano, itself, was started by the Ruggeri brothers. Scuderia Milano has to be considered to actually start before the second world war. However, the story of Scuderia Milano immediately blends into the inconspicuous almost from the beginning. It is vague who the brothers names were, and if others with similar last names were their brothers as well. What is known is that before the war, Arialdo Ruggeri was racing and was one of the influential brothers that led to the formation of the 'Stable Milano'.
Arialdo started his racing career in 1938, but it was a difficult start. He took part in five races. However, in three out of the five races, Ruggeri suffered did not finishes (DNFs). One of the two races in which Arialdo was able to achieve a result was the Coppa Ciano in August of '38.
Ruggeri started the race from the third row in a Maserati 6CM (see Maserati article). This wasn't just a debut for Ruggeri at the Coppa Ciano, it was also the venue for the debut of the Alfa Romeo 158. In its debut, the 158 dominated throughout practice, qualifying and the race. The Alfas of Emilio Villoresi and Clemente Biondetti took 1st and 2nd. Arialdo ended up finishing the race 6th, one lap down.
In between a DNF at the Coppa Acerbo and the voiturette Milan Grand Prix, Ruggeri scored his only other good result in his first year of racing. At the Coppa Edda Ciano, in Lucca, Italy, Arialda and his Maserati 6CM was but one of a gaggle of Maseratis. In fact, the entire starting grid was made up of Maseratis. Villoresi scored the victory in a Maserati 6CM, while Ruggeri finished the race 8th.
If 1938 was a difficult debut, then '39 was a nightmare sophomore season for Arialda. Arialda entered three races in 1939. The Italian suffered DNFs in all three events. Ruggeri was then entered to take part in a fourth race for Scuderia Ambrosiana at the Swiss Grand Prix, but the team did not arrive for the race.
About the time of the Tripoli Grand Prix in May of 1940, the attack by Germany on Western Europe had begun. This meant grand prix racing on the European continent was drawing to a close. In a similar fashion, Ruggeri's difficult first few years as a racing driver were drawing to an end. But he had to suffer from at least one more DNF before the war. Unfortunately, his 6CM and the Tripoli Grand Prix obliged. His race for Scuderia Ambrosiana came to an end after the 16 laps.
Fortunately for Ruggeri, he was able to take part in one more race in 1940. He had one more chance to face the war holding his head up high. While he would not go on to win, Arialda would achieve a decent result; which was a victory compared to the DNFs he had been experiencing. The last race on European soil took place at the Targa Florio in Palermo, Italy. Given the effects of the war up to this point already, the race was mostly comprised of Italian drivers and car manufacturers. Twelve of the sixteen starters were driving Maserati 6CMs. The other four were driving 4CMs. Ruggeri, driving a 6CM for Scuderia Ambrosiana, started the race from the middle of the 3rd row. Villoresi took the pole in a 4CL and disappeared into the distance during the race. Villoresi won the race handily. Ruggeri was able to finish the race 5th, two laps down.
After the war, organizers were interested in attracting spectators back to grand prix races. One of the ways they had devised to do that was to offer attractive amounts of money to teams, besides the well-known and well-funded ones, who could create brand-new cars for competition. This was an important step since teams and drivers would return to car designs that were almost a decade old, or older, after the end of the war. If such incentives weren't offered grand prix racing would have limped out of the war as bad as some of the worst areas of war-torn Europe. These incentives gave birth to the technical legend Scuderia Milano is remembered.
It is always nice if one is able to come back after a time off from anything and have a successful return. Well, Scuderia Milano and Arialdo Ruggeri had been dormant throughout the time World War II raged on the European continent. When grand prix racing resumed for Ruggeri and Milano, a good result was the plan. Whether that plan came to fruition or not was the question. Scuderia Milano would get there good result, and then some. In 1946, Scuderia Milano, well and truly, exploded onto the scene.
