- December 03, 1924
- January 26, 2012
- Not Active
Roberto Mieres (1924-2012) was a racing driver from Argentina who recorded seventeen starts in the Formula One World Championship between 1953 and 1955, driving for Gordini and Maserati.
He was also successful in the sports car racing, winning the Argentinean sports car championship in 1950 and scoring a victory at 1959 Daytona 1000km race, the predecessor of modern Daytona 24 Hours.
After a racing career, Mieres focused his interest to sailing, participating in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.
Argentinean sports car racing champion early in a career
Born in December 1924 in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Roberto Casimiro Mieres competed in many different sports (rowing, sailing, rugby, tennis) before starting his car racing career. He was driving different types of cars (MG, Mercedes) before scoring his first success with Bugatti in 1950 by winning the national sports car championship.
As a reward, he was invited to join his compatriots Juan Manuel Fangio and Jose Froilan Gonzalez on a trip to Europe, where he participated in races with different cars. His most notable success was the fourth place in the 1950 Circuit des Nations F2 race in Geneva, in which he was driving a Maserati 4CLT/48.
1953 - Formula 1 and Le Mans debut with Gordini
In the following two years, Mieres continued to race in Argentina with Alfa Romeo, Mercedes and Bugatti race cars. In 1953, he was recruited by the Gordini team as a replacement for injured Jean Behra, making his Formula 1 World Championship debut in the Dutch Grand Prix on June 7. He was driving the #22 Gordini T16, starting last on the grid and retiring after 28 laps due to a broken transmission.
A week later, Mieres made a debut at 24 hours of Le Mans, sharing the #36 Gordini T15S with Jean Behra. They retired after ten hours with a broken transmission.
Two more F1 Championship starts with Gordini
Later that year, Mieres made two more F1 Championship Grand Prix starts with Gordini. He retired in the French Grand Prix at Reims and finished sixth in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, three laps behind race winner Juan Manuel Fangio.
His best F1 result in 1953 was the fourth place in the non-championship Grand Prix de l'Albigeois held in Albi, France.
In other sport car races during 1953, Mieres and Andre Guelfi retired at Reims 12 Hours and then Mieres finished third in the Caen Grand Prix.
1954 – starting a season with three races in Buenos Aires
In 1954, the season started with three different races in Buenos Aires. Mieres was driving his own Maserati A6GCM in the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Autodromo 17 de Octubre, not finishing the race. He was using the same car in the Formula Libre Buenos Aires Grand Prix, finishing in the second place, behind Maurice Trintignant in a Ferrari.
A week after F1 Grand Prix, Mieres participated in 1000 km of Buenos Aires sports car race, sharing the #44 Aston Martin DB3S with Carlo Tomasi. They didn't finish the race.
Eight F1 Championship starts in 1954
In 1954, Mieres participated full season in the Formula One World Championship. After the season-opening race in Argentina, he spent three more races in his own Maserati A6GCM, recording two DNFs (Spa-Francorchamps, Reims) and finishing sixth in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. In the German Grand Prix at Nürburgring, he didn't reach the finish with his own Maserati 250F.
In the last three rounds, Mieres was driving a Maserati 250F for a factory team, scoring his maiden F1 points in the Swiss Grand Prix at Bremgarten, where he finished fourth. He then retired at Monza and finished fourth in the Spanish Grand Prix at Pedralbes. With six points on his account, he was classified 11th in the 1954 F1 Championship.
In the sports car racing, Mieres missed Le Mans race that year but appeared at Carrera Panamericana in November 1954. He was driving an Osca MT4 1500, not finishing the race.
Three point-scoring finishes in the 1955 F1 Championship
In 1955, Mieres continued to drive for Maserati factory team in the Formula One World Championship. He finished fifth in the Argentine Grand Prix driving the #18 Maserati 250F.
He was in the points for two more times, finishing fifth at Spa-Francorchamps (sharing a car with Jean Behra) and fourth at Zandvoort. At the end of the season, with seven points on his account, Mieres was 8th in the championship.
In sports car races, he and Cesare Perdisa finished third in the Supercortemaggiore race at Monza and then retire at Le Mans 24 Hours, using a Maserati 300S in both races.
Racing with Jaguar and Porsche at 1000 km of Buenos Aires
Mieres was out of racing in 1956 and then returned in 1957, driving a Jaguar D-Type for Ecurie Ecosse at 1000 km of Buenos Aires. He and Ninian Sanderson were sharing the #14 Jaguar, finishing in the fourth place.
Participating in 1958 Gran Premio de Cuba
In February 1958, Mieres participated in 2nd Gran Premio de Cuba, famous because of Juan Manuel Fangio abduction before the race.
The race was red-flagged after six laps because of the fatal accident of Ferrari driver Armando Garcia Cifuentes, who skidded on a large oil slick left by Mieres' car. Mieres was driving Porsche, being classified 13th.
Victory at 1000 km of Daytona in 1959
A next month, Roberto Mieres and Anton von Döry were driving the #86 Porsche 718 RSK at 1000 km of Daytona, winning the race. The race was a part of the Road Racing Championship and it was the first endurance race at newly opened Daytona International Speedway. The race is considered as a predecessor of Daytona 24 Hours race, which took part for the first time in 1966.
Mieres returned one more time to Sebring 12 Hours, in 1960, again driving a Porsche 718 RSK and again not finishing the race.
Representing Argentina in the 1960 Summer Olympics
Mieres retired from professional racing in 1960, focusing his career on other sports. He returned to sailing, representing Argentina in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. He became one of the rare sportsmen who recorded participations both in Formula One and the Olympics. One of his opponents in the sailing competition was Prince Bira, also a former F1 driver.
Roberto Mieres died at the age of 87 in Uruguay.