Giancarlo Baghetti

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Giancarlo Baghetti
Nationality Flag of Italy Italian
Formula One World Championship career
Active years1961 - 1967
TeamsFerrari, Automobili Turismo e Sport, Scuderia Centro Sud, Brabham, Reg Parnell, Lotus
Races21
Championships0
Wins1
Podiums1
Career points14
Pole positions0
Fastest laps1
First race1961 French Grand Prix
First win1961 French Grand Prix
Last win1961 French Grand Prix
Last race1967 Italian Grand Prix

Giancarlo Baghetti (December 25 1934 in Milan, Italy – November 27 1995) was a Formula One driver who raced for the Ferrari, ATS (Ita), BRM, Brabham and Lotus teams. He was the son of a wealthy Milan industrialist.[1]

Baghetti is one of only three drivers to have won his first World Championship race, the other two being Nino Farina, who won the first World Championship race (the 1950 British Grand Prix) and Johnnie Parsons, who won the 1950 Indianapolis 500 (the Indianapolis 500 was part of the World Championship from 1950 to 1960).

Formula 1 career

He began racing in 1955 in production cars, moving up to Formula Junior in 1958. In 1961 he was selected by the Federazione Italiana Scuderie Automobilistiche (FISA), a coalition of independent Italian team owners who had agreed a loan deal with Ferrari for a 246 Dino Formula Two car to run in non-Championship Grand Prix, giving experience to promising Italian drivers. Despite not showing spectacular form in lower categories, Baghetti was chosen over Albino Buttichi and Lucien de Sanctis for the seat. The car was first entered for the Syracuse Grand Prix, the first major event run under the new 1.5 litre championship regulations, and against a strong field Baghetti qualified 2nd and won in the only Ferrari, with the British teams and Porsche 718 Flat-4 unable to compete with the Ferrari Dino's V6 engine. He then used the same car to win at the Napoli Grand Prix a few weeks later.

Team FISA then acquired a new Ferrari 156 for the 1961 French Grand Prix at Reims-Gueux, entering Baghetti for this World Championship event. Once Wolfgang von Trips, Richie Ginther and Phil Hill had all retired their works 156 cars, Baghetti was left to uphold Ferrari honour. He overcame Dan Gurney's Porsche 718 to take victory, giving him a hat-trick of wins from his first three Grand Prix. Gurney was leading with 100 yards (91.4 m) to go as the cars raced to the finish line at 160 mph (260 km/h). The victory meant Baghetti became the first Italian since 1954 to win a Formula 1 World Championship event.[2]

He would enter two more Championship races, retiring from the 1961 British Grand Prix and 1961 Italian Grand Prix, though he posted fastest lap in the latter. He would also win the poorly-attended Prima Coppa Italia race at Vallelunga in a Porsche 718.

He was promoted to the works Ferrari line-up for 1962, but took just two Championship placings - 4th at the Dutch Grand Prix, and 5th at the Italian Grand Prix, as Ferrari was outclassed by the British teams. Baghetti would take 2nd in the non-Championship Mediterranean Grand Prix. He would be involved in the disastrous ATS effort in 1963, joining up with Phil Hill for Carlo Chiti's breakaway team, but failed to register a finish from five starts. For 1964 he switched to Scuderia Centro Sud's outdated BRM P57 cars, peaking with 7th at the Austrian Grand Prix. His Grand Prix career would then be virtually over, though he would have three more one-off drives, all at the Italian Grand Prix - a works Brabham in 1965, a Reg Parnell-entered Ferrari in 1966, and a works Lotus in 1967, when he would have scored a point but for a blown engine.

