Now available on Netflix is “A Life of Speed: The Juan Manuel Fangio Story.” The 92-minute movie originates in Argentina and so it is no surprise that it is more fanzine tribute than balanced assessment. Air-brushed out is Argentina’s dictator Juan Peron who, directly and indirectly, influenced Fangio’s career. So too is Fangio’s long-time partner, Andrea Berruet, who bore Fangio a son whom he refused to acknowledge. Paternity was established only after Fangio’s body was exhumed and a DNA sample was taken.
Ms. Berruet appears in many an after-race celebration but is never identified. The moniker, “El Chueco,” appears on screen several times but we are not told that it was his nickname from the time when Fangio was a useful amateur footballer and it means “bandy legs.” His contemporary drivers usually called him, “the old man.” Calling him “Maestro,” though he was one, is a recent invention.