The Maestro of Motor Racing
Ask the average spectator who is the greatest racing driver of all time and you’ll get a mix of Lewis Hamilton, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and Stirling Moss. Ask Lewis, Ayrton, Michael or Stirling the same question and they don’t hesitate for a second; for them it’s always Juan Manuel Fangio.
On November 3, 1990 I enjoyed breakfast at Jimmy Watson’s restaurant in Adelaide, Australia.
The food was great but the reason I remember sitting at the corner table had less to do with the menu and everything to do with my hosts.
An elderly couple sitting opposite a young cadet journalist like me was an odd match but I was there to interview a man his peers simply referred to as the maestro.
Forget that generations of fans idolized Juan Manuel Fangio as the greatest racing driver of all time, it was his competitors like Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins who looked up to him the most.
The well dressed, elderly man sitting opposite was none other than J.M. Fangio, a quietly spoken gent who not only survived the most dangerous era of racing but debuted at an age when many were retiring and then went on to win five world championships. For more than half a century after his retirement, Fangio maintained the greatest winning percentage in Formula One history. [To be continued...]
Juan Manuel Fangio: A rere chance to sit with first Grand Prix legend
For a fresh-faced 19-year old cub reporter trying to crack into the world of Formula One reporting, the chance to sit with the greatest driver of all time was literally a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
J.M. Fangio was a household name to an extent that even Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso still aspires to today. We met during the height of the Senna/Prost wars and his insights into the world of modern Formula One were just as powerful then as they are now.
Just who is the greatest Grand Prix driver of all time? It’s the question that never goes away whether it’s in the era of Senna, Schumacher, Brabham, Stuart or Hamilton, everyone has an opinion. [To be continued...]