The legendary Alfa Romeo 158 celebrates the brand's return to Formula 1 at the inauguration of the FIA Hall of Fame

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    • The legendary Alfa Romeo 158 celebrates the brand's return to Formula 1 at the inauguration of the FIA Hall of Fame

      At the inauguration of the commemorative space dedicated to the great victories of Formula 1, the public was able to admire the first championship-winning single-seater in history.
      [*]The Alfa Romeo 158 driven by Nino Farina won the first Formula 1 World Championship in 1950.
      [*]Its presence at the inauguration of the FIA Hall of Fame was as timely as ever, considering the return of the Alfa Romeo brand to Formula 1.

      The FIA Hall of Fame opened yesterday at the Paris Headquarters of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile in Place de la Concorde. It is a gallery that was created to celebrate the history of Formula 1 and pay homage to the heroes who made this motor sport great over the decades. At the same time, the Hall of Fame was created to underline the key values of the competitions: passion, excellence, innovation, integrity and respect for other competitors, so that they can inspire future motor sport champions.
      The presentation event coincided with the first annual ceremony of investiture: thirty-three drivers who have won the most important title in motor sport, the FIA Formula One World Championship, at least once, were celebrated at the Automobile Club de France.
      More than 20 racing drivers were there, and alongside them there were some of the most iconic cars in the history of Formula One. Brought to glory by Nino Farina and from "La macchina del tempo - Museo Storico Alfa Romeo", the legendary Alfa Romeo 158 could not but be among these. The car is part of the prized FCA Heritage collection, the department of the Group dedicated to protecting and promoting the history of the Italian FCA brands.
      Alfa Romeo's return to Formula 1
      Its presence is as timely as ever, considering the return of the Alfa Romeo brand to Formula 1: in fact, the prestigious FCA Group brand has signed a long-term technical-commercial partnership with the Swiss Sauber F1 Team starting from the next season. The team will be called Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team, and the agreement provides for strategic, business and technological cooperation in all possible areas of development through the sharing of Alfa Romeo's engineers and specialised technical personnel. The partnership forms the basis of additional opportunities for the two companies in Formula 1 and the automotive industry in general.
      Alfa Romeo GP Tipo 158, the first Formula 1 world champion
      Alfa Romeo is synonymous with racing and technological prestige worldwide. It has taken part in Formula 1 from 1950 until 1988, as both a manufacturer and as an engine supplier. At its debut in 1950, Alfa Romeo won the first Driver's World Championship with Nino Farina in precisely the Alfa Romeo 158, which was launched at the end of the thirties. At that time, Alfa Romeo was rising again, thanks to aviation and heavy goods vehicle production, and an increasingly appreciated automotive product. For Ugo Gobbato, engineer and company director, the issue to tackle was racing - not in the Sports category, where Alfa Romeo is almost unbeatable, but in the Grand Prix. Alfa Corse was founded to increase competitiveness, and in parallel a new car was designed, with a 1.5 litre supercharged engine, a category that was set to become the premier class from 1940 on.
      The team led by Gioachino Colombo sketched out the lines of the GP Tipo 158, soon to be nicknamed the "Alfetta". It had an unprecedented inline eight-cylinder engine with twin cam timing and a Roots volumetric compressor. The gearbox and differential were a single block on the rear axle. Initially, its power was 195 HP, but in 1939 this rose to 225 HP. With a top speed of 232 km/h, the streamlined single-seater made its debut at the Coppa Ciano in 1938, winning the first two places in front of an enthusiastic audience. Then came the Milan GP and a series of victories that closed prematurely with the Tripoli GP in 1940, when the outbreak of war interrupted all competitions. Without an overall ranking at the end of the conflict, the race resumed with difficulty, and in 1947-1948, that of the "Alfetta" - now with 275 HP and capable of 270 km/h thanks to its two-stage compressor - was overwhelmingly superior.
      In the 1950 season, it raced in the first Formula 1 World Championship. The power of the Alfa Romeo 158 rose to 350 HP at 290 km/h, and the cars were entrusted to the three "F"s team - Nino Farina, Juan Manuel Fangio and Luigi Fagioli - a trio of which the designer Giuseppe Busso said "the main problem was deciding which of the three pilots should win the championship". The 158 won six of the seven races that were valid for the ranking, deserting the Indianapolis 500, as did all of the European manufacturers. Alfa Romeo remained undefeated since its debut at the Silverstone GP, winning the first three places in the ranking, with Giuseppe "Nino" Farina the first champion of the newly formed Formula 1.
      A success repeated in following year, when the 159 single-seater won the world title again thanks to champion Juan Manuel Fangio.
      Turin, 5 December 2017
      Pessimisten stehen im Regen, Optimisten duschen unter den Wolken.
      Manchmal höre ich auch auf den Namen Gerd ;)

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