The Grand Prix of Nice took place barely a year after the surrender of Germany, in April of 1946. It was the first grand prix race of the season. The street circuit in Nice was 2 miles in length. The race would consist of 65 laps. For the race, Milano was able to secure the drive of Luigi Villoresi. This proved to be a very good acquisition. Luigi went out and took the pole for the race in the team's Maserati 4CL. Arialdo started the race not too far back. Ruggeri started from 3rd. During the race, Ruggeri slipped back in the pack. Raymond Sommer, who started the race from 17th was on an absolute tear up through the field, and even led 9 of the 65 laps. Eugene Chaboud and Georges Grignard were also making their way up through the field after starting the race 8th and 9th respectively. Otherwise, Villoresi was gone and untouchable. Luigi would end up leading 56 of the 65 lap race and would lap the field before crossing the finish line 1st. Ruggeri finished rather well in 5th, some seven laps down to Luigi.
After the successful race at Nice, Ruggeri followed up the team's good result with another at the Coupe de la Resistance, which took place in Boulogne, France in May of '46. Despite taking the pole for the race, Raymond Sommer could not match the pace of others during the race and slipped back in the pack with his Maserati 6CM. Arialdo had a good race in his 4CL. Despite finishing a lap down to winner Wimille at the end of the 47 lap event, Ruggeri still managed to finish 3rd.
Then, in the early part of June, and only three days after the two year anniversary of D-Day, Ruggeri barely missed out on another podium finish, but Raymond Sommer, who was driving for Scuderia Milano at the event, was in a league of his own. At the Grand Prix de St. Cloud, 23 drivers were to take the green flag for the start of the race. Jean Lucas, in a privately entered Alfa Romeo 8C was unable to make the start. But of the 23 starters, only 12 were entries of teams. The remaining entrants were all privateers. So it was a large and varied field. Raymond Sommer had the pole in one of Milano's Maserati 4CLs. Sommer dominated the 30 lap event. He started from the pole and won the race. Henri Louveau, who drove a third 4CL for Scuderia Milano almost made it to half-way through the race before he had to retire due to shock absorber problems. Ruggeri ended up being lapped by Sommer but finished the race 4th.
At the end of June, Louveau was entered in a Scuderia Milano Maserati for the Roussillon Grand Prix in Perpignan, France. Though the event was 68 laps, the street course in Perpignan was rather short. At only 1.3 miles in length, the distance covered by the race in total would only be about 94 miles. Jean-Pierre Wimille took the pole for the race in an Alfa Romeo 308. When the cars were lined up on the grid before the start of the race, were someone to have taken a picture of it, it would have been the closest any other car would have been seen near Wimille for the rest of the day. When the race started, Wimille brought it to an end. He was gone. It was as if Jean-Pierre was driving a car and the rest were riding bicycles. Wimille won the race with a margin of 12 laps over 2nd place finisher Louveau. Though on paper this would seem like a good result for Milano, in reality it was an embarrassment.
The embarrassment at Perpignan didn't deter the team from appearing a month later at the Grand Prix d'Albi and the circuit des Planques. Louveau finished the race the same as in Perpignan, but the overall result was much better. Tazio Nuvolari scored his last victory, and did so by lapping the field on the 5.5 mile street course. Henri finished the 32 lap event one lap down in 2nd. Ruggeri also took part in the race, and was running at the end, albeit 17 laps down in 9th place.
Then, in August of '46, there was the Trois Villes Grand Prix in Marc-en-Baroeul, France. The team entered an 8CL for Raymond Sommer. Raymond promptly took pole for the 48 lap event. The course was a 3.2 mile street course and Sommer dominated it and the field. Sommer left everybody behind when the race began. In the end, Raymond would end up lapping the field. Pierre Levegh and Eugene Chaboud followed Sommer home in 2nd and 3rd, but it was as if Sommer was out on the track all by himself.
Back in the home country in September of 1946, Scuderia Milano was looking for a homecoming present, but was stiffed. Ruggeri entered the race along with Louveau. Ruggeri's race came to an end after 17 laps after his Maserati suffered from supercharger problems. Louveau made it to lap 30, halfway of the 60 lap event, before he was involved in an accident, which ruined his day.
