On This Day in F1: 11th May

On this day in F1 – 11th May, brought to you by TheJudge13 chronicler BlackJack’s Briefs

On this day in 1310 fifty-four members of the Knights Templar were burned at the stake in France for heresy.

And in 1502 Columbus began his 4th & last trip to the ‘Indies’…

In 1812 Spencer Perceval, prime minister of Britain, was shot to death by a demented businessman in the lobby of the House of Commons. The assassin, though deemed insane, was executed one week later…

And in the same year, the waltz was introduced into English ballrooms. Most observers allegedly considered it disgusting & immoral…

In 1820 HMS Beagle was launched, to take Charles Darwin on his scientific voyage.

1875 saw George “Charmer” Zettlein pitch the first ‘9-inning shutout’… whatever that means 😉

In 1916 Einstein presented his Theory of General Relativity…

And in 1924 Gottlieb and Karl merged their two companies to create Mercedes-Benz. Rumour has it Toto Wolff was not involved… 😉

In 1927 Louis B Mayer formed the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the first Oscars were awarded two years later…

1934 saw a 2-day dust storm carry some 350 million tons of silt from the Great Plains ‘Dust Bowl’ to the eastern seaboard – as far as ships 300 miles offshore…

and… by 1947, the B.F. Goodrich Company announced the development of a tubeless tyre…

Around this time several TV stations started broadcasting in America; the State of Prussia ceased to exist; Polaroid marketed the first instant-developing camera for $90; the International Monetary Fund began operations; the first Jewish immigrants to Israel disembarked at Port of Eilat; the zoom lens was demonstated; Thor Heyerdahl set sail from Peru to Polynesia in Kon-Tiki; and the crash- landing of a UFO was reported, and denied, at Roswell, New Mexico…


AND on this day, 11th May, 1947, Ferrari made its motor racing debut with the Tipo 125-S at the Piacenza circuit in Northern Italy.

Francesco BaraccaEnzo Anselmo Ferrrari had been a racing driver for Alfa Romeo from 1920 and in 1923 was given the Prancing Horse emblem (the famed Cavallino Rampante) that had decorated the fuselage of Italy’s leading ace of WWI, Francesco Baracca, taken from the wreckage of the plane after his mysterious death.

It is, in fact, the coat of arms of the city of Stuttgart, but not from a German plane Baracca shot down – it was emblazoned on his aircraft in tribute to his past cavalry unit, and later presented to Ferrari by Baracca’s family. It would be 1932 before this icon was displayed on a racing car.

In 1924 Ferrari won the Coppa Acerbo at Pescara. His successes in local races encouraged Alfa to offer him a chance of much more prestigious competition. Ferrari turned this opportunity down and did not race again until 1927. He continued to work directly for Alfa Romeo until 1929 before starting Scuderia Ferrari as the racing team for Alfa.

Enzo FerrariFerrari managed the development of the factory Alfa cars, and built up a team of over forty drivers, including Giuseppe Campari and Tazio Nuvolari. Ferrari himself continued racing until 1932.

The support of Alfa Romeo lasted until 1933 when financial constraints made Alfa withdraw. Only at the intervention of Pirelli did Ferrari receive any cars at all. Despite the quality of the Scuderia drivers the company won few victories (1935 in Germany by Nuvolari was a notable exception). Auto Union and Mercedes dominated the era.

In 1937 Alfa re-took control of its racing efforts,
reducing Ferrari to Director of Sports under Alfa’s
engineering director. Ferrari soon left, but a contract clause restricted him from racing or designing for four years. Pretty long time for ‘gardening’…

Ferrari did in fact produce one race car, the Tipo 815, in the 1940’s. It was the first actual Ferrari car (it debuted at the 1940 Mille Miglia), but due to World War II it saw little competition. In 1943 the Ferrari factory moved to Maranello, where it has remained ever since.

Ferrari_125_SThe first Ferrari road car was the 1947 125 S, powered by a 1.5 V12 engine – Enzo Ferrari reluctantly built and sold his sportscars to fund Scuderia Ferrari.

The 125 S debuted at the Circuito di Piacenza, the first time Enzo had entered a race with a car of his own construction and under his own name, driven by Franco Cortese.

Tipo125sThe Tipo 125 S was instantly quick, against the strong Maserati 6CS 1500s, setting the fastest lap and leading the race, until a fuel pump problem forced its retirement two laps from the end. Two weeks later the Ferrari took its first competition win in the GP de Roma – and the rest is history…

In 1952 Enzo Ferrari received the Cavaliere del Lavoro, to add to his honours of Cavaliere and Commendatore.

1898 – 1988

Enzo Ferrari – the movie trailer:

A brief tribute:

For those interested…

1961 President Kennedy sent 400 Special Forces troops and 100 other U.S. military advisers to South Vietnam. He also ordered clandestine warfare against North Vietnam to be conducted by South Vietnamese agents under the direction and training of the CIA and U.S. Special Forces troops. Kennedy’s orders also called for South Vietnamese forces to infiltrate Laos to locate and disrupt communist bases and supply lines there…

1997 IBM’s supercomputer Deep Blue made chess history by defeating Gary Kasparov, the chess champion widely regarded as the greatest who has ever lived. The Russian master conceded defeat after 19 moves in the sixth game of the tournament.

1998 A French mint produced the first coins of Europe’s single currency, known as the Euro.

4 responses to “On This Day in F1: 11th May

  1. And, pertinently to your emphasis on Ferrari…on this day, 11 May, in 1985, Stefano Domenicali was born. Happy 48th, Stefano !

  2. “Ferrari did in fact produce one race car, the Tipo 815, in the 1940’s. It was the first actual Ferrari car (it debuted at the 1940.”

    It was the first car fully designed by Ferrari but it wasn’t because of legal reasons badged as a Ferrari but rather as the Auto Avio Costruzioni 815.

    “The first Ferrari road car was the 1947 125 S,”

    Actually the 125S was designed as a race car that also was street legal.

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