- December 25, 1934
- November 27, 1995
- Not Active
- Ferrari,BRM,ATS,Brabham,Lotus,Alfa Romeo
Giancarlo Baghetti (1934-1995) was an Italian racing driver who recorded 21 starts in the Formula One World Championship between 1961 and 1967, scoring one race victory. Driving a Ferrari 156, he won the 1961 French Grand Prix in his World Championship debut, becoming the first driver in a history to do that.
Baghetti was also successful in touring car racing and sports car racing. He finished second at 1961 Sebring 12 Hours and two times at Targa Florio (1962, 1966). In 1966, he was the European Touring Car Challenge Division 1 winner, driving an Abarth 1000 TC.
Early years in production car racing and Formula Junior
Born in December 1934 in Milan, Giancarlo Baghetti started his racing career in 1955 in production car races. In following years, he was driving different types of Alfa Romeo or Fiat-Abarth 750 Zagato. Baghetti also competed in the Formula Junior.
Second place at 1961 Sebring 12 Hours
In March 1961, Baghetti traveled to America to make a debut at Sebring 12 Hours as a member of Ferrari factory team. He was sharing the #15 Ferrari 250 TRI with Willy Mairesse, Richie Ginther and Wolfgang von Trips, finishing in the second place behind another factory-entered Ferrari.
Two wins in non-championship Grand Prix races
In 1961, Baghetti had been chosen by FISA (Federazione Italiana Scuderie Automobilistiche) to drive a Ferrari 156 Dino in Formula 1 races. The FISA was a coalition of independent Italian team owners who had agreed to rent a Ferrari 156 Dino F2 car and to give an F1 experience to promising Italian drivers.
Baghetti made his Grand Prix debut in April at Syracuse Grand Prix, winning the race ahead of Dan Gurney (Porsche). Three weeks later, Baghetti recorded one more victory at the Gran Premio de Napoli, winning the race ahead of Gerry Ashmore (Lotus).
Victory in the F1 World Championship debut
In July, FISA entered the #50 Ferrari 156 to the French Grand Prix at Reims, the fourth round of the 1961 Formula 1 World Championship. Baghetti was only 12th on the grid but he managed to win the race, following a retirement of three factory-entered Ferraris. Baghetti beat Dan Gurney by 0.1 seconds at the finish line.
By doing that, Baghetti became the only third driver to win the World Championship Grand Prix race in his first attempt. Nino Farina and Johnnie Parsons did that in 1950 when the World Championship was inaugurated. So, if not counting Farina and Parsons, Baghetti was first. His achievement was even bigger because he won two non-championship races before so he had a perfect record of three wins in three F1 Grand Prix attempts.
Three more F1 starts and Le Mans debut in 1961
In 1961, Baghetti entered two more World Championship races, driving a Ferrari 156 for Scuderia Sant Ambroeus at British Grand Prix and Italian Grand Prix. He failed to finish both races. In October 1961, he won the 1st edition of the Coppa Italia race at Vallelunga in a Porsche 718.
In sports car races, Baghetti was driving a Ferrari 250 GT SWB to fifth place at Nurburgring 1000 Km, sharing a car with Willy Mairesse, and then he made a debut at Le Mans 24 Hours in June 1961. In his first attempt at Circuit de la Sarthe, Baghetti was sharing the #12 Ferrari 250 GT SWB with Fernand Tavano. They retired with a broken engine after 13 hours.
Driving for Scuderia Ferrari in 1962 Formula 1 season
In 1962, Baghetti was promoted to drive a Ferrari 156 for Scuderia Ferrari in four World Championship Grand Prix events. He finished fourth in the season-opening Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort. He then retired at Belgian Grand Prix and finished tenth at German Grand Prix. Baghetti added more points to his account with fifth place at the Italian Grand Prix.
Baghetti's best result with Scuderia Ferrari was the second place in the non-championship Mediterranean Grand Prix at Autodromo de Pergusa.
Second place at 1962 Targa Florio
In the sports car races during 1962, Baghetti's biggest success was the second place at Targa Florio. He was sharing the #120 Ferrari Dino 196 SP with Lorenzo Bandini, finishing eleven minutes behind another Ferrari crew in a Dino 246 SP.
