DNA test proves Oscar Espinosa is son of Juan Manuel Fangio

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One of the more peculiar stories in Formula 1 this season appears to have finally come to an end after a judge in Argentina ruled that Oscar Espinosa is the son of five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio.

Fangio dominated F1 in the 1950s, taking world titles in 1951 and from 1954-1957 to rank as the most successful driver in the history of the championship until Michael Schumacher surpassed his tally in 2003.

Fangio died at the age of 84 in 1995, but a judge in Argentina ruled earlier this summer that his body would be exhumed to allow a DNA test to take place to settle a long-running claim from Espinosa that he was the biological son of the F1 legend.

According to a report from Clarin in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Judge Rodrigo Cataldo confirmed on Wednesday that genetic tests deemed that Espinosa was the son of Fangio, with an accuracy of 99.99985 per cent.

“You consider the fact that in the upcoming elections, for the first time, I will be able to vote with the surname ‘Fangio'” Espinosa is quoted as saying following the ruling.

Although Fangio died having never married and having no recognized children, Espinosa’s mother, Andrea ‘Beba’ Berruet, was known to have enjoyed a relationship with Fangio.

Esteemed F1 writer Gerald Donaldson even noted in his biography on Fangio that “though the identity of Oscar’s father remained in doubt – even Juan’s family never knew for sure – it was noted that he had Juan’s eyes, face and bowed legs.”

Espinosa will formally take on the Fangio name in the coming days once an official final ruling is offered.

Interestingly, another paternity case concerning Fangio is concurrently taking place in Buenos Aires following a claim by Ruben Vazquez.

“The paternity request was started a long time ago and I’ve had to overcome a lot of blockages and obstacles,” Vazquez told Reuters back in August.

“There are no economic interests in my request. I just want to be recognised for the Fangio surname.

“I have no contact with the Fangio family and of course I’d like to know them.”

Vazquez claims that his mother, Catalina Basili, confirmed to him ten years ago that Fangio is his father, and will have his case ruled on later this week.

IndyCar Power Rankings: Pato O’Ward moves to the top entering Texas Motor Speedway


The NBC Sports IndyCar power rankings naturally were as jumbled as the action on the streets of St. Petersburg after a chaotic opener to the 2023 season.

Pato O’Ward, who finished second because of an engine blip that cost him the lead with a few laps remaining, moves into the top spot ahead of St. Pete winner Marcus Ericsson and Alexander Rossi, who finished fourth in his Arrow McLaren debut. Scott Dixon and St. Pete pole-sitter Romain Grosjean (who led 31 laps) rounded out the top five.

St. Pete pole-sitter Romain Grosjean (who started first at St. Pete after capturing his second career pole position) Callum Ilott (a career-best fifth) and Graham Rahal entered the power rankings entering the season’s second race.

Three drivers fell out of the preseason top 10 after the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – including previously top-ranked Josef Newgarden, who finished 17th after qualifying 14th.

Heading into Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, here’s NBC Sports’ assessment of the current top 10 drivers through the first of 17 races this year (with previous preseason rankings in parenthesis):

NBC Sports’ IndyCar Power Rankings

1. Pato O’Ward (5) – If not for the dreaded “plenum event” in the No. 5 Chevrolet, the Arrow McLaren driver is opening the season with a victory capping a strong race weekend.

2. Marcus Ericsson (7) – He might be the most opportunistic driver in IndyCar, but that’s because the 2022 Indy 500 winner has become one of the series’ fastest and most consistent stars.

3. Alexander Rossi (10) – He overcame a frustrating Friday and mediocre qualifying to open his Arrow McLaren career with the sort of hard-earned top five missing in his last years at Andretti.

4. Scott Dixon (3) – Put aside his opening-lap skirmish with former teammate Felix Rosenqvist, and it was a typically stealthily good result for the six-time champion.

5. Romain Grosjean (NR) – The St. Petersburg pole-sitter consistently was fastest on the streets of St. Petersburg over the course of the race weekend, which he couldn’t say once last year.

6. Scott McLaughlin (6) – Easily the best of the Team Penske drivers before his crash with Grosjean, McLaughlin drove like a legitimate 2023 championship contender.

7. Callum Ilott (NR) – A quietly impressive top five for the confident Brit in Juncos Hollinger Racing’s first race as a two-car team. Texas will be a big oval litmus test.

8. Graham Rahal (NR) – Sixth at St. Pete, Rahal still has the goods on street courses, and Rahal Letterman Lanigan remains headed in the right direction.

9. Alex Palou (4) – He seemed a step behind Ericsson and Dixon in the race after just missing the Fast Six in qualifying, but this was a solid start for Palou.

10. Will Power (2) – An uncharacteristic mistake that crashed Colton Herta put a blemish on the type of steady weekend that helped him win the 2022 title.

Falling out (last week): Josef Newgarden (1), Colton Herta (8), Christian Lundgaard (9)