Felice Bonetto

Felice Bonetto

Italian racing driver
Date of Birth: 09.06.1903
Country: Italy

  1. Biography of Felice Bonetto
  2. Formula One Career
  3. Final Season and Tragic Accident

Biography of Felice Bonetto

Felice Bonetto was an Italian racing driver who achieved success in the first half of the 20th century. He gained recognition in the late 1930s for his performances in his own Alfa Romeo in the Mille Miglia race. In the late 1940s, Bonetto secured second place in the Cisitalia and Ferrari teams in the same racing series. He also achieved two second-place finishes in the Grand Prix races in Monza and Naples in 1949, driving for Ferrari.

Felice Bonetto

Formula One Career

In 1950, Felice Bonetto competed in several Formula One Grand Prix races as part of the Maserati Milano team. He finished fifth in Switzerland and won the extraordinary Grand Prix Porto. Bonetto also led the Mille Miglia race while driving an Alfa Romeo. These successes earned him a spot as the third driver for the Alfa Romeo factory team in the 1951 season, where he finished eighth overall and shared the third-place position with Giuseppe Farina in the Italian Grand Prix.

In 1952, Alfa Romeo withdrew from Formula One, prompting Felice Bonetto to join Maserati. He also accepted an offer from Lancia to drive their sports cars. It was with a Lancia Aurelia that Bonetto achieved his greatest accomplishment in motorsport - winning the Targa Florio race.

Final Season and Tragic Accident

In 1953, Felice Bonetto competed in his first and only full season of Formula One for Maserati. He finished ninth overall and achieved a podium finish in the Dutch Grand Prix, alongside José Froilán González. Bonetto continued to race for Lancia in sports car events, winning the Portuguese Grand Prix and finishing third in the Mille Miglia.

Tragically, during the Carrera Panamericana race, Bonetto was involved in a fatal accident. While in second place, he lost control of his car on a slippery road in Silao, Mexico, crashing into a lamppost. This accident claimed Bonetto's life, ending the career of one of Italy's strongest racing drivers of the time.