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Dashing through the snow

ESPN staff
December 27, 2013
Giancarlo Baghetti won the Syracuse Grand Prix in April 1961 © AP

Has any famous racing driver been born on Christmas Day? asked James from London

Only one person who has won a world championship Grand Prix was born on Christmas Day. In fact he's also the only person who won his first GP, the Italian Giancarlo Baghetti, who pulled off a surprise victory in a privately entered Ferrari in the French GP at Reims in 1961 after the three works Ferraris all ran into trouble.

At the end of the race, Dan Gurney's Porsche was in front - but then, wrote Graham Hill, Baghetti "outfumbled Gurney on the last lap at the hairpin", and edged past to win by just a tenth of a second. It looked as if a new star had arrived - but Baghetti, who was born in Milan in 1934, failed to finish on the podium in 20 further GPs.

Another prominent F1 driver born on Christmas Day (in 1943) was Wilson Fittipaldi, the older brother of the double world champion Emerson. Wilson drove in 35 GPs, with a best position of fifth at the Nurburgring in 1973, when he was driving for Brabham. His son, Christian Fittipaldi, drove in 40 GPs in the 1990s.

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