Luigi Fagioli (FADGE-ee-oh-lee; born June 9, 1898 in Osimo, Ancona, Marche, Italy – died June 20, 1952 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco) was an Italian Grand Prix racer who raced in Formula One in the latter stages of his career.
Before Formula 1 World Championship
Fagioli enjoyed great success in hill climbing and sports car racing prior to his grand prix debut in 1926 and by 1930 this success had lead him to the factory Maserati team.
Fagioli was a regular winner throughout this period for the factory Maserati and Alfa Romeo teams. He famously went head to head with the nimble Bugatti Type 35 of Louis Chiron around the streets of Monaco during the 1931 GP in what was one of motor racings greatest battles.
A supremely confident driver with a fiery temper, Fagioli often retaliated against other drivers on and off the track. Nevertheless, he was employed as a factory driver for Mercedes in 1934 and partnered up with chief mechanic Hermann Lang.
The move proved successful winning the Italian and Spanish GP’s but even in his very first race for Mercedes a furious Fagioli abandoned his car, after having been given team orders by team manager Alfred Neubauer to stay behind.
For 1935 Fagioli was upgraded to the new Mercedes and won amongst others the Monaco GP but his relationship with team mates worsened in particular, with Rudolf Caracciola who he regularly tried to overtake against team orders.
In 1937 he left Mercedes and joined the Auto Union team where his rivalry with Caracciola escalated, culminating at the Tripoli GP when Fagioli physically attacked his former team mate with a wheel spanner.
At the age of 52, Fagioli signed again for Alfa Romeo for the start of the 1950 World Championship.
Formula One Career
The season started well at Silverstone with Fagioli tearing off in pursuit of teammate Farina and the two swapped positions several times but the race victor was to be his younger teammate. On to Monaco and Fagioli was the slower of the three Alfa's and started on the second row. When the cars arrived at Tabac they found the track had been flooded by a tidal wave. Fangio leading made it through the corner ok but Farina spun from second and was rammed by Gonzalez who was rammed by Fagioli. In all 10 cars retired in this incident.
By Bremgarten it was clear that Fagioli had not got the pace of Farina and Fangio but a solid second was a good result which was backed up with a fighting second at Spa, this time behind Fangio.
In France Fagioli again finished second to Fangio, a little more distant behind but entered the final race of the season second in the championship as he consistently picked up points and did not break the car.
At the Italian GP Farina set off at a tremendous place winning the race, Fangio retired twice and Fagioli again brought the car home on the podium finishing third. Farina won the championship, and Fangio came second, both team mates taking three wins.
Fagioli, at the age of 52, remained in the championship hunt all season and impressively took four second places and a third place to come third in the championship as the system used back them included drop scores.
Fagioli then turned to sports cars, but came back for the 1951 French Grand Prix, his last F1 race. He won jointly with Fangio, as the pair swapped cars after Fangio suffered a series of problems. Fagioli finished 22 laps behind his team mate in 11th.
Fagioli died in 1952, after succumbing to internal injuries sustained in a practice crash for a touring car race at Monte-Carlo.
Formula One Statistical Overview
Formula One and Grand Prix Record
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Points||WDC Pos.||Report|
|1930||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Maserati||No Grand Prix Championship|
|1931||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Maserati||22||46th||Report|
|1932||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Maserati||18||7th||Report|
|1933||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Alfa Romeo||No Grand Prix Championship|
|1934||Daimler Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||No Grand Prix Championship|
|1935||Daimler Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||17||2nd||Report|
|1936||Daimler Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||26||14th||Report|
|1937||Auto Union||Auto Union||36||20th||Report|
|1938–1949: Did Not Compete|
|1950||Alfa Romeo SpA||Alfa Romeo||24 (28)||3rd||Report|
|1951||Alfa Romeo SpA||Alfa Romeo||4||11th||Report|
- Includes results from the AIACR European Championship and Grand Prix seasons predecessed the Formula One World Championship in 1950
|Front Row Starts||4|
|1||1951 French Grand Prix|
|1||1930 Coppa Ciano|
|2||1931 Monza Grand Prix|
|3||1932 Rome Grand Prix|
|4||1933 Italian Grand Prix|
|5||1933 Coppa Acerbo|
|6||1933 Comminges Grand Prix|
|7||1934 Coppa Acerbo|
|8||1934 Italian Grand Prix|
|9||1934 Spanish Grand Prix|
|10||1935 Monaco Grand Prix|
|11||1935 Penya Rhin Grand Prix|
|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||[+] More Symbols|
- Two shared drives with Juan Manuel Fangio
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