|[Original images via F1-Facts and The Cahier Archive]|
Today might be more notable for the birth of someone else (subject to your religious persuasion), but it was also a special day in the Fittipaldi household some 67 years ago, when ex-F1 driver Wilson Fittipaldi was welcomed into the world!
The elder brother to double World Champion and Indy 500 victor Emerson Fittipaldi, Wilson’s F1 career was considerably briefer and less successful, achieving just three championship points in 35 races spanning three seasons.
Nonetheless, Wilson was certainly no slouch behind the wheel and showed a decent turn of speed in his two luckless seasons with Brabham (1972-3) before he returned to Brazil to concentrate on setting up the Copersucar-backed Fittipaldi F1 team.
Joining the club of Brabham, Gurney and McLaren in becoming a driver to pilot his own car, he failed to replicate their success and dropped back after a single season as owner/driver, making way for Emerson, who could achieve little better in what turned out to be a disastrous career move. The team eventually folded in the early 1980s, but Wilson went on to concentrate on the family’s other business interests and the burgeoning career of his son, Christian, who would also go on to race in Formula 1.