Felice Bonetto (June 9, 1903 - November 21, 1953) was a courageous Italian racer who earned the nickname Il Pirata (The Pirate). He came to the attention of Italian racers in the 1930's and internationally in the 1940's, enjoying success at the Mille Miglia, and grand prix successes driving a Ferrari and a Cisitilia.
During his Formula 1 career, Il Pirata raced Italian cars, starting with a privateer Maserati team, then the factory Alfa Romeo team and finally with the factory Maserati team and achieved two shared podiums.
Bonetto's greatest successes were in sports cars, including a win at the Targa Florio in 1952, but sadly his career was cut short when he hit his head on the balcony of a house in the 1953 Carrera Panamericana.
Formula One CareerEdit
Before Formula OneEditFelice Bonetto was a pre war Alfa Romeo driver but his career really took off post war, racing Cisitilia and Ferrari Grand Prix cars.
In 1949 Bonetto came second in the Naples GP and also took sports car success with second at the Mille Miglia.
1950EditFelice Bonetto drove the 1950 season in his Maserati 4CLT/50 under his Scuderia Milano banner in which he contested the last three of the last four races of the season.
His World Championship debut was at the Swiss Grand Prix and Felice qualified 12th but managed to battle with the factory and Enrico Plate teams to a strong 5th, one place behind the experienced Prince Bira and a place ahead of Toulo de Graffenreid. This trio finished a lap ahead of factory Maserati's Nello Pagani and Louis Chiron to pick up 2 World Championship points.
Moving onto France, Il Pirata suffered engine problems on lap 14 and his final race of the season, with a special engine, Bonetto did not start.
The highlight of 1950 came when Il Pirata won the non-championship Oporto GP, and he continued his sportscar success by leading the Mille Miglia in an Alfa Romeo.
Formula One Statistical OverviewEdit
Formula One RecordEdit
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Points||WDC Pos.||Report|
|1951||Alfa Romeo SpA||Alfa Romeo||7||8th||Report|
|1952||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Maserati||2||16th||Report|
|1953||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Maserati||6.5||9th||Report|
|Front Row Starts||1|
|Distance Raced||4819 km (2994 mi)|
|Distance Led||5 km (3 mi)|
|Complete Formula One results|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)||DNS||Did not start|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap|
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