Felice Bonetto was very young when he started to race on motor bikes. Aged 28 he participated in his first race on 4 wheels at Bobbio-Penice.
He often had uncompetitive cars, but achieved some great results. His best prewar finishes were a 2nd place in the infamous GP di Monza 1933 & a 2nd place in the Coppa Principessa di Piemonte.
After WW2 he started with a small Cisitalia in Formula races. He won 5 of them. In 1949 he finished 2nd with a Ferrari in the GP di Napoli & second behind his Ferrari teammate C. Biondetti in the Mille Miglia 1949.
Bonetto made his F1 debut in the 1950 Swiss GP. He entered several GPs with a Maserati 4CLT of the Scuderia Milano.
In 1951 he was 3rd driver in the Alfa Romeo SpA. Together with Nino Farina he finished 3rd in the Italian GP.
Altough his main activity was now sportscar racing, he still took part in f1. In the end of 1952 came back & had a good season in 1953. He drove for Maserati & finished 3rd in the Dutch GP together with José Froilán González.
Bonetto won the Targa Florio in 1952.
In the 1953 sportscar season he competed for the Scuderia Lancia. He won the Grande Premio do Jubileu. He also made a 2nd place in the GP of Monza, a 3rd in the Mille Miglia & a 2nd place in his class at Le Mans.
Together with JM Fangio, Piero Taruffi, Giovanni Bracco & E. Castellotti he was part of Lancia's Carrera Panamericana squadron.
The race over 2000mi was the last round of 1953. Prior the race Bonetto & other Italian marked the dangerous corners of the tricky road race with blue signs.
Felice won the first stage, Taruffi won the next 2. The 4th stage was place of a close battle between Piero & Felice. In a foggy area before the town Silao Taruffi went off the road. Felice didn't notice that & stayed on throttle. In the town he took in a marked 60mph corner at 125mph. He went off the road, hit a house & ended up against balcony.
Gianni Lancia wanted to withdraw, but his drivers wanted to finish in honour of Felice.
He smoked very often, sometimes behind the wheel.
📷 by: Bernard Cahier, Corrado Millanta, Marianne Fürstin zu Sayn-Wittgenstein unknown