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The True Story of the Ferrari Crash That Changed Racing Forever

At the final checkpoint, Portago holds up a set of new tires as he loses to a slower car. As he heads toward the finish line, he passes through the town of Guidizzolo, where locals line the roads. Just 30 miles from the checkered flag, Portago’s 4.1-liter Tipo 335 loses control and becomes a two-ton scarlet pinwheel with a V-12 engine. It ricocheted off a roadside embankment before crashing into a pole, ripping through a crowd of onlookers and finally ending its horrific rampage in a drainage ditch.

The film’s sequence is brief but breathtaking, as it would be if it were happening right in front of you. It elicits a visceral response to such horror through artful carnage. Mann’s non-fetishistic attention to detail avoids any sinister thrills that a more superficial depiction might exploit.

Once the dust settled, the bodies of Portago and his navigator lay scattered on the ground in the company of ten spectators, including five children. Many newspapers have joined the Vatican in demanding an end to the Mille Miglia, while some motorsport journalists have deplored calls to end the decades-old tradition as emotional and hasty. “It was Le Mans again,” Taruffi wrote in his acclaimed article. “I tried to look like a winner, but in my heart there was only despair, because I realized that the Mille Miglia had become too dangerous and that I had to be one of its carriers.”

1957 was the 24thth and final edition of the Mille Miglia. It now only exists as an exhibition of historic cars.

While manufacturers continue to attempt to outwit physics and manipulate aerodynamics, a half-century of safety protocols and innovation have caught up with the evolution of speed. Death is no longer inevitable, for pilots or spectators.

The growing popularity of Formula 1 in the United States means that there are now three Grand Prix races held on American circuits (in contrast, France and Germany have none). Fans can watch Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz dance their Ferraris around the racetracks of Austin, Miami and the Las Vegas Strip with relative comfort in their safety.

The death of Jules Bianchi in 2014 is a powerful reminder that even if deaths are increasingly rare, they still occur. But even through horrific incidents like Zhou Guayou’s first-corner crash at Silverstone in 2022 and Romain Grosjean’s fireball in 2020, drivers can walk away with minor injuries.

Scuderia Ferrari continues to be the most popular team in motorsport today. His car won Le Mans this year and despite his current struggles in Formula 1, the Tifosi generally outnumber fans of other teams.

And just for fun, close your eyes and imagine a racing car.

What color is this?

Gn En enter

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