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Nino Farina

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Fortune favors the bold.

Vergilius

Any Formula-1 fan with even the slightest knowledge of its history has almost certainly heard of Giuseppe "Nino" Farina. It was this driver, who managed not only to win the first ever Grand Prix of the World Championship, but also to become the first Formula-1 champion back in 1950. However, for most of his contemporaries, Farina was not remembered for these achievements at all. Possessing both an undoubted talent and a very arrogant disposition, nicknamed the “Gentleman from Turin,” the Italian behaved on the track in no way like a gentleman, liked to tickle the nerves of his rivals and, with his risky driving, terrified even the most fearless drivers of that glorious era.


Giuseppe was born on October 30, 1906 in Turin in the family of an Italian businessman Giovanni Farina, and it was on that very day that the father of the future champion founded his company Stabilimenti Farina, which was engaged in the production and sale of car components.

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Giuseppe's uncle, who had a very small stature and received the nickname Pinin (short man), was also engaged in this business and owned his own company, Pininfarina, which later became world famous. Naturally, Giuseppe himself, whom everyone around called Nino (a diminutive of Giuseppino) and regarded as the successor of the family business, was a frequent visitor to the factory from an early age and showed an increased interest in everything related to automobiles. At the age of 16 Nino got his first racing experience, becoming a partner of his uncle Pinin, and three years later he took part in his first race on his own, which ended in an accident for him, which became only the first of many in the Italian's long career.


However, in those years, Farina had not yet finally decided on his future career. Being well developed physically, he proved to be an excellent athlete, excelling in running, football and skiing, and when he entered the University of Turin, he also excelled in the academic field, obtaining a degree of doctor of law. After graduating from the university Nino entered the army , where he did not lose his face  either, becoming one of the best cavalrymen of the regiment. After completing his military service, Farina became a lawyer, but the world of motors still beckoned him, and in 1932 he purchased his first Alfa Romeo racing car, in which he began to periodically compete in various races. At the same time, the very first mountain race on this car ended for the Italian with another serious accident, as a result of which he broke his shoulder and injured his face, but even after getting into the hospital, Nino was determined to continue his performances.


In 1934, Nino got into the Scuderia Subalpina team and driving a Maserati 4CM Voiturette he achieved his first successes, winning the Czech Grand Prix and finishing third in the Bielá Grand Prix. Encouraged by these successes, at the end of the year Farina made his final decision to abandon the practice of law and devote himself entirely to motor racing.

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In 1935, Nino continued his performances in the Scuderia Subalpina team, which that year began to exhibit their cars not only in the Voiturette class, but also in that of Grand Prix. In the smaller class, Farina again achieved good results, managing to become second in the Bergamo Grand Prix and again third in the Biela Grand Prix, but in the Grand Prix class he could not achieve much success, seriously inferior to the then-dominant Mercedeses, Auto-Unions and Alfa Romeos. However, with his assertiveness and his unique driving style, Farina still managed to attract attention to himself, and one of the first to see the undoubted talent of the Italian was the great Tazio Nuvolari.

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It was Nuvolari, who was driving in Enzo Ferrari's team at that time, who drew Commendatore's attention to a young promising Italian and advised to invite him to the team. For Farina, this turn of events was truly fateful, as he not only found himself driving one of the best cars of those years, but also got the opportunity to learn racing skills from one of the greatest drivers in motorsport. Nonetheless, the first year in Enzo Ferrari's team was not very successful for Nino. In his very first race for the Scuderia in Monaco, Farina crashed his Alfa Romeo, slipping on oil leaking from an opponent's car.

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Following the first accident, the second one immediately followed, already in Monza, where Nino was thrown out of the car altogether and received injuries that put him out of action for several weeks. However, the Italian managed to recover quite quickly, and already in Penya Rhin he had a very impressive race, managing to break through from the back of the field to third place, losing only Nuvolari and Caracciolla at the finish line. Another third place Farina earned in Milan, but then came the turn of the Deville Grand Prix,  in which the Italian forever secured the reputation of not only a very fast, but also quite a ruthless driver.


