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Ferrari Legend Jose Froilan Gonzalez Passes Away at Age 90

“Pampas Bull” Won First Formula 1 Race for Ferrari

Toni Avery
Jun 18, 2013

We have lost another legend in motorsports to the great race track in the sky. Jose Froilan Gonzalez passed away in his native Buenos Aires at the age of 90 on June 15. Also known as the "Pampas Bull" and "El Cabezon," Gonzalez is best known for scoring Ferrari's first ever Formula 1 victory at the 1951 British Grand Prix. Not only did he score the win after just short time in Formula 1, he also beat five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio in the process.

Jose_froilan_gonzalez Photo 1/2   |   Jose Froilan Gonzalez

President Luca di Montezemolo told Ferrari.com: "The news of the death of Gonzalez saddened me greatly. We had spoken not that long ago, talking about cars and racing, the topics he was most enthusiastic about. Over all these years, he was always very attached to Ferrari and, as a driver and a man, he played an integral part in our history. His death means we have lost a true friend."

Gonzalez participated in 26 Formula 1 Grand Prix events from 1950-60, also winning the 1954 British Grand Prix. In an interview he gave with Ferrari.com on the 60th anniversary of his 1951 triumph at Silverstone, he recalled an encounter he had with the legendary Enzo Ferrari:

"I only realized what it meant to have won this race on the following Wednesday when I met Don Enzo at Maranello. In his office there was a big photo of the victory right behind his desk! He asked me to sign it and to tell him every last detail about the race and then he gave me a gold watch with the Prancing Horse on the face. Only three days later did I really understand that it was a special win. Ferrari is the top in the world of motoring. For me, it has always been a cause of pride that I managed to take this first win, especially given what the marque went on to achieve in the past sixty years all over the world."

Jose_froilan_gonzalez_2 Photo 2/2   |   Jose Froilan Gonzalez 2

The details:

  • Jose Froilan Gonzalez passed away June 15 at the age of 90
  • Won the first Formula 1 victory for Ferrari
  • Participated in 26 Formula 1 Grands Prix from 1950-60
  • By Toni Avery
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