Juan Manuel Fangio

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Juan Manuel Fangio (June 24, 1911 – July 17, 1995), nicknamed El Chueco ("knock-kneed") or El Maestro ("The Master"), was a racing car driver from Argentina, who dominated the first decade of Formula One racing. He won five Formula One World Driver's Championships — a record which stood for 46 years until eventually beaten by Michael Schumacher — with four different teams (Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Maserati), a feat that has not been repeated since. Many still consider him to be the greatest driver of all time.[2] He has the highest winning percentage in Formula One (46.15%) compared to Michael Schumacher's 33.83%.

He is the only Argentine driver to have won the Argentine Grand Prix, having won it four times in his career.

Contents

Early life and racing

Fangio was born on San Juan's day in 1911 in Balcarce, to Italian immigrants.[3] He began his racing career in Argentina in 1934, driving a 1929 Ford Model A which he had rebuilt.[4] During his time racing in Argentina, he drove Chevrolet cars and was Argentine National Champion in 1940 and 1941.[4] He first came to Europe to race in 1948, funded by the Argentine Automobile Club and the Argentine government.[4]

Formula One racing

Fangio, unlike later Formula One drivers, started his racing career at a mature age and was the oldest driver in many of his races. During his career, drivers raced almost with no protective equipment. Fangio had no compunction about leaving a team, even after a successful year or even during a season, if he thought he would have a better chance with a better car. As was then common, several of his race results were shared with team mates after he took over their car during races when his own had technical problems. His rivals included Alberto Ascari, Giuseppe Farina and Stirling Moss.

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