Post F1 racing

He achieved some success in the European Touring Car Championship with Alfa Romeo and FIAT Abarth, winning the 1966 1000cc Class Championship in an Abarth 1000. After dabbling in Formula Three, he retired after a huge accident at the 1967 "Monza Lottery". Boley Pittard of England was burned severely when one of his Lola Racing Cars burst into flames at the start of the final qualifying heat. Baghetti won the event in a Branca with an average speed over thirty-five laps of 114 mph (183 km/h)[3] In June 1968 Baghetti was in a huge pileup on the 23rd lap of a Formula Two race at Monza. He was driving a Dino.[4]

He became a journalist and photographer in motorsport and fashion.

Death and legacy

Giancarlo Baghetti died of cancer in 1995.

While his ultimate level of talent is still debated, Baghetti's Championship debut win has secured him a footnote in Formula One history. On the one hand, he won his first three F1 races, starting with two non-championship Grand Prix races in Italy, no mean feat for any driver even in superior machinery; on the other, his results both before and after this were unimpressive.


Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 WDC Points
1961 FISA Ferrari 156 Ferrari V6 MON
NED
BEL
FRA
1
9th 9
Scuderia Sant Ambroeus GBR
Ret
GER
ITA
Ret
USA
1962 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 156 Ferrari V6 NED
4
MON
BEL
Ret
FRA
GBR
GER
10
ITA
5
USA
RSA
11th 5
1963 Automobili Turismo e Sport ATS 100 ATS V8 MON
BEL
Ret
NED
Ret
FRA
GBR
GER
ITA
15
USA
Ret
MEX
Ret
RSA
NC 0
1964 Scuderia Centro Sud BRM P57 BRM V8 MON
DNA
NED
10
BEL
8
FRA
GBR
12
GER
Ret
AUT
7
ITA
8
USA
MEX
NC 0
1965 Brabham Racing Organisation Brabham BT7 Climax V8 RSA
MON
BEL
FRA
GBR
NED
GER
ITA
Ret
USA
MEX
NC 0
1966 Reg Parnell Racing Ltd Ferrari Dino 246 Ferrari V6 MON
BEL
FRA
GBR
NED
GER
ITA
NC
USA
MEX
NC 0
1967 Team Lotus Lotus 49 Cosworth V8 RSA
MON
NED
BEL
FRA
GBR
GER
CAN
ITA
Ret
USA
MEX
NC 0

Non-Championship

(key) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
1961 FISA Ferrari 156 Ferrari V6 LOM GLV PAU BRX VIE AIN SYR
1
NAP
1
LON SIL SOL KAN DAN MOD FLG OUL LEW
Scuderia Sant Ambroeus Porsche 718 Porsche Flat-4 VAL
1
RAN NAT RSA
1962 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 156 Ferrari V6 CAP BRX LOM LAV GLV PAU AIN
4
INT NAP MAL CLP RMS
DNA
SOL KAN MED
2
DAN OUL MEX RAN NAT
1963 Ecurie Filipinetti Lotus 21 Climax Straight-4 LOM GLV PAU IMO
DNQ
SYR AIN INT ROM SOL KAN MED AUT OUL RAN
1964 Scuderia Centro Sud BRM P57 BRM V8 DMT
DNS
NWT
9
SYR
Ret
AIN
9
INT
8
SOL MED RAN
1965 Scuderia Centro Sud BRM P57 BRM V8 ROC SYR SMT INT MED
Ret
RAN
1966 Anglo-Suisse Racing Team Lotus 33 BRM RSA SYR
Ret
INT OUL

References

  1. Baghetti Of Italy Takes Auto Race, New York Times, July 3, 1961, Page 11.
  2. Baghetti Of Italy Takes Auto Race, New York Times, July 3, 1961, Page 11.
  3. Driver Is Badly Burned as Flames Engulf Car at Start of Monza Race, New York Times, June 5, 1967, Page 56.
  4. Briton Takes Flag At Monza, European Stars and Stripes (newspaper), June 25, 1968, Page 19.
Preceded by
Ed Swart
European Touring Car Championship champion (Div.1)
1966
Succeeded by
Willi Kauhsen