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F1 legend Fangio exhumed in paternity row

The body of five-time F1 champion Juan Manuel Fangio was exhumed Friday in his native Argentina to settle a paternity dispute two decades after his death at age 84.

Two men have brought separate cases claiming Fangio was their father and seeking a piece of the estate he left to a foundation and museum bearing his name.

Juan Manuel Fangio. PHOTO: AFP

Under orders from a Buenos Aires court, Fangio’s body was removed from the family vault where it lay and taken to a morgue where forensics experts will extract DNA samples, the justice ministry said.

Fangio died in 1995 without ever marrying or declaring any children.

But his biographers say he had a two-decade long relationship with a woman named Andrea Berruet.

Her son Oscar Espinoza, who briefly raced on the junior-level Formula Three circuit in Europe, is one of the men who has launched a paternity claim, along with another named Ruben Vazquez.

Ruben Vazquez is one of two men claiming to be the son of F1 legend Juan Manuel Fangio. PHOTO: REUTERS

Espinoza’s lawyer Oscar Scarcella said the DNA results are expected in 30 to 60 days.

“Everything is proceeding absolutely normally,” he said.

Fangio, who launched his driving career in 1948, held the record for the most F1 titles for five decades, until Germany’s Michael Schumacher broke it in 2003. He was a sporting legend in Argentina by the time he retired in 1958 with 24 victories to his name.

Source: AFP

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