The success and longevity of the Maserati 250F can, in part, be attributed to the engineering brilliance of Gioachino Colombo and Giulio Alfieri and to the driving prowess of Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss.
Photo: Peter Collins
It is regarded as the classic 1950s Grand Prix car. It was never the fastest; never the most powerful. Two other GP marques, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz, won more races while the Maserati 250F was campaigned by the factory. But only just. No Formula One car was ever raced in more Grands Prix, lasted as long or was raced by as many drivers. Nor was any F1 car ever as universally loved by those who drove it as much as the Maserati 250F. Four extraordinary men were responsible for the success of the 250F, each of them maestros at the top of their form.
Gioachino Colombo, architect of the legendary Alfa Romeo Tipo 158 “Alfetta” and Ferrari’s first V-12, was responsible for drawing the basic chassis and inline 6-cylinder 2.5-liter motor that would power the 250F. Essentially a development of Maserati’s 2-liter A6GCM Formula 2 cars, the 250F’s engine and chassis, a tube frame with independent coil suspension in front and a de Dion with leaf springs at the rear, were hardly revolutionary, or even particularly sophisticated. But Colombo’s new designs were elegant and sound from the outset.
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