In that race, only 11 participants entered the start, and given the lack of German cars, the Scuderia drivers were considered the main contenders for victory. Farina's teammate in this particular Grand Prix was René Dreyfus, and it was he who took pole position, slightly ahead of the Italian. However, the Frenchman failed the start, and from the very beginning of the Grand Prix Farina took the lead, who was determined to finally win his first victory for the Scuderia. Unfortunately, this very determination played a cruel joke on the Italian. In an effort to create the maximum gap from his rivals at all costs, Nino, while overtaking Marcel Lehoux, made a rather unsuccessful maneuver, as a result of which both cars collided, rolled over, and the drivers were thrown out of their cockpits. Farina himself was practically not injured in this accident, escaping with only a few bruises and a slight concussion, but the Frenchman was much less fortunate, and having received fatal head injuries, he died right on the spot.

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Naturally, this incident greatly affected Farina's reputation, and at the end of the season Enzo Ferrari seriously considered firing the Italian and replacing him with Achille Varzi or Luigi Fagioli. However, both of these drivers, for one reason or another, refused  Commendatore's offer, and Farina remained in the team for one more season, which turned out to be rather difficult for the Italian team. Despite high expectations, the new Alfa Romeo 12C/37, designed by Vittorio Jano, was completely uncompetitive, and even Nuvolari himself was powerless to oppose the Mercedes and Auto Union drivers. Nevertheless, Farina managed to win his first victory for the Scuderia in the Naples Grand Prix, which was held among cars of the Voiturette class, and having won a number of second places in Turin, Milan and the Mille Miglia race, Nino was recognized by the results of 1937 the best italian racer.

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As for Nuvolari, after a very unsuccessful season, he left the Scuderia and joined Auto-Union, thereby paving the way for Farina to lead the Italian team, which was completely bought out by Alfa Romeo at the end of the year and received the new name Alfa Corsa.


Nevertheless, the next season in 1938 was not much better for the renewed Italian team than the previous one. Despite the fact that the new Alfa Romeo Tipo 316 was already developed under the leadership of Gioacchino Colombo, it was also seriously inferior in speed to the German bolids, and Nino could not win a single victory for the entire season. Moreover, at the beginning of the year in the Tripoli Grand Prix, Farina again became a participant in a tragic incident that was like two drops of water similar to the previous one, and this time cost Laszlo Hartmann his life. As in the case of Lehoux, Nino collided with Hartmann's car while lapping him, and if the Italian himself again escaped with only minor bruises, then Laszlo received a spinal fracture and died a day later. After the second such incident, Farina began to instill real fear in his rivals, and since then most of the drivers, at the sight of the Italian in their mirrors, simply shied away, out of harm's way. Nonetheless, after taking second places in the Coppa Ciano, the Coppa Acerbo and the Italian Grand Prix, Nino won the title of Italian champion for the second year in a row.

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In the last pre-war championship in 1939, Alfa Corsa refused to participate in the Grand Prix class, and Nino raced as a private, driving the previous year's Alfa Romeo Tipo 316, but without any success. However, in the Voiturette class, at the wheel of the new Alfa Romeo 158, designed by Gioachino Colombo, Nino was one of the best, and, having won the Coppa Ciano and the Swiss Grand Prix, Farina became the Italian champion for the third time in a row.

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In 1940, Nino won his last pre-war victory at the Tripoli Grand Prix and took another second place in the Mille Miglia race, after which he was drafted into the Italian army as an officer of a tank unit and spent the next five years on the battlefields of World War II.

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After the end of the war and the restoration of the usual way of life, the drivers began to return to the tracks of Europe again, and Farina was among them, who was eager to get back in shape as soon as possible. In 1946, Nino rejoined the Alfa Corsa team again and, driving the same Alfa Romeo 158, the Italian won a brilliant victory at the Grand Prix of Nations in Geneva, but soon he left the Milan team because of quarrel  between him and the Alfa Romeo management.

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Unable to find another place, in 1947 Nino decided to take a break and devote himself to social life, and during one of the social events he met his future wife Elsa Giaretto, a stylish and elegant woman who ran her own fashion emporium.

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Unfortunately for the Italian, Elsa did not at all share his passion for motor racing, considering it a stupid and dangerous activity, but even she failed to convince her lover to quit motorsport, and already three days after their luxurious wedding in early 1948, Farina went to Argentina, to take part in the Mar del Plata Grand Prix. In that event, Nino drove the Scuderia Milano team's Maserati, and after a great race, he managed to beat the Alfa Romeo drivers and record his first win of the season. Afterwards Farina continued his successful performances already at the wheel of his own Maserati, winning the Monaco Grand Prix and the Grand Prix of Nations, after which the Italian received an invitation from Commendatore to join his new team.