Arialdo failed to qualify for the Circuito de Milano in September of '46, and then, suffered from supercharger problems again and was forced to retire from the Grand Prix du Salon, which took place in October. Henri's Grand Prix du Salon fared quite a bit better than Ruggeri's. Sommer took the win, completing the 80 laps in a little over two hours. Louveau finished 4th. Henri was six laps down.
Scuderia Milano looked to cap off what had been a rather amazing year. The team travelled to Barcelona, Spain to take part in the Grand Prix of Penya Rhin. The team wouldn't be disappointed about making the trip. The Pedralbes circuit was a 2.78 mile road course and the race distance was 80 laps. The team had a new driver for the race, Giorgio Pelassa, but he fit right in and got comfortable in the car even quicker. Pelassa was the class of the field in the team's 4CL. He would end up lapping the field up to 3rd place. Giorgio would go on to score the team's 4th victory for 1946.
Milano started out 1946 with a bang, scoring a victory in the first event they took part that year. They would follow that up with another bang to start out 1947.
At the Grand Prix du Pau, in April of '47, Scuderia Milano entered three cars for the race. Ruggeri and Louveau would be behind the wheel as usual. But the team also secured the talents of Nello Pagani for the race. This was another good acquisition for the team. Raymond Sommer had the pole in his Maserati. Louveau was the highest starter on the grid for Milano. He qualified 5th. Pagani qualified 8th and Arialdo would start 13th. Ruggeri's race ended before the completion of a lap as he had an accident and was forced to retire before the race even really began. Henri would improve upon his 5th place starting spot. And although he would end the race two laps down, he would finish the a splendid 3rd. Pagani, however, put together a fantastic performance. Nello climbed up through the field from his 8th starting spot and would win the race. Nello had lapped the entire field at least twice before the 110 lap event was finished. For their efforts Pagani's prize money totaled a little more than $2,100.00, while Louveau accumulated $670 for his 3rd place finish.
In May, Scuderia Milano entered three cars again for the Grand Prix de Marseilles. This time Arialdo was not behind the wheel of one of them. The three cars were driven by Louis Chiron, Nino Pagani and Raymond Sommer. Sommer had been impressive in his other events he had driven for the team. He also had been impressive against the team. So why not employ, again, the privateer that usually beats you? That is exactly what Milano did for the Marseilles Grand Prix, and it was looking good from the beginning. Raymond took the 4CL and promptly went out and won the pole for the race. This netted him and the team a little over $80 for the trouble. But the real trouble came in the race. Perhaps he put too much stress on the engine in qualifying, but during the race, Sommer's engine began to give him problems and he had to retire after ten laps. The next retiree was another Scuderia Milano driver, Nino Pagani, who suffered from some kind of mechanical problem. And then, the next to retire from the race was the other Milano driver, Chiron, who too had mechanical problems.
Scuderia Milano started 1947 out well but began to struggle as the season wore on. In fact, no Milano entered car really appeared at another race in '47 until the end of July, and then, for the Grand Prix of Nice. The grand prix consisted of 100 laps of the 1.99 mile street course around the streets of Nice, France. Henri was back behind the wheel of one of Milano's 4CLs. He qualified a lowly 13th for the race. Raymond Sommer was driving a 4CL that belonged to Milano but was listed as a private entrant for the race. Raymond qualified well, as usual, starting the race 2nd. However, neither of the drivers' race went well. Sommer was out after 28 laps due to a fire. Louveau lasted until lap 46 and, then, had to retire due to ignition problems.
Scuderia Milano entered one car for the Grand Prix d'Alsace. Henri Louveau was behind the wheel for the 85 lap race on the 2.2 mile course which took place in the streets of Strasbourg, France. Louveau started the race 9th in the team's 4CL. Luigi Villoresi, driving for Scuderia Ambrosiana, took the pole and would go on to win the race. Henri drove splendidly to come up through the field, just missing out on the podium. Henri finished 4th, three laps down to Luigi.
