Dr. Giuseppe “Nino” Farina shows off his classic relaxed style with his arms reaching out to his steering wheel as he leads the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on May 13, 1950. This was the first race of the newly created World Championship for Drivers which would be won by Farina. Alfa Corse had entered four of their updated prewar type 158 “Alfettas” to be driven by Farina, Luigi Fagioli, Juan Manuel Fangio and Reg Parnell. The Alfas with their supercharged 1.5 liter eight cylinder in line engine produced about 300 hp which gave them a distinct advantage over their competition.
There were 26 entries for this race, but Ferrari was absent and focusing on the following Grand Prix at Monaco a week later. In practice Farina was fastest with Fagioli two tenths slower and Fangio another two tenths behind. Parnell was next, careful not to overstress this important opportunity for a British driver. Farina led right from the start and stayed there except for a few laps led by Fagioli, whose car is seem here being pushed to the grid. Fangio led one lap, but then retired with loss of engine oil. Farina, Fagioli and Parnell then cruised to the finish in that order.
The Alfas would win each Grand Prix during the 1950 season and continued to be competitive into 1951 until Ferrari, using a 4.5 liter normally aspirated V12 ,would gain equal footing to the team from Arese although Fangio would win the Championship laurels for Alf Romeo in 1951.
Photos by Alan R. Smith ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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Always loved Farina’s style of driving, even as a little boy. I still model myself on him at the wheel of our estate car seventy years later ! Can’t help but think that Sir Stirling had taken note of him too ! Dad made me a wooden model of a 159 which I still treasure today. Great pictures !