The man who scored Ferrari’s very first Formula One World Championship victory, Argentinian Jose Froilan Gonzalez, has died at the age of 90 in Buenos Aires. Gonzalez, nicknamed the Pampas Bull for his physical presence and his muscular driving style, made his F1 debut in 1950 at Monaco, driving a privately entered Maserati 4CLT for Scuderia Achille Varzi. He qualified 3rd, but at the end of the first lap, Giuseppe Farina spun his Alfa Romeo at the spray-soaked Tobacconist Hairpin and Gonzalez could not avoid him. Early the next year he won a pair of Automovil Club Argentina Formula Libre races at Buenos Aires’ Costanera Norte circuit, defeating the visiting Mercedes-Benz team with his ACA-entered Ferrari 155, and by the season’s fourth GP at Reims found himself racing for Scuderia Ferrari itself, winning his second start for the team at Silverstone.
He won at Silverstone again in 1954, the year he finished 2nd in the World Championship to his compatriot Juan Manuel Fangio, but those were his only F1 victories from 26 starts spread over seven seasons. He also had 13 other podiums, took three pole positions and recorded six fastest race laps. Gonzalez also raced sports cars successfully, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1954, sharing a Ferrari 375 with Maurice Trintignant.
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