After Milano's driver, Serafini, was involved in an accident at the Grand Prix du Comminges in the early part of August in 1947, the team headed back to its home country once again looking for a good result.
Scuderia Milano entered three cars for the Italian Grand Prix held in Milan, Italy in the early part of September of '47. Nello Pagani was back for the team. Arialdo, of course, had a ride. And Prince Bira was provided a ride by the team. Bira qualified second-to-last for the race. Pagani qualified dead-last in the field. Ruggeri obviously qualified better than the rest of his teammates, but not really. Arialdo would start the race from 15th on the grid. If qualifying was bad, then the race qualified as another nightmare for the team. Ruggeri didn't start the race. Bira didn't complete a single lap due to supercharger problems. And Nello completed only two laps before his tires gave him problems and forced him to retire. Scuderia Milano's three cars were only able to compile a total of two laps!
In 1948, Arialdo's racing career, as a driver, was coming to an end and his second-to-last race was a Temporada Formula Libre race in Buenos Aires, Argentina; the Gran Premio del General Juan Peron. By now, the 4CL was an old chassis, but it still had a little bit left in it. While Arialdo's race wasn't looking too bad, it was looking even better, from the team's perspective, for its other driver Luigi Villoresi. Villoresi and Ruggeri put whatever was left in the 4CL to good use on the 3 mile road course. Postponed due to rain, the 25 lap event saw Villoresi win over Chico Landi and Andres Fernandez. Arialdo finished the race a fine 4th, only one lap down.
Ruggeri's last race was one week later, but would not provide him with too many wonderful memories. Arialdo qualified for the Gran Premio del General San Martin 12th. Though Arialdo struggled in qualifying, the team's other driver, Luigi Villoresi, wasn't looking too bad before the race began. Villoresi, who had won the week before, claimed the pole. However, for Luigi, his race came to an end on lap 30 of 37. Unfortunately for Ruggeri, his race and racing career came to an end even earlier.
Other than the couple of races in January, not a sound was really heard out of the team until well into the 1948 season. As history would prove, Scuderia Milano seemed to start their seasons out well, but then faded as it wore on. The fading, at times, seemed more like an implosion.
At the Grand Prix of San Remo, Scuderia Milano debuted with the new Maserati 4CLT/48. Curiously, the car Alberto Ascari used to take the pole for the race, records indicate, was shared between Scuderia Milano and Scuderia Ambrosiana. Right from the very start of the race Ascari showed what the new car could do. The race was 85 laps of the 2 mile street course, and Alberto made it look like he was the only one on the track. Ascari won the race, lapping the field in the process. This was a wonderful result for Ambrosiana in one of the cars shared between the teams.
As was stated earlier, the Milano historically struggled as the grand prix season carried on. The struggles reappeared for the team at the Prix de Berne, which was the voiturette race that took place the same weekend as the Swiss Grand Prix race. Milano entered a Maserati for the voiturette category. The car had a 'Milan Speluzzi' engine in it and was driven by Clemar Bucci. However, eight laps into the 20 lap event, the gearbox gave out on the car and Bucci's race was over.
With the world championship becoming closer to a reality, top-teams traveling to other parts of the globe to take part in races was becoming more and more common. The top teams and privateers had been invited to Buenos Aires, Argentina being invited to come and enjoy the summer weather of the southern hemisphere, take part in some racing and prepare for the upcoming grand prix season back on the European continent.
Scuderia Milano shipped one car to Argentina to take part in the Gran Premio del General Juan Peron Temporada Formula Libre race. This race was a 35 lap affair. Alberto Ascari had taken the pole for the race in a 4CLT/48. Milano's driver, Luigi Villoresi started the race right next to Ascari. During the race, Oscar Galvez put in an amazing performance to finish the race 3rd. He had even beaten Juan Manuel Fangio. Ascari and and Villoresi, however, were never really challenged during the race. The two finished just the way they started.
