Robert Manzon, (born 12 April 1917 in Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France – died 19 January 2015 in Cassis, Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France) was a former French racing driver who spent large amounts of his career racing for the Gordini team. He split from the team one race into the 1953 season when his wheel came off during the race, and joined the Lancia sports car team.
Manzon returned to Formula One for the 1954 season with the Equipe Rosier team and before rejoining Gordini in 1955. In total Manzon's time in Formula 1 spanned seven seasons, in which Manzon achieved two podium finishes, gained at the 1952 Belgian Grand Prix and the 1954 French Grand Prix.
Manzon was the second-oldest living F1 driver at 97, behind Frenchman, Robert La Caze. He also was the last living driver who has taken part in the first Formula One season in 1950.
Before Formula 1 World Championship
Manzon, a diesel equipment distributor, raced his own 1100cc Cisitilia in 1947, taking wins at Angouleme and Comminges. It was performances like these, against the Simca Gordini's, that encouraged the team to sign him midway through 1948. Manzon's first race for Simca Gordini was at Angouleme, a circuit he had won at before and always shone.
Manzon didn't dissapoint on his debut for his new team, leading the final and setting fastest lap before retirement.
Manzon became a regular for the team and finished second to Maurice Trintignant at Angouleme in 1949 as well as finishing second to Raymond Sommer at Lausanne. Manzon won the Bol d'Or in a production Simca too but his results were hampered by engine trouble with the Simca Gordini's revving very highly.
Formula One Career
Manzon was entered in the Monaco Grand Prix, the World Championship debut for the Simca Gordini team, qualifying eleventh. But he was involved in the first race incident that accounted for 10 of the entries, when the field entered Tabac for the first time to find it flooded, and second placed Nino Farina spun causing a multi car accident.
Manzon's next grand prix was at the fifth round in France. Here, at this home grand prix, Manzon qualified thirteenth and battled home fourth. He was behind Alfa Romeo teammates Juan Manuel Fangio and Luigi Fagioli, and privateer Ferrari entry Peter Whitehead, scoring 3 points.
At the final Grand Prix of the season at Monza, he qualified tenth and retired with transmission problems.
Manzon enjoyed more success in 1950 driving his Simca Gordini to a victory and podiums in Formula 2 races.
Formula One Statistical Overview
Formula One Record
Note: Italics denotes entries used only in non-championship races.
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Points||WDC Pos.||Report|
|1947||Robert Manzon||Cisitalia-Fiat||No championship||Report|
|1948||Equipe Gordini||Simca-Gordini||No championship||Report|
|1949||Equipe Gordini||Simca-Gordini||No championship||Report|
|Front Row Starts||3|
|Distance Raced||6616 km (4111 mi)|
|Distance Led||0 km (0 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||[+] More Symbols|
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