The beginnings on the two wheels
Born in Osimo, in the province of Ancona, on 10 June 1898, Luigi Fagioli was a pilot and undisputed champion. Very young he moved to Gubbio, in Umbria, to complete his higher studies.
He was passionate about the practice of sport since he was young, dedicating himself first to football and boxing, but then he can not resist the charm of the engines and started to ride a Borgo bike and then a Saar, with the disappointment of his father Sisinio.
After a bad accident happened to him at the Coppa della collina Pistoiese, Luigi Fagioli was convinced by the firm words of dissuasion of his father, that advised him to drive a car.
Fagioli was convinced to leave the two wheels, going to the "safer four", with a Salmson GP, a car that at the time represented the emerging technology.
The official debut
The debut in the race took place at the Coppa della Perugina in 1925, followed by participation in the Coppa Acerbo in the same year and the first victory at the Perugino Tourism Prize in 1926.
Many were the races, twenty-two just in 1928, and many were the victories in front of drivers like Biondetti, Borzacchini, Campari, Caracciola, Chiron, Ferrari, Maserati, Nuvolari, Fangio, Farina, Varzi and many others.
Luigi Fagioli's presence and victories leaved deep traces in historical races of the twenties and thirties: the Circuit of Avellino, Montenero, Targa Florio, Cuneo-Colle della Maddalena, Grand Prix of Monza, Grand Prix Royal of Rome, Coppa Acerbo, Susa-Moncenisio and the Grand Prix of Comminges.
The meeting with Ferrari
In 1933, Fagioli was contacted by Enzo Ferrari who proposed to him the fast Alfa P3. Fagioli accepted, and in the following months obtained numerous successes, winning also the title of Italian Champion.
But the triumph in the national field puts him to the attention of the men of Mercedes who, offering him a fabulous contract of three hundred thousand lire a year, convinced him to leave the collaboration with Ferrari.
Fagioli accepted and Enzo Ferrari will never be able to forgive this rudeness.
The German experience
The commitment with the Mercedes lasted up to 1936 is marked by stupendous victories obtained at the AVUS, at the Circuit of the Nürburgring, again at the Coppa Acerbo, at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, at the Monaco Grand Prix.
With the passing of the races, however, a rivalry comes on with team-mate Rudolph Caracciola. The strong character and not inclined to share unsuspected team strategies, drived Fagioli to take decisions contrary to the team guidelines.
As for example in the Grand Prix of Spain in 1935 where the Eugubino driver went to win, regardless of the indications of the sporting director Neubauer, or as in the Belgian Grand Prix of the same year when Fagioli abandons his car in the pits.
The relationship between the two drivers deteriorated race by race and at the end of 1936, by mutual agreement, Mercedes and Fagioli decided for the early termination of the contract.
In 1937 Fagioli moved to the German Auto Union, but ran only four races, forcibly stopped by an annoying sciatica that at the end of the year forced him to temporary retirement from racing. The pause becomes very long, also due to the war and Fagioli will return to racing only in 1946.
Three "F" in Formula One
After driving small cars in 1950 at52 years old, with the launch of the first F1 World Championship, Fagioli is called by Alfa to be part of its own team of pilots, together with Farina and Fangio.
The threesome of the "three F" is impregnable and at the end of the season, after winning six Grand Prizes out of seven, covers the first three places in the standings with Nino Farina first and Luigi Fagioli third behind Juan Manuel Fangio.
In 1951 at the F1 World Championship, again with the Alfetta F1, Fagioli won the same win thanks to the same Fangio, in the GP of France, remaining at 53 years the oldest driver to have won a Grand Prix of Formula One .
In 1952 at Mille Miglia, Fagioli completes his pilot masterpiece, leading to the victory in the Gran Turismo category the lightened Lancia, which was delivered by the Turin-based company.
The result of the Brescia's race is the last page of the sporting history of Luigi Fagioli. On May 30, Fagioli was injured in an accident during the official practice of Grand Prix of Monaco for GTI cars, driving a Lancia B20.
On May 30, Fagioli was injured in an accident during the official Grand Prix of Monaco trials for GTI cars, driving a Lancia B20.
On 20 June, Luigi Fagioli died due to the injuries reported in Montecarlo.