'El Chueco', 'Maestro'. The Argentine won 24 races from 51 Grands Prix he started, set 28 pole positions and 23 fastest laps - in seven complete seasons, he won the title five times.
Fangio won the titles in ’51, ’54, ’55, ’56, ’57 and raced for Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Mercedes and Ferrari, and achieved 277.64 career points.
Fangio is recalled one of the best of all time, the best for many, and had the ability to win races at the slowest speed. He was only challenged by Stirling Moss during his F1 years.
"What made him so great," said Stirling Moss, "was his concentration and his balance of the motor car. He wasn't a technician. He was just a great artist of driving. But above all that he was a gentleman and a wonderful man."
Fangio’s racing career can be summed up in his last ever win. He overcame far superior cars on the most dangerous race track known to men: The Nürburgring.
The 1957 German Grand Prix which is now part of F1 folklore as arguably the greatest performance ever produced by any driver at any race.
Fangio pitted and rejoined 50 seconds behind with 10 laps remaining, and came back breaking the lap record 9 times (7 in successive laps). By lap 19 (of 22) he was only 13 seconds behind Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorn, and his next lap record was eight-times quicker than the pole position time - also his. By the end, he won the race by a 3-second margin.
Fangio, reflecting on the race, "Even now, these many years later, I can feel fear when I think of that race. Only I knew what I had done, the chances I had taken.
"The Nurburgring, you know, was always my favourite circuit, without any doubt. I loved it, all of it, and I think that day I conquered it. On another day, it might have conquered me, who knows? But I believe that day I took myself and the car to the limit - and perhaps a little bit more. I had never driven like that before, and I knew I never would again."
“He was just a great artist of driving. But above all he was a gentleman and a wonderful man” Stirling Moss
“Even if I or anyone else can equal or beat Fangio’s record, it still will not compare with his achievement” Ayrton Senna