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However, the second period of cooperation with Enzo Ferrari was short-lived for the Italian. In 1949, Nino spent only a few races for the Scuderia, noting himself with a victory in the Rosario Grand Prix and second places in Rio de Janeiro and the International Trophy, while the second half of the season he spent driving his own Maserati, having managed to win the Lausanne Grand Prix.

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At the same time, in the Belgian Grand Prix, Farina almost died again, flying off the track in a rather dangerous turn, and only bales of straw located on the side of the road were able to keep his Maserati from an inevitable fall from a cliff.

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Meanwhile, in 1950 the first Formula-1 World Championship started, and the Alfa Romeo team, which had missed the 1949 season due to a series of deaths of its drivers Jean-Pierre Wimille, Carlo Trossi and Achille Varzi, intended to return in all its glory in the new championship. From a technical point of view, things were fine for the Milan team: the same Alfetta 158, which were still considered the best cars in their class, were perfectly suited for the new Formula. However, for the complete success Alfa Romeo lacked the best drivers, and after considering all the candidates, the choice fell on three Fa: Farina, Fangio and Fagioli, while Nino was appointed the leader in this trio.

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However, the Italian himself did not count on anything less. Despite his 43-year-old age, Nino still demonstrated excellent speed and outstanding results, knew well both the team and the car, and, most importantly, he was Italian. Considering that for Luigi Fagioli his best years were already far behind, Farina was not very afraid of competition from his compatriot, and he was much more worried about the quiet and laconic native of Argentina, Juan Manuel Fangio, who in the very first year of his performances in Europe managed to win a series of victories and became one of the most successful drivers of the past season.

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The very first round of the World Championship in Great Britain proved the correctness of the Italian's worries. Having managed to easily win the qualification, three Fa and the team's guest driver Reg Parnell just as easily took the lead in the race, but after the pit stops, there were only two contenders for victory remained: the Italian himself and his new Argentine teammate. At the same time, even despite the fact that Farina confidently held the lead, by the end of the race Fangio began to approach Nino and eventually caught up with his teammate. Fortunately for the Italian, after a couple of laps Juan-Manuel still made a mistake and drove into the straw bales, after which he ended the race in the pits with an overheated engine, and Farina won that historic first victory in the Formula 1 World Championship.

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Meanwhile, the second round of the World Championship in Monaco has developed quite differently. The Argentinean was the fastest in qualifying this time, while Farina lost more than 2.5 sec to him and took second place on the starting field. The race itself turned out to be a complete disaster for the Italian. Having started badly, Nino immediately dropped to 4th place, and already on the first lap, while trying to overtake Gonzalez, the Italian slipped on a wet section of the track and crashed into a barrier, causing one of the most massive blockages in the history of Formula 1.

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Fortunately, despite the complete chaos that reigned then on the track, this time none of the drivers were seriously injured, and only Franco Rol had a broken arm. The winner in the end was Juan-Manuel Fangio, who, in the absence of both teammates, confidently led the race and easily brought it to a victorious finish.


The third round of the championship was the Swiss Grand Prix, and in qualifying Fangio was again the fastest, but this time Nino was almost as fast as the Argentine and from the very first laps of the race began to seriously put pressure on his teammate. This caused obvious unrest in the Alfa Romeo camp and on lap 7 the drivers were ordered to change places, with the result that Nino took the lead without any struggle and easily took his second victory of the season. As for Fangio, he was again out of luck, and due to engine failure, the Argentine was forced to leave the race.

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Nonetheless, already at the next round in Belgium, Juan-Manuel managed to recoup again, and this time it was the Italian who lacked luck. At the same time, both drivers were equally fast both in qualifying and in the race, however, due to problems with the transmission in the second half of the race, Farina was forced to slow down, and Fangio won again, while the Italian was to be content with only 4th place. A similar situation arose in the next round in France, where Farina had problems with the fuel supply, first throwing him back, and then completely forcing him to retire, while Fangio managed to score another victory.

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The final of the first World Championship was held in Italy at the famous Monza circuit, and by the last stage, all three Alfa Romeo drivers still had a chance for the title. However, it was Fangio who looked like the most likely contender for the champion crown, who needed only to finish in third place to win the championship. Nino's chances were considered much worse, since the Italian needed not only to win, but also to hope that Juan-Manuel could not get on the podium. As for the third contender, Fagioli, his chances were very illusory, because he needed not only to win, which the Italian failed to achieve throughout the season, but also to hope for the retirements of both of his teammates. Realizing how high the stakes were, Alfa Romeo management put up two additional cars for this race, driven by Consalvo Sanesi and Piero Taruffi, who had to give up their seats to title contenders if necessary. Besides, an additional surprise factor this time was brought by the Scuderia Ferrari team, which at the home stage put up their new Ferraris 375, which proved to be very competitive.

