This is the young Argentinean driver Onofre Marimon on the old Bremgarten park circuit in Bern Switzerland on August 22, 1953 during practice for the next day’s Swiss Grand Prix. He is driving the Maserati factory-supported Argentinean club’s two liter Maserati A6GCM, painted in Argentina’s racing colors of blue and yellow. In the race, he would retire at two-thirds distance with oil system failure.
The famous Bremgarten circuit had been used for Grand Prix races since the mid-1930s. Its narrow road wound through a large forested park near the center of Bern over some 4.5 miles with trees close to the circuit and with changes of pavement, including a stretch of “Belgian blocks” which were extremely slippery in wet conditions.
Marimon was from Buenos Aires and was mentored by Froilán González and Juan Manuel Fangio, both of whom had preceded him to race in Europe. The trio of Argentineans was very close with González and Fangio supporting the efforts of their countryman who was called “Pinnochio” because of looking somewhat like the popular Disney character. Marimon had visited Europe as early as 1951 and is often seen in photographs at races with his more famous countrymen. After showing real talent in his 1953 outings in the Championship races for the two-liter F2 cars of that year, Marimon was promoted to a full works Maserati for the first year of the 2.5-liter Formula 1 series in 1954. He continued to show promise, finishing third, ahead of Fangio’s Mercedes, at Silverstone. Two weeks later, during practice for the German Grand Prix on the challenging Nürburgring he went off through a hedge at one of the turns on the descent to Adenau Bridge and was killed as his car rolled down a steep slope. González was especially devasted by Marimon’s death and would soon retire. Although he would start in his Ferrari the next day, he handed over to Hawthorn to bring it in second behind Fangio’s Mercedes.
Photo by Louis Klemantaski ©The Klemantaski Collection