DRIVERS: SERGIO MANTOVANI

Name: Sergio Mantovani
Nationality: Italy
Date of birth: May 22, 1929 - Milan
Date of death: February 23, 2001 - Milan

Mantovani was a successful young businessman who started racing Maserati sports cars in the early 1950s. At first Mantovani was just a hobby driver but he soon realized that he had a considerable talent and so decided to see what he could achieve in Grand Prix racing with the new Maserati 250F which the firm had decided to build for the 1954 season. Gioacchino Colombo's design was one of the greatest cars ever and it took Juan-Manuel Fangio to the World Championship that year. During that season Mantovani managed to convince the factory to help him out and the entry became a semi-works car. Mantovani did not disappoint, being both fast and smooth, and he finished fifth on two occasions at the German GP and the Swiss GP at Bremgarten.

For the 1955 season Mantovani moved closer to the factory and was testing a spare factory car for the non-Championship Turin Grand Prix on the Valentino Park street circuit when he crashed heavily and suffered serious leg injuries. Complications developed and poor Mantovani had to have one leg amputated, which ended a promising Formula 1 career at the age of only 25.

After the accident he was fitted with an artificial leg and was able to walk again although he was forced to use a walking stick. His passion for the sport did not disappear, however, and he was actively involved for many years as a member of the sporting commission of the Automobile Club of Italy. He died in February 2001 at the age of 71.

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