Bandini was born in Barce,Hulme Takes Monaco Race; Bandini Seriously Hurt, New York Times, May 8, 1967, Page 59 Cyrenaica,Lorenzo Bandini, The Times, May 11, 1967, Page 12. Libya, then an Italian colony. The family returned to Italy in 1939 and resided near Florence, Italy. When he was 15 his father died. Bandini left home and found a job as an apprentice mechanic in the Freddi workshop in Milan.
He made his way into auto racing from competing on motorcycles.Italy's Bandini Dies Of Monte Carlo Burns, Stars and Stripes, May 11, 1967, Page 20. He started racing cars in 1957 in a borrowed Fiat 1100. The wealthy and kindhearted Freddi moulded Bandini's career and assisted him from the start of it.
He achieved a first class victory at the Mille Miglia, in a Lancia AppiaZagato, in 1958, and a class win the same year in the 500cc Berkeley in the 12-hour race at Monza. He then raced in Formula Junior until 1961. Bandini purchased a Volpini Formula Junior car and placed third in his first race in Sicily. In 1959 and 1960 he drove a Formula Junior Stanguellini. In 1960 he placed fourth in the Formula Junior World Championship.