Happy Birthday Cabezon!
Suzuka, 5 October – Today is a special day in the history of Ferrari because it’s a celebration for a person who has written an important chapter in the Scuderia’s time in Formula 1. José Froilan Gonzalez, or “El Cabezon” as he is known has reached his ninetieth birthday. 61 years ago, on 14th July, he gave the Prancing Horse it’s first ever victory at the highest level of motorsport. Today the total number, thanks to Fernando Alonso’s nine wins in Red has reached 219.
In fact, last year, Fernando had the honour of driving the 375 F1 that Gonzalez had taken to the win at the same Silverstone circuit and later that weekend, he drove the 150º Italia to victory. “Last year at Silverstone I had an unforgettable experience, winning where he won at the wheel of a Ferrari,” said Fernando in a video message he recorded for FOX TV, which was sent to Buenos Aires where, this evening, Gonzalez will be celebrating his birthday with close friends and family. “I want to send him my heartiest congratulations and wish him a happy birthday.”
President Montezemolo also wanted to send the Argentinian driver a message reflecting the high regard in which he is held by everyone at Ferrari. Montezemolo sent a special gift, consisting of two models; the 375 F1 and the 150º Italia, both cars winners of the British Grand Prix.
“For Ferrari, Froilan is a legend: In Maranello we have so many photos and items linked to his exploits,” continued the Spanish driver. “For me, it is a great privilige to be here on track at the wheel of a red car, trying to do my best. Then, when there are events like this, its a nice feeling within the whole team.”
Felipe Massa also had a message to send to Gonzalez: “It’s a great pleasure for me to be able to send to Argentina a message of congratulations for you, someone who is a part of the history of motor sport and racing, a fan of Formula 1 and above all of Ferrari.”
José Froilan Gonzalez took part in 26 world championship Grands Prix, 15 of them at the wheel of a Ferrari. His palmares features two wins at Silverstone, as in addition to the 1951 victory he also won the 1954 Grand Prix. Then there were seven second places and six thirds, as well as three pole positions and six fastest race laps. In 1954, teamed with the French driver Maurice Trintignant, Gonzalez also won the Le Mans 24 Hours, again at the wheel of a Ferrari.