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In qualifying, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari drivers staged a real battle, but once again Fangio was the fastest, who seemed to be able to tip the scales in his favor. However, Fortune is a capricious lady, and on the day of the race her favorable gaze turned in a completely different direction. From the very start, Farina and Ascari sped forward, arranging a fight for leadership among themselves, while Fangio preferred to play in reliability and settled in the third place he needed. On lap 22, fate presented Farina with the first gift when Ascari and Fangio started having problems with their cars at the same time, as a result of which they both had to pull into the pits and change cars with their teammates. Nevertheless, Fangio managed to return to the track in second place, which still placed him in the best possible chance of becoming a champion. However, luck clearly favored Farina that day, and even before the middle of the distance, the engine on the Argentine's second car ran out too, after which Nino easily brought the race to a victorious finish and thus became the first Formula-1 world champion!

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Naturally, after such a lucky coincidence for the Italian, there were those who began to suspect the Milan team of foul play, but Farina himself considered his title well deserved and intended to repeat his success in 1951. However, unlike the previous one, this season did not go well for the Italian from the very beginning. The first round of 1951 championship was held in Switzerland, and it was marked by heavy rain that hit the track during the race. In these difficult conditions, Fangio managed to show off his masterful handling on a wet track, and the Argentine took easy win, while Farina, who decided to drive without refueling in this race, began to experience handling problems and finished only in third place.

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However, at the second round in Belgium, the Italian managed to recoup. Despite the start of the race this time being won by Villoresi,  Farina managed to easily get ahead of his compatriot and confidently led the race. Fangio, on the other hand, this time failed the start, and when he in turn overtook the Ferrari, Farina had already was well ahead. However, the final outcome of the Grand Prix was decided during the pit stops. Having called in to change wheels, Fangio lost more than 14 minutes in the pits due to a jammed hub, which completely ruined his race, and it was Nino this time who celebrated the victory.

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By the third round of the championship in France, Farina came up as a leader, ahead of Fangio by 2 points, but it was this Grand Prix that became the turning point for the Italian this season. As usual, the long straights of Reims circuit subjected the car components to the most severe stress, and among the leaders there was not a single driver who did not encounter one or another problem. For Nino himself, this Grand Prix has become the quintessence of ups and downs at all. Having failed the start, Farina at the very beginning of the race was only 6th, but gradually, thanks to overtaking and problems with his rivals, Nino rose higher and higher until he finally took the lead. It seemed that the Italian was already flying to his second victory in a row, but a lap before his second pit stop a tire suddenly exploded on his car, and Nino only managed to keep it on the track with great difficulty. Cursing everyone with all his might, Farina pulled into the pits, but due to a loss of concentration, he drove past his garage, losing another extra minute on this. Naturally, after such a hitch, there was no question of any victory, and due to ignition problems that began soon, Nino completely lost speed and eventually finished only in fifth place.

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As it turned out, the problems that arose in France were only the beginning of a losing streak for the Italian. In subsequent races in Great Britain and Germany, Nino retired both times due to technical problems, and in Italy he managed to get to the finish line only by switching to a spare car provided to him by Bonetto.

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At the same time, car breakdowns were not the only problem of the Italian. In the middle of the season, Ferraris became really serious rivals to Alfa Romeos, and if Fangio still managed to fight on an equal terms with the Scuderia drivers, then Farina was already clearly falling out of the contenders for victory. However, the Italian himself blamed the team for all his failures, and already in the middle of the season he openly announced that he would not renew his contract with Alfa Romeo.

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At the same time, there were persistent rumors in the paddock that Nino would drive for BRM, but British cars could not boast of either speed or reliability, and as a result, rumors remained rumors.


Meanwhile, the main fight for the championship title this season unfolded between Juan-Manuel Fangio and Alberto Ascari, eventually ending in the final race in Spain with a convincing victory for the Argentinean. As for Farina, in this Grand Prix he did not interfere in any way in the fight between the two contenders and, after a rather boring race, he finished in third place.

