This year, 2020, not only marks the 70th anniversary of F1, but also 70 years since Maserati claimed a historic double Formula 1 victory in the first season of F1 World Championship racing.
While in the current world situation we are craving just one race at the moment, such was the format back in F1’s inaugural season in 1950 that two took place on the same day.
And the same car won both.
Although official, the Pau Grand Prix was not a world championship event but still saw some of motorsport’s biggest names tackle the famous streets of the French town.
On the 10th April 1950, it was eventual five-time F1 world champion Juan Manuel Fangio who took victory after a mammoth 110-lap charge to the flag.
The car he drove that day was the Maserati 4CLT which was one of the Italian companies most successful racing cars of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Originally evolved from the 4CL, the extra ‘T’ was added when, in 1947, Alberto Massimino and his team developed a new tubular chassis to the already rapid machine.
While not the exact same car that Fangio drove, the same model of machine was successful on the other side of the channel at Goodwood.
British driver Reg Parnell was the man behind the wheel this time as he drove the wheels off his privately-run Maserati 4CLT to victory in the Richmond Trophy to complete the historic double.
Parnell was, in fact, very successful in both the 4CLT and its predecessor 4CL during the 1940s and the success continued into the early 1950s as he became a British motor racing cult hero.
Maserati soon moved on to the more well-known 250F after the 4CLT began to lose it’s edge and Fangio drove it to his fifth world title in 1957 but the Italian brand hasn’t been victorious since in F1 as they pulled out after Fangio’s glory.
But Maserati remains in motorsport and continue to push the boundaries as the new Levante Trofeo is soon to make its appearance in GT racing.