• British Grand Prix

Pampas Bull wins battle of Argentines

ESPNF1 Staff
July 14, 1951
Jose Froilan Gonzalez crosses the line to win © Getty Images

Since the previous year's inaugural grand prix, the Silverstone circuit had been shortened slightly, and another huge crowd saw a front row comprising the two Argentines; Gonzales - the so-called 'Pampas Bull' - and Fangio. Third and fourth were Farina and Ascari.

Jose Froilan Gonzales was only in the Ferrari because Taruffi was ill. But he soon demonstrated his talent and took the early lead. Fangio was having none of this and after ten laps passed his fellow countryman. Gonzales was on the ragged edge and smacked the straw bales at Becketts on lap 39, but this seemed to make him all the more determined to re-pass Fangio. When stand-in Gonzales pulled in for his final pit stop he expected his car would be handed over to Ascari but the Italian, whose own car had stopped, sent him on his way.

Gonzales raced to the flag to end Alfa Romeo's domination of the championship and give Ferrari their first victory. Fangio came home second but now led the championship with Villoresi third for Ferrari.

For the home crowd the race was the debut for the eagerly-anticipated BRM and they did not disappoint "finishing without developing any of their usual tantrums," although the Times dryly added the "only untoward behaviour was a tendency to roast the driver". Reg Parnell, who finished fifth and Peter Walker, who came seventh, both had to be treated for burns to their arms and legs afterwards.

Such was the confidence - some might say arrogance - of the Argentine authorities that Eva Peron, the wife of Argentina's president, was on hand to present a trophy to the best-placed non-Argentine finisher.

The warm-up 500cc race was won by Stirling Moss who "had such perfect control of his car he might have been driving on a Saturday afternoon jaunt". Twenty-four hours later Moss completed a good weekend with a fourth-place finish at the Grand Trophy Motor Race in Belgium driving an HWM.