Jose Froilan Gonzalez, the former Formula 1 driver who claimed for Ferrari its first-ever race win at the 1951 British Grand Prix, passed away on June 15 at the age of 90 in his home country of Argentina.
\"The news of the death of Gonzalez saddened me greatly,\" said Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo. \"We had spoken not that long ago, talking about cars and racing, the topics he was most enthusiastic about. Over all these years, he was always very attached to Ferrari and, as a driver and a man, he played an integral part in our history. His death means we have lost a true friend.\"
Coincidentally, Gonzalez last met with the team at the 2011 British Grand Prix. On that day, Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso drove the 375 F1 car that Gonzalez took to victory in the 1951 British Grand Prix, in an exhibition around the Silverstone Circuit. A few hours later, Alonso won the race, giving Ferrari its only race victory for the season.
\"I only realized what it meant to have won this race on the following Wednesday when I met Don Enzo at Maranello,\" Gonzalez said in an interview for Ferrari on the 60th anniversary of the Silverstone win. \"In his office there was a big photo of the victory right behind his desk! He asked me to sign it and to tell him every last detail about the race. And then he gave me a gold watch with the Prancing Horse on the face. Only three days later did I really understand that it was a special win. For me, it has always been a cause of pride that I managed to take this first win, especially given what the marque went on to achieve in the past 60 years all over the world.\"
Rest in peace, sir.