Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Carlo Carloccio
– 1934: The only record Vettel will never match
The festive season carries few stories that lend themselves to a retelling of history hence why this entry celebrates a birth of a F1 legend that is unlikely to ever be matched.
On this day, seventy nine years ago, Giancarlo Baghetti was born in Milan to a wealthy industrialist family. The legacy he has left is limited but to this day is the only driver to have won on his Formula One debut.
His day in the sun occurred at Reims in France on the 2nd July 1961 and by winning the race he became the third driver to win his first World Championship race. Nino Farina had won the inaugural Formula One race in the 1950 British Grand Prix and Johnnie Parsons had won the 1950 Indianapolis 500 – itself a part of the F1 championship. However Farina and Parsons had competed in major Grand Prix events prior to the inaugural F1 season and it’s for this reason that Baghetti has the distinction of winning on his Grand Prix debut.
Baghetti began racing in 1955 and moved up to Formula Junior in 1958. In 1961 he was selected by the Federazione Italiana Scuderie Automobilistiche (FISA) to compete in non Championship Grand Prix’s in a Ferrari 156 Dino which was on loan from Ferrari. The FISA were a collection of Italian team owners that wanted to give promising young Italian drivers an opportunity to race in F1.
The car was first entered for the non championship 1961 Syracuse Grand Prix in Sicily and Baghetti beat a field which included the names of Clark, Moss, Brabham and Gurney.
The next event was the Naples Grand Prix but the field included very few top drivers as it was held on the same day as the 1961 Monaco GP.
At this point, Team FISA had acquired a new Ferrari 156 for the French GP and entered Baghetti.
He qualified 12th, whilst the official Ferrari drivers of Phil Hill, Wolfgang Von Trips and Richie Ginther locked out the top three positions.
Between the Ferraris and Baghetti were Stirling Moss, Dan Gurney, Graham Hill, John Surtees, Bruce Mclaren, Jim Clark, Innes Ireland and Tony Brooks – all names that are members of the pantheon of F1 winners.
Retirements would account for some of the aforementioned names but he still had to pass future legends to win the race.
So what became of the man who won his first three Grand Prix?
He retired in both the 1961 British and Italian GP’s; before being promoted to the full Ferrari squad for 1962. Unfortunately the red cars were outclassed by the British teams and he could only finish twice in lowly positions.
For 1963, he joined the ATS team but failed to finish in five attempts. He continued with an old BRM for 1964 but his career was effectively over and his last entry was at the 1967 Italian GP in a works Lotus.
He developed a career in journalism that covered both motor-sport and fashion, before he passed away in 1995 from cancer aged 60.