In February, Luigi started the Gran Premio de Eva Duarte Peron from the pole. This time, Oscar Galvez wasn't merely able to climb his way up through the field to finish on the podium. Galvez took the win, once again over Fangio, who had actually started the race from 2nd on the grid. Villoresi's race came to an end for Scuderia Milano after his 4CLT/48 suffered from an engine problem.
Another week later, Luigi once again started on pole for Milano; this time for the Copa Accion de San Lorenzo in Santa Fe, Argentina. After 50 laps of the 1.75 mile oval, Guiseppe Farina won the race in a Ferrari 125 with Parnell and Ascari 2nd and 3rd. Villoresi fell back from his pole starting spot and finished the race 4th, one lap down.
Another bad result hit Villoresi in the Gran Premio Internacional del General San Martin. Once again, he started the 35 lap race from the pole. 25 laps into the race in Mar Del Plata, Villoresi's car began to suffer from bearing problems and forced him to retire from the race.
Scuderia Milano continued racing on the South American continent in the early part of 1949. In March, Villoresi was again behind the wheel of the team's 4CLT/48, but this time, for the Grand Prix of Interlagos in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The race was another Temporada Formula Libre race and was a rather short affair. The autodromo was 4.9 miles in length, but was only going to be 15 laps long. The total mileage covered in the race was just over 74 miles. Luigi, again, was the class of the field, but this time was able to take the win over Francisco Marques and Andres Fernandez. Out of the six entrants only one was not a Maserati chassis of some kind. The only other manufacturer present in the race was Ferrari with a 125C with Guiseppe Farina behind the wheel.
Villoresi was finally on a roll in the southern hemisphere. Before heading back to Europe, Milano and Villoresi took part in one more Formula Libre race, the Grande Premio da Cidade de Rio de Janeiro. This race took part on a 6.7 mile road course and would cover a total of 100 miles. At an average speed of just over 51 mph, Villoresi won yet again. Luigi was followed by Farina and Marques.
While in South America, Scuderia Milano scored a 4th, 2nd and a 1st twice. Overlooking the couple of DNFs Villoresi had suffered; the team was in rather good shape coming back to Europe. Yet, despite all of the noise the team was able to generate with its performances in South America, the team was rather quiet upon return. Of course the full brunt of competition was present when the team returned. The presence of stiffer competition, and the resulting inability to score any great results due to the competition, put the Milano stable in a tough position financially.
Well before the Italian Grand Prix, and after almost five years of races with cars developed before the war, AC Milan (the Italian Grand Prix organizers) started to offer incentives to teams to design and build new cars for the grand prix. Maserati had released its new 4CLT/48 the year before, but still, the dominant car of the time was the Alfa Romeo 158, which had its beginnings before the war. The incentives offered by organizers sent Scuderia Milano to work for much of '49 designing a new car. The result was what were known as the 'Milanos'.
The Milano team took two Maserati 4CLT/48s and replaced its engine with an engine designed and built by Prof. Mario Speluzzi of Milan Polytechnic. Speluzzi had designed engines for speedboats in the past. For Milano, the main changes he made were the addition of a huge two-stage blower and modified cylinder heads. The car design was changed to have a shorter wheelbase and bigger brakes. These changes seemed to qualify and that meant the team would have the money to produce its new car. What's more, it meant the team could go racing. Money had been coming up rather short and the team needed the infusion of funds to be able to continue racing.
September 11th, 1949, the team finally emerged with its new Maserati/Milanos. The drivers were none other than Piero Taruffi and Guiseppe Farina. The Grand Prix of Italy would be contested over 80 laps of the 3.9 mile road course at Monza, and things looked good early on for the race. Despite Taruffi's struggles in qualifying, the team looked poised for a good result after Farina set the 3rd fastest time. But the grand prix ended up just like the team's seasons—early on very successful, then faltering toward the end. Farina held on to his 3rd place position for about 17 laps. He found the car difficult to drive and ended up retiring from the race officially with brake problems. Had he held on he likely could have finished even better than 3rd. Taruffi's race was a difficult one, not from the standpoint of being unsatisfied with the car's ability to perform, but because of nagging problems that actually plagued the true ability of the car. Taruffi finished the race in 7th, albeit some 16 laps down to the race winner Ascari and his Ferrari 125.
