Nino Farina takes the checkered flag in an Alfa Romeo 158 at the 1950 Silverstone Grand Prix. The first ‘hat trick’ of Formula 1.”

Nino Farina takes the checkered flag in an Alfa Romeo 158 at the 1950 Silverstone Grand Prix. The first ‘hat trick’ of Formula 1.”

Nino Farina in Alfa Romeo 158 at the 1950 Silverstone Grand Prix.

BY MARK MAYNARD

The energy is compelling in this vintage PR image from the Alfa Romeo media site.

The modern era’s first World Championship Formula 1 race was staged May 13, 1950, at the Silverstone Circuit in Silverstone, England.
Giuseppe “Nino” Farina won the Grand Prix of Europe with his Alfa Romeo Tipo 158 ‘Alfetta.’

It was such an impressive feat that King George VI personally congratulated all the drivers of the Alfa Romeo Team for the exceptional result: pole position (Farina), victory (Farina), fastest lap (Farina), and top place in the league throughout the Grand Prix.

The “Little Alfa”

The Alfa Romeo 158/159, also known as the Alfetta (Little Alfa in Italian), is one of the Italian manufacturer’s most successful Grand Prix racing cars.

According to its page in Wikipedia, the Alfa Romeo 158 and its derivative, the 159, took 47 wins from 54 Grands Prix entered. The race car was developed initially for the pre-World War II voiturette formula (1937) and had a 1.5-liter straight-8 supercharged engine. The car’s 158 ID refers to its 1.5-liter engine and eight cylinders.

Following World War II, the car was eligible for the new Formula One introduced in 1947.

The “3F” Team

In the hands of drivers such as Nino Farina, Juan Manuel Fangio, and Luigi Fagioli, it dominated the first two seasons of the Drivers’ World Championship.

In a 2015 report by Sports Car Digest, Alfa Romeo fielded a team of four “Alfetta” to the Silverstone track for the debut World Championship Formula 1 race in 1950.

The Alfa Romeo 158 race cars were entrusted to Giuseppe “Nino” Farina, who became the world champion at the end of the season, and to Luigi Fagioli, Juan Manuel Fangio. Fangio was the rising Argentine star who won the world title in ’51 again with the Alfetta, and Reg Parnell, a British driver chosen in honor of the country hosting the first Championship.

Farina won the race, and two other places on the podium were also Alfa Romeo entries. The cars of the Milan-based company dominated the race, a script that was repeated throughout the Championship.

During the season, the trio of Farina, Fagioli, and Fangio was dubbed by the public as “the 3F.” Together with their Alfa Romeo, they held the name of Italy high in international motor racing, a historic moment for the country and Alfa Romeo.

After the race, King George VI personally congratulated all the drivers of the Alfa Romeo Team for the exceptional result: pole position (Farina), victory (Farina) and other two places on the podium, fastest lap (Farina), and the top of the league throughout the Grand Prix.
“‘Nino’ Farina thus also took home the first ‘hat trick’ of Formula 1.”