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Nonetheless, the results of the championship still were rather disappointing for the Italian: only one victory and only fourth place in the overall standings. Naturally, these results did not meet Nino's expectations, and at the end of the season he still left the Milan team, signing a new contract with Enzo Ferrari. At the same time, Alfa Romeo itself, unable to withstand the competition with the Scuderia, left Formula-1 at the end of the season, thereby forcing the FIA to hold the next two world championships according to the technical regulations of Formula-2.


Nino began his third and last collaboration with Enzo Ferrari quite well with victories in the non-championship Grands Prix of Naples and Monza, but the race at the Royal Park Autodrome was overshadowed by the serious accident of Juan-Manuel Fangio, who suffered a rather serious neck injury and as a result was forced to miss the rest of the season.

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At the same time, surprisingly, Farina was one of the first to visit Fangio in the hospital, and in addition to the on-duty wishes for a speedy recovery, the Italian was so kind that he presented his former teammate with his victory wreath from Monza. It was obvious that after two seasons spent together at Alfa Romeo, Nino had greatly changed his attitude towards the Argentine, whom he at first considered an ordinary upstart from overseas.


Meanwhile, the 1952 championship itself was not the best for the Italian. At the first stage in Switzerland, Farina, in the absence of Scuderia leader Alberto Ascari, was the clear favorite of the Grand Prix, however, due to a magneto failure, first on one and then on another car, the Italian was forced to retire, and victory sailed to Piero Taruffi.

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Meanwhile, the second round of the championship, which took place in Belgium already with the participation of Ascari, became an obvious demonstration of Alberto's overwhelming advantage over all rivals, and even then Nino got the feeling that the fight against his teammate would be a very difficult task. The following races in France, Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands only confirmed the suspicions of the Italian, becoming like two drops of water similar to one another. In each of these Grand Prix, Ascari got ahead from the very start, set an incredible pace, which even Nino was unable to keep, after which he easily took another victory. At the same time, at the Nurburgring Nino suffered a particularly humiliating defeat. In that Grand Prix, Alberto was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop at the end of the race to top up oil, resulting in Nino surprisingly taking the lead on the last lap. However, having returned to the track, Ascari swept through it like a hurricane, easily won back 9 seconds from Farina, overtook him and as a result won again, beating Nino by another 14 sec! It was this victory that ultimately brought Asсari his first champion title, while Farina, having failed to win a single victory for the entire season, was forced to be content with only the title of vice champion.

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In 1953, Nino continued driving for the Scuderia, but this season began worse than ever for the Italian. At the first round of the championship in Argentina, Nino once again took part in a tragic incident, which this time occurred through the fault of the organizers. On that day, in honor of the first Argentine Grand Prix, everyone was admitted to the track for free, as a result of which a record 400,000 spectators gathered in the stands and in the vicinity of the track. Unfortunately, the safety of the Grand Prix was not ensured at the proper level, and from time to time some spectators ran across the track right in front of the speeding cars to take more advantageous places. During one of these cases, a boy ran onto the track right in front of Farina's car, and the Italian, trying to avoid a collision, lost control of his Ferrari and flew right into the crowd. As a result of this accident, 10 spectators were killed, another 40 were injured, while the Italian himself again escaped with only a minor leg injury. At the same time, despite the unfolding tragedy, the race was not even stopped, and Alberto Ascari became the winner once again.

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The second round of the championship in the Netherlands also took place with a clear advantage of Ascari, while Nino once again finished behind Alberto, in the already familiar second place. However, the following rounds in Belgium and France took place on fairly high-speed tracks that were more suitable for Maserati cars, which allowed the Modena team drivers Juan-Manuel Fangio and José-Froilan Gonzalez to seriously challenge the leadership of Ferraris. In the face of increased competition, Nino looked rather pale, and in France he managed to take only 5th place, while in Belgium he retired altogether due to engine failure. The next stage in the Great Britain was more successful for the Italian, and Nino finished third, but in the race he again did not shine with speed and lost to the winner, who was again Ascari, more than two laps.

