José Froilan Gonzalez’s nickname on the other side of the English Channel was “The Pampas Bull”, due to his extremely determined driving style and his impressive physique. Born in Argentina Gonzalez was a friend and competitor of one of his fellow countrymen and one of the most famous racing drivers of all times: Juan Manuel Fangio, who back then was racing for Alfa Romeo. One day the Ferrari driver Gonzalez told the following anecdote: "A couple of days before the British GP Juan sent me out on the Silverstone track with an Alfa. <<Pepe>>, he told me after he had studied the track, <<I think this time you’ll win>>". For this race, over a distance of 400 kilometres, the 375 F1 was fitted with a 12-cylinder engine, which allowed the team to have one pit stop less and applying a one-stop-strategy in contrast to their competitors. The one-stop-strategy was enabled by the 375 F1’s naturally aspirated engine, which consumed less petrol than the supercharged Alfa Romeo engines.
Froilan gained the pole position for the race. "The race’s organisers,” Gonzalez said, “were determined to guaranteeing the best possible race. [...]. Whoever would have had an early start would have been punished immediately with a five-minute penalty. We were so frightened by this threat that when the flag finally came down the three cars from the second row passed us immediately….although just for a moment.”
"I took the lead, but Juan was chasing me when his car became lighter with less fuel. At a certain point he closed the gap and overtook. I still have a photo showing us looking at each other while he’s passing me on the main straight. His advantage vanished at the first pit stop, when his car was heavy again after refuelling. From then on I had a very good edge.” Another exciting moment for the Argentine driver was when he had to stop for refuelling and he thought that Ascari could overtake him, but the Italian driver had already retired from the race. "When I stopped at the box to refuel Ascari put his hand on my shoulder and told me to go on. Like this I had the honour to win the first race of the Championships for Ferrari.’
At the moment of victory with Ferrari Gonzales, also called "el cabezon", because of his big head, was 29 years old. Later on in his career he won further races with Ferrari in 1954, when, together with Maurice Trintignant, he gained victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Ferrari 375 Plus.