30th October 1906
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
On 30th October 1906, Giuseppe Emilio Farina, known as Nino, was born in Turin. He was the son of one of the famous Italian coachbuilder brothers. He was the first ever Formula 1 World Champion, having won the title in the inaugural year of the blue riband series, 1950, at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo. After also racing for the Milan based team the following year, he switched to Ferrari in 1952, competing in two full seasons before cutting back on his racing. During his career, he also tried his hand, without success, at the Indianapolis 500. In total, Farina took part in 33 Grands Prix (20 with Ferrari,) winning 5 (1) and finishing on the podium 20 (12) times. He also took 3 pole positions and 6 (1) fastest race laps.
His impetuousness saw him have some spectacular accidents and the fact that usually, he came away from then without serious injury, meant he never tired of it, not necessarily in a positive sense, as recalls Enzo Ferrari in his book, “Piloti, che gente…” “He was the man of courage, who pushed it to the limit of the absurd. A great driver, but he kept you in a permanent state of apprehension, especially at the start or when there were just one or two laps to go.
“At the start he was a bit like a thoroughbred at the tapes, who in the heat of the first rush could brake it all, while as the finish line approached, he was capable of mad things, but it has to be said, only putting himself at risk, not others. So, he had a season ticket for racing to the hospital.”
A tragic irony of sorts, Farina perished in a road accident on 30 June 1966, at Aiguebelle, in the French Alps, while heading for Reims to attend the French Grand Prix.