After the Italian Grand Prix, the Milano stable went to work building an all-new chassis to be able to take advantage of Speluzzi's engine design, which was being furthered modified and toted to be able to produce 290bhp. The ignition problems Taruffi suffered during the Italian Grand Prix led the team to adopt a design incorporating twin-magneto ignition. In addition, a further two Maserati 4CLT/50s were purchased for the 1950 season and for experimental design ideas.
These updates and changes in design took time and it wasn't until April and the Grand Prix of San Remo that a Scuderia Milano was present to take part in a race. For the race in Ospedaletti, Italy, Felice Bonetto was employed to race the new 'Milano'. Bonetto qualified a respectable 6th for the 90 lap race. Ascari had the pole with Fangio and Luigi Villoresi starting 2nd and 3rd. Ascari suffered from an accident on lap 32, which took him out of contention and out of the race. Fangio completely disappeared when he took the lead. Fangio won the race with almost a minute, and a lap, advantage over Villoresi. Bonetto retired from the race on the 8th lap when his Milano developed brake problems.
After the race in Ospedaletti and Montlhery, the first official world championship season got rolling with the British Grand Prix held at the Silverstone circuit. A Scuderia Milano was entered for the race with Felice Bonetto driving. However, the team failed to show for the first round of the Formula One world championship.
The changes being made to the cars were taking quite a long time. The team would not take part in its first Formula One race until the 3rd round (not counting Indianapolis) at Bremgarten, the Swiss Grand Prix.
The Swiss Grand Prix took place in June of that year and Scuderia Milano brought one car to the race driven by Bonetto. Eighteen drivers were entered for the race and Bonetto qualified for the race 12th. Fangio took the pole in the dominate Alfa Romeo 158. Felice's qualifying time was 12+ seconds slower than the time set by Fangio. Bonetto's race went perhaps better than expected given his starting spot on the grid and the talent around him. Felice ended up getting lapped twice by Fangio, but he guided his Speluzzi powered Maserati to a 5th place finish. This earned him one point toward the driver's championship.
The Milano stable missed the next round of the championship in Spa, Belgium, but entered a car for the one after that, the French Grand Prix held at Reims, France. Felice was back behind the wheel of the Scuderia Milano Speluzzi Maserati. Bonetto started the 64 lap race from 10th on the grid. However, Bonetto's race lasted only 15 of the 64 laps. The Speluzzi engine developed problems and forced him to retire from the race.
At the end of July, the team entered two cars for the non-championship Grand Prix of the Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. For the 68 lap race on the streets around Geneva, Milano employed the talents of Bonetto and Gianfranco Comotto. Fangio started the race on the pole in his Alfa Romeo 158. Ascari qualified 2nd in a Scuderia Ferrari 340. And Luigi Villoresi started the race 3rd in a Ferrari 275 for Scuderia Ferrari. Felice Bonetto qualified 8th for Scuderia Milano, while Comotti qualified 18th in another of the 'Milanos'. While the race went well for Alfa Romeo SpA, as they swept 1st through 3rd, it; not surprisingly, didn't go so well for Milano. Comotti's race ended in failure after 14 laps due to a carburetor failure. And Bonetto's lasted almost until the end, but ultimately finished on lap 58 of the 68 lap race.
The string of DNFs continued for the next three races in which Scuderia Milano entered. Some of the failures were absolutely embarrassing.
At the Circuit of Pescara, Bonetto was able to make it to lap 10 of the scheduled 16 before he was forced to retire from the race. Comotti, however, was the first entrant out of the race, not having finished even a lap.