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Naturally, after such disappointing results, many began to doubt the ability of the 46-year-old Italian to perform at the same level, setting as an example the young Briton Mike Hawthorn, who was able to win his first victory already in his fourth race for the Scuderia. However, already at the next stage, which took place in the German Nurburgring, Farina made all his opponents bite their tongues. In that Grand Prix, Ascari, as usual, took the lead at the very beginning of the race, but already on the fifth lap a tire suddenly flew off on his Ferrari, and Alberto lost any chance of winning. When information about Ascari's failure reached Farina's ears, an amazing metamorphosis suddenly occurred to the Italian. Occupying only third place in the race, Nino immediately rushed in pursuit of the leading Fangio and Hawthorn, and after winning back from them for half a minute in just three laps, the Italian easily passed them both and won the Grand Prix with brilliance.

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This success seemed to re-inspire former confidence in Nino, and the Italian arrived at the next round in Switzerland with the clear intention of repeating his success. However, despite some similarities with the previous Grand Prix, the Swiss stage brought the Italian a complete disappointment. At first, things were going very well for Farina, and after problems arose in Ascari's car again, forcing him to pit, Nino managed to take the lead again. However, this time Alberto managed to continue the race, and after leaving the pits, he immediately gave chase. With three Ferraris in the top three positions by then, Scuderia manager Nello Ugolini instructed his drivers to slow down so as not to put too much stress on the cars. But it was this decision that ruined Nino's entire race. Obeying the order, Farina, like Hawthorn, was taken by surprise by Alberto Ascari, who ignored the instructions from the pits and continued to drive at his limits. Having passed one by one both of his teammates, Alberto eventually won another victory, which brought him the second championship title, while Nino got only second place. Needless to say, after such treachery Nino was not in the best mood, and returning to the pits, the Italian told Ugolini everything he thought about such “team tactics”.

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The last Grand Prix of the season was held in Italy at the high-speed track in Monza, and it was marked by a magnificent battle that was waged between the Ferrari and the Maserati drivers from the very start. Throughout the race, Ascari, Fangio, Farina and Marimon constantly attacked each other, now breaking forward, then rolling back, and the outcome of this fight was unclear to anyone until the very finish.

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On the last lap, Ascari entered the last turn as a leader, but there he made a mistake, and Marimon immediately crashed into him, who carried them both off the track. Meanwhile, Farina miraculously managed to avoid a collision with the two cars, but due to the loss of speed, he let Fangio go ahead, who eventually celebrated the victory in this incredible Grand Prix. Thanks to this victory, the Argentine eventually overtook Nino in the championship, and the Italian took only third place in the overall standings, losing to his main two rivals. Nevertheless, the end of the championship clearly showed that there was a little life in the old soldier yet, and the Italian was counting on continuing successful performances next season..

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Meanwhile, in 1954, the technical regulations of the World Championship changed again, returning to Formula-1, which led to the emergence of new strong teams and, accordingly, the inevitable changes in the drivers line-ups. For Nino, who still remained at Ferrari, these changes were only beneficial, as the former Scuderia leader Ascari, having moved to the Lancia team, provided the Italian with a great opportunity to become the new leader of the team. Naturally, Nino did not miss this chance, and already in the first Grand Prix of the season in Argentina, he won pole position, making it clear that he was ready to fight at the highest level.

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However, in the race itself, all his hopes of winning were spoiled by heavy rain, and the winner was Juan-Manuel Fangio, who once again proved his unsurpassed skills on a wet track.


In between the first and second rounds, Farina managed to win the non-championship Grand Prix of Syracuse, but three weeks later the Italian got into another accident in the Mille Miglia sports car race, in which he received a rather serious injury to his right arm. Nevertheless, for a month and a half before the second round of the championship, Nino managed to fully recover, and already in Belgium he gave another fight to his eternal rival Juan-Manuel Fangio.

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Unfortunately, this time the Italian was let down by his car and due to ignition problems, Nino was forced to leave the race. However, the main troubles were waiting for Nino ahead.


A week after the Belgian Grand Prix, Farina took part in the Supercortemaggiore sports car race in Monza, but already in training the transmission on his new Ferrari literally fell to pieces, and, unfortunately, one of them broke the fuel tank, which immediately led to a fire. Having directed his flaming Ferrari to the side of the road, Nino jumped out of the car, but the fire had already spread to his overalls, and the Italian had to make a lot of efforts to put out the flames. As a result of this incident, Farina received very serious burns to his arms and legs, and the Italian spent the rest of the season recovering.

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Nevertheless, despite the severity of his injuries, Nino did not even want to think about ending his racing career, and having received assurances from Enzo Ferrari himself that the team was waiting for his speedy return to service, the Italian already at the very beginning of 1955 went to the start again.

