Arturo Merzario Biography: Arturo Francesco “Art” Merzario is an Italian racing driver. He raced in 85 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting in the 1972 British Grand Prix. He finished with 11 championship points.
Arturo Merzario Biography
Arturo Merzario Biography: Arturo Merzario was born on 11 March 1943 in Civenna, Como, Kingdom of Italy. Merzario began his career as a test driver for works Fiat Abarths before moving on to GT racing and European mountain-climb competitions. In 1969, he won the Mugello Grand Prix in a 2-liter Abarth, beating off Nino Vaccarella and Andrea de Adamich. This earned him a place with the Ferrari sportscar team in 1970. In 1972, he won the Spa 1000 km, Targa Florio, and Rand 9 Hour races for Abarth and European two-litre Champion.
Arturo Merzario Wiki
|Date Of Birth||11 March 1943|
|Birth Place||Civenna, Italy|
Arturo Merzario Career
Merzario made his Formula One debut in 1972, finishing sixth at the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch to become one of the few drivers to score points in their first race. In 1973, Ferrari paired him with Jacky Ickx for the entire season. With the old 312B2, Merzario had a promising start, finishing fourth in Brazil and South Africa. However, Ferrari’s improved car, the 312B3, was a letdown, and he and Ickx labored for the remainder of the season.
Merzario moved to Williams after Enzo Ferrari decided to change the entire team for the 1974 season due to his disappointment with the previous year’s performance. Merzario earned points in Monza and South Africa after finishing 3rd in a non-championship race in Brazil. However, the Williams cars were generally uncompetitive, and in 1975, Merzario returned to sports cars with Alfa Romeo, winning four races and the Targa Florio once more.
Merzario returned to Formula One full-time in 1976, starting with the March Works team. After a series of poor performances — and growing dissatisfaction with the situation — he went to Wolf, who had recently merged his team with Frank Williams Racing Cars, replacing Jacky Ickx; however, there were no excellent results once again. Niki Lauda crashed hard during the 1976 German Grand Prix; Merzario was one of the drivers who stopped to help, along with Guy Edwards, Brett Lunger, and Harald Ertl, essentially pulling Lauda out of the burning car. In an interview with BBC Radio 5 37 years later, Lauda revealed that “Merzario went into the fire and, alone, dragged me out of the wreckage, so I lived… He saved my life there because I wouldn’t have made it if it hadn’t been for him.” Six weeks later, at the Italian Grand Prix, Lauda went to the track and honored Merzario for saving his life by presenting him with a gold Rolex timepiece.
Merzario secured enough sponsors in 1977 to form his own Merzario team. The company battled in modern Formula One for three years, first with March 761B cars. Merzario began manufacturing vehicles of his design in 1978, and the team eventually dropped to Formula Two. The team was only classified once in three seasons, at the 1977 Belgian Grand Prix in Zolder, where Merzario finished fifteenth. During the season, he accepted a one-off drive with Shadow in the 1977 Austrian Grand Prix at the Austriaring, but a good campaign resulted in another retirement.
Merzario ran his chassis for two seasons, but the results could have been better; the team’s cars failed to qualify on most occasions and frequently retired from the races they did start. In 1980, the Merzario M1-BMW did not fare much better in Formula Two, but Merzario continued to race sports cars with some success after his factory Formula One career ended.