The late season woes got even worse when the team entered its home round of the Formula One world championship. The team entered three cars in an attempt to score a good result by a full-frontal assault. The assault was thwarted before it could even get in a good marching order. Twenty-seven cars were entered for the Italian Grand Prix. Milano cars qualified 23rd, 26th and 27th. The highest qualifier for the team was Bonetto. Yet, Felice was the first one out of the race as he withdrew before the race even started. Paul Pietsch, one of the other drivers hired for the race, was out before a single lap had been finished. And Comotti's race lasted until lap 17. This was a far cry from the 5th Bonetto was able to score earlier on in the year. Once again, the Italian Grand Prix proved to be an absolute nightmare for the Italian team. In fact, it was so embarrassing that the team did not enter another race for a month. That race didn't get any better.
The last race of 1950 Scuderia Milano entered was the Gran Premio de Penya Rhin held in Barcelona, Spain. The embarrassment in Italy was so bad that the team came to the race with two cars driven by totally new and rather unknown drivers; Juan Jover and Francesco Godia. The one known factor was that it could be trusted, almost as much as gravity, that the team would suffer failures during the race. And the constant held true. Godia was out of the 50 lap race with engine problems by lap 27, and, Jover was out of the race by lap 36.
Scuderia Milano, despite the money received the year before to make new and competitive race cars, ended the first world championship season having competed in four rounds of the championship and scoring just one point. But of course, that one point is more than many other teams scored that first year, or, in their team's history. But what is amazing is that the team scored the point given the embarrassing way the team's cars failed to finish races later on in the year.
Before 1950, the team began to fade from view in grand prix racing. The infusion of new money could not help to save the team it would appear, as by 1950, Scuderia Milano had almost disappeared from sight entirely. Yet, as like that bright flash of light before the light-bulb burns out, the Milano stable had one more day in the sun.
In May of 1951, the new world champion, Farina, entered a Maserati 4CLT/48 for the Grand Prix of Paris. The new world champion, though driving under his own name, had purchased one of Milano's Maserati's. And now, Farina was going to race the car for the 125 lap race through the streets of Boulogne, France. Farina started the race 2nd. De Graffenried had the pole. During the race, de Graffenried pitted and was replaced by Harry Schell. This left Farina alone in the lead and he would go on to win the race in an old Milano Maserati. The winning margin was around 40 seconds over Jose Froilan Gonzalez. Farina's race proved that it wasn't the cars that kept Scuderia Milano from enjoying more successes. It would appear obvious that the real culprit for the team's failures was the team itself.
After this victory there were some other highlights for Scuderia Milano, but no more victories. The team had once been considered one of the teams to beat. And just like that, the team was gone. Were it not for their successes, Scuderia Milano could have been one of those curious footnotes in grand prix racing that pass away without much thought. And yet, because of their successes, there is much to ponder about the team. The problem is, there are more questions than answers that surround the team started by the Ruggeri brothers. Ah, but that's grand prix racing.Sources:Muelas, Felix 'An ‘Original' Design…', (http://forix.autosport.com/8w/milano.html). 8W: The Stories Behind Motor Racing Facts and Fiction. http://forix.autosport.com/8w/milano.html. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
'Grand-Prix and Races 1945-1957', (http://jpgleize.perso.neuf.fr/gp/gppost.htm). Grand-Prix and Races 1945-1957. http://jpgleize.perso.neuf.fr/gp/gppost.htm. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
'Drivers (R)', (http://www.kolumbus.fi/leif.snellman/dr.htm). The Golden Era of Racing 1934-1940. http://www.kolumbus.fi/leif.snellman/dr.htm. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
'Formula 1', (http://www.oldracingcars.com/f1/). OldRacingCars.com. http://www.oldracingcars.com/f1/. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
'By Year', (http://www.ultimateracinghistory.com/byyear.php). UltimateRacingHistory.com. http://www.ultimateracinghistory.com/byyear.php. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
Wikipedia contributors, '1950 Formula One season', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 20 July 2010, 16:17 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=1950_Formula_One_season&oldid=374514351 accessed 23 July 2010
Wikipedia contributors, '1949 Grand Prix season', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 23 May 2010, 04:44 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=1949_Grand_Prix_season&oldid=363666003 accessed 23 July 2010