PEOPLE: LUIGI BAZZI

Name: Luigi Bazzi
Nationality: Italy

Bazzi qualified as an engineer and went to work for the Fiat company, designing aero engines during World War I. After the war he stayed on with Fiat and became involved with the racing activities but in 1923 he fell out with Fiat's racing boss Guido Fornaca after the French GP and on Enzo Ferrari's suggestion he joined the new Alfa Romeo racing organisation. He arrived as the Alfa Romeo P1 was being completed and when it proved to be unsuccessful he suggested that Alfa Romeo hire another Fiat engineer Vittorio Jano to develop the car. He remained with Alfa Romeo throughout the 1920s and 1930s, his most famous design being the twin-engined "bimotore" which Scuderia Ferrari built in 1934 using Alfa Romeo parts in an effort to compete with the German manufacturers. The cars were raced by Tazio Nuvolari and Louis Chiron but were too heavy and used tyres too quickly and so one was used to set a new class land speed record. In the late 1930s Bazzi was head of Alfa Romeo's experimental department but when Enzo Ferrari split with the company Bazzi went with Ferrari to become head of his engine department. Bazzi oversaw the construction of the first Ferrari racing car - the 125 - after World War II and when this was not a great success he reworked the engine for the new 159. Bazzi had a habit of testing the cars himself but on this occasion he crashed the prototype and broke his leg. In the later years Bazzi acted a teacher to Ferrari's young engineers and helped to solve problems that arose with the cars. He became Enzo Ferrari's closest associate and stayed with the company until his retirement in the early 1960s. He continued to be an advisor to Ferrari until his death in 1986, at the age of 93.

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