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The first round of the 1955 World Championship was held in Argentina, and due to the terrible heat that set in that weekend in Buenos Aires, this Grand Prix forever entered the history of Formula-1 as one of the brilliant examples of the endless courage of the drivers of that era. It can be said that on that day the Formula-1 race turned into a real endurance race, and many drivers had to switch cars with their teammates more than once, just to bring their cars to the finish line. At the same time, Farina himself, certainly, became one of the main heroes of this Grand Prix, who, despite the hellish pain caused to him by his burns, returned to the track over and over again after receiving another dose of morphine in the pits. As a result of all this leapfrog with replacements, the results of the Grand Prix became truly unique, and Farina, who changed two cars during the race, took both second and third place! As for the winner, once again it was Juan-Manuel Fangio, who managed to carry out this whole hellish race alone.

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Meanwhile, the second round of the championship, which took place in Monaco, was not so successful for Farina. The Ferrari cars that season clearly lacked speed, and in qualifying the Italian took only 14th place, while in the race Nino collided with one of the Gordinis on the very first lap, after which he pulled to the pits for repairs. Subsequently, thanks to several overtaking and numerous retirements the Italian still managed to win back the positions, but in the end he finished the race only in 4th place, while his teammate Maurice Trintignant celebrated his first victory.

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Just four days after the Monaco Grand Prix, the motorsport world was shocked by the news of the death of two-time world champion Alberto Ascari, who died while testing a Ferrari sports car, and despite the outward calmness with which Farina took this tragedy, in fact he was shocked to the core. Of course, he and Alberto were not great friends, rather the opposite, and one can say that Nino was even jealous of Ascari's fame, which could outshine his own, and yet the Italian could not help but recognize the great talent of his compatriot and sincerely believed that Alberto's best years were still ahead. Therefore, having suddenly lost one of his main rivals, Nino suddenly felt some kind of emptiness inside and, going to the start of the third round of the championship, which was held in Belgium, for the first time he felt a strange indifference to what was happening.

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The Grand Prix itself turned into another demonstration of the strength of the Silver Arrows drivers, who from the very first laps of the race took the lead and easily brought it to a victorious finish, while Farina could only fight for a place on the bottom step of the podium. At the same time, Nino's main rival in this race was Ascari's young protege Eugenio Castellotti, who overnight became the new leader of the Lancia team and tried his best not to lose face. In qualifying, Eugenio managed to take his first pole position, but in the race he could not keep up with the pace of Mercedeses and immediately began to lag behind. On the third lap, Farina made an attempt to pass Castellotti in a hairpin, but the young Italian effortlessly repelled this attack and then easily pulled ahead.

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Subsequently, due to a gearbox failure, Eugenio still had to give up third place to Farina, but for Nino himself, who was used to fighting at the highest level, such a performance was the last straw, and at the end of the race, the Italian announced that he was leaving Formula 1.


Nevertheless, at the end of the season, Nino still took part in the Italian Grand Prix, deciding to finally shine in front of his compatriots. In that Grand Prix, Scuderia for the first time brought their new Lancia cars to the track, and the Italian was entrusted with a place in one of them.

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Unfortunately, already in training, it turned out that the Turin cars could not withstand the excessive loads of the newly rebuilt banking of Monza, and after several cases of tire delamination and a rather serious accident, which once again happened to Farina, the team decided to withdraw these cars from the race. So, rather ingloriously, ended the career of the first Formula-1 champion.

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Nevertheless, over the next two years, Nino still continued to periodically perform in various motorsport competitions and even made two attempts to conquer the American Indy 500, which ended in failures for him. At the same time, in the 1956 Supercortemaggiore sports car race, Farina again barely died when he was once again thrown out of the car, but this time too he escaped with only a few injuries.

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In 1958, Nino finally hung up his racing helmet and went into business, becoming a highly successful Alfa Romeo and Jaguar dealer.


Once Juan-Manuel Fangio said: “Farina drives like crazy, and only Saint Mary is able to keep him from falling into the abyss. But someday, unfortunately, she will get tired of helping him too". Unfortunately, the great Argentine was right. On June 30, 1966, Farina drove his Lotus Cortina to France to take part in the filming of the movie "Grand Prix", but he never reached his destination. Ironically, the Italian, who survived so many crashes and earned himself the reputation of the most invulnerable racing driver of his era died in a routine traffic accident, crashing into a telegraph pole on an icy road in the Alps.

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