Of other races, Baghetti recorded DNF at Nurburgring 1000 Km and Le Mans 24 Hours. His partner at Le Mans in the #27 Ferrari Dino 268 SP was Ludovico Scarfiotti.
Moving from Ferrari to ATS in 1963
Baghetti was offered a full-time contract with Ferrari for 1963 but he had already signed with the rival team ATS (Automobili Turismo e Sport). The ATS was a company founded by former Ferrari employees Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini.
Baghetti joined ATS together with another former Ferrari driver Phil Hill. The results of both drivers were catastrophic as they failed to score a single point. Baghetti was driving an ATS 100 in five races, not finishing either one race.
Of other duties in 1963, Baghetti was driving a Porsche 718 at Targa Florio, sharing a car with Umberto Maglioli in the seventh-place finish.
1964 – driving a BRM P57 for Scuderia Centro Sud
For the 1964 Formula One season, Baghetti joined Modena-based Italian team Scuderia Centro Sud to drive a British car BRM P57. He participated in six World Championship Grand Prix races, reaching finish line five times but without scoring points. His best result was the seventh place in the Austrian Grand Prix.
He also participated in four non-championship races with BRM P57, finishing best in the 8th place at BRDC International Trophy at Silverstone.
Victory in the ETCC race at Monza
Besides competing in Formula One, Baghetti had a wide programme of other races in 1964. In April, he and Piero Frescobaldi retired at Targa Florio in an ATS 2500 GT. In June, Baghetti and Umberto Maglioli retired at Le Mans 24h in a Ferrari 275 P.
In October, Baghetti scored a victory at Monza 4 Hours, the round of the European Touring Car Challenge. He was driving the #62 Alfa Romeo Giulia TI Super for Jolly Club.
Three more Italian Grand Prix starts between 1965 and 1967
The season 1964 was the last full season in Baghetti's Grand Prix career. In the following three years, he recorded three more Formula 1 starts with three different teams. In September 1965, he was driving a Brabham BT7 at Italian Grand Prix, retiring early with a broken engine.
In September 1966, Baghetti returned to Italian Grand Prix in the #44 Ferrari 246 of Reg Parnell Racing, finishing the race nine laps behind a winner. Baghetti recorded his last F1 Grand Prix start in the 1967 Italian Grand Prix, driving the #24 Lotus 49-Cosworth for Team Lotus. He retired due to a broken engine after 50 laps.
1965 – a season with Ferrari in sports car races
In 1965, Baghetti spent a season with Ferrari in the World Sportscar Championship. He and Umberto Maglioli finished 8th at Sebring 12 Hours.
Later in the season, Baghetti recorded DNFs at Monza 1000 Km, Targa Florio and Le Mans 24 Hours, sharing cars with different co-drivers. His partner at Le Mans in the #40 Ferrari Dino 166 P was Giampiero Biscaldi. Their race lasted for just two laps.
1966 – European Touring Car champion
In 1966, Baghetti switched his focus to touring car racing, participating in the European Touring Car Challenge, what was the main international touring car competition. He was driving factory-entered Fiat-Abarth 1000 TC in Division 1 and Autodelta's Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA in Division 2. He was a Division 1 race-winner three times to take the championship title.
Baghetti also had commitments outside ETCC, scoring a class victory with Abarth 1300 in Monza's round of the World Sportscar Championship and finishing second at Targa Florio in a Ferrari Dino 206S he was sharing with Jean Guichet.
DNF at 1967 Le Mans with Ferrari
In June 1967, Baghetti returned to Le Mans with Ferrari, sharing the #25 NART Ferrari 412 P with Pedro Rodriguez. They retired after 144 laps.
1968 - ending a career at Le Mans with Alfa Romeo
In February 1968, Baghetti was driving a Lancia Fulvia Sport for Algar Enterprises at Daytona 24 Hours, not finishing the race. Later in the season, he joined Autodelta to drive an Alfa Romeo T33/2 in few races of the World Sportscar Championship.
His co-drivers were Nanni Galli (Brands Hatch, 14th) and Giampiero Biscaldi (Targa Florio, 6th). At Le Mans 24 Hours, Baghetti was sharing the #41 Alfa Romeo with Nino Vaccarella, not finishing the race.
At the age 32, Giancarlo Baghetti ended up his racing career. He later became a journalist and photographer in motorsport. Baghetti died of cancer in 1995.