• December 25 down the years

The man who won his first three grands prix

What happened on Christmas Day in Formula One history?
Giancarlo Baghetti leads the Porsches 718 of Dan Gurney and Jo Bonnier on his way to victory at the 1961 French Grand Prix © Sutton Images
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1934
Giancarlo Baghetti, the son of a wealthy industrialist who was born on this day, only took part in 21 grands prix between 1961 and 1967 but has a unique place in F1 history in that he won his first three races. The first two were non-championship events - the Syracuse Grand Prix and the Napoli Grand Prix - but the third was at the French GP. All three success were in Ferraris. It was downhill from there, as he managed only a fourth and a fifth in 1962 and then he made a disastrous career move in switching to the new ATS team. After one season he joined BRM but failed to finish any races, and his final three outings were in private entrant cars. He quit motor racing in 1968 and became a journalist and photographer in motorsport and fashion.

1958
Arguably the most famous F1 journalist Dennis Jenkinson was grand prix correspondent for Motors Sport magazine. He briefly drove himself but realised he would achieve a higher level of competition in other ways and made his name winning the 1955 Mille Miglia as Stiring Moss's co-driver. Motorsport rumours say that in 1958 Jenks made the most of the lack of traffic on Christmas Day to take a Lotus F2 car for a drive on public roads near his Hampshire home - the car was unregistered, unsilenced and by no means road legal. Jenkinson assumed he would be safe as in those days the police would be scarce on a public holiday.

1943
Wilson Fittipaldi was born on Christmas day in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Wilson, the older brother of double F1 champion Emerson, never achieved his success in F1 - he scored just three points from 35 races. He did manage a second place at the non-championship Brazilian GP in 1972.

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