Alfa Romeo’s Chief Executive Officer Jean-Philippe Imparato recently shared an “extraordinary letter from the past” on his personal LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. It highlighted the relationship between the greatest racing team chief and driver the world has ever seen—Enzo Ferrari and Tazio Nuvolari.
Kept at the Alfa Romeo Documentation Centre in Arese, the letter is from Enzo Ferrari—head of the racing division for Alfa Romeo: Scuderia Ferrari—to Alfa Romeo’s General Manager at that time, Ugo Gobbato. In his letter dated 18 November 1935, Ferrari urged Gobbato to renew the contract of his talented superstar driver Tazio Nuvolari.
Nuvolari was a native of Mantua city in Italy and known as "Il Mantovano Volante" (The Flying Mantuan), thanks to his daring driving style and unexpected victories. Many regard Nuvolari's 1935 German Grand Prix win at the Nürburgring as the greatest victory in motor racing history. He won the German Grand Prix by outrunning all the dominant German cars—five Mercedes-Benz W25s and four Auto Union Bs—with his outclassed Alfa Romeo P3. The crowd of 300,000 applauded Nuvolari for his “Impossible Victory,” but the win outraged representatives of Nazi Germany.
Enzo Ferrari and Tazio Nuvolari met on the racetrack for the first time in 1924. Six years later, Ferrari called Nuvolari to join his newly formed racing division, Scuderia Ferrari. In 1933, the "Flying Mantuan" brought home eleven victories. From firm friends to bitter enemies, then enraged litigants, Ferrari and Nuvolari's relationship went through ups and downs, but we will forever remember both of them as the greatest racing team chief and driver of all time.
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Commenting on the letter, Mr. Charly Dagher, General Manager for Alfa Romeo Qatar, said: “We are very proud of Alfa Romeo’s legendary racing history. Over the decades, the Italian car brand’s successful involvement in motorsport won many racing competitions since its first 24 HP model was born 112 years ago. Just 15 years after its foundation in 1910, Alfa Romeo won its first world championship in motor racing with its two-seater Grand Prix model, the iconic P2. Although Alfa Romeo temporarily withdrew from racing in the mid-1930s, it continued to provide direct support to privateers such as Enzo Ferrari and his Scuderia Ferrari team.”
“The relationship between Enzo Ferrari and Tazio Nuvolari was really remarkable. There has never been a better racing team chief and driver in history. They are part of Alfa Romeo's proud history of motorsports that any carmaker could only dream of,” Mr. Charly Dagher added.